Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Book Review: Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany (Catskills Summer Resort Mysteries #1)

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Characters and setting are charming
Cons: Mystery was often overshadowed
The Bottom Line:
Summer resort death
Mystery could be stronger
The rest is charming

Relaxing Summer Murder

The instant we hit September, I started seeing all kinds of posts on social media talking about how wonderful it was to finally be hitting autumn.  Meanwhile, all I was thinking was “I want to hang on to summer as long as I possibly can.”  Fortunately, I picked up Deadly Summer Nights and was able to do just that.

This book is the first in a new series from Vicki Delany.  In it, she takes us to Haggerman’s Catskills Resort in the 1950’s.  Elizabeth Grady is the main character, and she is running the resort for her mother, who just inherited it the year before.  The book opens in late June, so it is filled with people who are there to enjoy their summer vacation away from New York City.

Elizabeth thinks her biggest problems are getting the food supplier to deliver the food her temperamental chef has ordered and keeping up with all the paperwork and accounting that goes with the resort, but all that changes when she finds the body of one of the guests floating in the lake late one night.  The local police think that the man was a communist, and with rumors flying at the resort, Elizabeth steps in to figure out what is going on.  Can she fine the truth before the resort’s reputation is completely ruined?

I’ve read some of Vicki Delany’s books in the past, so I was looking forward to slipping into the past and a resort.  Sadly, the mystery wasn’t as good as it could have been since the pacing was very slow.  The book gets bogged down in life at the resort, so the plot doesn’t get enough page time.  Having said that, we get a wonderful climax.

And this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the book.  The Haggerman’s Catskills Resort is brought to full life with plenty of period detail.  When I was reading, I did feel like I was slipping back in time to another place.  I also felt like I was at a summer resort.  I could have happily popped into the location and enjoyed a few relaxing days of sun and fun.  There’s plenty of fun to be had at the resort, too.

Likewise, the characters are charming.  Elizabeth has a couple of family members at the resort and several friends on staff and in the nearby town.  I loved all of them.  Even the suspects were charming, which made it hard for me to want any of them to be the killer.

I will definitely be back for a return visit to Haggerman’s Catskills Resort.  The characters and setting have convinced me not to make Deadly Summer Nights my only visit.

NOTE: I received an ARC of the book

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to reading this one! Thanks for your thoughts.


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