Gold Digger: A Klondike Mystery
by Vicki Delany

RendezVous Crime, 2009. ISBN 978-1-894-91780-3.
Reviewed by Rhonda Esakov
Posted on 07/24/2009

Fiction: Historical; Fiction: Mystery

History meets Mystery in Gold Digger by Vicki Delany. When a murder is committed in one of the 1890's Klondike boom towns, who else but the famous Canadian Mounties would be there to solve the crime? Why, none other than the beautiful co-owner of the Savoy Dance Hall & Saloon, Mrs. Fiona MacGillivray.

Our heroine has a shady past, but with her determination, and a little vain beauty thrown in, she manages to thrive in the hastily thrown together town of Dawson by building and managing a saloon/dance hall. When a nefarious reporter hits town and makes enemies at every turn, it's hard to find which person didn't want to see him dead when his corpse turns up in Fiona's dance hall. With everyone a suspect, friends and family are all called to question. Everyone seems to be hiding something, but the Mounties and Fiona plan to get to the bottom of it. With gossip flying about the Savoy's grisly mystery, more people than ever crowd the saloon and dance hall, while in her own words, Fiona thinks: "Murder was good for business."

The descriptive details of the Yukon Territory during the Gold Rush make you want to learn more about some of the hardships people endured to make a place in this world. Against nature, starvation and even the depravities of other people, only the strong survive and the toughest thrive. Colorful details about the characters add much charm to this first book in the Klondike Mystery series. Eagerly I look forward to more visits with this forward thinking independent woman, the Mounties, dance hall girls, river front workers, a young boy coming of age and peoples from all over the world as they try to build their new lives under harsh conditions.

Check out our interview with the author of Gold Digger.

Vicki Delany majored in modern history at Carleton University, her interest more in the lives of ordinary women and men and the circumstances of their times than "big men" and their wars. It was on a canoeing trip in Algonquin Park that Delany, realizing that she was doing for fun what people in the past would have considered a hardship, told her trip mates stories about the incredible difficulties people endured in their attempts to get to the Klondike in search of gold, and the idea for a series of Klondike Gold Rush mysteries was set. She is a member of Crime Writers of Canada, and Capital Crime Writers, and is on the board of Wolfe Island's Scene of the Crime Mystery Festival. You can read more about Vicki Delany and her books on her website.

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