Wednesday, May 20, 2009


By Vicki Delany
Poisoned Pen Press
February 10, 2009
ISBN 978-1-59058-595-5
291 pages

Lucky Smith is not your typical mother. She and her husband left the states to begin new lives closer to their hippie beliefs in Cananda. Yes, she is as protective as a bear of her grown children, especially her daughter. Moonlight has decided to become a part of the Canadian police with a position as a probationary constable. Along with this decision, Moonlight felt it is in her own best interests to now be known as Molly. However, even with the new name and career that worries her mother, Molly does not have a vehicle to drive and still lives at home.

Life is fairly ordinary in Trafalgar, British Columbia, until Lucky discovers the body of a dead woman and a small baby boy about three months old. The mother seems to have died from a heroin overdose but there are also marks on her wrists that make the investigators wonder if she had been bond in anyway.

Lucky immediately volunteers to care for the baby until the real family is found. This turns out to be overwhelming for Molly’s family as the baby, Miller, is constantly howling and extremely demanding.

Molly with her experienced partner, Sgt. John Winters investigate this death and struggle to find out the true identity of the woman. To complicate matters, during the autopsy, it is discovered that this dead woman has not ever given birth.

VALLEY OF THE LOST is the second in a series of police procedural books set in British Columbia featuring Molly Smith. IN THE SHADOW OF THE GLACIER is the first. For being a second book, it flows well as a stand-a-lone. The only questions are from references to the death of Molly’s former love, Graham. This is also done well in that the reader is given enough of the information to understand the character, but also leaves enough vagueness for me to want to read the first book.

VALLEY OF THE LOST is probably a “cozy” but the pacing of the book perfectly parallels the investigation process. The characters are likable and realistic. There is also a quality of connectedness with the characters that demonstrates the author’s love of these people, who seem more than just characters.

Vicki Delaney has found a perfect niche for her new career as a writer in Ontario after retiring from the high-pressure financial world of being a systems analyst. She is working on her next Molly Smith novel.

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