Deadly Director’s Cut (A Catskill Summer Resort Mystery)
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd In Series
Setting – New York
Berkley (March 1, 2022)
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 0593334396
ISBN-13 : 978-0593334393
Kindle ASIN : B096DNQGXP
Daring resort manager Elizabeth Grady will need to think fast to bring a killer into the limelight in this charming 1950s set cozy mystery series.
Famous director Elias Theropodous has chosen Haggerman’s Catskills Resort as a shooting location for his next film. It sounds glamorous to much of the staff, but resort manager Elizabeth Grady is less satisfied. Dealing with the ridiculous demands of the antagonistic director is bad enough, and his attempts to walk all over Elizabeth are making her feel like her position at the resort has been changed into a bit part.
But when Elias is poisoned during a dinner at the resort, the future of the film and the resort itself are on the line. Between an aging movie star, a harried producer, and former victims of the deceased director’s wrath, Elizabeth has a full cast of suspects to examine, and she’ll need to investigate every lead to catch a killer.
Hollywood has come to the Catskills to shoot a movie directed by the famous Elias Theropodus using Haggerman’s Resort as a backdrop. The staff and guests are enamored by the stars in the presence but resort manager Elizabeth Grady has her hands full handling the resort’s regular guests while being treated like the director’s lackey and his over-the-top needs and requests. She just needs to remember the much-needed fee the production company is paying for this major inconvenience.
Elias has scheduled a dinner in one of the private dining rooms and then he and his guests will join the rest of the resort’s guests for dancing and dessert. As the event wraps up Elias collapses on the way to his car and he is rushed to the hospital. He dies shortly thereafter and it is determined that he was poisoned.
At first, it doesn’t look good for Elizabeth and her resort but none of the other guests becomes ill. It seems the director’s death was an isolated event and had to be premeditated. The man was a tyrant to work for, demanding absolute perfection, so he has the actors and his crew on edge most of the time. Would one of them kill him to get a new director? A rumored womanizer . . . did he scorn the wrong woman? Or could one of the resort’s many guests have reason to want the man dead?
Elizabeth finds herself with a myriad of suspects. Can she wrap up the case before the movie wraps and the guilty party jets back to Hollywood? Or will here own days in the Catskills be numbered?
“There’s nothing a man can do, that I can’t do better and in heels”
“I did everything Fred did, only backward and in high heels.”
When I read about Elizabeth Grady these Ginger Rodgers quotes come to mind. She is working in a job normally held by a man and probably does it better than any man especially when you add a murder investigation to her list of duties. In this second book in the series, she is on even firmer footing. This is good because director Elias Theropodus’ fame has truly gone to his head and treats everyone including Elizabeth horribly. I loved the way Elizabeth held her ground not only with Elias but others as she investigated his death. I was delighted to see her and Rishard getting closer. He is the type of man she deserves although there is that reporter still hanging around.
I am so glad that Ms. Delany filled in more of Elizabeth’s backstory. Being the child of a movie star isn’t easy and she and her mother were kind of thrown together when her mother inherited the resort. They are getting closer and still learning about each other as well. The way the author is developing these characters is perfect, believable, and comfortable. After reading many of her books I can tell you she excels at character development, making each character unique and engaging. This particular book had a rather large cast when you add in the Hollywood people but they are each well thought out and presented in a way to make them memorable.
Ms. Delaney has given readers a complicated mystery to enjoy. Set in the 1950s it comes down to legwork, observations, and listening carefully or eavesdropping to work through the variety of suspects. There is tons of drama with the movie cast in life and in the movie and each could have motive to have killed off the director. I was doing my best to stay one step ahead of Elizabeth but soon I found myself so caught up in the story I wasn’t even concentrating on any theories of my own. I felt transported right to the beautiful Catskill resort, hiking around the trails with Elizabeth, going into town for an egg cream, worrying about Velvet getting her heart broken, and more. For me, that truly makes A Perfect Escape.
Deadly Director’s Cut is a wonderfully written cozy mystery with fabulous characters set in the ideal place for a 1950s vacation. Of course, murders may not be good for business but my bags are already packed for my next trip to Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. I hope I don’t have to wait too long.
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About the Author
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.
Bookbub: Vicki Delany Books – BookBub
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