Today Elizabeth Grady is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Deadly Summer Nights, the latest novel in the Catskill Summer Resort mystery series.
Welcome, Elizabeth. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too. My name is Elizabeth Grady and I am the manager of Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. It’s 1953 and my mother his inherited the hotel and asked me to run it for her. I’m still not entirely sure if that’s a good idea. My first appearance in print is in Deadly Summer Nights, coming September 7 from Berkley. Deadly Director’s Cut, will be out next year.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too? I hope I get my two cents in now and again.
How did you evolve as the main character? Vicki’s idea right from the beginning was to have a young woman running her mother’s resort. The mother, Olivia Peters, is a retired Broadway star and I’m a bookkeeper. We couldn’t be more different.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them? Fortunately, we were able to talk my best friend, Velvet McNally, into coming to work for us as the outdoor activities coordinator. I was raised mostly by my mother’s sister, Tatiana, while Olivia was off pursing stardom, and Aunt Tatiana is here as the head of housekeeping. Aunt Tatiana is practical, Russian, down to earth. She keeps me focused.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story? Hagerman’s Catskills Resort is THE place to be in the summer of 1953. We have everything you need for your family-focused summer vacation. Just don’t look behind the scenes, where I am. And pay no attention to rumours that the dead man was part of a communist cell operating out of my hotel.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book? It’s the 1950s. Think girdles and stockings, fancy cocktails, grand ballrooms, cigarette smoke (and more cigarette smoke), angel food cake and Cheeze Whiz on celery, Reds under the beds and slow moving fans.
It’s the Catskills. Comedians and big bands and glamorous singers. Paddle boats and bellhops, tomato cocktails and Jello-salads, swimsuit competitions and dance instructors.
As I said, just don’t look behind the scenes.
Thank you for answering my questions, Elizabeth, and good luck to you and your author, Vicki Delany, with Deadly Summer Nights, the latest book in the Catskill Summer Resort mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Vicki Delany: Vicki 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.