Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am excited to share my thoughts today about Death By Beach Read!
Death By Beach Read (A Lighthouse Library Mystery)
9th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Crooked Lane Books (June 7, 2022)
Hardcover : 288 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643859102
ISBN-13 : 978-1643859101
Kindle ASIN : B09FP48MHH
Librarian Lucy’s new historic house comes with a lot of baggage and family secrets. Can she put them to rest or will a killer bring Lucy’s family to their downfall, in the 9th Lighthouse Library mystery?
It’s spring in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and Lucy and Connor have moved into their new home at last, a historic cottage on the Nags Head Beach. The house needs a lot of renovations, but they worked hard over the winter to get it ready. Lucy is now happily immersed in her work at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, planning her wedding, and decorating the house. That is, until a dead body disrupts their peaceful new abode.
The first night Lucy’s alone in the house, with the company of Charles the library cat, she hears sounds. Investigating they see footsteps in the dust of the unfinished living room, and the door to the outside is open. Lucy’s reminded that the house is said to be haunted: forty years ago the teenage daughter of the owners fled in the night, and never again stepped foot inside her family home.
But the sounds have an all-too-human origin and one evening Lucy and Connor find the dead body of a man they don’t even recognize in their kitchen. They soon realize he has a long-time connection to their house. Lucy’s forced to find out what happened all those years ago and why it’s threatening her happiness today.
Meanwhile, the Classic Novel Reading Club is reading The House of the Seven Gables by Nathanial Hawthorne, a book about another old house full of secrets. Can Lucy find parallels to her own situation in Hawthorne’s fiction before the killer strikes again?
Spring has sprung in the Outer Banks and Lucy has a lot on her plate. Working at the library, planning her wedding to Connor, and decorating the new historic home on the beach she and Connor have purchased and moved into. Connor and his dad have already done tons of work on the place. Not handy with tools whatsoever Lucy is looking forward to painting and buying furniture to make the house feel like home.
Charles the library cat now comes home with Lucy every day as Louise Jane has now been formally hired by the library and installed herself in Lucy’s Lighthouse Aerie. Connor is away at a conference so Lucy and Charles are spending their first night alone in their new home. They are awakened by sounds that have nothing to do with the wind outside or the house settling. When Lucy investigates she finds the patio door open and footprints in the sawdust.
The noises continue after Connor returns, along with some spooky shadows, and then one night they find a dead body in their kitchen. They do not recognize him at all but later find out he does have an old connection to their new home.
Before they find out who killed the man and why, Connor and Lucy find a hidden entrance to their home, some interesting things in the attic, and someone lights their brand new deck on fire.
The Classic Novels Reading Club is reading Nathanial Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables. That draws some interesting visitors to the group. Also, Lucy starts to find similarities between that house full of secrets and her new cottage on the beach. Will it help her solve the case before someone else is killed?
I love this series!
This time most of the story takes place away from the wonderful and amazing Bodie Island Lighthouse Library with Lucy and Connor settling in and working on their new home but that just added to my enjoyment of this series. These characters and all of the supporting cast have grown so much over the course of this series in very natural ways that it is a pure joy to visit them wherever they are.
There have been some staff changes at the library. I think it is fun that Louise Jane is now truly working there and living in Lucy’s old space but that hasn’t tempered her love of spreading her ghostly tales any chance she gets. She does get along well with the other new hire, Denise Robarts. Surprisingly even Lucy is getting along better with Louise Jane too, at least in small doses. I did love that Lucy was very confident about her place in the scheme of things and was stronger in dealing with people who had a tendency to push her too far than she had been before. Charles, the library cat, branched out in this story too. Traveling back and forth between Lucy’s home and the library is a big step for him. Some of his actions and reactions are quite comical and I love that he plays a key role in the story.
Again Ms. Delany had put forth one heck of a mystery. Finding a body at Lucy’s new home was a great way to introduce the place to readers, especially its history and secrets it may hold. It also gave way to introduce some very interesting new characters and their ties to the community and some of its residents. A character I had thought was gone from the area for good also returns with what appears to be a clear agenda. Putting all this together you have a marvelously plotted mystery with some terrific twists. The author delivered a robust mystery that kept me guessing almost to the very end and rapidly flipping those pages.
As always the setting for this story was heavenly. How wonderful to step out your back door and be right on the beach. The window views are fantastic as well. I would call the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library my literary happy place and now Lucy and Connor’s cottage on the beach is a close second even with the renovations not being quite complete. Sitting on that deck with a book in my hand enjoying the ocean’s sounds and breezes sounds absolutely idyllic to me.
Death by Beach Read was a fun and entertaining book that took me on a great virtual vacation. I can’t wait to return to the Outer Banks hopefully in time for Lucy and Connor’s wedding and all the other happenings Ms. Delany has in store for us.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
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.
The Rest of the Series
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.”