READ AND BURIED is the sixth book in the “Lighthouse Library” cozy mystery series by Eva Gates. At the end of the previous book in this series, the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library had a crack in the wall and the future of the building was in question. At the opening of READ AND BURIED, construction workers discover a journal from the 1800s that captures the imagination of the townspeople – for good or for bad. The library book club selection is JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH by Jules Verne and only spikes the residents’ thirst for adventure. People who you might think of as unlikely villains become suspects in this engaging story of death and history.
The murder victim in READ AND BURIED is a jerk and not many morns the loss, but since the murder happened in the library, amateur sleuth Lucy Richardson can’t help getting involved in the investigation – no matter how many denials she makes. Added to the drama created by the murder and the historical find is the looming “Settlers’ Day”. Lucy must figure out if any of these things are connected. The suspects in READ AND BURIED are plentiful and include members of the local historical society and assorted academics, along with library staff and town locals. I like how surprising aspects of familiar characters are revealed in this story. Town history becomes relevant as a possible motive for murder, in addition to all the usual reasons that motivate a person to commit an act of violence.
In READ AND BURIED, the past haunts the present with deadly results but makes for an entertaining murder mystery. Librarian-wannabe Louise Jane McKaughnan is more obnoxious than usual but makes good in the end. Lucy’s relationship with Connor McNeil provides a nice contrast to all the mystery and mayhem in READ AND BURIED. I look forward to reading the next book in this “Lighthouse Library” series.
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.