Tuesday, October 8, 2019

ARC Review: Read and Buried by Eva Gates

Read and Buried
Author: Eva Gates
Series: A Lighthouse Library Mystery (Book 6)
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (October 15, 2019)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: This is the sixth in the Bodie Lighthouse Library Mystery series and the first I've read. It worked quite well as a stand-alone. Librarian Lucy Richardson is the one who has to climb into the put dug by construction workers repairing the lighthouse foundation who found a deeply buried box. Since this happened in the middle of the work day, quite a few people were there for the unveiling including some members of the historical society who were there planning a community event.

Many were disappointed to find only a journal with descriptions of the current days weather  - and  a hand-drawn map of the Outer Banks and a sheet written in code. Lucy uses her phone to take pictures of the map and the coded sheet but the library director decides to put the find away for the night.

Lucy has a date with her boyfriend Connor and when they return to the library where Lucy's apartment is, they find that someone has broken down the library door and trashed the library director's office. They also find the body of Jeremy Hughes. Jeremy is a new member of the historical society and not much liked by his colleagues. Also the map and coded sheet are missing.

Lucy has successfully solved mysteries before but she is going to try to keep out of this one. However, when a fellow colleague becomes a suspect, she has to get involved. Besides, she really likes codes and is determined to break this one. Of course, so is almost everyone else in town. After all, the message might lead to a treasure.

I liked the setting for this one. I liked learning more about the groups of people who settled the Outer Banks. I liked Lucy's curiosity and persistence. This was an engaging story.

Favorite Quote:
"Realism in historical reenactment only goes so far," I said. "Not many people are going to wear their costume every day for a year without washing it, to get the scent authentic."

Charlene chuckled. "And thank heavens for that. What's up?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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