Hot Best Seller

Deadly Summer Nights

Availability: Ready to download

An immersive setting with details of running a Catskillsresort in the 1950s (think Kellerman's in Dirty Dancing) beautifully frame a story with plot twists and a cast of well-delineated characters.--Booklist 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 Elizabet An immersive setting with details of running a Catskillsresort in the 1950s (think Kellerman's in Dirty Dancing) beautifully frame a story with plot twists and a cast of well-delineated characters.--Booklist 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.


Compare

An immersive setting with details of running a Catskillsresort in the 1950s (think Kellerman's in Dirty Dancing) beautifully frame a story with plot twists and a cast of well-delineated characters.--Booklist 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 Elizabet An immersive setting with details of running a Catskillsresort in the 1950s (think Kellerman's in Dirty Dancing) beautifully frame a story with plot twists and a cast of well-delineated characters.--Booklist 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.

30 review for Deadly Summer Nights

  1. 5 out of 5

    James

    I've been looking forward to Vicki Delany's newest series, Catskill Summer Resort Mysteries, for most of the year. Book one, Deadly Summer Nights, will release in a couple of months, and I luckily received an early copy through NetGalley. I've read most of the author's other series, and I can't wait to finish reading more in this one. Number two is coming up early next year, and I'll be eagerly awaiting its release. As a kid, I spent several weeks each summer in the Catskill Mountains. Although t I've been looking forward to Vicki Delany's newest series, Catskill Summer Resort Mysteries, for most of the year. Book one, Deadly Summer Nights, will release in a couple of months, and I luckily received an early copy through NetGalley. I've read most of the author's other series, and I can't wait to finish reading more in this one. Number two is coming up early next year, and I'll be eagerly awaiting its release. As a kid, I spent several weeks each summer in the Catskill Mountains. Although that happened in the 90s, this book takes place in the 50s, quite a difference. Famed Broadway actress Olivia's husband has split, taking all their money, but luckily a fan/friend left Olivia a resort in upstate New York. Olivia hired daughter Elizabeth to manage the place, and together they're trying to rebuild the place back to its height. Unfortunately, a nearby competitor is attempting to take them down. Early in their second season, a single guest is found floating in the lake. What happened? To begin with, the ambiance is perfect in this book. While my time was four decades later than this book's setting, it brought back all the same feels I remembered, combined with those of the movie, Dirty Dancing. Between the clothing, the food, and the design aesthetics, it's a time warp worth visiting. Elizabeth is a fantastic protagonist, and she's not really interested in solving the murder. Clues just happen to turn up, and people talk to her a lot. By the time she pieces things together, her life is in danger. Imagine that happening in 1953. No cell phones. No computers. No easy way to learn the facts except thru the newspaper reporters and gossip line. Delany's outdone herself with this book. For a first in series, it's wonderful. I encourage everyone to give it a chance, as it combines history with drama, mystery with friendship, and lots of potential for romance and suspense. It's earned 4.5 stars from me, and that's high for a new series which usually takes a bit of time to settle in. Kudos for a well-written book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany is a historical cozy mystery that I have been putting off for far too long! I loved the setting of 1953 in the Catskills, and our leading lady Elizabeth was a wonderful character to have as the main and only point of view. There are lots of both witty and funny moments as Elizabeth finds herself wrapped up in the murder at the resort, and I really enjoyed the humor that permeated the book. I did get a little lost in all the Communist talk, and wasn't a huge o Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany is a historical cozy mystery that I have been putting off for far too long! I loved the setting of 1953 in the Catskills, and our leading lady Elizabeth was a wonderful character to have as the main and only point of view. There are lots of both witty and funny moments as Elizabeth finds herself wrapped up in the murder at the resort, and I really enjoyed the humor that permeated the book. I did get a little lost in all the Communist talk, and wasn't a huge of that as a storyline, but otherwise I enjoyed every moment down to the reveal of the killer. I was completely surprised by the end and getting there was an interesting journey (in a good way!). I thought the audiobook was a great way to go for this one, and it is narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck who I haven't listened to before, but I enjoyed thoroughly. I'm not really sure what age I would picture Elizabeth as, but whatever it is, Van Dyck was perfect for it. She was really fun to listen to and brought such a brightness to the story and all of the characters. I really hope she will continue to be the narrator for this series and I loved how her voice fit for the time period as well. There was an adorable English bulldog named Winston who I hope will make appearances in every book to come, and Deadly Summer Nights was a great start to a new cozy series! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Deadly Summer Nights is the debut of A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery series. Vicki Delany transports readers back to the 1950s to Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. Olivia Peters, Elizabeth’s mother inherited Haggerman’s from an admirer. Olivia is not the type to run a resort which is why she convinced her daughter, Elizabeth to manage it. Elizabeth goes out of her way to ensure her guests have a swell time. I enjoyed the lush descriptions of summer in the Catskills at Haggerman’s. I just loved the Deadly Summer Nights is the debut of A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery series. Vicki Delany transports readers back to the 1950s to Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. Olivia Peters, Elizabeth’s mother inherited Haggerman’s from an admirer. Olivia is not the type to run a resort which is why she convinced her daughter, Elizabeth to manage it. Elizabeth goes out of her way to ensure her guests have a swell time. I enjoyed the lush descriptions of summer in the Catskills at Haggerman’s. I just loved the vivid word imagery of the threads worn by the ladies especially the evening and cocktail dresses. Elizabeth Grady is a strong female protagonist who is smart and has a good head for business. There is a great cast of characters that includes Elizabeth’s best friend, Velvet. Aunt Tatiana is head of housekeeping who brought Winston, an English bulldog with her. Winston is a cute, waddling bulldog who manages to get the run of the resort despite Elizabeth’s attempts to corral him. The author captured the time period with the clothing (Velvet was the ginchiest), vehicles, food (anyone for Jell-o salad), alcoholic beverages (a pink squirrel anyone), attitudes (I just not worry my little head over the death and just head back to the kitchen), and behaviors. I did feel that the language missed the mark just a touch. It could have been more retro with some more slang thrown in. I truly appreciate that there was no foul language or back seat bingo in this story. The mystery was intriguing. We are lucky that Olivia did not flip her lid. A guest is found dead in the river and the local chief of police believes the death is related to communism. Elizabeth is not really interested in solving the crime. But she soon finds herself involved. People talk to her and Elizabeth tends to stumble upon clues. Gossip runs rampant at the resort, but it is not word from the bird (the whole truth). Making the victim out to be a Red certainly with the paranoia in the 1950s. The reveal was dramatic and complete. The author ends the story with readers wanting more. There is a hint of romance for Elizabeth. I do not know when this poor woman would find time to date with all that she does at the resort during the season. I bet you are tired of listening to me, so I had better cut the gas. Deadly Summer Nights razzed my berries with a wet rag pursuer, a comedian with a good bit, a goof dishwasher, a lumpy magician, a jazzed bartender, the heat with a Mickey Mouse idea, a peachy keen manager, and a killer lighting up the tilt sign.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    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 Catskills....is a nearby competing resort owner trying to close them down....or is another guest a murderer? I enjoyed this story, although the con 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 Catskills....is 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.**

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    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 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. NOTE: I received an ARC of this book. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    This book is a knock out, one of the best of the year.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    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 & cowo 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.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan Willis

    Elizabeth and her mother, Olivia, are trying to make a go of a small resort in the Catskills of New York. Business is good, until a guest is murdered and the police claim he was a Communist. Elizabeth must solve this case before all the guests flee while still keeping up with the staff and guest antics. A fun read about a bygone era.

  9. 5 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts This new series from Vicki Delany takes place in 1953 and features Elizabeth Gray and her mother Olivia Peters. Olivia inherited Haggerman’s Catskills Resort that specializes in A Healthy Outdoor Exercise during the day and The Stars of Entertainment at Night. (Think Hellerman’s from Dirty Dancing.) Elizabeth manages the day-to-day activities and Olivia, a former Hollywood, and Broadway dance star steps in and uses her celebrity status to iron over any problems that arise. The Dollycas’s Thoughts This new series from Vicki Delany takes place in 1953 and features Elizabeth Gray and her mother Olivia Peters. Olivia inherited Haggerman’s Catskills Resort that specializes in A Healthy Outdoor Exercise during the day and The Stars of Entertainment at Night. (Think Hellerman’s from Dirty Dancing.) Elizabeth manages the day-to-day activities and Olivia, a former Hollywood, and Broadway dance star steps in and uses her celebrity status to iron over any problems that arise. They are working hard to make the business a great success but even Olivia can’t intervene when one of the guests is found dead in the lake. The guest had booked the most private cabin for a few weeks and aside from taking nightly walks by the lake no one really ever saw him. His meals were delivered by room service and left at his door and he left the cabin when the maids came to clean. The local sheriff searched the room and noticed the copy of The Communist Manifesto and called a full stop to his investigation and called in the FBI absolutely sure the dead man was a Russian Spy or communist sympathizer. From what Elizabeth could see of the scene she believes the man was writing a book and that the Manifesto could have been research. She also knows the reputation of the resort is on the line. With little faith in the authorities, she starts her own little investigation while trying to save the resort from any bad publicity but her snooping could prove deadly for herself or someone she cares about. Vicky Delany has set this series off to a fabulous start. She takes the reader back in time in a very comfortable way. She sets the scene wonderfully with detailed descriptions and brings the area to life featuring a core set of characters along with some of the 400+ guests, 1 talented entertainer, and the nephew of the deceased who wants some answers. I really liked Elizabeth. A strong sassy woman in a job typically held by a man. She is juggling several duties at the resort and the last thing she needs is a murder on the grounds. She takes that on too without complaint and keeps her wits about her when the men involved in the case basically overlook, dismiss, or completely ignore her due to her gender. She has brought together an excellent staff, some of which are family or have been lifelong friends. They are truly competent and keep the place humming from the children’s swimming lesson to doing the foxtrot at the nightly dances. I was pleased to see another glass ceiling broken when another woman takes on a job normally held by a man and with her excellent abilities she handles the job with ease and flair while still taking care of her other responsibilities. All the characters develop nicely over the course of the story but have plenty of room for growth as the series continues. Catching the killer wasn’t easy. The author threw a good share of red herrings into the mix, including the owners of a nearby competing resort trying to put Haggerman’s out of business with some dirty deals, but would they murder a man to get ahead? The dead man himself was a mystery until his nephew enlightened Elizabeth and the authorities about his past history. Imagine the timeframe, there are no smartphones, internet, or computers. Solving a murder in 1953 entails actual legwork. knocking on doors, keeping your eyes and ears open, and physically chasing down clues. Ms. Delany plotted out a precise mystery that was so entertaining to follow. Deadly Summer Nights was filled with interesting characters, some of which innocently brought some truly funny moments. The scene was idyllic for time and the story was filled with drama, friendship, history, mystery, and just a touch of romance. I did feel a little hit over the head with all the references to smoking, drawing the keen difference between the 1950s and the present day. That being said I still felt this story was a Perfect Escape. I was entertained by the whole story and am really looking forward to Deadly Director’s Cut that will be released early next year and my next trip to the Catskills.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    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 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! (Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Toni Osborne

    “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 would 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 pac “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 would 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. I received a copy from Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for my thoughts.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    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 competit 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! Disclosure: I received an ARC from Berkeley Publishinh thru NetGalley. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This was an enjoyable mystery and I look forward to more in the series. I hadn’t paid attention to the time this was set and wondered at first about some of the things written but then it all made sense. It is set in the 1950’s in the Catskills.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This was a great read!! Looking forward to more!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    Entertaining! A fun new series. As an upstate New Yorker, I really enjoyed the setting--Catskill summer resort life of the 1950s.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah {The Bookish Knitter}

    5 Stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    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 gossip 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    I usually read contemporary novels, and was not sure I would enjoy the 1950's setting. But I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get into the storyline which had very likeable characters and kept me turning pages. I'll definitely read the next one out in this series. Light-hearted at times and easy to read. Very enjoyable! I usually read contemporary novels, and was not sure I would enjoy the 1950's setting. But I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to get into the storyline which had very likeable characters and kept me turning pages. I'll definitely read the next one out in this series. Light-hearted at times and easy to read. Very enjoyable!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniele

    This is an excellent start to its series. The 1950's Catkskills setting feels fresh, and the characters are well drawn. Though there are plenty of clues and red herrings, I was surprised by the killer's identity. Clever. This is an excellent start to its series. The 1950's Catkskills setting feels fresh, and the characters are well drawn. Though there are plenty of clues and red herrings, I was surprised by the killer's identity. Clever.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Set at Haggerman's Resort in New York's Catskills in 1953, manager Elizabeth Grady spots a body in the water near a remote cabin. Her mom, a well-known star, owns the resort through an inheritance. The victim, a retired college professor, came to the resort to work on a book. The sheriff sees a copy of The Communist Manifesto among the man's possessions, jumps to the conclusion the man is a communist, and brings in the FBI. The man's nephew, a New York Times reporter, comes to help settle his un Set at Haggerman's Resort in New York's Catskills in 1953, manager Elizabeth Grady spots a body in the water near a remote cabin. Her mom, a well-known star, owns the resort through an inheritance. The victim, a retired college professor, came to the resort to work on a book. The sheriff sees a copy of The Communist Manifesto among the man's possessions, jumps to the conclusion the man is a communist, and brings in the FBI. The man's nephew, a New York Times reporter, comes to help settle his uncle's affairs. The Red Scare angle is played up, perhaps a little too much. I enjoyed the revelation and trust the next installment will allude to some of the aftermath. Readers may have been introduced to too many hotel staffers in the first book, particularly in the early pages. While I like the lead character less than Constable Molly Smith or librarian Lucy Richardson of the author's other series, I still enjoyed it. I suspect Elizabeth will grow on me. (3.5 stars)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sue Em

    .Great debut ! Combo cozy series and historical fiction. Set in the Catskills at a hotel/resort in the postwar boom. Elizabeth Brady's mother, an ex-dancer and full-fledged celebrity, inherited the hotel. Now Elizabeth runs the place while her mother swoops in using her star power to quell unhappy guests. When a murder takes place, Elizabeth must save the reputation, and the bookings, to keep the income greater than the outgo. The early fifties were not an easy time to be female with high standa .Great debut ! Combo cozy series and historical fiction. Set in the Catskills at a hotel/resort in the postwar boom. Elizabeth Brady's mother, an ex-dancer and full-fledged celebrity, inherited the hotel. Now Elizabeth runs the place while her mother swoops in using her star power to quell unhappy guests. When a murder takes place, Elizabeth must save the reputation, and the bookings, to keep the income greater than the outgo. The early fifties were not an easy time to be female with high standards for dress and behavior but little respect. Now add in the Red Scare and you have an interesting setting not often found in cozies. Compelling mystery and characters. Looking forward to visiting there again.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    What a delight to read a book that takes place in a time before cell phones and computers: a simpler time!! Set in the 50's at a Catskill resort, Deadly Summer Nights perfectly highlights the time and feel of resort life, showing beautifully why it was such a popular destination during the summer. All the activities, the food, the cocktails, nature, cooling breezes. It would be idyllic, if you ignore the body floating in the lake! Elizabeth (not Liz and certainly NEVER Lizzie) runs the resort th What a delight to read a book that takes place in a time before cell phones and computers: a simpler time!! Set in the 50's at a Catskill resort, Deadly Summer Nights perfectly highlights the time and feel of resort life, showing beautifully why it was such a popular destination during the summer. All the activities, the food, the cocktails, nature, cooling breezes. It would be idyllic, if you ignore the body floating in the lake! Elizabeth (not Liz and certainly NEVER Lizzie) runs the resort that her mother inherited, and now has to deal with a body, the red scare and unscrupulous owners of other resorts...and a fun time was had by all!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I have been waiting to read this one for months! Set in the Castskills with a Dirty Dancing vibe and 1950's era story made this one I just had to read. I liked the story, it moved a little slow in places, but the mystery was good. I really like Elizabeth and the other characters that round out the story. I'll be interested to read book two and see where the series goes from here. Not my favorite read ever but a solid start to a promising new series. I have been waiting to read this one for months! Set in the Castskills with a Dirty Dancing vibe and 1950's era story made this one I just had to read. I liked the story, it moved a little slow in places, but the mystery was good. I really like Elizabeth and the other characters that round out the story. I'll be interested to read book two and see where the series goes from here. Not my favorite read ever but a solid start to a promising new series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Westermann

    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! 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!

  25. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    https://openbooksociety.com/article/d... Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Readers will find Deadly Summer Nights a breath of fresh air (smoking references aside) in a cozy/historical mystery market flooded with Victorian through WWII settings. It moves the calendar forward to 1953, and though the war is still a fresh memory, the west has moved on to another enemy – Russia – and the air is ripe with McCarthy Era Communist paranoia. A solid sense of place and time, well drawn characters, and a https://openbooksociety.com/article/d... Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Readers will find Deadly Summer Nights a breath of fresh air (smoking references aside) in a cozy/historical mystery market flooded with Victorian through WWII settings. It moves the calendar forward to 1953, and though the war is still a fresh memory, the west has moved on to another enemy – Russia – and the air is ripe with McCarthy Era Communist paranoia. A solid sense of place and time, well drawn characters, and a clever murder mystery come together to make a wildly entertaining read. Elizabeth is a war widow and runs the day-to-day operations of her mother’s resort in the Catskills. Haggerman’s Resort (think Dirty Dancing or, more recently, Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) is idyllic, but it is Elizabeth’s mother Olivia, a dance star of stage and screen, that is the draw, and who Elizabeth relies on to smooth over any guests’ ruffled feathers. And, boy, are there ruffled feathers when one of the guests is found deceased in the lake. When the local chief of police starts spouting off that the murdered guest was a communist and calls in the FBI, Elizabeth looks to find the truth before the reputation of the resort and their livelihood is completely ruined. Author Vicky Delany’s meticulous attention to period details and vivid descriptions really transports readers to the Catskill Mountains in the nineteen-fifties. Deadly Summer Nights is the perfect summer escapist reading. The story moves along at a fairly brisk pace and is engaging from first to last page. There are plenty of clues and red herrings to keep this reader guessing throughout. I was gobsmacked by the climactic revelation of the killer’s identity. I really like Elizabeth. She is strong, intelligent, and determined to make Haggerman’s a success. She faces plenty of sexual discrimination true to the era from a rival resort owner, the police chief, and the FBI, but she handles it all with aplomb and maturity. She is surrounded by a strong core of supporting characters (more formidable women and progressive thinking men), and I quite adore her Aunt Tatiana and her bulldog Winston. Olivia is rather shallow and sometimes oblivious, but I cannot help but enjoy her diva attitude. Elizabeth’s best friend and resort outdoor activities director Velvet makes a wonderful sidekick. The victim’s nephew Jim is appealing, as is the rival resort’s son Richard. Deadly Summer Nights is a real treat sure to please armchair travelers and historical mystery lovers alike. Highly recommended.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality 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. 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 York Originally published at Reading Reality 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. 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!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    The Catskills is an area I've always wanted to visit and I was able to do so, albeit in the 1950s, at the Haggerman's Catskills Resort. I found Elizabeth to be very charming and likeable, as were her friends. Her mother, while a diva, was still an interesting character. It took awhile to get used to the earlier setting (most of the historical fiction novels I read are during WWII). It was also nice that the MC could not depend on her cellphone to help her in sticky situations. It required much m The Catskills is an area I've always wanted to visit and I was able to do so, albeit in the 1950s, at the Haggerman's Catskills Resort. I found Elizabeth to be very charming and likeable, as were her friends. Her mother, while a diva, was still an interesting character. It took awhile to get used to the earlier setting (most of the historical fiction novels I read are during WWII). It was also nice that the MC could not depend on her cellphone to help her in sticky situations. It required much more thinking for Elizabeth to save herself in precarious situations. While the murder was the main focus, I still found it a little weak and would have liked the Red Scare threat explored a little more. I hope to learn more about the Catskills in the next adventure.

  28. 4 out of 5

    JoAnne

    Read my review on NovelsAlive.com by clicking on the link below. It is also posted in full below. https://novelsalive.com/2021/09/08/4-... Deadly Summer Nights is the first book in the Catskill Summer Resort Mystery series by Vicki Delany, and I look forward to reading more. Ms. Delany is a new author to me, but I was engaged from the first page to the last. This cozy mystery has a multitude of characters, plot twists, an amateur sleuth, and a mystery to be solved with lots of red herrings thrown Read my review on NovelsAlive.com by clicking on the link below. It is also posted in full below. https://novelsalive.com/2021/09/08/4-... Deadly Summer Nights is the first book in the Catskill Summer Resort Mystery series by Vicki Delany, and I look forward to reading more. Ms. Delany is a new author to me, but I was engaged from the first page to the last. This cozy mystery has a multitude of characters, plot twists, an amateur sleuth, and a mystery to be solved with lots of red herrings thrown in the way. Set in the early ’50s in the Catskills at a kitschy resort, the book resonated with me since my family went to a similar resort for long weekends for about ten years. It was easy to visualize the locations, the passageways, the different activities and entertainment, the food and drink along with the mountains, the pool, and the lake since it is reminiscent of many such hotels in the area. Some were even mentioned along with similar small towns, bungalow colonies, and even the roads to get there, which were easy to envision. Elizabeth Grady has her hands full running the resort her mother inherited. Her mother only gets involved when her fame as a dancer is needed to placate guests or move their thoughts elsewhere and away from the murder committed on site. The police and even the FBI, who are called in to help, don’t seem to be doing much to solve the case. Elizabeth doesn’t need rumors swirling about that Haggerman’s is a communist hotbed, has an unsolved murder with a murderer on the loose, or is a resort that’s going to go under and leave people out of work. All isn’t as it seems, and many of the supporting characters have their own agendas, or so it seems. Elizabeth decides to solve the mystery herself and some of her staff’s help, much to her mother’s chagrin, and does just that! We get to meet key employees woven throughout the story and some of the people staying at the hotel. We see Elizabeth, her mother, and her aunt who raised her, who’s in charge of housekeeping, in action. There is depth to the characters and layers to the story as a result. There are some love interests for Elizabeth and others, but this is far from a romance, and those parts of the story only scratch the surface. All in all, a neatly tied up whodunnit with nice closure.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Vicki Delany scores again with the first book of a new series. As someone who has read and enjoyed some of her previous stories, I was delighted to find this one. I needed a book set on a lake for a reading challenge, so selecting Deadly Summer Nights as my choice was a no-brainer. I loved going back to the 1950’s. The glamour associated with owner Olivia Peters, a former Broadway dance star, attracts visitors to this resort in the Catskills. Ladies wear girdles and stockings with garter belts, Vicki Delany scores again with the first book of a new series. As someone who has read and enjoyed some of her previous stories, I was delighted to find this one. I needed a book set on a lake for a reading challenge, so selecting Deadly Summer Nights as my choice was a no-brainer. I loved going back to the 1950’s. The glamour associated with owner Olivia Peters, a former Broadway dance star, attracts visitors to this resort in the Catskills. Ladies wear girdles and stockings with garter belts, and all guests dress for dinner in the evening. Whatever could go wrong in this picture-perfect vacation resort? A guest is murdered! There appears to be a rather inept small-town investigation, so resort manager Elizabeth Grady decides to see what she can find out. Of course, there is an assortment of possible suspects, and all are considered until the real killer is revealed. I will admit that it did not take me too long to figure out the murderer’s identity, but there was just enough uncertainty in my head to make me anxious to turn the pages until I knew for certain. A hint of romance in the air helps keep this story from becoming too intense. The characters are well developed. I enjoyed getting to know the relationships at various levels: between management and staff, between family members, and friendships (both old and new). I will be reading more of this series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    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 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.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.