Cover Image: Deadly Summer Nights

Deadly Summer Nights

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Member Reviews

Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany is about a mom and daughter duo trying to run a summer resort at the Catskills.

Will Elizabeth figure out who killed Harold Westenham?

Elizabeth Grady
Elizabeth Grady is our main character, along with the point of view character, and she is a great character. She is the hotel manager and basically runs the place. At the same time, her mom Olivia Peters, a Russian ballerina that changed her name from Olga to Olivia, is the draw to their hotel for people to come to them instead of any of the other Catskills hotels in the area. Elizabeth is a widower who lost her husband to the war. As a character, I like Elizabeth a lot, and I feel bad for her about some things that her mom makes her do. Then again, it's what moms do best. Elizabeth seems to be an awesome person who has a good head on her shoulders and is trying to make this hotel venture work for both of them.

The Mystery/Victim
Elizabeth, Randy, and Velvet find the murder victim named Harold Westenham. He is a recluse guest who only went out when the cabin he was renting needed to be cleaned. Elizabeth has been tasked by herself and her mom to figure out who would have killed him since the chief is stating that not only is Harold, but Elizabeth and her mom are communists. To save their livelihood, Elizabeth is trying to figure out who could have killed him and why. She finds out a lot, and I have to say that I fell for a red herring until something happened that made me switch to another suspect that turned out to be the culprit. There are many red herrings, and I do love the way that Ms. Delany wove them in to make it seem like they had a better motive.

Five Stars
I am giving Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany five stars and recommending it to everyone that likes to read historical cozy mysteries. I don't normally read books set near D-Day, and I'm glad that I gave this one a chance. The timing is set far enough away that it allowed me to enjoy reading it without worrying about the war. I love this historical book, and I can't wait to read the next one. Ms. Delany has done a fantastic job, and I love everything. Sure, I had to look up some stuff, but I'm not sure what to think about an Egg Cream drink.

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Great Escapes Book Tours. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany.

Until the next time,
Karen the Baroness

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book. I will admit it took me a minute to get drawn into this one because it was set in a different time period and I am such a fan of her other books set in current times. But it's a good cozy mystery and the characters are very endearing( with the exception of some of the guests). A must read for sure!
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Vicky Delany starts a new series with a sparkling cozy set in a Catskills holiday hotel in 1953.  The manager has to keep her owner mother in her sights while managing staff and holiday families at the hotel.  An author-college professor is found murdered and the local police chief cries communist plot.  Our heroine has to keep her romantic and business relations in line while sleuthing to solve the murder before the scandal destroys her hotel business.
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Great start to a new cozy series by Vicki Delany! 

The Basics:  It's 1953. Elizabeth Grady's mom inherited a resort in the Catskills two years before and Elizabeth is doing her best to run the place. It's not always easy -- especially when a guest is found dead and a copy of  The Communist Manifesto is found in his cabin. Was a Russian spy lurking in the a nearby competing resort owner trying to close them down....or is another guest a murderer?

I enjoyed this story, although the constant 50's slang got a bit annoying at times. It just seemed a bit over-done. I loved the characters and it did invoke memories of some fun vacations when I was a kid. That was in the 80s and in the Ozarks....but the woodsy resort feel was at least similar in my mind. :) I was definitely reminded of the feel of the Trixie Belden books with a bit more adult vibe thrown in. 

Very enjoyable story! I'm definitely sticking around to read more of this series! 

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
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The Catskills Resort setting of this delightful cozy mystery is sure to appeal to anyone who has watched "Dirty Dancing" too many times to count. Elizabeth is a feisty protagonist. She runs the hotel, owned by her starlet mother, but is constantly underestimated by others. She uses this to her advantage as she investigates the death of a guest. The mystery is full of twists and turns and as satisfying as an egg cream on a hot summer day!
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Deadly Summer Nights Earns 5/5 Manifesto Mayhems…Entertaining, Clever!

It’s 1953, Haggerman’s Catskill Resort, owed by Broadway and Hollywood famed dancer Olivia Peters, is one of several resorts offering all-inclusive summer fun for those wanting relief from the hustle, bustle, and heat of the city…but murder? Olivia’s daughter, widow Elizabeth Grady is the resort manager, and with her team are used to dealing with demands and complaints, clumsy employees, vendor issues, visits from the competition, and one of Olivia’s uber fans, but a dead man floating in the lake? No, that’s new. The victim was staying in a private cabin, not taking 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, business, and lives are in jeopardy. But, Elizabeth has a plan!

Vicki Delany’s first book in her new Catskill Summer Resort Mystery series is an exciting reprising of the fears of the 50s over the “Red Scare,” but nothing is cut and dry. 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 on edge, and the conflict in Korea has everyone war weary, and in this engaging page-turner, Delany capitalizes on those suspicions and fears with connections and motives slowly revealed, and the impact on managing the resort with all the gossip adds fuel to the rumor Haggerman’s is a “nest of communist activity.” 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!
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3.75 stars

A new series set at a Catskills resort in the 1950s. Dramatic retired dancer and celebrity Olivia has inherited the resort and turned over the actual scut work and management to her daughter Elizabeth. The two have a prickly but ultimately close relationship.  Elizabeth juggles staff management, guest relations, ordering of the gargantuan amount of meal supplies, and entertainment. Olivia provides the glamour and swoops in occasionally to distract guests when there's a problem.

And the problem is a dead body, probably murdered, of a reclusive guest. The local police chief is a joke -- possibly corrupt, looking for Communists under every rock. He assumes the murder victim was a Commie up to no good, despite no evidence the denial of the man's nephew. But a rumor like that could cause irreparable harm to the resort, so Elizabeth has to involve herself in the investigation.

Interesting and unique setting with likeable characters and a smoothly plotted narrative. Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I thought this mystery was pretty well done but it lacked in a couple key places for me. I loved the setting. Summer in the Catskills sounds lovely! I liked all of the characters and would enjoy getting to know them. I also loved the handsome rival resort owner. The book was set in the 1950's, an interesting twist on the cozy mystery, but parts of it felt a little too modern to me. Not in the setting but in the vibe of the characters if that makes sense? I forgot it was set in that time period until communism was brought into the mix. I also felt that the mystery itself was a little weak. I did however enjoy the book and will check out book two to see if those kinks are ironed out because it has potential!
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Deadly Summer Nights takes place in the early 1950s. The setting is the Catskill Mountains at a resort similar one in the popular 1987 film, Dirty Dancing. I love the mystery of the murdered writer. He comes to the resort seeking solitude, which is unheard of in this particular area. When he's discovered floating face down in the lake, the local police call in the big guns. Now the local police and FBI are determined to pin the writer as a communist sympathizer, potentially ruining his family name and taking Haggerman's Catskills Resort down at the same time. 

Elizabeth is a strong woman running a resort in a time when women were looked down upon as inferior to men. As the mystery begins to unfold, she learns firsthand just how much bias there is even though it's not unheard of for women in the Catskills to run the show, so-to-speak. Elizabeth has gathered a wonderful staff of family and friends to assist in the day-to-day operations of Haggerman's. Her mother, Olivia, is the star of the resort but without Elizabeth, Haggerman's would be another failing resort in the mountains. What they don't need right now is a suspected murder of a guest and flying accusations of communism. 

The author delivered a powerful and robust mystery. Several characters were introduced as possible suspects and red herrings were strategically placed between the pages. I enjoyed the fact that this story is set pre-technology boom and there aren't smartphones, Google, or video cameras on every corner. This mystery took good old-fashioned detective and legwork to investigate and solve. The author did a great job keeping the book in line with actual happenings in the 50s. People smoked inside of buildings. Comedians were judged harshly on their inappropriateness. The clothing choices described are rarely talked about or seen anymore. 

Deadly Summer Nights is engaging, dramatic, and filled with friendship, amateur sleuthing, and a wonderful mystery. The characters, development, and world building were superb. I felt like I was in the book with Elizabeth, Olivia, Velvet, Randy, and the rest of the group. I look forward to the next book in the series.
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Remember the movie Dirty Dancing? That romantic drama was set in the same location as this cozy mystery series, just ten years later. Things don’t seem to have changed much in the Catskills summer resorts during that intervening decade, but that was kind of the point.

One of the real Catskill resorts during its glory days
Back in the 1950s, the time period of this series, the Catskills resorts were in their storied heyday, not just a place but an entire experience, a setting where middle and upper class New Yorkers could retreat from the city’s heat to a beautiful mountain location upstate, close enough that the husbands could come up on the weekends to visit their families but still work in the city on weekdays.

And the resorts were self-contained enough to keep the wives and children entertained and cosseted for as long as the family could afford. An entire summer if they could manage it. Kind of like a cruise ship, just without the shore excursions.

Elizabeth Grady, manager of Haggerman’s Catskills Resort, and her mother, retired Broadway star Olivia Grady, are new to the Catskills. The summer of 1953 is only their second season, and Elizabeth is determined to make a go of the only asset she and her mother have. No matter who, or what, gets in her way.

They seem to be on track to profitability this year – or at least they are until the dead body of one of their guests is pulled from the lake one night.

That a guest might die while at the resort is not unheard of. Many of their guests are neither young nor in perfect health. Families have come to the Catskills resorts for at least two generations at this point, and sometimes those generations pass while at the resort.

But a murder is entirely other matter. Guests come to the Catskills to GET away from it all, not to be done away with as this one certainly was. This pot of scandal is further stirred when the local police chief searches the guest’s cabin, discovers a couple of maps and a copy of the Communist Manifesto, and calls the FBI in on suspicion that the “Reds” that Senator Eugene McCarthy is screaming about in Washington have made their way to the Catskills.

Elizabeth needs to find the murderer before the scandal takes her fledgling business right under the water along with the corpse. While her competition from the other resorts cheer on her business’ demise.

Some of them, at least, are absolutely salivating at the very though. After all, it will just prove what they’ve been saying all along, that running a business like Haggerman’s is simply not a suitable job for a woman.

Escape Rating A-: There is a lot to like in Deadly Summer Nights, and one thing that niggled at me a lot. I’ll get to that in a bit.

What I really liked about this story was the way that it dug a bit deeper into what the real world was like during the 1950s, as opposed to keeping reality at bay as the Catskills resorts were famous for doing in their heyday. Which were, after all, the 1950s.

Elizabeth is a woman running a business at a time when women were expected to stay home with the children and not “worry their pretty little heads” about such things as payrolls and suppliers and invoices and contracts. She’s every bit as competent and capable as any man around her and knows they’re being stupid and ridiculous but she plays as much of the game as she must in order to get by.

And she’s very good at asserting her authority when she has to – as she all too frequently does. That she can’t assert any authority over her mother is an entirely different matter. Most of us can’t manage that particular trick no matter how necessary we feel it might be.

I loved the way this story dealt with McCarthyism and the “Red Scare” of the 1950s. The police chief’s witch hunt is bogus and everyone knows it’s bogus. At the same time everyone has to take it seriously out of fear of very real consequences.

I also enjoyed the way that this series opener creates Elizabeth’s world, the resort and it’s annual three months of frenzy, the relationships between Elizabeth and her mother and her aunt, the way she treats her employees, how she deals with the guests, including the demanding divas, and the symbiotic relationship between the resorts and the towns that they are not quite a part of.

I have to say that the focus of the story is on the worldbuilding rather than the mystery, and that works for a series opener. The red herrings are certainly tasty, but Elizabeth has so many fish to fry on an average day that her investigation gets a bit lost in the chaos. I liked her more than enough to enjoy watching her work, whether on the murder or just keeping the resort afloat.

About that thing that niggled at me.

Although this review is being posted around the publication date of the book, I actually read it back in July. On the weekend I read this one of the last of the “Borscht Belt” comedians, Jackie Mason, passed away at the age of 93. I know this seems like a non sequitur, but it’s not. Because the “Borscht Belt” where Mason and so many others honed their stand up routines was just another name for the Catskills summer resorts where this story takes place. The Catskills resorts catered to a Jewish clientele, served Kosher food and gave a lot of Jewish comedians their start or bolstered their careers.

As is mentioned in the story, Milton Berle really did perform in the Catskills. The comedian who gets caught up in the murder investigation was probably based on Lenny Bruce, who also performed there during his all-too-brief but controversial career.

At first, I couldn’t figure out what was missing at Haggerman’s, until I realized that the context of who the clients were and who many of the owners were was entirely missing. If it was subtext it was so sub that I missed it. And I feel like a lot of the flavor of the area was lost.

Your reading mileage, of course, may vary.

But I really liked Elizabeth, her family and her resort, more than enough that I’ll be back for her next Catskills season in Deadly Director’s Cut, coming next March. Just at the point where winter’s doldrums will make reading about the summer sun seem like a real getaway!
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Elizabeth Grady is starting the second summer running the Haggerman’s Catskills Resort, which her mother has inherited.  She is hoping things will go smoothly this year, but that’s before she finds the body of one of their guests floating in the lake.  The local sheriff thinks the victim was a communist.  With rumors swirling around the resort, and guests threatening to leave, Elizabeth has to step in and figure out what really happened before the resort is ruined.  Can she do it?

As much as I loved the book, I found the mystery to be rather week.  We get too much about life at the resort for it to have the time to be fully developed.  However, it’s hard to complain since resort life sounds fabulous.  I’m not ready for summer to be over, and I enjoyed dreaming about spending time on the lake with nothing to do.  The book is set in the 1950’s, and I felt like I was transported back in time as well.  The characters are as charming as the setting, and I want to see more of them.  I enjoyed this book enough that it won’t be my only visit to Haggerman’s.
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Elizabeth Grady is helping her mother, retired show dancer Olivia Peters, run Haggerman’s Catskills lakefront resort. Elizabeth does the bulk of work running the resort, but Olivia is on hand to use her star power to smooth over any public relations hiccups. Except for a neighboring resort owner trying everything he can to make Haggerman’s look bad, things are going pretty smoothly. Things take a large turn for the worse, though, when the body of one of their guests is found in the lake. There is no doubt it’s murder, and the local police chief starts a rumor the victim was a communist. He accuses both Elizabeth and Olivia of being fellow members of the party, which in 1953 would mean the end of their business. Elizabeth works to clear their names and find the actual motive and the real killer.

I’ve enjoyed a few different series by this author and as a fan of the movie Dirty Dancing, I couldn’t wait to read this book. There aren’t any dance lessons being given in this book, a band does play in the evenings and some of the staff members mingle and dance with the older guests. The author does a good job of transporting the reader to the Catskills in the early 1950s through the descriptions of the fashions and customs of that era. I like the main character, Elizabeth, and her wonderful sense of humor. I really enjoyed the banter between her and her best friend and hotel staff member, Velvet McNally. By the end of the book, Elizabeth has two different handsome men vying for her affections, so future books should be interesting.

The mystery itself is intriguing, with a lot of potential suspects. I like the way Elizabeth is able to get information about the crime even when the local police and even the FBI fail. The ending is a little more complicated than it needed to be, but it provides a solution to the murder and wraps up all the various subplots. I’ve never been to the Catskills, but I enjoyed spending time at Haggerman’s through this well-written cozy mystery. I would definitely read future books in this series.

~ Christine
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As I started reading this novel, I felt such ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ vibes, which I loved!
Takes place in 1953, pre social media, pre cell phones, so the detail to fact finding, and problem solving is extra intriguing. I love cozy mysteries, and this one is just that! Perfect read for a night in by the fire, or if you’re lucky.. at the Catskills. 
I have read so much about the Catskills, have seen it on social media and shows, and I’ve always wanted to visit. There’s definitely a mystery to the Catskills, and writing a novel that takes place there is a must!
This mystery is the first in it’s series, and I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did, I can’t wait to continue the series!
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In the summer of 1953 Elizabeth Grady has her work cut out for her. Her mother inherited the Haggerman’s Catskills Resort and Elizabeth is the manager.  It’s up to her to make sure the resort is a rousing success, but when a resort guest turns up dead on their property, she fears the hotel will be closed before it ever gets started. 

When the police find The Communist Manifesto in the deceased’s room, Elizabeth must prove that it had nothing to do with her. That doesn’t stop her guests from gossiping. Elizabeth fears the resort might not have a chance to prove its innocence. 

This is the first of a series by one of my favorite cozy mystery authors.  The author has a great talent to paint the picture which draws readers right into the story. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Catskills, but the author did a great job describing the setting and describing the clothes of the era.

Elizabeth is a wonderful, strong character.  She is easy for me to like and root for.  Even her supporting crew were likeable, funny and quirky.  I loved them all. 

It’s a fast-paced mystery which had a shocking-to-me ending.  I definitely didn’t see that coming.  It is written in a clever, crisp, and exciting way.  I can’t say enough about this one.  It’s one of my favorites of the year.  I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. 

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.
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Haggerman's Catskills Resort in Summervale, New York is the perfect mountain destination for city folks seeking an escape from the oppressive summer heat. Days are spent participating in outdoor activities and lounging by the pool; and evenings are the time to dress to the nines while enjoying cocktails, dancing, and shows. Regardless of time of day, another major activity is gossiping--and the discovery of Harold Westenham's lifeless body in the lake provides lots to talk about. This being no accidental drowning, everyone wants to know, who killed the mysterious guest in Cabin 19, a retired college professor who was writing a novel during his stay? And what was the motive? Manager Elizabeth Grady must do major damage control before the incident impacts the resort's reputation and viability. 

In the two years since Elizabeth's mother--former star of the stage and screen Olivia Peters--inherited Haggerman's, they have worked hard to attract both a loyal staff and customer base, despite competing with popular nearby hotels that aren't beyond using dirty tactics to cut into Haggerman's business. The current situation gives the competition more ammunition, and rumors have the community in an uproar. Is the killer another guest, someone from the area, or a person from the victim's past? With the help of close staff members, Elizabeth sets a trap to catch the killer, putting both her personal safety and business on the line.

Vicki Delany--no stranger to creating successful cozy mystery series--has done it again, introducing a new setting and intriguing cast of personalities. In Deadly Summer Nights, she revives the Catskills of the 1950's--then a moderately glamorous nearby getaway that New Yorkers flocked to every summer. The story is rich in period detail--bringing back to life the fashion, customs, attitudes, and politics of the time. The plot of the mystery is slow-burning, with carefully placed red herrings and clues that keep readers engaged. With signature style, Delany delivers a small town vibe, strongly investing in character development, creating humorous moments, and building relationships that lay the ground work for future installments of the series. All in all, this series is a welcome addition to the genre from one of the great storytellers in the field, and I eagerly await the next book.
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Elizabeth Grady is managing a Catskills resort called Haggerman's in 1953. Her mother, a retired actress, is the owner, but Elizabeth is doing the day to day work. When a guest is murdered, she becomes involved in solving the mystery. There are lots of details about day to day life at the resort, and even a little possible romance for Elizabeth.

I wanted to read this mystery because I love historic mysteries and am fascinated by the Catskills. I never pass up a book, movie, or TV show set in this locale.

Deadly Summer Nights is a delightful read. The author does a wonderful job at establishing a sense of time and place. There are so many fascinating little details, like this description which involved retro food:

"I followed him across the lobby, up the grand staircase, and into the ballroom. The orchestra was having a break, and the lines at the bar and the food table were long. An angel food cake covered with a thick layer of pink icing dotted with maraschino cherries, platters of Rice Krispie squares, and a glistening pineapple upside-down cake were tonight’s offerings. More than a few of our guests took a piece of everything on offer. Some helped themselves to more than one piece of each" (eBook location 708).

The mystery is well plotted, with a number of plausible suspects. I figured the killer out about the same time Elizabeth did.  There is a large cast of characters which led to a slightly slower read - but that just gave me a little extra time to enjoy the book!

Elizabeth is a fun amateur detective. She's very smart and enlists the help of her lifelong friend Velvet in solving the mystery.

I highly recommend Deadly Summer Nights to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, and most especially to readers who enjoy Mid-Century settings and retro Catskills. I look forward to upcoming books in this series.
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This was such a good book! I love a good mystery, def a must read. It’s perfect for fall, def worth a read.
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Vicki Delany is a prolific cozy mystery writer. She writes under her name and in the name of Eva Gates, several different cozy series' and I have read a total of four of her books, two from her Tea By the Sea Mystery series, one from her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series and this one, Deadly Summer Nights. This Catskill Summer Resort series might well turn out to be another of my favourite series.

The period (1950s) detail is fascinating and the name of the resort, Haggerman's is an inspiration. The reader is soon introduced to Elizabeth Grady and also gets to learn a thing or two about running a summer resort. With some expert character creation from Vicki Delany, I wanted to learn a great deal more about them all, especially Elizabeth, Velvet and Lucinda. Elizabeth is a widow and is for the time being, happy and content with her lot. She makes a strong protagonist and is very smart so is good for the holiday resort business. Lucinda McGreevy works at the Red Spot Diner and is Elizabeth's new friend. Elizabeth's mum, Olivia Peters is a Broadway diva and her Aunt Tatiana has housekeeping responsibilities. Elizabeth's BFF Velvet (wonderful name) McNally also works at the resort as the director of outdoor recreation and helps with the mystery-solving and Winston the English bulldog has a great part to play also. But hold on... who wants guests like formidable Mrs Brownville? So, Deadly Summer Nights boasts an impressive cast who I will hopefully see again in book two!

Entertaining throughout, Vicki Delany's writing talent is undoubtedly illuminated in this tale of mystery, so give it a whirl. It's a winning combination of history, drama, mystery, humour and friendship, with the potential for some romance. The conclusion was a good one and unexpected.

Thanks to Great Escapes Book Tours, Vicki Delany and Berkley for a complimentary copy of Deadly Summer Nights at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.
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“A Catskills Summer Resort Mystery, book 1

It`s Summer of 1953, we are at Haggerman’s Catskilss Resort, a getaway vacation paradise, run by Elizabeth Grady an owner/manager eager to organize her guests and entertain them with different activities: food, drinks, pool, mountain hikes and lake activities....all the amenities one with expect in a high end resort...Everything went smooth sailing till a reclusive guest is found dead in a lake on the ground.....

This cozy mystery moves at a modulate pacing: moody at times and raging mad at others. Live running a resort brings all kind of challenges and death of a guest isn’t something you want broadcast less the rumours that your hotel is a communist hotbed. Elizabeth gets involved in solving the murder and squashing all bad mouthing running wild...the resort and the employees’ wellbeing are at stake.

We meet all kinds of people through the story from chambermaid, cooks, garden attendants, the media folks , of course police officials coming in out doing their things or should have and not forgetting the next door resort competitor to add spice to the story. The author vividly set the scene through her setting and her characters and transports us back in time to the 1950’s when men wore tuxedo or well-cut suit, women were full of glitters and children were disciplined.

I love to take a break from time to time from exhausting read and I know Ms. Delany’s style will provide another original, exiting and smoothly said mystery that is not taxing. I was never disappointed in the past and with this latest I stayed captivated from the opening page till I flipped the last one. This is a good start for this new series.
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Author Vicki Delany has become a prolific cozy mystery writer. Under her own name and the pseudonym Eva Gates, she writes five cozy series. My favorites? I first learned about her from reading her excellent Canadian police procedural series featuring Constable Molly Smith. My favorite of her cozy series is her Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series. Now with Deadly Summer Nights, I think I'm going to be adding another favorite: this Catskill Summer Resort series.
The period detail is fantastic, and the name of the resort, Haggerman's, had me singing Kellerman's end-of-season song from Dirty Dancing. As readers follow Elizabeth Grady around, they learn a lot about the running of a summer resort. It ain't easy, especially when there are guests like Mrs. Brownville on site. 
Delany has created a well-defined, interesting cast of characters that you want to learn more about-- something that seems as easy to her as breathing, although I'm sure it's not. Elizabeth is a widow and content to remain that way for the time being. Her mother, Olivia, is a Hollywood/Broadway diva who can actually be useful from time to time. Her Aunt Tatiana is in charge of housekeeping, and her best friend Velvet McNally also works at the resort. Elizabeth's also made a friend in town. Lucinda, who works in the diner, is always in the know, so readers know she's going to be a good friend to have in future mysteries. Even Winston the bulldog has a part to play in the goings-on.
Between the setting, the mystery, and the characters, I was entertained throughout, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. Oh, by the way-- that last line of Deadly Summer Nights? I loved it!
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