Friday, December 4, 2015

Writing Christmas Cozies: Guest Post by Vicki Delany

This guest post from Vicki Delany is a great way to start the holiday season! Rest Ye Murdered Gentleman is the first in Vicki's new series of Year Round Christmas mysteries. As the owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, Merry Wilkinson knows how to decorate homes for the holidays. That’s why she thinks her float in the semi-annual Santa Claus parade is a shoe-in for best in show. But when the tractor pulling Merry’s float is sabotaged, she has to face facts: there’s a Scrooge in Christmas Town. Merry isn’t ready to point fingers, especially with a journalist in town writing a puff piece about Rudolph’s Christmas spirit. But when she stumbles upon the reporter’s body on a late night dog walk—and police suspect he was poisoned by a gingerbread cookie crafted by her best friend, Vicky—Merry will have to put down the jingle bells and figure out who’s really been grinching about town, before Vicky ends up on Santa’s naughty list…

Vicki Delany
Just for Fun: Writing Christmas Cozies   

I am the author of 20 published books. I’ve written intense psychological suspense, gritty police procedurals, a book about a serial killer in South Sudan, and a series about the rough and tumble of the Klondike Gold Rush.

And now I write cozies. Why? Because I was asked to, and because I found out that I love writing cozies.

Sometimes it’s fun just to write for fun. And I hope you’ll find my new Year Round Christmas series from Berkley Prime Crime to be fun.

It’s about the town of Rudolph, New York, self-anointed as America’s Christmas Town. The protagonist is Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, where you can find everything you need for need for holiday decorating. And, if her father Noel, the town’s Santa Claus has been in before you, you might find things you didn’t know you need. But you really do!

Everyone in town gets into the spirit of the thing. Victoria’s Bake Shoppe is famous for its gingerbread. There’s Candy Cane Sweets, the North Pole Ice Cream Parlour, The Elves Lunchbox, Cranberries Coffee Bar, Touch of Holly Restaurant, The Yuletide Inn, the Carolers Motel. (Looking at this list it seems as though the residents and visitors to Rudolph like to eat a lot. Come to think of it, they do.)

In the first book in the series a newcomer to town questions Rudolph’s commitment to the real spirit of Christmas.

“This town has a mercenary attitude toward Christmas.”

“We’re trying to keep Rudolph afloat. Provide people with a good living. Stop families from moving away in search of jobs or opportunities like they’ve had to in so many other places. Do you have a problem with that?”


“Good. Because if you’re going to live in Rudolph, you need to realize that Christmas is how people like me, like Vicky Casey, and almost everyone else in town, makes their living, in one way or another. But Christmas is above all what we love. Maybe we seem to go overboard at times, but that’s like criticizing my mother for going overboard because she sings opera arias rather than advertising jingles. Opera is what she loves.” 

But, in mystery novels even into the nicest towns murder and mayhem must fall. Everyone is thrilled when a journalist from an international travel magazine comes to Rudolph to write an article on the town. They are not so pleased when he dies from eating a poisoned gingerbread cookie made by none other than Merry’s best friend, Vicky, owner of Victoria’s Bake Shoppe. It might be up to Merry to find the killer and save the reputation of the town before it becomes the Ghost of Christmas Towns Past.

This holiday season, why not pop into America’s Christmas Town and meet Merry and Vicky and the gang and help them celebrate Christmas.

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