Sunday, July 14, 2013

Welcome guest Vicki Delany!

Please welcome our guest, Vicki Delany!  Vicki is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers.   A Cold White Sun, the sixth book in the popular Constable Molly Smith series from Poisoned Pen Press, will be released in August. She is also the author of standalone novels of psychological suspense, and the light-hearted Klondike Gold Rush books from Canada’s Dundurn Press.  Her Rapid Reads book, A Winter Kill, was shortlisted for the 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for best novella.

Take it away, Vicki!

Cheese Please!

There is very little cooking done in my forthcoming book, A Cold White Sun (Poisoned Pen Press, Aug 6, 2013).  I’m afraid my protagonist, a young policewoman by the name of Molly Smith, isn’t much of a cook.  Her mom, known to everyone as Lucky, is, but she doesn’t get much of a chance to work in the kitchen in this, the sixth book in the series.

I also am quite an accomplished cook, if I do say so myself, but early summer in Ontario just isn’t conducive to spending time in the kitchen. Not when there are lounge chairs and umbrellas and swimming pools tantalizing close. Oh, and weeds popping up in the perennial bed and that dratted grass that won’t stop growing.

Bringing the cheese home
So, when I was asked to bring the appetizer for a weekend get together at the cottage of my good friend Barbara Fradkin (Mary Jane Maffini, AKA one half of Victoria Abbot will also be there. I hope she brings Lily and Daisy. Are you jealous yet?) I wanted something easy to transport, but that didn’t have me suck in the hot kitchen ahead of time.

A cheese tray is the perfect choice.

First, you want good cheese. Please don’t go to the local supermarket and see what they have on sale. If cheese is to be the focus of the course, then you want to get the best you can afford.

Unable to pop into Avery Aames’ Cheese Shop, I went to Agrarian in Bloomfield, Ontario.  Local, artesian cheese, made from the milk of free range goats and cows, isn’t cheap, but it’s so good, the tastes so powerful, you don’t need a great deal of it.

I purchased a soft ripe goat cheese with a line of ash through the middle from a local cheese-maker, a Royal Blue Stilton (can’t remember where that’s from), and a Cheddar from Maple Dale, located about a half an hour up the road my house.   A soft goat cheese, a blue cheese, and a strong hard cheese.  The minimum you need for a good cheese tray.  At the cheese shop, I also bought a jar of wine jelly from Keint-Ha winery. The prefect accent.

Humboldt Fog

The selection
The Stilton

I next popped into the bakery for a loaf of crusty baguette, and then the supermarket for crackers and a selection of olives.  A selection of coloured vegetables or scattering of nuts looks attractive on the tray.

Use an attractive tray or platter, and add small knives for cutting and spreading

Of course, you need the right wine to go with your cheese tray, and I selected a 2008, dry Riesling from The Grange of Prince Edward.

All ready!

As I stopped off for a couple of hours while en route to Barbara’s I was sure to pack the cheese in an ice pack for the trip.

Happy summer and happy eating!

Vicki is proud to have been chosen as Canadian guest of honour for Bloody Words, the Canadian mystery conference, in 2014.

Having taken early retirement from her job as a systems analyst in the high-pressure financial world, Vicki enjoys the rural life in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. 

Visit Vicki at,, and twitter: @vickidelany. 


  1. A cheese tray always used to be my "go to" dish to bring to informal parties with friends. Goes great with wine and gives everyone a chance to try new cheeses.

  2. AngryGreyCatReads: I agree. It's such a delicious and easy appetizer. No one ever seems to mind. And bringing unusual cheeses really sparks conversation.

    Vicki, thanks for joining us today!! Wishing you great sales on your new book.


  3. Welcome, Vicki! Boy, I loved that cheese and I noticed that there wasn't a crumb left after hungry mystery writers woofed it at the dock. Yum. Looking forward to your book launch.

  4. Thanks all. I noticed an error in my blog. The Humbolt Fog is actually from California. It was so good, I couldn't resist getting it even though it wasn't local.

  5. Mmmm, cheese!And right now I want to be reading about a cold white sun. I don't like hot weather. I want to be in that picture on your book cover...

  6. Welcome to Trafalgar, Elaine! While you're waiting for A Cold WHite Sun, why not try Winter of Secrets. It begins in a snowstorm.

    1. I will look for that! I could really use a snowstorm!

  7. Welcome, Vicki! Adorable post--and I could not agree more on what a treat it is to visit a cheese shop. We go to Murray's in Greenwich Village and have to hold ourselves back from buying out the store. (If Avery's cheese shop weren't fictional, we'd be there like a shot!)

    Warm congrats on being chosen Canadian guest of honor at Bloody Words - and looking forward to COLD WHITE SUN's release in August. Huzzah squared! ~ Cleo

  8. It is 90 degrees out today & the picture looks so cool and refreshing, I wish I could jump in the snow a bit. Not for to long though. I love driving to Canada for ice wine jelly, yummy. Thanks for the suggestions.---Rae