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Broadway Bird by Alex Timbers and Alisa Coburn (Illustrations)
Deadly Appearances by Gail Bowen
Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany and Jennifer Van Dyck (narrator)
Death by Beach Read by Eva Gates and Elise Arsenault (narrator)
The Game of X by Robert Sheckley
Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman
Into the Wild: Yet Another Misadventure by Doreen Cronin and Stephen Gilpin (Illustrations)
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A Midwinter's Tail by Sofie Kelly and Cassandra Campbell (Narrator)
Murder at the Mansion by Sheila Connolly and Emily Durante (Narrator)
Mycroft and Sherlock by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse
New from Here by Kelly Yang
Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher
No Country for Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space edited by Zoraida Córdova
Rise of the Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Shadowghast by Thomas Taylor
Spy x Family, Volume 2 by Tatsuya Endo and Casey Loe (Translator)
Strangled Eggs and Ham by Maddie Day and Laural Merlington (Narrator)
Sugar and Vice by Eve Calder and Christa Lewis (Narrator)
Three Tainted Teas by Lynn Cahoon and Angie Hickman (Narrator)
Travelers Along the Way: A Robin Hood Remix by Aminah Mae Safi
Valentine Murder by Leslie Meier and Karen White (Narrator)
The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa

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Deadly Summer Nights: 06/04/22

Deadly Summer Nights

Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany and Jennifer Van Dyck is the start of the Catskill Summer Resort mystery series. Set in 1953 it involves a drowning at the resort's lake and a Red scare. Elizabeth Grady is the daughter of the owner of Haggerman's Catskills Resort. She's also the one who discovers the body of the man who had rented out isolated cabin 19 for the entire summer. Before she can even change out of her wet clothes the FBI are called and there's rumors flying that the man was part of a communist cell.

I have to admit I didn't realize this mystery series was also historical fiction as the author's other series are contemporary. I bought the audio on the basis of the author alone. I didn't even bother to read the blurb. The blurb, though, uses Dirty Dancing as it's example and I haven't seen the film, so it wouldn't have been much help either.

Setting the mystery in 1953, though, changes up the expectations. There is no internet, no cellphones, no easy access to information for Elizabeth, or anyone else. That means sleuthing has to rely on personal knowledge and the ability to piece together what everyone else knows.

Interestingly, the communist red herring is pretty quickly dismissed by nearly everyone, including the FBI. Yes the come. Yes they take away some evidence. But that's the extent of their bit before they toss the case back at the local authorities. Their disinterest is by far the most salient clue for the observant reader.

Despite being set sixty-eight years in the past from when it was published, the themes and tropes are ones I've seen in other mysteries published in the last couple years. The mystery continues with the cozy mystery's turn away from the police being automatically trustworthy. There continues to be a distrust of authority.

The second book A Deadly Director's Cut was released March 1st of this year.

Four stars

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