"Deadly Summer Nights" A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery By Vicki Delany

Review by Kathleen Costa

Welcome to the Catskills!

Olivia Peters, in her prime a Broadway and Hollywood dance star, left the business of her finances in the hands of her third husband. Mistake. He absconded with everything, leaving her without her NY apartment, furs, and jewelry. Fortuitously, an admirer named Olivia his only beneficiary providing her a home and an income stream: Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. Her daughter, now widowed, Elizabeth Grady agreed to manage the resort while her mother “sips cocktails, looks gracious, and pops up now and again to charm the guests.” Olivia’s reputation and contacts helped to build a regular clientele, and with a full-range of accommodations, indoor and outdoor activities, and evening entertainment along with BFF Velvet McNally, her Aunt Tatiana, and Winston the English bulldog, they may have the right combination to maintain the resort’s family-friendly popularity.

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Image Source Berkley
Deadly Summer Nights
Earns 5/5 Manifesto Mayhems…Entertaining, Clever!

It’s 1953, and city slickers flock to the holiday resort of southeastern New York State for relief from the hustle and bustle and heat of the city. Haggerman’s Catskill Resort is one offering all-inclusive summer fun, but murder? Sure, Elizabeth Grady, resort manager, and her team deal with a variety of demands and complaints, clumsy busboys, problems with vendors, a visit from the competition, and one of Olivia’s uber fans, but a dead man floating face down in the lake? No, that’s new. The victim was very low-key, stayed in a private cabin, didn’t take advantage of the amenities, and had strict orders for housekeeping and his meal deliveries, but he did meet Olivia who thought him a distinguished gentleman. But, when the local sheriff searches the victim’s room, they find some perplexing items: maps of London and Washington, D.C. and a copy of The Communist Manifesto. Their reputation is in jeopardy, their business is at risk, their lives could be forfeited to a killer. But, Elizabeth has a plan!

Wowza! Vicki Delany has brought an exciting first book in her new Catskill Summer Resort Mystery series reprising the fears of the 50s over communist infiltration, but nothing is what it seems. The murder mystery follows the traditional cozy formula that I enjoy with an early reveal of the crime, strong female lead and sidekicks, rich supporting characters, a clever amateur investigation techniques that often lead to a bit of peril, and an “I didn’t see that coming” arrest. WWII ended only eight years ago, the Cold War has citizens building shelters, and the conflict in Korea again brought talk of war to the dinner table, and in this engaging page-turner, Delany capitalizes on those suspicions and fears with connections and motives slowly revealed, and the impact the murder has on managing the resort with all the rumors and gossip adds to the angst. But, can they survive the label as a “nest of communist activity”? The local competition may be betting on “no.”Delany’s writing style is filled with vivid descriptions bringing to life the 50s resort environment, fashion, attitudes, and noticeable old school tech. Quite the flashback with switchboard operators, liberal smoking, and a strict dress code at the cocktail hour…a cocktail hour! Cheers to this entertaining gem!

Be a Big Vicki Delany Fan!

“One Woman Crime Wave” is the mantra for Vicki Delany, author of several entertaining series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Series, Year Round Christmas Mysteries, Smith & Winters Series, Klondike Mystery Series, along Rapid Read novellas and several standalone novels. She also writes the Lighthouse Library Mysteries under the pseudonym Eva Gates.

Facebook—Vicki Delany

Website—Vicki Delany

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

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Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


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