Last Tuesday, February 10th, Mme Vicki Delany launched her new cozy mystery series in her hometown of Picton, Ontario. The temperatures were frigid outside, but Mme M. H. Callway and friend and author, Gail Hamilton, joined the warm crowd at the Picton Public Library to celebrate with her.
Mme Vicki took a departure from her Molly Smith police procedurals and her darker, stand-alone novels to pen By Book or By Crook, the first book in the series set in a lighthouse library on the Outer Banks, North Carolina. The book’s hero librarian, Lucy, has fled her stuffy Boston blue-blood family to find adventure and she certainly does when the odious chairman of her library board is murdered. She sets out to clear her friend’s name and to recover the priceless first edition of a Jane Austen novel, while juggling the attentions of the town’s handsome mayor and the hot detective on the case. And of course she is ably assisted by her clever cat, Charles Dickens!
While we munched down Vicki’s delicious carrot cake, she outlined for us how these cozies are written in a way similar to Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys mysteries. Penguin Obsidian supplied the basic plot, setting and characters, but Vicki as the author had considerable freedom in writing the book. She could even change the identity of the murderer if it made more sense to the plot.
The books are under Vicki’s pen name of Eva Gates. While Penguin Obsidian retains the copyright, Vicki receives royalties as the author.
By Book or by Crook is receiving very positive reviews and is one of Marian’s Picks in the Sleuth of Baker Street newsletter. Mme Mad and Gail cannot wait to read the second book in the Lighthouse Library Series, Booked for Trouble, which comes out this September!
For more reviews and info about the series, check out the webpage: http://www.lighthouselibrarymysteries.com/ . By Book or by Crook is the first of the four – yes, four! – books Vicki will publish this year. It is her seventeenth novel! She heads south again to continue promoting the Eva Gates series later this month. For a complete listing of Vicki’s travels, visit her website: http://vickidelany.blogspot.ca/