Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am very happy to feature Eva Gates’ new book today!!
Something Read, Something Dead: A Lighthouse Library Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (March 13, 2019)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07H7Q5L1C
Dark deeds in the Lighthouse Library threaten to send Lucy Richardson’s soon-to-be-wed cousin Josie to an early ‘til-death-do-us-part.
Winter falls on North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Lucy Richardson and her friends joyfully help her favorite cousin, Josie O’Malley, plan her wedding. The owner and head baker of Josie’s Cozy Bakery and her fiancé, chef Jake Greenblatt, want a small, simple wedding.
But to their horror, Josie’s imperious grandmother, Gloria, descends with the “Louisiana Mafia”: a gaggle of aunts and cousins who intend to take control of the wedding plans. Gloria doesn’t do small and simple, and cousin Mirabelle has her own ideas for Josie’s wedding, something grand and lavish—and paid for by Josie’s parents, of course—that will kickstart her fledgling event planning business and get her work shown on the covers of wedding magazines. To make matters worse, Mirabelle focuses her full Southern charm on the prospective groom…and Jake doesn’t seem entirely adverse to her attentions.
To smooth the waters, Lucy hosts a bridal shower at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. But it turns deadly when Mirabelle collapses—soon after eating the gluten-free treats Josie prepared specifically for her. Now, to save her favorite cousin from prison, Lucy will have to bring a crook to book in this fifth festive Lighthouse Library mystery from national bestselling author Eva Gates.
We are back in North Carolina just in time for Josie and Jake’s wedding. Jake and Josie have plenty of love but very little time. Josie owns the local bakery and Jake’s owns a restaurant. All they want is a simple wedding with no big fuss and one that is within their budget. As the date draws near Josie’s grandmother has real concerns about this wedding. Email invitations and people left off the guest list have her in a real tizzy. She will not stand for small and simple. Like a hurricane, she blows into town with the “Louisiana Mafia” (aunts and cousins). She has tasked cousins Florence Fanshaw and Mirabelle Henkel with planning the most over the top wedding possible. She also decides the simple shower at the lighthouse library and reception at Jake’s restaurant will never do and Gloria takes over those plans too. Unfortunately, Mirabelle is also searching for a new husband herself and she seems to have set her sights on JAKE!
Things kick off with Lucy’s shower with a few Louisiana adjustments. But it doesn’t end well. Mirabelle dies shortly after eating the gluten-free goodies Jodie had made just for her. The police decide Josie had the motive, means, and opportunity to pull it off. Lucy knows she didn’t do it. Seriously, first Josie would never kill anyone. And second, Josie would not be stupid enough to kill her cousin and have all the evidence pointed right at her. Clearly a set up, Lucy is on the case and she intends to catch the real killer and throw the book at them so that Josie and Jake can start the next chapter of their lives without Josie behind bars.
I absolutely love the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library on the Outer Banks. The author takes poetic license with the place for it to house all the wonderful things it does. Reader’s imaginations are easily stretched to believe it too. All the books and rooms and Lucy Aerie apartment on the 4th floor reached by climbing all those steps. I can envision it all perfectly. The structure itself has a little trouble in this installment and I was drawn right into the process and cost of handling the issue.
The characters Ms. Gates has created have become old friends. I was taken aback by the way Grandma Gloria took over everything, not caring at all about Josie’s wishes, but I had to deal with something similar when I was married 36 years ago. Instead of a grandmother, it was my mother driving me crazy for opposite reasons though. Gloria wanted things grander, my mother was very budget oriented. Both were determined to have their way. My mother didn’t like the colors I had chosen for the bridesmaid’s dresses or the style. She thought they were too expensive and our trip to buy dresses turned into a trip to buy fabric and not in peach but lilac. The pattern silhouette chosen was nowhere near what I wanted either and they ended up costing more because we had to pay a seamstress to make them. Both she and I loved to sew and she really thought we could make the six dresses ourselves. And that was just the bridesmaid dresses, I won’t go into my dress or the food or the other things she tried to take over. Thankfully like Josie, I had great friends, family, and a wonderful man that help me pick my battles. Can you tell I really identified with this part of the story? Of course, no one died at my shower 🙂 but there were a few stressful moments.
All the subplots flowed into the main plot very nicely. I truly enjoyed the way the mystery unfolded and the way the library’s monthly book club selection Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers played into the story. Several more suspects were noted and I had a delightful time following all the clues and detours right along with Lucy. The killer was on my radar but I couldn’t fully commit until the very end.
This is a wonderful addition to this series. The characters are genuine, the setting ideal, and the mystery kept me guessing. This book can be read on its own but I recommend them all.
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 twenty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.
Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards.
Written as Vicki Delany
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”