Lucky Smith, the mother of Molly Smith and recently widowed, and Chief Constable Paul Keller, recently divorced and Molly’s boss, somehow after years of antagonism have formed a relationship. So when Canadian Thanksgiving loomed, they decided to take a fancy long weekend at the plush Banff Springs Hotel. Of course, there turns out to be a fly in the ointment of a potentially idyllic four days: Paul’s ne’er-to-do (and estranged) son, Matt, and his boorish roommate, Barry, encounter Lucky when she is waiting on line at a coffee emporium, attempting to shove in past her. Never one to ignore a confrontation, Lucky fends them off. But later, sitting in the dining room at dinner with Paul, the two men enter and Barry pours tea on Lucky.
Paul is embarrassed by his son, but later that night he gets a phone call from Matt, who had found Barry in their apartment stabbed to death. Paul tells him to call the police. Instead he flees, making him suspect number one. Naturally, Paul as a policeman becomes involved with the Mounties, who make no progress in finding Matt or solving the murder. Lucky, very upset, calls Molly to travel to Banff and support her in her effort to keep Paul’s spirits up. Not one to sit still, Molly informally starts nosing around despite being warned by the RCMP sergeant in charge of the case to stay clear of the investigation.
Meanwhile, back in Trafalgar, the construction of vacation homes on a prime tract of wilderness land provides another subplot as environmentalists threaten demonstrations. All seem to tie together as this, the seventh novel in the Constable Molly Smith series, draws to a close. The characters are well-drawn and the plot moves forward at a brisk pace. The only question left unresolved is when will Molly and Adam, her fiancé, get married. And then there is the incipient Lucky-Paul bond to consider.