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



My story in the April issue of
Mystery Weekly Magazine




Dressed to Kill
Severn House Publishers
UK: July 31, 2019
US: November 1, 2019

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Mary McGill and her cocker spaniel Millie get the fright of their lives on Halloween when they hear gunshots coming from the bank and the robber, dressed in a clown costume, points his gun at them before fleeing the scene. Mary is horrified when she discovers Police Chief Dan Dunham has been shot in the shoulder and a woman has been killed. Why would the clown shoot an ordinary citizen? Mary soon learns that the victim is Victoria Witherspoon, a local woman who owned a sewing shop and must have recognised the clown costume – because she made it herself. With Dan in hospital and unable to investigate, can Mary and Millie unmask the savage killer clown before he strikes again?


Blood Red, White and Blue
Severn House Publishers
UK: July, 2017
US: March, 2017

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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.



Curtains for Miss Plym
Severn House Publishers
UK: January, 2016
US: April 2016

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This lively cozy, set in small town 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.


Purebred Dead
August 1, 2015

Severn House Publishers

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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.


Murder by Syllabub

July 1, 2013
$15.95, 298 pages, ISBN: 978-1-60381-957-2
Camel Press

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A ghost in Colonial dress has been wreaking havoc at an old plantation house in Virginia. The house is owned by Elizabeth Smithwood, the best friend of Ellen McKenzie's Aunt Mary. Mary is determined to fly to the rescue, and Ellen has no choice but to leave her real estate business and new husband to accompany her. Who else will keep the old girl out of trouble?

When Ellen and Aunt Mary arrive, they find that Elizabeth's "house" comprises three sprawling buildings containing all manner of secret entrances and passages, not to mention slave cabins. But who owns what and who owned whom? After Monty--the so-called ghost and stepson of Elizabeth's dead husband--turns up dead in Elizabeth's house, suspicion falls on her. Especially when the cause of death is a poisoned glass of syllabub taken from a batch of the sweet, creamy after-dinner drink sitting in Elizabeth's refrigerator.

Monty had enemies to spare. Why was he roaming the old house? What was he searching for? To find the truth, Ellen and her Aunt Mary will have to do much more than rummage through stacks of old crates; they will have to expose two hundred years of grudges and vendettas. The spirits they disturb are far deadlier than the one who brought them to Virginia.

Murder by Syllabub is the fifth book of the Ellen McKenzie Mystery series.

Murder Half Baked CoverMurder Half Baked

May, 2011
Camel Press
290 pp, $17.95, ISBN: 978-1-60381-828-5

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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.


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?

And Murder for Dessert Cover
And Murder for Dessert

Hardcover: 250 pages
Poisoned Pen Press
July 15, 2007
ISBN-10: 1590584236
ISBN-13: 978-1590584231
Now Available from Poisoned Pen Press
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And Murder for Dessert has been named a BookSense Notable Book for September 2007

Ellen McKenzie and her fiancé, Chief of Police Dan Dunham, are on their way to the very upscale Harvest Festival Dinner, hosted by Ellen’s niece, Sabrina, and her husband, Mark Tortelli. They are seasoned winery professionals. What could go wrong?

New to Silver Springs Winery, the Tortellis have been worried for weeks that their jobs depend on the success of this event, and the reputation of the guest chef hasn’t helped calm their nerves.

Otto Messinger is noted for his temper tantrums. Ellen is hoping he’ll keep himself in check. Dan is hoping the Tortellis, who have been staying with Ellen for a month, will triumph and soon find their own place to live.

Tonight’s guest list seems to include everyone who has ever had a feud with Otto, a fact the little chef is thoroughly enjoying. The dinner progresses, a little shaky but without disaster. Then it’s time for dessert. But where is Otto?

It is Sabrina who finds him, quite dead, in a wine fermenting tank. Who helped him into it? Dan seems to think it was Sabrina. Ellen would prefer Dan find another suspect—and there are plenty….


"Spotting the killer is easy, but congenial characters make Delaney's debut an enjoyable addition to the cozy scene."
-- Kirkus Reviews

"Delaney's choice of setting, gossipy milieu and colorful ... suspects, help to keep Ellen scrambling and move the action right along."
-- Publishers Weekly

Give First Place to Murder

No Longer Available in Print
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Murder at a small county fair Arabian horse show? Not possible. But Ellen McKenzie is staring at the body of a young groom, pinned to a hay bale by a pitchfork. Who could have wanted him dead? It seems several people, and they are all connected to the show barn where Ellen's daughter has taken a summer job. Worried that somehow Susannah might be in danger, Ellen starts asking questions. It isn't until the barn's trainer is found dead in the bathroom at the prestigious Region 11 Arabian show in Santa Barbara that Ellen realizes she had better find the murderer fast, before he or she strikes again. She's too late. Ellen and Susannah end up locked in a horse van, hurtling through the night to what looks like almost certain death.


Cover of Dying for a Change by Kathleen Delaney
Dying for a Change

No Longer Available in Print
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ASIN: B005H49UM8
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Change can be exciting, invigorating, fun, but murder is more than Ellen McKenzie bargains for when she returns to her small hometown of Santa Louisa to start a new career and a new life.