Saturday, November 14, 2015

"Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen"

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen is her twentieth book, and the first in the Year Round Christmas cozy series from Berkley Prime Crime. Under the pen name of Eva Gates, she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library series, the latest of which is Booked for Trouble. Delany lives in Prince Edward County Ontario, and she is the current president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

She applied the Page 69 Test to Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen and reported the following:
From page 69:
As well as toys, Alan crafted bowls, vases, and jewelry out of wood. I particularly loved his necklaces, as did my customers. He strung twelve to twenty-four highly-polished wooden disks on a chain, each piece of wood getting progressively larger as the chain descended.

“Great. They’ve been very popular and we’re almost sold out. Is there a problem? You could have left them with Jackie. You know I pay on time.”

“I know. I guess ... well, I...”

I yelped as a tiny ball of indignation leapt out of Rudolph’s Gift Nook. “Merry Wilkinson, I should have known you’d have something to do with this.” Betty Thatcher glared at me.

She then glared at Alan. “Shouldn’t you be in your workshop, young man? Crafting exclusive hand-made custom decorations?”

If Betty didn’t like me for selling artisan things, she liked Alan even less for making them. He never seemed to mind. “Thanks for reminding me, Mrs. Thatcher, ma’am. Only twenty-three shopping days until Christmas. That’s a pretty sweater. It sure captures the mood of the season.”

“Why, thank you,” she said, softening a fraction. She wore a red fleece sweatshirt (only $29.99!) decorated with a picture of Rudolph (the deer, not the town), his flashing nose powered by a battery concealed on Betty’s person.

“Talk to you later, Merry,” Alan said. He walked away, in his slow lazy fashion.

He’d been about to say something to me, when we’d been so rudely interrupted.
This page captures some of the mood of the book. You can tell it’s a cozy, and I hope you can tell it’s attempting to be funny. (Only $29.99!). But aside from the single reference to 23 days until Christmas and Betty’s shirt, you wouldn’t know this book is part of the Year Round Christmas Series. Christmas is front and centre in the book, and in the series, and page 69 doesn’t show much of that. It does give a hint at the characters. Merry Wilkinson is the protagonist and she owns a shop that sells locally made artisan goods. Alan Anderson is a potential love interest, who at this point in the book is only potential. This scene does show in Alan’s nervousness talking to Merry, and Merry’s annoyance them being interrupted by Betty, so she doesn’t get to hear what he wants to say to her. You also are given the name of the town, Rudolph, which has a lot to do with why the town is known as America’s Christmas Town.
Visit Vicki Delany's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Eva Gates / Vicki Delany (October 2015).

--Marshal Zeringue