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Gold Digger: A Klondike Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Vicki Delany

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Book Description

Book One of the Klondike Mystery Series by Vicki Delany!

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.

If you loved Gold Digger, check out the next three books of the series, Gold Fever, Gold Mountain, and Gold Web.

Product Description


"Delany proves to be a master at the historical mystery, just as she is for the traditional mystery." --

About the Author

Vicki Delany began her writing career with two novels of suspense, Scare the Light Away (9781590582794) and Burden of Memory (9781590584156), which were published to critical acclaim by Poisoned Pen Press. In 2007, Vicki published In the Shadow of the Glacier (9781590585580), the first book in a police procedural series set in the British Columbia Interior. On a canoeing trip in Algonquin Park, Delany began telling 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. Gold Digger is the first in that series and will appear in the spring of 2009.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 487 KB
  • Print Length: 326 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1894917804
  • Publisher: Napoleon and Co (26 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GU07OZS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #671,742 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good historical fiction, unlikeable main character 25 April 2013
By Southwest Woman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure if the author intended her main character to be so thoroughly unlikeable. Fiona is arrogant, a liar, thoughtless, self centered, deluded as to her own importance and the queen of denial.

The mystery is quite good. The historical setting extremely accurate. The Yukon is a character.The human characters are well drawn, but I despised Fiona. She keeps remembering her past and none of the memories aid the plot. Apparently she came from nothing, rose to hang out with the Prince of Wales, stole jewelry and silver, and had to run to the Yukon in the middle of the night. She is a sneaky, nasty woman who only loves her son. Sterling is a nice Saskatchewan farm boy, now a Mountie who is possibly falling in love with this amoral mess.

I won't buy more of this series. I prefer a main character I don't want to slap.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gold Digger Hits Gold 11 July 2009
By Linda Suzane - Published on
Enjoy history? Like a mystery? Gold Digger is an absolutely delightful historical mystery. 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 more 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 days, sapphire blue sky. Life is good in Dawson, the Savoy's business is booming, until Jack Ireland arrives. A newspaper reporter from San Francisco, he immediately makes enemies and within 3 days is found dead, throat cut, on the stage of the Savoy. Was it the rival newspaper man? Or Fiona's lead singer, Irene, whom Jack physically abused? Or Fiona's partner, jealously protective of Irene? Or the good woman that Jack called a prostitute in his first story sent back to San Francisco? Or Fiona herself, whom Jack threatened to destroy for standing up for Irene and defending herself? Or someone else?

Not a particularly complex mystery, it is still satisfying all the way around. It works because of the well drawn characters and setting handled with a careful attention to detail.

In my opinion, Gold Digger really strikes gold!

I understand it is the start of a new series, and I look forward to once again visiting Dawson and its interesting and colorful inhabitants.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder in the Klondike 8 Jan. 2010
By Jim Duggins, Ph.D. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Vicki Delany's book, "Gold Digger," is a story of the final days of Canada's Klondike Gold Rush. The Savoy Dance Hall in Dawson, Yukon Territory is the epicenter of this fast moving western mystery. It is there we meet the polyglot population of Canadians, Americans, English, Irish, and Scots who've come to make a fortune in the gold fields. Not unlike contemporary lotteries, the line of a fortune in gold attracts the best and the worst of humanity, seemingly mediated by the desperately poor trying to scratch a living from the excitement of legendary fortunes to be had just beneath the surface of the earth or on the velvet padded gambling tables of main street saloons.

Vicki Delany has assembled an all star cast of dance hall girls, drunks, thieves, prostitutes, all monitored by the Northwest Mounted Police, the "Mounties." Primary characters in this story are Fiona MacGillivray, a single parent mom and Ray Walker, her co-owner of the Savoy Dance Hall. "Gold Diggers" opens with the discovery of the corpse of Jack Ireland, a San Francisco journalist with a long and shady past, who's been murdered on the stage of the Savoy.

The story moves quickly, spiced up by author Delany's wit and well-developed characters who swiftly draw the readers' sympathies for a single parent mom, a bright, likable teenager, and a noble Mounty, handsome enough to flutter the heart of the most hardened dance hall girl. In addition to the plot that includes the combination of poverty and greed that has attacted people to the Yukon, each of the characters has a story that alternately causes the reader to invest in the good guys or despise the bad ones. Those conflicts, man vs. man, lie at the sources of the tensions in "Gold Digger".

Yet another feature of this novel is author Delany's talent for witty and salty metaphor, e.g. [the words of the saloon owner about the Mounty] "and he worshipped the liquor-spotted, spat-upon, sawdust-coated, cheap wooden planks that I walked on."

For these reasons, the elegant well-crafted plot, and the tensions between well-developed characters of conflicting motives, "Gold Diggers" is a fast, sure read, one you won't put down and that you will finish with that satisfying read charactistic of an entertaining, sometimes profound portrait of an earlier age.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History meets Mystery 24 July 2009
By Story Circle Book Reviews - Published on
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.

by Rhonda Esakov
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read... 18 Feb. 2014
By asmarh - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had never heard of the author, and just chose this book based on the fact that it was a mystery based in the Klondike. The protagonist, Fiona McGillivray, like many in that place and time, is running from past sins and seeking her fortune.

She runs a saloon/dance hall, a bit more respectable than average, but with no pretensions of being anything more than it is - or she is. With an adolescent son coming into young manhood, her hands are full. They become more full when a newly-arrived, but already hated, reporter turns up murdered in her place of businessmou. Everyone is a suspect, especially Graham Donohue, a rival reporter and sometimes object of Fiona's secret thoughts, who had already had some public and violent run-ins with the victim.

As the Canadian Mounties investigate, and her own suspicions about Graham's involvement grows, Fiona is placed in an increasingly uncomfortable position. Should she hide her suspicions from the authorities, confront Graham, or remain silent?
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