READ AND BURIED
SERIES: Lighthouse Library Mystery #6
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: Crooked Lane Books
RELEASE DATE: October 15, 2019
Librarian Lucy Richardson unearths a mysterious map dating back to the Civil War. But if she can’t crack its code, she may end up read and buried.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Novel Book Club is reading Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne while workers dig into the earth to repair the Lighthouse Library’s foundations. The digging halts when Lucy pulls a battered tin box containing a Civil War-era diary from the pit. Tucked inside is a hand-drawn map of the Outer Banks accompanied by a page written in an indecipherable code.
The library is overrun by people clamoring to see the artifact. Later that night, Lucy and Connor McNeil find the body of historical society member Jeremy Hughes inside the library. Clearly Jeremy was not the only one who broke into the library–the map and the coded page are missing.
Lucy’s nemesis, Louise Jane McKaughnan, confesses to entering the library after closing to sneak a peek but denies seeing Jeremy–or his killer. When Lucy discovers that fellow-librarian Charlene had a past with Jeremy, she’s forced to do what she vowed not to do–get involved in the case. Meanwhile, the entire library staff and community become obsessed with trying to decode the page. But when the library has a second break in, it becomes clear that someone is determined to solve that code.
Other Books In This Series
“Murder in the library always makes for a busy day.”
This author’s cozy mysteries are always fun reads, whether she’s writing as Vicki Delany or Eva Gates, and Read and Buried may be my favorite yet. I laughed several times throughout at the delightful mental images the author created, and though I thought I had the culprit figured out I was completely off base.
I’ve only read one other book in this series (because I need to figure out a way to pause time so I can catch up on my TBR list) and it was #4, which I also enjoyed. How I missed #5 I have no idea, but be that as it may I was able to read this sixth book (and the fourth one too, for that matter) without feeling lost.
More than once in Read and Buried, Lucy is surrounded by what can only be described as madcap mayhem, thanks to the hilariously quirky cast of supporting characters, including Charlie the resident library cat. Specifically, the scene when they’ve finally cracked the code, and nearly the entire town is racing to the library, thanks to classic small town word-of-mouth. “Conner’s coming down the town hall steps. He’s running for his car.” (observed out the back window of the lead car in the procession haha!) Or when they figure out what the code leads to… It’s like a scene from one of those old Disney live-action movies from the 80s. Hilarious.
Police officers, library patrons, librarians, the mayor of Nags Head, construction workers, assorted interested persons, and one big cat trotted after Zack.
Lucy is a lovable protagonist/amateur sleuth, and her first-person narrative voice adds a lot to the mood and cadence of the story. So does the setting – a library in an old historic lighthouse, complete with an apartment for Lucy at the top. Readers get a little inside peek at the inner workings of a library, while also enjoying the Outer Banks scenery and the colonial and Civil War era history. I’m most interested in learning more about the Freedman’s Colony mentioned in the book, and to that note I loved this particular subplot in Read and Buried.
Bottom Line: A real-life historic lighthouse is the fictional home of the Lighthouse Library and the perfect setting to the Lighthouse Library Mysteries by Eva Gates. Lucy makes for an engaging and lovable heroine, and readers will enjoy tagging along as she tries to solve the case in Read and Buried. Along the way, a ragtag and hilarious cast of secondary characters entertains and keeps readers chuckling. The well-plotted mystery and nicely paced flow of the story hold your attention from beginning to end and deliver a highly enjoyable read that’s perfect for cozy night or weekend.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / Loved it!
Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than thirty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea By The Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series and, as Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library books for Crooked Lane.
Vicki is a past president of the Crime Writers of Canada and co-founder and organizer of the Women Killing It crime writing festival. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
Other Books by Vicki Delany
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