Fiona MacGillivray is a woman with a past. To escape it, she has travelled from England to Canada to the northern town of Dawson. Here the gold rush is in full swing, its madness luring the most wicked, ambitious, and determined of the world in the hopes they will strike gold and be rich.
But Fiona is smart enough to let others do the hard work of mining and reap the greatest rewards for herself. She sets up a dance hall complete with saloon, live entertainment, and exclusive gambling rooms. Before long, it becomes one of the finest in all of Dawson. Money, gold dust, and gold nuggets are all accepted forms of currency in her tightly run establishment. In this way, Fiona is able to support her twelve year old son while making outrageous profits and carving out a comfortable living.
A newcomer by the name of Jack Ireland is causing a stir. He is a reporter from San Francisco who wields his mighty pen ruthlessly, destroying lives at will by his written word. After he beats up a popular dance girl, his throat is cut and he lies dead in a pool of his own blood on Fiona’s dance hall stage.
Almost everyone is a suspect, because almost everyone hated the man. Constable Richard Sterling, a dashing officer at the local North West Mounted Police detachment leads the investigation. Soon suspicions turn to the dance girl who was beaten up. Fiona is incensed and sets out to prove the young woman’s innocence.
Gold Digger is more than a “who dunnit”. It is an accurate historical portrayal of the Klondike at the peak of its gold rush madness. Numerous colourful and quirky characters line the book’s pages. Miners, storekeepers, reporters, police officers, whores, drunks, and gamblers are just a few of the people so carefully crafted and described by Delany.
The book is the start of a new series, and as a result, there is much to be revealed in future stories. So readers will have to wait patiently to read more about the strong heroine, her charming son, and the handsome NWMP officer who is showing a strong interest in the lovely Fiona. Brava Vicky Delany! Better hurry with that next novel. Readers are already patiently awaiting it.
Gold Digger is a must read and brings to life an exciting era in Canadian history.