Vicki Delaney is a bestselling Canadian author that writes mystery novels. She has produced fiction under the ‘Eva Gates’ pen name. Best known for the Constable Molly Smith Mystery series, Delany attended Carleton University where she studied Modern History.
She stood out from many of her classmates because she wasn’t quite as interested in all the big wars that the major historical figures had fought. Rather, she was drawn to the stories of the ordinary people that had to survive the difficult circumstances surrounding those wars.
As a young woman, Delany’s life took an interesting turn when she abandoned her studies during her final year at Carleton University. She went to South Africa, married a man she met in the country, and started a family.
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the author returned to Canada 11 years later. But this time, she had three daughters to care for. Her experiences in Africa where eye-opening, revealing to Delany the sort of oppression that was foreign to most Canadians.
The author was working as a computer programmer in a bank when she took an interest in writing. If she was to point to one moment that placed her on the path to publishing success, she would probably highlight the days she spent in her creative writing class.
As a single mother, Delany’s life was somewhat hectic. On one occasion, Delany was struggling with a problem concerning her teenage daughter when her writing class tasked her with keeping a journey for a few days.
Delany did not set out to write fiction. She just needed an escape, and her imagination gave her just that by compelling her to pen a story about a middle-aged computer professional. Delany only wrote the first chapter. It was hardly the exercise her teachers had asked her to do.
However, she read the chapter out loud to the class and they loved it. This was all the encouragement the author needed to keep writing. Because of the demands of her work and family, Delany would only write on Sundays, specifically in the afternoon.
This was the only period of freedom she could carve out. The author’s writing sessions were often accompanied by some music (Bruce Springsteen) and a drink (tea or wine). Her progress was slow. Her daughters matured and eventually left, and this allowed Delany to dedicate more time to her craft.
She wrote and published several suspense novels. But even with her mild success, Delany wasn’t writing to her satisfaction. That changed when she left her job in 2007, sold her house, and moved to Ontario. There, she found that she had all the time in the world to write.
The author’s writing efforts were initially limited to psychological suspense. She produced several novels in the genre before abandoning it to write cozy mysteries. While some of her psychological suspense novels were well-received, Vicki Delaney did not enjoy writing them.
She did not appreciate their grim subjects and the suffering her characters endured. She was actually on the verge of quitting as a writer when cozy mysteries entered the picture. They were so fun to write that they reignited the author’s love for her career.
Vicki Delaney Awards
Delany’s list of nominations includes the Arthur Ellis, Golden Oak (Ontario Library Association), Derringer, and Bony Blithe Awards.
Vicki Delaney Books into Movies
Brightlight Pictures optioned the Constable Molly Smith Series for TV.
Best Vicki Delaney Books
Delany has been praised for her interesting protagonists, great settings, and penchant for creating a tense atmosphere, with some of her best novels including:
1). Elementary. She Read
Gemma Doyle was expected to manage her Great Uncle’s Sherlock Holmes establishment, which is why she had returned to the town of West London. She was excited to stumble upon Sherlock Holmes’ first story in a rare magazine.
Gemma was trying to find the magazine’s owner when she encountered a dead body. Now the police are starting to suspect her of a crime she did not commit. Her only hope is to solve the mystery before the detectives investigating the case incarcerate her.
2). Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen
Merry Wilkinson is confident that her float will blow the rest of her competition in the Santa Clause parade away. She has a talent for decorating homes, especially during the holidays. Merry’s confidence suffers a blow when the tractor that should have pulled her float is sabotaged.
Merry doesn’t want to make any accusations just yet, not when a reporter is writing a piece praising her town’s Christmas spirit. When the reporter in question is murdered, Merry is forced to don her detective hat.