Friday, October 11, 2019

Book Review and Giveaway - Read and Buried: A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates

Book Synopsis
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.

My Review
Read and Buried is a cozy mystery set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Lucy Richardson works at a library in the old lighthouse on Bodie Island, and lives in the upper level of the lighthouse as well.  While a crew is digging for some renovations at the lighthouse, they find an old diary, a page written in code, and a map of the area with numbers marking locations.  In the small beach community, this mystery attracts a great deal of attention -- leading to a death at the lighthouse.  Lucy decides to investigate and try to solve the mystery.

I love both lighthouses and libraries, so was eager to read this mystery. I especially enjoyed the lighthouse descriptions and setting.

This is #6 in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series, but I had no problem picking up with the characters and reading the book as a standalone.  (Although I now really do want to read the rest of the series!)

The mystery aspect of the story was interesting -- I especially liked the secret code in the story.  It was really interesting to see how the code was finally solved.  I also liked the Civil War history involved in the mystery.  There were a number of possible murderers, and I solved the mystery about the same time that Lucy did.

There is even a mischievous lighthouse cat named Charles.  I always love cozies that include pets!

I really like Lucy as a character.  She is bright and resourceful and smart enough not to take a lot of dangerous chances that amateur detectives often do.  I also liked reading about her friends and coworkers, and her budding romance with the town's mayor, Connor.

I would recommend Read and Buried for fans of cozy mysteries, especially for anyone who enjoys southern mysteries, library mysteries, lighthouses, or mysteries involving some American history. I look forward to also reading more books in this series!

Author Bio
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.

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