Sunday, July 7

Book Review: Gold Digger

Title: Gold Digger: A Klondike Mystery

Author: Vicki Delany

Pages: 314

Summary: 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.

My Rating: 6/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The book had some interesting bits and a lot of potential, but in the end it didn't exactly work out for me as it had too many elements that bothered me.

There were aspects of the book I did enjoy. I think the author did a good job at shaping the community and life during the time period in the Yukon during the Gold Rush. From a historical fiction side of things, the book does work fairly well at giving the reader a fairly solid idea to what life was like during the time period. Unfortunately I also felt that some of the characters didn't mesh well with the story as a whole and their characteristics and development overpowered the plot, in a bad way. Fiona, who was the main character, was a character I just couldn't stand. I hated her. To be blunt, she was a snob, and because of how she was portrayed it had a major effect on how much I enjoyed the book. I  also found that the were a lot of redundancies throughout the book, for example the amount of times a character would tell another character to watch their language, occurred far more than it was needed.

The mystery side of the book also had potential, but it didn't seem to be executed properly. It was almost as if it was close to being an engaging read but something just never sat right with how everything played out. I think this was mostly due to how the characters were written, but it just never came together to keep me interested. Again, Fiona's character overpowered the entire book, in a very negative way, and by the time I finished it I was more focused finishing the book so I didn't have to read about her character, than the actual ending.

Would I recommend it to read: I'm not sure. I think mystery fans may find it interesting as well as historical fiction fans, but I'm not sure it would be high on my recommendation list.

What to read next: Gold Mountain and Gold Fever, which are the other two books in the series.

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, 7th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, Alphabet ChallengeMystery and Crime Challenge, New Author Challenge


  1. I enjoyed Gold Mountain but have not read this one. Based on GM, I can understand that Fiona would not be everyone's cup of tea. Still, I wonder if you'd think she was more tolerable in Gold Mountain.

    1. Perhaps, I think it's the third book in the series so maybe she's had time to develop by then. It will be awhile before I try the book again, if I do try it. Still, nice to see books taking place in the Yukon - not many of those.