Deadly Summer Nights

Berkley. (Catskill Summer Resort Mystery, Bk. 1). Sept. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9780593334379. pap. $7.99. M
In this series opener, cozy author Delany (“Constable Molly Smith Mysteries”; as Eva Gates, “Lighthouse Library Mysteries”) turns her lens on upstate New York’s famous 1950s Catskills resorts. In the summer of 1953, Elizabeth Grady looks forward to her second summer managing Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. She expects demanding guests, underhanded dealings from her competitive neighbors, crises with suppliers, and the occasional staff uproar. She doesn’t expect to find a murdered guest, a local cop searching for communist plots behind every bush and in every guest cabin, and a newspaperman intent on getting to the bottom of the juicy story, while Elizabeth does her best to find the killer before the scandal kills the resort. This charming cozy mixes murder with a peek behind the storied face of Catskills resort culture. Elizabeth is determined to make a go of the resort in spite of a world that questions her authority and police hunting for imaginary “Reds” behind every curtain. While the solution of the murder plays second fiddle to the series setup, the characters are engaging and the setting is delightfully off the beaten path for the genre.
VERDICT Highly recommended for cozy readers looking for a new setting to explore and a heroine with a lot of moxie.
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