Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany

Posted September 2, 2021 by meezcarrie in cozy mystery, giveaway, historical, mystery/suspense, Vicki Delany / 8 Comments

A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery #1

GENRE: Historical Cozy Mystery
RELEASE DATE: September 7, 2021
PAGES: 304

A summer of fun at a Catskills resort comes to an abrupt end when a guest is found murdered, in this new 1950s set mystery series.

It’s the summer of 1953, and Elizabeth Grady is settling into Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. As a vacation getaway, Haggerman’s is ideal, and although Elizabeth’s ostentatious but well-meaning mother is new to running the resort, Elizabeth is eager to help her organize the guests and the entertainment acts. But Elizabeth will have to resort to untested abilities if she wants to save her mother’s business.

When a reclusive guest is found dead in a lake on the grounds, and a copy of The Communist Manifesto is found in his cabin, the local police chief is convinced that the man was a Russian spy. But Elizabeth isn’t so sure, and with the fate of the resort hanging in the balance, she’ll need to dodge red herrings, withstand the Red Scare, and catch a killer red-handed.


Bottom Line: Two elements initially drew me to Deadly Summer Nights – that gorgeous cover & the fact that Vicki Delany wrote it. I’m delighted (and not surprised) to report that the story inside is just as good as it looks like it would be. The author easily transports readers to a Catskills resort in the 1950s as she vividly sets the scene and the era through her descriptions and characters. The stirrings of the Red Scare (which hit close to home for Elizabeth and her eclectic band of family, friends & coworkers) further add to the atmospheric mood of the well-plotted mystery. Elizabeth’s no-nonsense approach to life, the byplay of reality vs assumptions (cleverly seen in several different areas of the book), and even a hint of romance potential kept me invested in Deadly Summer Nights from beginning to end.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / love it!

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Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than forty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea by the Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane Books, the Catskill Resort mysteries for Penguin Random House, and the Lighthouse Library series (as Eva Gates) for Crooked Lane.

Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It Crime Writing Festival. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards. Vicki is the recipient of the 2019 Derrick Murdoch Award for contributions to Canadian crime writing. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.

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8 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany

  1. Anne

    This story sounds captivating and the era is my favorite as well as the setting in the Catskills. I have visited the Catskills in the 60’s and enjoyed the resort and vacation there. This book is a real treasure as Vicki’s books are wonderful.

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