Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Christmas Town and the Essence of a Cozy Mystery

by special guest Vicki Delany.

The essence of a cozy mystery, as I see it, is real life, with some components stretched and exaggerated for effect.

Cozy writers take the things we love – families, friends, hobbies, crafts, even places – and write them with a loving hand to be slightly larger than life. And then, we thrust murder and sometimes mayhem into the mix.

When it comes to real life, is there anything we love more than Christmas?

The food, the decorations, the lights, the gifts, maybe even the weather. Above all the love of family and friends, and the enjoyment of celebrating with them.

In Rudolph, New York, they love Christmas so much they celebrate if all year round. And no one loves the holiday more than Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, on Rudolph’s main
street, Jingle Bell Lane. Merry’s father, Noel, is the town’s Santa Claus. Merry knows her dad isn’t really Santa, but sometimes she does wonder how he knows what people want before they so much as say so.

Another element of the cozy is often ambition or competition out of control (or perhaps just more out in the open than it is in real life). And Rudolph, New York, is determined to beat out Snowflake, Arizona or North Pole, Alaska to be officially known as America’s Christmas Town.

In the first book in the new series, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, when a reporter from an international travel magazine arrives in town to write an article on Rudolph, under the headline of America’s Christmas town, hopes are high for the future of the town.

But it wouldn’t be a cozy without a murder. And it wouldn’t be Christmas Town without poisoned gingerbread, a sleigh-full of suspects, and an amateur sleuth determined to see that the right person ends up on Santa’s naughty list.

Real life, writ large, with a touch of murder thrown in.


Vicki Delany began her writing career as a Sunday writer: a single mother of three high-spirited daughters with a full-time job as a computer programmer. Sunday afternoon was – and at that, only now and again – the only time she had to spend all by herself, with a single candle on her desk for a bit of atmosphere, a Bruce Springsteen tape in the tape deck, and a nice cup of tea at her elbow.
When she felt like really letting loose, the tea might have turned into a glass of wine.
In 2007, Vicki took early retirement from her job as a systems analyst with a major bank and sold her house in Oakville, Ontario.  
Settling in Prince Edward County, Ontario,after travelling around North America for a year with her dog, Shenzi, Vicki has continued with her writing career, publishing books in several differentsub-genres as well as a book for adults with low literacy skills.

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