Tag Archives: Kathleen Delaney

Author Showcase ~ Blood Red, White and Blue by Kathleen Delaney

Release: July 1, 2017
Series: Mary McGill #3
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Severn House Publishers

Santa Louisa’s Independence Day celebrations lead to a case of cold-blooded murder in the latest highly entertaining Mary McGill dog mystery.

It’s the 4th July and the town celebrations have gone off without a hitch. Except for the body in the oak grove, shot in the back. The unfortunate victim was a visitor to the town. Mary McGill and her cocker spaniel Millie had seen him only that morning, staring in the window of Lowell’s Jewellery store, his German Shepherd, Ranger, at his side. Could the diamond and sapphire necklace which caught his attention have some connection with his untimely death? What brought him to Santa Louisa in the first place?

Having agreed to look after Ranger temporarily, Mary is unwillingly drawn into the murder investigation. She never dreamed that her enquiries would lead her into serious danger . . . and more murder.


About the author
Kathleen Delaney grew up in Glendale, California, and now lives in Georgia with her dog and cat, close to two of her grandchildren, who are more than eager to share their own dogs and cats with her, just in case she gets lonely. She is the author of five mysteries in the Ellen McKenzie series.

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A Day in the Life with Mary McGill and her dog, Millie by Kathleen Delaney

Curtains for Miss PlymNot a lot happens in small towns, at least not a lot out of the ordinary. The children go to school, the parents go to work, families go to community events, but it’s mainly the women in our community who go to the annual spring rummage sale at St. Mark’s.

I have been chairman of the committee in charge of producing it for ten years now and my committee and I have this down to a routine, so the morning of this year’s sale, I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. It was still dark when Millie, my cocker spaniel and constant companion, and I arrived at the church hall but I wanted to get the coffee going and check one last time that everything was ready. A line of people would be at the door at nine o’clock and we would all be rushed off our feet from then until closing. When I opened the door Millie immediately started to growl. At what, I couldn’t imagine, but something was wrong, so I followed her across the hall to our makeshift dressing rooms. There sat little old Miss Plym on a straight backed chair, in her nightclothes, quite dead.

Small towns are not immune from murder, theft, or treachery of all sorts, but you don’t expect to find a kind if somewhat vague old lady in a locked hall, the victim of murder. Who could have wanted her dead? She wasn’t a threat to anyone, she couldn’t even remember her way home most of the time. How did she get into the locked church hall? What was she doing roaming the streets in the dead of night in her bathrobe? But Miss Plym had money and a whole lot of it was missing. Her household contained several people who wanted that money. But which one was capable of murder? It took me several days, and Millie’s obsession with chewing up pillows to figure it out. Unfortunately, we weren’t in time to prevent another murder, and Millie and I almost lost our own lives before it was all over.

I’d love to say that everyone lived happily ever after, but that never happens, does it. But things worked out better than I could have expected and life has returned to normal. Millie and I go to committee meetings for the various charities or community events in which we take part, and I somehow keep getting elected chairwoman. Millie loves the meetings, lots of people to scratch her ears, and I’m happy to help keep things moving along. We’re going to have a Friends of the Library sale soon and the library will get new books and the proceeds from the rummage sale, when we were finally able to have it, went to support the no kill animal shelter we’re building. Our next community affair is the 4th of July celebration. It will be fun for the whole town, and the climax will be the fireworks display. I hope it goes off all right, fireworks scare me, but I’m sure it will. After all, what can go wrong with potato sack races, square dancing and a pie eating contest in the park?

I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


Curtains for Miss Plym is the second book in the Mary McGill mystery series, published by Severn House Publishers, April 2016.

This lively cozy, set in smalltown California, is the second in the Mary McGill dog mystery series

Preparations for Santa Louisa’s annual spring rummage sale are thrown into chaos when organizer Mary McGill and her devoted cocker spaniel Millie come across a dead body on the premises. Still wearing her pink nightdress and slippers, what on earth was Miss Emilie Plym doing in a locked church hall in the dead of night? And who on earth would want to harm a sweet-natured but confused elderly lady who wouldn’t hurt a fly?

As Mary questions the victim’s nearest and dearest, she discovers that not everyone had Miss Plym’s best interests at heart, and that at least one of those who should have been caring for her is hiding a shocking secret.

Publishers Weekly said “an enjoyable sequel to Purebred Dead, and “ Animal lovers will enjoy this dog-focused cozy with its appealing characters, both two- and four-legged.”
Kirkus enjoyed spending time with Mary McGill and Millie.
Booklist recommended it to all fans of Laurien Berenson’s works.
All in all, high praise for Mary McGill and her cocker spaniel, Millie, and their sleuthing skills.

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About the author
Kathleen Delaney came to the writing life a little late. Instead, she raised five children, heaven alone knows how many cats and dogs, a few horses, and assorted 4 H animals. She also enjoyed a career as a real estate broker in the small California town of Paso Robles. Somewhere in there she found she wanted to write as well as read, and her first book, Dying for a Change, was a finalist in St. Martin’s Malice Domestic contest. Since then she has written six more books, to great reviewer praise. The first in her new Mary McGill canine mysteries is available in both hard cover and ebook form, and will be available this spring in soft cover, just in time to great the release of Curtains for Miss Plym.

She currently resides, and writes, in Georgia with one dog and one cat, close to two of her grandchildren, who are more than eager to share their dogs and cats with her, just in case she gets lonely. Visit Kathleen and read an excerpt from both books at www.kathleendelaney.net, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a hardcover copy of Curtains for Miss Plym. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end April 8, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

My Musing ~ Curtains for Miss Plym by Kathleen Delaney

Curtains for Miss Plym by Kathleen Delaney is the second book in the “Mary McGill” mystery series. Publisher: Severn House Publishers, April 2016

Curtains for Miss PlymPreparations for Santa Louisa’s annual spring rummage sale are thrown into chaos when organizer Mary McGill and her devoted cocker spaniel Millie come across a dead body on the premises. Still wearing her pink nightdress and slippers, what on earth was Miss Emilie Plym doing in a locked church hall in the dead of night? And who on earth would want to harm a sweet-natured but confused elderly lady who wouldn’t hurt a fly? As Mary questions the victim’s nearest and dearest, she discovers that not everyone had Miss Plym’s best interests at heart, and that at least one of those who should have been caring for her is hiding a shocking secret.

I love the comfortable tone and the evenly paced flow in this story that kept me engross in all the action from beginning to end. The mystery was executed in a style that had me hunkering down to see what happens next. The author did a good job on the narrative, the dialogue, and setting up the suspects with multiple direction changes that prolong the telling of this drama, making me more curiouser as to how this will all play out. I like the cast and the small town atmosphere and how it all meshed together in a delightful and easy read.

One Day in the Life of Mary McGill by Kathleen Delaney

Purebred DeadI live in a small town nestled just inland from California’s central coastline. It was here that I grew up, married my high school sweetheart, taught middle school home economics, and buried my husband. I’ve watched my town change from one grocery store to several major chains, from the Emporium, which sold everything from ladies wear to calf halters, to a major big box store, from our major industry of barley and cattle to grapes, wineries and tourists.

Some things, however, never change. Folks fall on hard times and need help, children need playgrounds, libraries need new books, and Christmas, Easter, the 4th of July all have community celebrations that need to be organized. Somehow, I end up doing a lot of the organizing.

Most of our functions go off without incident, but once in a while. . .

The day of the Christmas Extravaganza began with no hint of what was to come. The decorations on the houses on Maple Street and the live pageants on many of their lawns went up on schedule, the animals arrived without incident at the large crib scene on St. Theresa’s lawn where the Posada would end and Mary would lay her babe in the manger, the choirs that would follow the Posada and later serenade the new born babe from the church lawn were tuning up and people were pouring into town from all directions. Only, this year, there was a dead man in the manger, a black and white puppy beside him, and two of the local children saw the murderer leaving the crib scene. What was worse, he saw them.

It took some doing to divert the Posada and finish the Extravaganza, but we managed. Finding out who killed the old veterinarian, why the puppy was beside him, if the children were in danger and how to protect them, was considerably more difficult.

That I wanted to keep Millie, the cocker spaniel who turned up at my house, unexpectedly homeless after her owner became the second victim took no thought at all.

The day the children and I discovered the murderer almost ended my life and theirs, and isn’t a day I’d care to repeat, but Millie is still with me, and I have related all of the events of those few harrowing days while I tried to protect the children and exposed a murderer in “Purebred Dead”.

In the meantime, the can tree food drive was a huge success, and my committee and I are getting ready for St. Mark’s annual spring rummage sale. This year we are holding it in conjunction with a pet adoption. Many days have gone into the planning, we are prepared for almost any contingency, and nothing will go wrong.

Or, will it?


You can read more about Mary in Purebred Dead, the first book in the NEW “Mary McGill and Millie” mystery series, published by Severn House Publishers.

About Purebred Dead

This lively cozy, set in smalltown California, is the first in a brand-new dog mystery series

Pillar of the community, Mary McGill has a finger in every pie, a place on every committee. She’s the one the townsfolk can count on when they need help. Everything Mary organizes runs smoothly – apart, that is, from the town’s traditional Christmas pageant. For the festivities are rudely interrupted by the discovery of a blood-stained corpse lying in the manger. Cowering beside the body is a small black-and-white puppy.

Two local children report seeing a shadowy figure fleeing from the scene – but there are no clues as to the murderer’s identity. If Mary could only find out what the puppy was doing there, she would be one step closer to finding the killer. As someone who knows nothing about dogs, purebred or otherwise, Mary had better learn – and fast – before she and the children become the next victims.

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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on August 14 for the chance to win a signed hardcover copy of Purebred Dead. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.

About the author
Kathleen Delaney is a retired real estate broker. She lived and worked on California’s central coast, where she wrote her first three novels and, during her day job, specialized in horse ranches, estate properties, wineries and vineyards. The mother of five grown children, grandmother of nine, she also bred and showed national winning Arabian and Half Arabian horses. She left California for South Carolina, where she completed the final two books in the Ellen McKenzie real estate mysteries, then moved to Georgia, where she continues to write and visit with two of her grandchildren.

Purebred Dead is the first in her new Mary McGill and Millie canine mystery series and, as you might have guessed, is centered around dogs, both pure bred and mixed breed. It is published by Severn House, has been released in the UK to excellent reviews, has been praised by Publishers Weekly and was released in the US on August 1.

The second book in the series, Curtains for Miss Plym, will be released in the UK in December and in the US in April of 2016.

Visit Kathleen at www.kathleendelaney.net

A Day In The Life Of Ellen McKenzie by Kathleen Delaney

Murder by SyllabubThere are times lately when I think I’m the luckiest woman alive. I live in a delightful small town, have a fairly successful and interesting career as a real estate agent, and am married to one of the most wonderful men in California, or possibly any other state, Dan Dunham, who also happens to be the chief of our small town police department. We live in the house where I grew up and have recently bought from my parents, he actually likes my college age daughter, and she approves of him. Life is good. It hasn’t always been that way.

Susannah’s father turned out to be arrogant beyond words. He never ran out of them, either and none of them were nice. So, after way too many years, I left, found a new career, a new life, and Dan. My real estate career in little Santa Louisa hasn’t been without incident, though. I found a dead body in the closet of the very first house I ever tried to show. I recounted the details of that in Dying For A Change, and what happened at an Arabian horse show I visited at the invitation of a new client in Give First Place to Murder. Finding the body of that dead groom wasn’t my idea of fun; neither was careening through the dead of night locked in the back of that horse trailer. However, it did bring Dan and me closer together. It wasn’t long after that my niece and her husband came to stay with me after they took jobs at one of our areas most prestigious wineries. They made the mistake of inviting a most difficult chef to prepare the annual harvest festival dinner along with many people he had insulted. He never finished that dinner. We found him bobbing like a cork in a wine fermenting tank. I recounted the details in And Murder for Dessert.

It was during this time that Dan asked me to marry him. I wanted to, but hesitated. What if this marriage soured as well? But Dan wasn’t Brian and I decided life with him was much better than without him, so we planned a quiet, simple New Year’s Eve wedding. Only family and friends were coming in droves and the guest list grew, wedding plans were not falling nicely into place and I found the badly battered corpse of the town’s elderly doctor in the town cemetery. He was connected to a Grace House, a home for distressed women that had just become my newest real estate client. Only the house they lived in, the one I was supposed to sell, burned down and all the residents moved in with Dan and me. One of them, I was sure, was a murderer. How we solved that one, and how my friend Pat Bennington saved my wedding dress is all recounted in Murder Half-Baked.

Life has been quiet since our wedding. I think married life agrees with me. It certainly seems to with Dan. We have settled into a routine, breakfast together before we go off to our respective jobs, lunch at the Yum Yum café, dinner together while we talk over the events of our day. No murders, no drama has marred our lives. Until that morning a couple of weeks ago. My Aunt Mary, the oldest of my mother’s sisters and the only one still living in Santa Louisa, burst into the kitchen stating she was going to Virginia. My Aunt Mary never goes anywhere. However, Elizabeth Smithwood, her best friend from college had just inherited an old plantation close to Colonial Williamsburg and a ghost dressed in colonial garb was roaming the halls, creating havoc. She claimed it had tried to kill her. It was Aunt Mary to the rescue. Now, ghosts can’t commit murder, at least I didn’t think so, but something was going on at Smithwood that didn’t sound good, Aunt Mary refused to be talked out of going, so there was only one thing to do. I went with her.

Elizabeth was partly right. We had a murderer to contend with, only it wasn’t the ghost. He was dead on the dining room rug with an empty syllabub glass in his hand, poisoned. Only, how, and who? The old house was really three houses connected with open passageways, all thoroughly locked. The police thought it was Elizabeth. She had a good motive and a bowl of syllabub was at that very moment sitting in her refrigerator. But there was more than one person who had motive to kill Montgomery Eslick, and solving this murder took us back into the eighteenth century as we unraveled more twists than a kitten let loose in the knitting basket could create. I also learned about hearth booking, that I have no interest in churning butter, and that my husband moves in mysterious ways and that I like them, and him, quite a lot. I have recounted all these new adventures in MURDER BY SYLLABUB, released on July 1, 2013.

It has been several weeks now, and Dan and I have resumed our quite routine. I sit at our kitchen table, staring into my coffee and wonder. I don’t want to but can’t help it. After all that’s happened…what next? Something, I’m sure.


Kathleen is giving away one (1) copy of MURDER BY SYLLABUB. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the author. Contest ends July 6; US entries only.


Meet the author
Kathleen Delaney writes the Ellen McKenzie mystery series. Dying For A Change, the first in the series, introduces us to Ellen who has returned to her as a real estate agent. Finding a dead body in the closet of the first house you show is a hard way to start. Life doesn’t get any easier for Ellen in the next three books, Give First Place to Murder, And Murder For Dessert, and Murder For Dessert. She has just finished the fifth in this series, Murder by Syllabub. She lives in South Carolina in a one hundred year old house with a dog and cat and often a couple of her eight grandchildren who love to visit. Or is it the pumpkin/cranberry bread they like?

Visit Kathleen at her website and on Facebook.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

Murder Half Baked by Kathleen Delaney

Murder Half Baked by Kathleen Delaney is the fourth book in the “Ellen McKenzie” mystery series. Publisher: Camel Press, May 2011

A DEAD MAN IN THE CEMETERY, ANOTHER IN THE BAKERY.
Old Dr. Sadler is dead in the cemetery, his head bashed in by the arm of a marble angel. Ellen McKenzie has to find the killer soon … before another death puts a stop to her wedding. Dan Dunham, the groom, is Santa Louisa’s Chief of Police. The guest list is growing and Ellen’s dreams of an intimate candlelight ceremony are rapidly disappearing.

A HOUSE GOES UP IN FLAMES.
When Grace House, a halfway house for women, goes up in flames, Ellen invites them all–including a newborn–to move in with her and Dan. As a real estate agent, Ellen hopes to find a new building, yet every suspect is connected to Grace House. Are Ellen and Dan in danger? Will they ever solve the murders and get their lives back?

The body of a local doctor is found and Ellen wonders if his murder is connected to residents of the halfway house that is looking to move to a new building. Things become more critical when the halfway house is set on fire and the list of suspects has now doubled and Ellen is determined to find the people responsible, not only for the safety of the residents, but for her own family. From the first sentence to the last paragraph, I could not put this book down. This page-turning mystery kept my attention as the story played out with many of the pieces coming together in a surprising twist. With strong characters, great conversations and intriguing storylines, this is the best one yet in this charming series.