Kathleen Delaney
Author of the Mary McGill and the Ellen McKenzie cozy mystery series



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A day in the life of Mary McGill

I 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?

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.


"This amiable mystery is bound to please fans of Elaine Viets and Kate Carlisle" (Library Journal)

"Fans of Laurien Berenson may especially enjoy this well-crafted canine holiday mystery” (Booklist)

"Dog-loving cozy fans will welcome Delaney’s series launch, an extension of her Ellie McKenzie series" (Publishers Weekly)


Other Books by Kathleen

And Murder for Dessert cover    Dying for a Change by Kathleen Delaney   


Severn House
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Camel Press
Barnes & Noble

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Camel Press
Barnes & Noble