When her former director is found dead in the water, librarian Lucy Richardson will have to get to the bottom of the mystery before the killer ends her tale.
It's summertime in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bertie James's college class is having their 40th anniversary reunion. The opening night reception is held at the Lighthouse Library and Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what's scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water.
Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn't much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she'll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she's left high and dry...and right in the killer's crosshairs.
Early in Gates's exceptional seventh Lighthouse Library mystery (after 2019's Read and Buried), Lucy Richardson, the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library assistant director, hosts a reception for the director's 40th college reunion at the library in Nags Head, N.C. An unwelcome guest is disgruntled, demanding Helena Sanchez, a former director of the library, who becomes upset after examining the withdrawal slip inside an old book that's part of a display of library artifacts. After the reception, Lucy, Helena, and a few others go out for a walk along the shore. Helena disappears in the dark, and a short time later the others find her body floating in the water beneath a pier. Unwilling to leave a murder connected to her beloved library to just the authorities, headstrong Lucy sets out to discover who killed Helena. Lucy and her clever cat, Charles, form an amusing sleuthing team, and the lively and endearing supporting characters add to the fun. Cozy queen Gates (a pen name of Vicki Delany) is at the top of her game.