Josie was in trouble, and I intended to do what I could to help her.
Published: March 13, 2019
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Pages: 320 (Kindle)
Series: Lighthouse Library Mystery #5
The only way to clear the cloud of suspicion from Josie, I knew, was to find out who had killed Mirabelle.
Dark deeds in the Lighthouse Library threaten to send Lucy Richardson’s soon-to-be-wed cousin Josie to an early ‘til-death-do-us-part.
Winter falls on North Carolina’s Outer Banks as Lucy Richardson and her friends joyfully help her favorite cousin, Josie O’Malley, plan her wedding. The owner and head baker of Josie’s Cozy Bakery and her fiancé, chef Jake Greenblatt, want a small, simple wedding.
But to their horror, Josie’s imperious grandmother, Gloria, descends with the “Louisiana Mafia”: a gaggle of aunts and cousins who intend to take control of the wedding plans. Gloria doesn’t do small and simple, and cousin Mirabelle has her own ideas for Josie’s wedding, something grand and lavish—and paid for by Josie’s parents, of course—that will kickstart her fledgling event planning business and get her work shown on the covers of wedding magazines. To make matters worse, Mirabelle focuses her full Southern charm on the prospective groom…and Jake doesn’t seem entirely adverse to her attentions.
To smooth the waters, Lucy hosts a bridal shower at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. But it turns deadly when Mirabelle collapses—soon after eating the gluten-free treats Josie prepared specifically for her. Now, to save her favorite cousin from prison, Lucy will have to bring a crook to book in this fifth festive Lighthouse Library mystery from national bestselling author Eva Gates.
First and foremost I owe a huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for offering this up to readers through the NetGalley site because when I realized this book was happening and looked it up it was part of the ‘read now’ category and not the ‘request’ category! I was so flipping excited because I absolutely adore this series! Getting my hands on another ARC for this series, especially after Crooked Lane decided to continue it, was literally a dream come true.
So, I was a little apprehensive about this one because my thoughts on the previous book, The Spook in the Stacks, was not all I had hoped it would be. But this one felt just like the first three in the series. I’m not sure if it was because I read the fourth as an early ARC and it wasn’t polished, but it read so differently and gave me different vibes than the other four in the series, but I almost cried with relief when I started this and got all those familiar feelings again. It was exactly what I hoped for and what I needed.
This has all the classic cozy components: budding romance, spunky family, animal side-kick, cold police detective, fun friends, and a juicy murder. With a mix like this, how could you not be happy?
This series is set in the picturesque Outer Banks, and the author does a fantastic job describing the sites and the town and making you feel at home every time you visit. The writing is top notch here, combining both creepy scenes leading up to and around the mystery and comedic banter between the core characters of the novel. It was such a comforting read, which is odd considering it’s a murder mystery, but the writing made it almost impossible to not be happy while reading this. I had so much fun I didn’t want it to end, and I’m already waiting for the next one to be announced.
The mystery aspect here is really well done as well, just as with the previous books in the series. Lucy lays out all the clues, we learn things as we go, and just when I think I understand what’s happening, boom, the ending comes with a big twist. I love that I can get both a good cozy read from this book and a satisfying crime thriller at the same time, it really is the best of both worlds.
We also get a lot of family/community dynamics in this one,too. I happen to think we see a good bit of character development over the series, as well. Lucy in the first book was more timid and coming into her new life but now she’s secure in her choices and is determined to help her friends and family, no matter the cost. This series focuses a lot on family, since Lucy lives in the Outer Banks near her aunt, uncle, and cousin, but this one shows her uncle’s family and centers on them as the victims and suspects since it’s Josie’s cousin who dies.
You definitely need to read these in order to fully understand references made and further character dynamics, but if you like cozy mysteries then I highly recommend these! I have read another of her books, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, but it didn’t hook me the way this series has. She’s written a good deal both in this pen name and under her name Vicki Delany, but for right now this series is my favorite from her.
Here are my reviews for the first three books! Be warned, they’re older and not formatted the same way as this one.
Lighthouse Library Mystery Series