My name’s Molly Smith and I am a Constable Third Class with the Trafalgar Police Service. Molly is not the name with which I was christened, but when I started thinking about a career in the police, I soon decided that if I wanted to be treated as an equal by people with names like John, Dave, Paul, Adam, I’d just as soon not use my legal name. Which is, sigh, Moonlight Legolas Smith.
Yes, my parents were hippies. Still are, at least my mom still is.
Moonlight, not a name for a cop.
As for my mom, Lucky (another good hippy name) you can be sure that if there is any controversy in our town, Mom will be on one side of the barricades or the other. Sometimes literally.
Trafalgar’s a small, generally peaceful town nestled in the mountains in the British Columbia Interior. But we do get our share of trouble. This is a tourist town, and tourists can bring their problems with them.
I’m not a detective, not by any means, but in a small town such as Trafalgar, we get to wear a lot of hats. Plus I’m Trafalgar born and raised. The lead detective, Sergeant John Winters, is from Vancouver. He doesn’t have his finger on a fraction of the web of relationships that run through a small, remote place like this one. And not all our criminals are tourists, or our victims are out-of-towners
Take Cathy Lindsay. I think I’ve seen her around town, at the grocery store, at the high school where she teaches English. I’ve been to her house at least once, when I found her 16 year old son, a right troublemaker, passed out drunk in the park.
Who would think that Cathy Lindsay, respectable middle-class married woman, middle-aged teacher, would be a candidate for murder? Shot by a sniper while walking her dog in the snowy woods.
I’m not a detective, as I said. But I can help Sergeant Winters, because I know these people and this town. Even my mom, with even more friends and contacts that I have, gets involved sometimes.
I’d like to be a detective someday. I don’t know if that’ll be possible if I stay in Trafalgar. I need big-city policing experience. But I don’t know if I want to leave this quirky little town I love so much. And then there’s Constable Adam Tocek of the R.C.M.P. I don’t know if I want to leave him either.
But right now I’m okay with just being a Constable Third Class. Most of my work is regular policing stuff. Walking the beat, checking out the bars on a Saturday night, driving around town looking out for drunk drivers and speeders. Sometimes, it can get hot and heavy. Like the knife fight in a bar that almost turned into a gun fight when the perp turned that knife on me:
The tattooed man held the bottle neck, the broken end pointing toward her, jagged glass glistening. He took a step forward. The bouncer retreated. Smith stood her ground, both hands firm on the gun.
She felt time slowing; she was aware of every breath she took, and every sound in the place. She held the Glock out in front of her, her hold on it solid but not gripping. “Put,” she said, “it down.”
No one said a word. The band members were on the stage, holding their instruments. Watching. The only sounds were the man’s deep breathing, the squeak of floorboards, and a woman weeping. Even the guy with a knife stuck in his leg had gone quiet.
Smith sucked in a breath. Would she shoot? Yes, she would. One more step would bring him in rushing range. She’d shoot all right.
From A Cold White Sun by Vicki Delany
I’m glad my mom doesn’t know everything I do.
Thanks to Poisoned Pen, I have one (1) copy of A COLD WHITE SUN to give away. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends August 15; US and Canadian entries only per publisher’s request.
You can read more about Molly in A Cold White Sun, the sixth book in the “Constable Molly Smith” mystery series. The first book in the series is In the Shadow of the Glacier.
Meet the author
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers. A Cold White Sun, the sixth book in the popular Constable Molly Smith series from Poisoned Pen Press, will be released in August. She is also the author of standalone novels of psychological suspense, and the light-hearted Klondike Gold Rush books from Canada’s Dundurn Press. Her Rapid Reads book, A Winter Kill, was shortlisted for the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for best novella.
Vicki is proud to have been chosen as Canadian guest of honour for Bloody Words, the Canadian mystery conference, in 2014.
Having taken early retirement from her job as a systems analyst in the high-pressure financial world, Vicki enjoys the rural life in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.