by Cynthia Chow
& Eva Gates
This week we have a review of the latest Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates, along with a fun guest post by Eva about traveling to your happy place in books. Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of Deadly Ever After and a link to order it from Amazon and an independent bookstore.
Deadly Ever After: A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates
Review by Cynthia Chow
After running away from a marriage proposal and fleeing to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Lucy Richardson finally found her dream as the Assistant Director for the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. Lucy even met her soulmate and is now engaged to the town’s mayor/dentist Connor McNeil. While they have not yet set an exact date or made any wedding plans, their friends and family are enthusiastically throwing them the perfect engagement party on Coquina Beach. Definitely not on the invitation list but arriving late anyway are Richard Lewiston the Third, his mother Evangeline, and her very barky bichon frise Fluffy. Ricky happens to be the son of Lucy’s father’s law firm partner, as well as her ex-boyfriend, the one whom she fled from when he attempted to deliver a family-approved proposal. While Lucy’s mother has accepted that maybe it was for the best, Evangeline is still determined that Ricky and Lucy marry. That makes for an extremely uncomfortable dinner that has Lucy witnessing not just a confrontation with a law firm client, but Evangeline ordering Ricky to make a move on Lucy…or else.
When Richard Lewiston Junior – Ricky’s father and Millar Richardson’s partner in their firm – is found murdered right outside of the restaurant, Ricky is nowhere to be found. At least not until Lucy finds him passed out drunk in her Lighthouse Library, denying any knowledge or involvement in the death. Detective Sam Watson once again orders Lucy to stay out of his case, but with the threats coming far too close to her home and those she cares for that’s not about to happen. While their bookclub selection of The Hound of the Baskervilles occasionally leads her astray, that doesn’t mean that Lucy won’t still attempt to track down suspects and verify alibis. For once she seems to keep veering in the wrong direction, and it doesn’t help when Evangeline continues to push Ricky on her while also saddling her with an adorable but aggressive Fluffy.
This eighth in the series has Lucy searching for solutions to a multitude of problems, both personal and professional. Finding an affordable home for both her and Connor that will fit their combined households as well as their budgets, without being a falling-down-shack, has Lucy appreciating her enviable, cozy lighthouse apartment above her beloved library. When not attempting to track down hairstylists to interrogate and disgruntled law firm clients, Lucy is working herself into a state over concerns that her naïve coworker at the library is falling into a polyamorous relationship with British researchers. Lucy’s affection for her Bodie Island Lighthouse Library family has her protective over her quirky staff and patrons, all who share her love for books and reading. Readers will see why Lucy has fallen into her happy place on the beaches of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Longtime fans of these books, who also writes under her name Vicki Delany, will be delighted to spend time with these characters as they find their happy places. Even the library volunteer/ghost hunter Louise Jane McKaughnan, once Lucy’s nemesis and rival for the librarian position despite having no qualifications, has become a surprising ally who may deliver Lucy and Connor’s greatest wedding present. A surprising but extremely satisfying conclusion wraps the bow on this charming mystery that celebrates libraries, coastal towns, and those who love them.
Going to A Happy Place
By Vicki Delany (Eva Gates)
The beach is Lucy Richardson’s happy place. The Lighthouse Library series is set in Nags Head, North Carolina, part of the Outer Banks, so there’s plenty of beach for her to enjoy.
We’ve all had a difficult time this past year, and depending on where you live, things are slowly getting back to normal, or at least have the hope of soon returning to something resembling normal. A lot of people have coped with the difficulties of this year by reading.
Essentially, if they haven’t been able to go to their real life happy place, they’ve found it in books. Cozy mysteries, in particular, provide an escape from the troubles and the restrictions of real life. If you haven’t been able to go to the beach yourself, you can at least go with Lucy and her friends.
The beach is Lucy’s happy place, so it’s natural for her friends to throw her engagement party at Coquina Beach. Which is also why I chose to set the opening scene of the book at the beach. Cozy readers love the escape aspect of cozy mysteries. To visit a nice place, hang out with a group of good friends, eat plenty of good food, enjoy nice weather, read about books or other hobbies or interests in the characters’ lives. Then throw in a mystery to provide some excitement, suspense, maybe a hint of adventure. Not to mention a touch of romance (I did say, engagement party, didn’t I?). When you pick up a cozy mystery, you can be confident that despite the disruption in the characters’ lives, all will be resolved in the end. The guilty will be punished, the innocent vindicated, justice restored, and the characters will resume their lives. They will, in effect, go back to normal. Which is what we’re all looking for these days.
So, if you can’t yet get to your happy place, come along with Lucy and the Lighthouse Library gang to theirs
Is there anything more perfect than a day at the beach? Sun, sand, water. The stuff of life, and time to enjoy it. —Deadly Ever After by Eva Gates
To enter to win a copy of Deadly Ever After, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “after,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 12, 2021. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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