cover image Deadly Director’s Cut

Deadly Director’s Cut

Vicki Delany. Berkley Prime Crime, $8.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-33439

Set in the 1950s, Delany’s delightful sequel to 2021’s Deadly Summer Nights opens with the filming of a movie scene at Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. Elizabeth Grady, the manager of Haggerman’s, which is owned by her mother, former Hollywood dancer Olivia Peters, must contend with the film’s demanding director, Elias Theropodous, starting with his insistence on parking his car in the main driveway, where it blocks traffic, instead of the staff parking lot. There’s also friction between Elias and “silver screen legend” Gloria Grant, his former wife and Olivia’s friend, who has a leading role. When Elias is fatally poisoned at a dinner party, Elizabeth worries that Haggerman’s will suffer from the bad publicity. Since Elias had lots of enemies, the list of suspects is endless, but amateur sleuth Elizabeth is determined to find the culprit before the film crew leaves town. Olivia’s subsequent nonfatal poisoning raises the stakes, and the budding relationship between Elizabeth and a neighboring resort’s owner adds some romance. This entry may be a standard-issue cozy, but, as always, Delany reliably entertains. Agent: Kim Lionetti, Bookends. (Mar.)