Release Date: Oct 6, 2020
Series: Lighthouse Library
Publisher: Penguin Group
Lucy Richardson really enjoys her job at the Lighthouse Library in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. She is happy to help the library’s director Bertie James host an event at the library for a 40th reunion of her college class. As a courtesy, Bertie also invites the abrasive former library director, Helena Sanchez, to the event since she is in town for the weekend. Most of the group of current and former librarians love the exhibit of the history of libraries in North Carolina that Lucy and some of her co-workers put together for Bertie’s reunion. The evening is going well until the women take an evening stroll on the pier and someone takes advantage of the darkness to murder Helena. The official investigation seems to be stalling, so Lucy uses her skills to do some sleuthing of her own.
This is the seventh in the series but only the second I’ve read, and I had no trouble keeping the various characters straight. Lucy and Bertie are the best part of the book. They have a great working relationship and are also friends. I enjoy the parts when they are working together to solve the crime. Lucy is a little more impulsive, and Bertie helps keep her grounded. The scenes with Lucy and her boyfriend Connor are sweet, but sometimes frustrating. It’s pretty clear what Connor is trying to plan for Lucy, but for someone who is so good at finding clues to solve crimes, she doesn’t catch on to what Connor is doing. Eventually, this subplot has a great resolution that long-time fans of the series will especially appreciate.
Since the victim is opinionated, outspoken, and sometimes mean, there is no shortage of suspects in her murder. That gives Lucy a lot of people to research and question, which makes the story interesting. However, I’m not sure Helena was the most irritating character in town. Some of the suspects, as well as some of the other characters associated with Lucy, most notably Louise Jane, are so overbearing it detracts from the story. This is especially true when Lucy allows herself to be pushed around by them. It doesn’t show her in the best light and also gets tedious to read. Louise Jane finally does something to help by the end and things come together for the characters and the investigation. I haven’t read all the books in the series, but based on how things end in this book, I am interested in reading the next one.
Readers who follow this series as well as those who enjoy cozy mysteries by Vicki Delany, which is the same person as Eva Gates, will like this book. Fans of Jenn McKinlay’s Library Lover’s series will also want to check out this title by Eva Gates.