Trouble is brewing in the small, bucolic mountain town of Trafalgar, British Columbia. An American who came to Trafalgar as a Vietnam War draft dodger has left land and money to the town. But there's a catch. The money must be used to build a garden to honor draft dodgers.
Delany's intriguing series opener introduces young constable Molly Smith, who almost literally stumbles across a rare murder victim in peaceful Trafalgar, British Columbia. The deceased, Reg Montgomery, was a widely distrusted newcomer planning to develop a luxury resort outside the town, making for a long list of suspects. The community is further divided by Smith's mother's plans for a public memorial to American draft resisters who fled to Canada during the Vietnam War. Struggling to recover from the death of her husband, build a career on the force and win the approval of her hippie parents and hard-edged Sgt. John Winters, newly arrived from Vancouver with his own set of personal problems, Smith throws herself into solving the case. Delany (Burden of Memory) carefully sets up the conflicts, resolving most but not all in anticipation of the next assignment, and begins what looks to be some extensive character development for the otherwise archetypal Winters and Smith.