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by Vicki Delany

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59058-676-1
Publisher: Poisoned Pen

Christmas break turns deadly for bickering, oversexed collegians.

Jason and Ewan fail to appear at the Glacier Chalet B&B in the Canadian Northwest to open Christmas presents with their student pals Rob, Jeremy, Alan and Alan’s lover Sophie, plus a pair of non-students, Jason’s sister Wendy and his vacation conquest, the sluttish Lorraine. Their yellow SUV has skidded in the snowstorm and careened into the icy river. Jason dies in the accident, but the autopsy shows that Ewan was dead long before. Why was Jason, a medical student, driving around with his buddy’s corpse in his vehicle? Sgt. John Winters and newly promoted Constable Molly Smith (Valley of the Lost, 2009, etc.) are charged with finding out. First on their agenda: interview the pair’s friends, who excel at bickering, pummeling each other and sleeping around. Next, fend off Jason’s overbearing, name-dropping parents. Finally, turn to Molly’s mom Lucky, mainstay of a Woman’s Support Center, who fortuitously pops up to help the B&B owner, wayward Lorraine and Jason’s mom, a disgruntled wife. Snow falls. More snow falls. Even plows and police cars are slowed, leading to another fatality, this one on an unmarked ski trail.

Winters, who never finds enough time alone with his beloved wife, and Smith, who has a stalker after her, must also suffer through Delany’s lumpy prose and none-too-serviceable plot. A misstep, then, to be savored only by those unsentimental about the holidays.