Under Cold Stone: A Constable Molly Smith Mystery By Vicki Delany

May 10, 2014 | 2014 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of Under Cold Stone at the end of this review, along with a link to purchase the book. If you use that link a portion goes to help support KRL.

Lucky Smith and her daughter, Constable Moonlight “Molly” Smith, each had high expectations of “firsts” for their October Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. Lucky was taking a first vacation away as a couple in Banff with Paul Keller, while Molly was cooking a Thanksgiving meal for herself and her new fiancée, Royal Canadian Mounted police dog handler, Adam Tocek. Both Smiths seemed destined for disappointment though, considering Molly’s complete lack of cooking skills and Lucky’s inability to stand down from a confrontation.

A left-leaning liberal who honed her protesting skills during the sixties with an arrest record to prove it, Lucky has forged a very unlikely relationship with Chief Constable of Trafalgar, Paul Keller, a man who has loved her from afar for decades. Their star-crossed romance hits a considerable bump when Lucky unknowingly meets his estranged son for the first time in a terrifying confrontation against bullies–the bump being that Matt Keller is the aggressive bully. book cover

When Matt’s equally unpleasant friend is later found murdered and Matt himself goes missing, Paul is inevitably pulled into the investigation. With Paul’s bitter and very resentful ex-wife descending upon the small tourist town Lucky feels alone and unusually helpless, so she reluctantly calls to Molly for help. Molly is more than happy to abandon a frozen turkey and rock hard pie crust, even if that means getting drawn into the emotional drama involving Matt’s sad and blindingly loyal nineteen year-old girlfriend. Tracey McMillan, a high school dropout working two jobs while rooming with two other girls, proudly envisions the thirty-three year-old Matt as the best hope for her life. While Molly and Lucky have their hands full in Banff, back home in Trafalgar, Sergeant John Winters is plagued by protestors descending on the Fernhaugh Resorts being developed and instigating confrontations that seem to be escalating and on the brink of violence.

By this seventh in the series Molly and her mother have evolved greatly, with perhaps Lucky being the one who has changed the most. Molly herself has grown more confident in her skills as an adept police constable and secure enough in her personal life to finally take a chance on commitment with Adam. Narratives alternate between characters and at times the most interesting is that of Tracey, who initially comes across as a very difficult woman to like with her constant need for approval, insecurity, and complete lack of embarrassment over mooching a meal off of Molly.

Tracey reveals a surprising level of strength that rivals that of the Smith women, though. The characters drive this mystery as the plots between Trafalgar and Banff improbably intertwine, but the characters are more than compelling enough to make this a very enjoyable and often funny read. Sly wit, sarcasm and the strong morality of characters enhance this well-written and continually interesting mystery series.

To enter to win a copy of Under Cold Stone, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Cold,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 17, 2014. U.S. residents only.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews (including reviews of more of Vicki’s books), book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).


  1. Nice cover and review

  2. Sounds interesting, to me!

  3. Can’t wait…recently found this series and LOVE IT!!

  4. Now that winter is over, this should be a great book to cool me off. Love reading and reviewing books everywhere!!

  5. Good review. I love Vicki’s books and look forward to reading this one.

  6. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher


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