This is the second book in Delany’s series set in the Catskills in the 50’s. While the Catskill resorts that served so many families back in the 50’s and beyond are now gone – even the great Grossinger’s is a ghostly version of itself – Delany nevertheless manages to make the area come alive for the reader. She doesn’t dip into the pure historical novel category. Instead, she provides period details that set the reader where she wants them to be, and she somehow manages to invoke the feel and atmosphere of a very specific place and time. The fact that a Canadian writer who, I am thinking, did not spend her childhood summers in the Catskills, is able to do this with such virtuosity is one of those mysteries of the writer’s art. The time period is close enough that with a little bit of yearning and nostalgia you are right back there with her.
I read many books in a year, but I still can’t claim an encyclopedic reading of the cozies that were published in 2021. These delicious morsels of storytelling are reason for joy, as the storytellers, even though they include murders, are in general optimistic. You like the characters in these books, and would love to be friends with them. These are my favorites this year. For a really deep dive, check out Dru Ann Love’s blog, Dru’s Book Musings, which tackles everything in the cozy universe. All of these titles are available on our website.