Having taken early retirement from her job as a systems analyst in the high-pressure financial world, Vicki Delany is settling down to the rural life in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario where she rarely wears a watch. Among the Departed is the fifth in her traditional village mystery series featuring Constable Smith, Sergeant Winters and the town in the shadow of the glacier Trafalgar, British Columbia. Please visit www.vickidelany.com.
Burden of Memoryby Vicki Delany
Miss Madison isn’t interested in a
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Elaine Benson, a successful novelist who jettisoned her career over an unreliable screenwriter, is now divorced, broke, and come to a “primitive, untamed northern forest” on Lake Muskoka to interview for a job. Elderly Miss Moira Madison of the fabulously rich Canadian Madisons wishes to write her memoirs.
Miss Madison isn’t interested in a bestseller. She wants to leave a record of her life, especially of her years with the Canadian Army Nursing Sisters of World War II. Her service in the British and then European theater was filled with triumphs and bitter losses and forever shaped her life. Can Elaine tell her story working with decades of old documents?
Settling into the family “cottage” and what remains of a lifestyle long gone, Elaine rediscovers her love of researching the past. But somehow her project—she soon discovers the first writer Miss Madison hired drowned in the Lake—stirs someone to murder….
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I loved this author's first novel SCARE THE LIGHT AWAY and ordered her second as soon as I heard a publilcation date. BURDEN OF MEMORY is another wonderful novel. The story has been synopsized in other reviews so there's no point in my reiterating. I know some readers are put off by prologues and or flashbacks and you will find both of those here. I hope you won't cheat yourself out of enjoying a way above average novel because of them. Delany's use of both is deft and light handed ALWAYS moving the story along effectively. I give this author my highest reccomendation.
Elaine Benson wrote two highly regarded biographies of pioneer Canadian women when she fell in love and married. Her husband persuaded her that the money is in screenplays so they teamed up with Elaine doing the research. However, Elaine obtained a divorce and left Hollywood for Toronto and applied for the job of writing the true story of wealthy elderly Miss Moira Madison. She obtains the position, but learns that Donna Smithton had the job for one week before accidentally drowning in nearby Lake Muskoka. --- Moira, as she prefers to be called, fears that the talented Elaine will uncover family secrets from the war days that she does not want revealed. Instead Moira prefers most of the bio to be concentrated on her work with the Canadian Army Nursing Sisters of World War II. However, Elaine, who moves into a nearby cottage, begins to uncover questions that link the so called accidental drowning by Donna to events during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Someone will kill to insure that certain secrets remain buried. She wonders if the man she recently met in Moira¿s home and is half in love with, Alan Manners, is behind the attempts to keep secrets hidden. --- This is an interesting Canadian amateur sleuth thriller that works because Elaine is believable as she has the skills to analyze documents and uncover secrets. Her inquiries start off innocently but as she begins to comprehend what she is digging up, danger mounts and she ponders who to trust including those she cares about like her client and Alan. BURDEN OF MEMORY uses some flashbacks to tell the backdrop WWII story, but whether it is past or present Vicki Delaney provides a wonderful cozy. --- Harriet Klausner