Gold Digger (A Klondike Mystery #1)

Gold Digger (A Klondike Mystery #1) It S The Spring Of 1898, And Dawson, Yukon Territory, Is The Most Exciting Town In North America The Great Klondike Gold Rush Is In Full Swing And Fiona MacGillivray Has Crawled Over The Chilkoot Pass Determined To Make Her Fortune As The Owner Of The Savoy Dance Hall Provided, That Is, That Her Twelve Year Old Son, Growing Up Much Too Fast For Her Liking The Former Glasgow Street Fighter Who S Now Her Business Partner A Stern, Handsome NWMP Constable An Aging, Love Struck Ex Boxing Champion A Wild Assortment Of Headstrong Dancers, Croupiers, Gamblers, Madams Without Hearts Of Gold, Bar Hangers On, Cheechakos, And Sourdoughs And Fiona S Own Nimble Fingered Past Don T Get To Her First And Then There S The Dead Body On Centre Stage. This is the first book in a series, that introduces us to saloon dancehall proprietress and single mother, Fiona MacGillivary What is unusual about Fiona is that she is raising her twelve year old son Angus alone, in wild and wooly Dawson City, in the waning days of the famous Klondike territory gold rush, circa 1898.I enjoyed this book immensely, especially the detailed descriptions of what life was like for the inhabitants of the town it s miners, prostitutes, storekeepers, dancehall girls, and sundry others who braved the wilds and the difficulties of reaching Dawson, to strike it rich with a gold claim, or to make a fortune catering to the needs of miners with dollars to spend, and nowhere else to go The murdered corpse of an American journalist is found on Fiona s dancehall stage There are suspects aplenty, to be sussed out by various members of the Northwest Mounties Police the forerunners of Canada s famous red coated RCMPs, or as they are lovingly called by Canadians, the Mounties At first, I found Fiona s character abrasive and hard to like However, as the story progressed, she grew on me She has her son s best interests at heart, and does not suffer fools gladly, nor does she allow herself to be pushed around by anyone
I might have enjoyed the story if I did t get so affected by the ambience which was knee deep in swampy mud, swarming with vicious biting bugs, and peopled for the most part by putrid smelling stumbling, vomiting drunks I shuddered through out I m sure they all had hearts of gold. Meh I wanted to like this book than I did It is a first book of a new series, and these often have some bugs to work out so I am lenient with my ratings and reviews But, in this case three stars gives a lot of leeway.I tended to dislike the protagonist, Fiona MacGillivary Often, I asked myself would this characteristic bother me if the protagonist were male On a couple of occasions, I sheepishly admitted no But overall, the answer was yes , the same characteristics would bother me if the character were male Fiona is callous and self serving, which bothers me no matter the gender of the character Also, while she pretends to be and regularly claims to be super intelligent, she makes some fairly stupid decisions Plus, she also pretends and claims to be people savvy and she is when she is manipulating people, but overall she really has little no emotional intelligence and so also little no social intelligence I got the sense that Delany was aiming for hard past led to hard shell with soft heart in Fiona, but I did not buy it The only redemption was that Fiona seems to l
This book had promise The promotional blurb promised a murder mystery set in a interesting location with lots of interesting characters I was expecting suspense and drama.What I got instead was a disjointed story that jumped back and forth between first person and third person a completely unnecessary first person, I should add at no point did it give the reader extra insight into her chara
Klondike Mystery 1 Fiona, a woman of questionable background, runs a saloon dance hall gambling parlor in very rugged Klondike in the 1800s A hated newspaper reporter is murdered inside her establishment Slow at first Took over 1 3 of book before it got into the beginning of the solving of the murder Descriptions of people and environment interesting but hard to take Much written about drunks vomiting and urinating and the mistreatment of horses and dogs Fiona was not terribly likeable But
Good entertaining plot, and great descriptions of life in the Yukon at the end of the gold rush Too bad the main character was not very likeable arrogant, self absorbed, and most unlikely to have survived in the harsh culture of the time. Enjoyed this to the point of not being able to put it down So, a good read Vicki Delaney is a well known author in Canada and I have no clue why I have not read her before now Must stop shelving books on my actual bookcases and read the darn things when they re purchased So glad I read this excellent tale set in Gold Rush era Yukon, mud filled Dawson, 1898 Fiona MacGillvray is the formidable saloon co owner and most savvy gal of the world Instantly likeable, she is a take no prisoners type of person and this has sustained her through numerous past experiences which are revealed throughout the book Her son, Angus, 12, is a chip off the old block, inquisitive and devoted to her and his dream, to become a Mountie The Gold Rush years were hard, very hard and the men lived hard, worked hard and enjoyed themselves wholeheartedly after weeks digging in the gold fields, the Savoy was there bliss, Fiona and her business partner, Ray Walker s saloon dancehall All sorts of folk end up in Dawson, shacks are built daily, and re built if there s a fire all sorts sail into town or come over the Pass One such fellow is hated on sight by many Mr Ireland, a newspaperman, a womanizer, a dandy like a wolf in sheep s clothing Trouble happens wherever he is, on the planks, at the Savoy, everywhere in town When he ends up dead on the empty Savoy stage, several people are immediate suspects The town Mountie, Richard St
Really enjoyed this book but it did take me longer than usual to get into the story This may be because I had just read several books in Delany s Constable Molly Smith series before beginning Gold Digger and so I had to adjust to changes in writing style, main character, and setting Stories about the Klondike gold rush have always appealed to me but the sense of the struggles and hardships experienced by people traveling to the gold fields became real to me during trips to Alaska visiting Skagway, seeing parts of the trail of 98 , experiencing the terrain and elevation changes from the coast of Alaska to the summit to reach the border of the Yukon Territories, and the knowledge that this climb was repeated multiple times since each person was required to have a ton of supplies before the Mounties would allow them to enter Canada In Gold Digger , the author makes reference to the struggles people endured to reach the Yukon but the bulk of the story is set in Dawson City Delany does an excellent job of describing the hastily thrown together, rough but relatively peaceful, muddy dusty community that existed for the sole purpose of provisioning and entertaining the miners Throw an occasional murder into this mix of rough and tumble characters and the story becomes even entertaining.Fiona MacGillivray is a wonderful heroine, altho
The Yukon s past still provides good stories.In Gold Digger, readers from Outside will find author Vicki Delany has recreated the Yukon mythos admirably, even dredging up details of little known habits of our working girls Overall Gold Digger is an intriguing frolic through the romantic past of a remote land With damsels in distress, rugged miners, ruthless killers and dauntless Mounties, Gold Digger has all the flavour and frivolity of a play the heroine, Fiona MacGillivray, would have produced on her own Savoy stage In fact, Gold Digger is well suited for adaptation by the real Gaslight Follies troupe that performs nightly throughout the summer in Dawson.Sourdoughs will recognize Fiona s newcomer attitudes and knowledge of the North when she mistakes singing voles for rats a species that does not exist in the Yukon and believes her son when he says he s going frog hunting permafrost being inhospitable to reptiles They ll appreciate that while Fiona denigrates her customer base as unkempt and uncouth, the filthiest miners were the most successful they got that dirty by moving muck to get to the gold at bedrock And they ll understand that while Fiona questioned the miners intelligence, a fair number had formal schooling and those who didn t made up for it with ingenuity Locals will understand that Fiona s behaviour is in keeping with that of her contemporaries when she turns a blind eye to the local First Nations, even though they supplied t
Enjoy history Like a mystery Gold Digger is an absolutely delightful historicalmystery I thoroughly enjoyed spending time back in 1898, the Yukon Territory, in the rip roaring mining town of Dawson A native born Californian, I was raised on stories of the 1849 Gold Rush and the founding of San Francisco, so reading about the last great Gold Rush had a lot of familiarity but the great Canada wilderness was an unique setting Vicki Delany has made the town of Dawson and its inhabitants come alive with a vivid realism of a great historical, without making one feel like they are reading a travelogue or passages quoted from a dry history tome.The story s heroine, Fiona MacGillivray, is a woman of great courage and strength of will in a time when most women were thought of as no than chattel She owns a saloon, the Savoy, named after the fashionable London hotel She is a woman of class and breeding, in a place where even a saloon owner can be considered respectable, if she acts as such She has a 12 year old son Agnus, a smart inquisitive lad who hero worships the local Mountie, Constable Sterling, and wants to become a Mountie himself.After surviving the arduous journey to get to the Klondike and the near starvation of the first winter, summer is extraordinary beautiful, with fields of glorious wild flowers, warm da