Eva Gates is the pen name of Vicki Delany, one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. A national bestseller in the U.S., she writes four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library books for Crooked Lane.
The beginnings of Read and Buried
“In the Lighthouse Library series every plot is very loosely connected to the book the classic novel book club is reading. In Read and Buried, it’s Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. What better than to have my heroine Lucy Richardson descending to the center of the earth (at least to the base of the lighthouse tower) and find a map and coded page that’s been unearthed during renovations? And then the hunt is on for the solution to the code, as begins Journey to the Center of the Earth. Unlike in that classic novel, someone is murdered when they try to steal the map.”
The Lighthouse Library books are meant to be lighthearted and fun, and maybe an escape from the troubles of the world, but Vicki also said, “There is some real history in Read and Buried when a Civil War era map is found hidden beneath the lighthouse. I don’t dwell on the history, but I hope the reader wanting to learn more about the Freedman’s Colony, will do so.”
Turning away from the dark side—at least for now
“I started my career writing psychological suspense and a police procedural series, but I’ve now switched to writing cozy mysteries. I have three cozy series on-going now: The Lighthouse Library series by my pen name of Eva Gates, and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series and Year Round Christmas mysteries under the name of Vicki Delany. I’m enjoying the lighter touch of cozy mysteries and the challenge of creating true ‘puzzle’ mysteries.”
Vicki writes three or four books a year. That’s a lot of writing. But, she also likes to travel. “It’s important to me to get away from the writing life sometimes, as much as I love it. I was in Mozambique for a month in May, and I went to Russia for two weeks in September.”
The joys of research
“I’ve eaten vast quantiles of shrimp and grits in the Outer Banks in the name of research. It’s a tough job but it has to be done. I tried hush puppies too. Yum. I travel to do research for the books, specifically to The Outer Banks for the Lighthouse Library series and to Cape Cod for the Sherlock Holmes Bookshops series, neither of which were places I knew before I started writing the books. You can learn a lot from Google Earth and other web sites, but there really is nothing like actually visiting a place if you want that true sense of place that is so important in a cozy mystery.”
Learn more about Vicki Delaney at vickidelany.com.