What library lover wouldn't dream of escaping to a library in the Bodie Island Lighthouse at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore? Lucy Richardson found her dream job there when she fled an engagement. But, when her mother follows her to the Outer Banks, Lucy finds herself trying to keep her mother out of jail in Eva Gates' charming mystery Booked for Trouble.
When Lucy's mother unexpectedly shows up, Lucy knows her mother wants to drag her back to Boston. But, something seems a little off. Suzanne Richardson doesn't seem eager to talk about Boston. And, Lucy is stunned to see her proper socialite mother appear abrupt and rude to the hotel staff. In fact, Suzanne has a public confrontation with a former high school classmate who is now working as a housekeeper at the hotel. No matter what's going on with her mother, though, Suzanne has manners. That night at the library, once Lucy's book club is over, Suzanne apologizes. It's too bad Lucy is the only witness to the apology. When that housekeeper ends up end, everyone, including the police, knows about the argument at the hotel. To Lucy's bemusement, when Suzanne is told not to leave the island, she doesn't object. Now, Lucy's worried on several counts. Who really killed the woman, and what's going on with her mother?
The Lighthouse Library mysteries are atmospheric stories. The lighthouse library, the Outer Banks, and the small island community are picturesque and appealing. And, the cast of characters are ones anyone would want to know, beginning with the library staff, the wonderful library cat, Charles, and Lucy's cousin, Josie, who owns the local bakery.
But, Booked for Trouble falls a little flat as a mystery featuring an amateur sleuth. Lucy never actually solves the mystery. In fact, her method of investigating is to make wild guesses as to who the killer might be, and fling her guesses at a very competent police chief. The solution to the mystery is not dependent on Lucy's investigative skills.
I'll continue to read the Lighthouse Library mysteries. I love the setting and the cast, especially Charles. If you want an armchair visit to a charming island library, check out Eva Gates' Booked for Trouble.
Check out Eva Gates' (Vicki Delany) website at www.vickidelany.com or visit http://www.lighthouselibrarymysteries.com
Booked for Trouble by Eva Gates. Obsidian. 2015. ISBN 9780451470942 (paperback), 272p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.