Elizabeth Grady, Resort Manager
from the Catskills Resort Series by Vicki Delany
I have to say, it was never in my life plan to end up managing a three-hundred room Catskill Resort.
I won’t say I was exactly happy working as a book keeper and then manager of female employees for a large department store in Manhattan. But I was content enough with my life.
And then everything changed. My mother Olivia Peters, the Broadway and Hollywood dance star, inherited Haggerman’s Catskills Resort.
Olivia had finally suffered one injury too many and retired from the stage. She decided to take up the gracious life of a patron of the arts and gather new talent for cocktails and conversation to her Manhattan apartment. That ended when her third husband, the cursed Jack Montgomery, stole all her money and skipped town, leaving her just about destitute. Before she could hit the streets, fate intervened and a previously unknown admirer died and left her, of all places, the Catskills Resort he owned. She might have been heard to mumble that she’d have preferred jewellery.
Now Olivia knows nothing about hotel management or business of any sort, and she has absolutely no intention of learning. Fortunately for her, I do. Olivia took me to lunch at the Tavern in the Green, and before I knew it she’d hired me to run her hotel. She also stuck me with the bill.
So here I am, manager of a three hundred room Catskills Resort, boss of well over a hundred employees, employee of my own mother.
Fortunately the resort is doing well, as are most of the other grand hotels in the area such as The Concord and Grossinger’s. After all where would residents of the Five Burroughs want to be in the sweltering New York Summer, than surrounded by the lakes and mountains of the Catskills.
It’s 1953 and the war is over and everyone is excitedly looking forward to a prosperous future, and the opportunity to make (and spend) money.
And I’m here to make sure they spend their money at Haggerman’s Catskills Resort.
Right now, my biggest worry is that rumours of a communist cell operating out of Hagerman’s (as if!) will get out of hand. The police seem determined to prove that the man who died in the lake was a communist and they’re hunting for his fellow conspirators. I need to put a stop to that mighty quick, or our guests will be fleeing in droves.
About Deadly Summer Nights
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.
About Vicki Delany
Vicki Delany 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.