Trouble is brewing in the small town of Trafalgar. Constable Smith nearly stumbles over a body, the victim of a murder. The deceased was a highly unpopular newcomer who had big plans for developing a luxury resort outside of town.
Smith throws herself into solving the case, in part to build her career on the force and to win the approval of her parents. She is also hoping to impress her new supervisor, Sergeant John Winters, newly arrived from the city of Vancouver, who has brought along his own set of personal problems.
©2007 Vicki Delany; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"[An] intriguing series opener....Delany carefully sets up the conflicts, resolving most but not all in anticipation of the next assignment, and begins what looks to be some extensive character development." (Publishers Weekly)
The story for this first book in a new to me mystery series was good. I really liked the strong sense of place Delany created depicting British Columbia and the small town setting of the book. The characters were unusual and held my interest. I wouldn't call it actually charming, but it was a good start.
The problem for me was with the narration. It almost ruined the book. The whiny ten year old child's high pitched voice used for almost all of the female characters was just one half step away from terrible. A waste because I will probably pass on the rest of the series. I would suggest a serious listen to the sample before buying the book.
I am an avid reader/listener but have never written a review until now. This book was so unfortunate it required comment. The writer shows some promise but has no life experience or perhaps has just not done her homework. The characters aren't charmingly odd but rather flat and predictable. The main character is too foolish to be taken seriously as a police officer. She comes off as something of an idiot rather than the disarmingly naive new constable the writer is attempting to portray.
Quite often a good narrator can elevate a story but in this case the reader/narrator has selected a tone and cadence for the female characters that makes them sound as if they are 10 years old and not particularly bright. I usually enjoy a good village mystery with quirky characters but this one left me cold.
Vicki Delany was a new author for me and I must say I enjoyed these books very much. I only wished that they had been numbered so that I had read them in order not that it mattered with the particular murder but the thread running through the books would have been more understandable. I find this often with books in a series especially when you don't have that had copy of the inside of the book showing the titles and the order in which they were published. Still that aside the books are great the story line interesting and the reading excellent.
As a rabid fan of Louise Penny's Three Pines books, I was drawn to this because of its setting in a small Canadian village. Though the similarities are mostly superficial, I found myself thoroughly won over by the characters. The storyline is entertaining, though not particularly surprising. I was surprised by how slyly this book drew me into its atmosphere. A fine start to a charming new series.
I enjoyed this book very much and will be interested in more by this author. And I mostly enjoyed the slight Canadian accent the reader has. She did a very acceptable job of differentiating between characters. My only real quibbles are, sadly, probably the result of the reader and author being Canadian. The first really is a small quibble -- the reader mispronounced the name of Jon Benet Ramsey. Considering the wall-to-wall coverage of the case off and on over the years, it just grated on my ears. Second, the author seems to not understand the way many American people would feel about the Peace Garden under discussion for most of the book. Yes, there are people here who would feel as she expects, but many more of us would find the whole thing to be a big tourist attraction! As an American, that annoyed me.
In the book's favor, I was more than half-way through before I spotted the first clue as to who the culprit was and it was a great deal longer than that before I untangled who had committed which crime and why. That's a *good* thing.
I found myself liking the main characters, even when I disagreed with them, which is fairly unusual, so I will be when more books in the series are released. An excellent beginning to a series!
Perhaps the bad reviews of this book are a product of the most unfortunate narrating I've ever heard on an audiobook. As one reviewer says, she makes everyone sound 10 years old--no, SHE sounds 10 years old! No inflection, no nuances. Why on earth did anyone hire her to read books? If there is a sequel to this book, please, please, get one of the many narrators who can actually narrate!
Wow, this book was bad, I didn't even go past part two. I listened to better writing in my English 101 classes in collage. The descriptions where as basic and uncreative as anything I've ever read and the characters were clich? after clich? . . . the weight lifter was big and dumb, the small town reporter was naive, the big city reporter was smart but bad . . . and the worst character of all is the main character. A shy, easily embarrassed, whimpering woman police officer with no backbone (no department in the world would ever hire her). It was so irritating to even listen to I go angry just thinking about what the author was thinking about when writing this book. Apparently everyone in Canada (in this book, anyway) is kind of slow and/or uber liberal.
The Narrator sounds like Howard Kosel and the voices she uses make everyone sound like they are 10 years old. I've listened to about 3 dozen books now and this one was the worst.
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