Death Knells and Wedding Bells
Lighthouse Library Mystery #10
By Eva Gates
Author Website: vickidelaney(.)com
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie
Librarian Lucy’s wedding is nearly perfect—aside from a missing guest and the strangled body she finds. Now, she must vow to find the killer in this 10th Lighthouse Library mystery.
Lucy and Connor planned for the perfect Outer Banks wedding—and that’s exactly what they got. Aside from typical rumblings of familial tensions, the late spring weather allowed for a beautiful day, the food was delicious, and everyone had a good time, until one of the guests goes missing.
Before Lucy can look forward to the rest of her life in Nags Head and the work she does at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, she gets a phone call from her boss, Bertie James. Eddie, Bertie’s friend, never made it back home after the reception. Initially, Lucy doesn’t think anything of it—sometimes wedding guests simply have a little too much fun. But this quickly turns to something darker when she discovers the body of a wedding guest strangled in a locked closet, and the police immediately start asking questions about Eddie. Lucy must figure out if the two are connected before it’s too late—both for Bertie’s friend and the rest of her wedding guests.
With the Classic Novel Reading Club reading the Selected Works of Edgar Allen Poe—Lucy wonders if the master of the macabre can assist her investigation or if the hunt for the killer’s identity will remain as nothing more than an unsolved mystery. (Goodreads)
This is a novel worthy of a happy sigh after reading the last page. The author has a winning collection of characters, including Lucy, the Lighthouse Library librarian, her new husband, Connor, quirky Louise Jane, and wedding guests. I love the ambiance of the lighthouse and its associated scents, sounds, and visuals as so beautifully described. I also appreciate the love and friendship shared by locals who contribute to the community.
Lucy is the right-hand librarian of Bertie, the library director, and Connor is a dentist with a successful practice who is serving his final term as mayor. As part of her employment, Lucy lived in the little apartment at the top of the lighthouse library. I couldn’t imagine a more exciting place to live and work! Lucy and Connor purchased and have been remodeling a classic home they both love.
Their wedding and reception were perfect. Lucy and Connor will go on their honeymoon the following month. Lucy’s Aunt Joyce, who she barely knew, was there with her friend, Wayne, from New York City. Wayne had too much to drink and wanted to go back to New York, so Joyce told him to find his own way back. Bertie was there with Eddie, a long-time friend and professor who claimed to not be feeling well, so they left early. Sam, the detective who Lucy has helped solve a few crimes with, was there with his wife.
The following morning, Bertie hesitantly called Lucy. Eddie was staying at her home while in town. When they returned there the night before, he realized he left something behind and took the cab back to the reception. Eddie did not return or even contact her, and Bertie was worried. Lucy and Connor were on their way to a post-wedding brunch at the hotel where their reception was held. Lucy asked people about Eddie, but nobody knew anything except that he left with Bertie.
Joyce arrived at the brunch without Wayne and made excuses for him. Joyce and Lucy tried to help a maid who was wrestling with a closet door, but there was a problem with the lock. Connor joined them, then the hotel manager finally kicked the door inside the closet. Underneath the downed door was something keeping it from lying flat. They found Joyce’s plus one, Wayne, underneath, murdered several hours earlier.
Sam was one of the first people on the scene, and a new detective on the force, North, joined him. North criticized Sam for being too close to these people and believing anything they told him. Over the next few days, he particularly complained about Sam listening to Lucy. He claimed Lucy had been stringing Sam and the town along for years with murders she instigated and solved for attention. Eddie’s disappearance made him the person of interest, and North acts as if she is hiding him.
It has been fun watching the primary characters grow over time. Lucy has been my favorite, with her cousin Josie and Aunt Ellen being close seconds with Charles, the library cat. The incredibly quirky Louise Jane has even changed for the better. She still claims the lighthouse, where she now lives, is haunted, as are many places in the area. Louise Jane is an assistant to the research librarian, and is finally friendly towards Lucy. Sufficient backstory is given on the characters so new readers can feel a part of the story.
I enjoyed every step of watching Lucy and her friends try to solve this murder and Eddie’s disappearance, for both Bertie and Eddie. Whenever Lucy decided to let the police handle it, a new clue would surface and tease her back at it. Plot twists kept this already fast-paced mystery gaining momentum as several suspects came to light. This was a very challenging puzzle for me! I was so surprised to see who did it – someone I had considered, then discarded, several times. I highly recommend this book, and its series!