Cover Image: Death Knells and Wedding Bells

Death Knells and Wedding Bells

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I enjoyed this latest installment in the Lighthouse Mysteries series. There is usually a small time jump from book to book, but this one feels bigger. After the nine previous installments, I almost felt like I had missed a book. I even went back to make sure I didn't. 

Other than that, I was right back in the world of Nags Head, NC, with the characters I've come to know and love. The mystery was exactly what I expect from a cozy. The storylines for some of the characters felt a bit rushed to me in this installment, like the author was trying to push everything forward for some reason. I still enjoyed it, but not quite as much as previous books.

The narrator was great, as always.

Thank you to #NetGalley and #DreamscapeMedia for a free copy of #DeathKnellsandWeddingBells by Eva Gates. All opinions are my own.
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I really enjoy The Lighthouse Library Mystery series, and Death Knells and Wedding Bells was another enjoyable addition to this series. Lucy and Connor finally get married in this one and I was happy to see that, they make such a great couple. However, the wedding doesn't go off without a hitch as several of the guests cause scenes and the next morning, one of them is found dead in a storage closet. Who killed Eddie and why? As Lucy begins to ask questions, she finds out more than anyone expected. Eddie had a lot of enemies and the suspect pool kept getting wider. Will she be able to figure out who killed him before the police railroad an innocent man?

First, for those who don't know, Eva Gates is the pseudonym for Canadian author, Vicky Delany. I enjoy her series as they contain great characters, setting and well plotted mysteries. This series is set in Nags Head, North Carolina and really like that area. All the familiar characters are back, and I have to say as annoying as Sarah Jane is, this series wouldn't be the same without her. The mystery was well-developed and I had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed in the book. There were a lot of suspects and red-herrings that kept me guessing. There is some humor, lots of family moments and some twists that make this a wonderful story. I recommend the Lighthouse Library series to those who enjoy books about books and cozy mysteries. Elise Arsenault narrates this book and does a nice job. I enjoy her voices, expression and tone for the stories and will continue to listen to them, as long as this series continues.
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I’ve found this series pretty hit or miss and this one was a miss for me. I definitely appreciate an author wanting to give the payoff of a romance that extended over many books, but I found this sickly sweet and crowded with characters from previous books.
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Death Knells and Wedding Bells is the 10th Lighthouse library mystery by Eva Gates. Released 6th June 2023 by Crooked Lane, it's 272 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback due out second quarter 2024. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a clean cozy mystery featuring real-life book recommendations scattered throughout the story, a cat (a Himalayan called Charles Dickens), a newlywed librarian main character, a library in a lighthouse (which doesn't really feature centrally in this installment). Although it's part of a series, there's enough backstory woven into the plot that it works fine as a standalone. The ensemble cast is full of eccentric small town characters, but the author is skillful enough and the writing technically adept enough that the whole works well enough. It's evenly plotted, if -quite- tropey: an absent minded Latin professor who shouldn't ever be allowed off leash and a smattering of less-than-reputable small-time actors and thoroughly unpleasant in-laws and hangers-on.

The language is squeaky clean, no cursing whatsoever. The denouement and resolution were satisfying and there were some last minute twists which added a nice coda to the ending. Since there are 10 books extant in the series (and no signs of slowing down), it would make a good candidate for a long binge or buddy read. 

This is simply a well written, readable, and enjoyable library cozy (with cat). There are also a number of fun bonus reading prompts referenced in the book which will lead the reader to other books and series. I also liked that the author highlights the fun and social aspects of book clubs. Talking about books with other book lovers adds another whole level of enjoyment. It's well worth a look for fans of the genre.

The unabridged audiobook has a run time of 8 hours and 37 minutes and is well read by series narrator  Elise Arsenault. She has a husky alto voice and does a good job of keeping a considerable cast of characters distinct and easy to follow. This is a dialogue heavy book and I didn't get mixed up or have to go back and re-listen to keep up. Sound and production quality are high throughout.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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Death Knells and Wedding Bells is the tenth book in the Lighthouse Library Mysteries by Eva Gates. This installment opens as Conner McNeil and Lucy Richardson have finally gotten married and are at their wedding reception.  The following morning the body of the man who escorted Lucy's aunt Joyce to the wedding is found in a closet at the hotel where the reception was held.  As the investigation proceeds, several people who were at the wedding come under suspicion due to their previous connections with the deceased and Lucy and Connor subsequently start digging into the investigation especially when it appears that a new member of the local police department has set his sights on one of their close friends as the culprit.

Throughout this series, the author has done an exceptional job of character and plotline development.  She has also maintained consistency for the characters while still introducing new characters to continue to build the community.  In this installment, many of the characters who graced the pages of one or more of the previous stories are brought back for the wedding celebration and become involved once again in the investigation.  Within this book, the author creates several side plots that lead to mistaken assumptions but in the end she brings the mystery to a surprising revelation and conclusion that keeps the reader's attention until the very end.  I hope to see additional stories in this series to enable Lucy, Connor and the rest of the crew to explore many more mysteries in their future.

The narrator of this audiobook has done an excellent job of creating unique and distinguishable voices for each of the characters in this story as well as performing at a good pace to keep the listener engaged in the story while keeping the story moving.

I received an ARC of this audiobook from NetGalley and Dreamscape Media and am leaving this review voluntarily.
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Book 10 in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. The book starts with Lucy and Connor’s wedding, which apart from some family tensions goes perfectly. Until the next morning that is, when one of the guests is found strangled in the locked storage room and another guest is missing. So of course Lucy has to investigate, how could she possibly stay away.
I had two problems with this one. Firstly, Connor. Like, come on, he has to know Lucy very well by now and if he was willing to marry the woman he should support her in all her endeavours. But instead he always goes “Lucy, you are not getting involved, are you? Lucy, you should stay out of it” and so on. He should know that she will do the sleuthing and he really should not put her in the position where she has to lie to him. And secondly, the pacing dragged a bit in the middle.
Other than that, a very enjoyable book in a series. There is even a chase scene in the end that was very intense. Charles the library cat is a star as always. Oh, and I didn’t guess who the killer was, which is always a plus. 
Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I have really enjoyed the books in the Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates. The characters are richly developed and I have come to love Lucy and Connor and the other people on the Outer Banks of NC. There are lots of twists and turns as you travel through the pages and uncover random clues to the murder mystery. Though I know there is not really a library in the Bodie Island Lighthouse, I can envision one and would love to either visit one or have the opportunity to work in a lighthouse library. I guess I can add that to my bucket list! Charles, Lucy’s library cat, plays a major role in the resolution of the “whodunit.” I was cheering him on! Eva Gates does a great job writing cozy mysteries and I can’t wait for the next adventure with the Outer Banks gang.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

For more reviews, please visit my blog at: Over 1000 reviews posted!
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In addition to the interesting story, I like the way her basic group of characters are not perfect. Shyness, overconfidence, insecurity and bossiness may be part of someone’s makeup, but you find yourself rooting for them to succeed anyway. It makes them easier to relate to. We all have our imperfections. Good book title.
    Looking forward to next in the series. Thanks to #NetGalley and #DeathKnellsAndWeddingBells
for advanced digital copy.
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I'm not sure, is it good luck or bad luck to find a dead body at your wedding? For most of us that would definitely be a bad thing, but for Lucy the librarian at the Nags Head lighthouse library, it's just a time filler before she and Conner leave on their honeymoon to Paris.

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery audio book. The narrator was great and her speed of reading was just right. The story, with two entwined mysteries, kept me guessing and I love that in a cozy mystery.

#cozymystery #LucyAndConner #DeathKnellsAndWeddingBells #EvaGates #Book10 #EliseArsenault #DreamscapeMedia#NetGalley
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A solid cozy mystery story. The fact that I had not read the previous installments in the series did not negatively affect my enjoyment here at all. I don't think the story tied into the Edgar Allen Poe story at all and I wish that the lead character hadn't made some super dumb choices at the end of the story. It seems like if you were on your 10th murder you might make some better choices than Lucy does. But all in all, pretty good read. The audio narrator did a fine job, although I found her pronunciation of certain names and words to be a bit distracting. I don't know what it was about the way she said Connor, but it sounded like something spelled very differently from where she placed the emphasis.
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Lucy and Conner finally have gotten married! The service and wedding reception was perfect, of course there are a few oddities. Soon to be ex-sister in law shows with her new boyfriend and Lucy brother and mother are shooting evil looks that way. Her aunt seems to be with a washed up actor, but the weirdest was he is founded dead the next day at the hotel in a utility closet. Now some guests are missing and being that the honeymoon will be in a couple of weeks what else is Lucy to do but try to solve the mystery. 
Yes part of a series, but what I like is it can be read as a standalone. Only read a couple books and really enjoyed the who dunnit. Not “cheesy” as some cozy mysteries are and the villain will definitely come as a surprise. The narrator was fantastic in the telling of the story. Thank you NetGalley for this eARC. I am voluntarily posting an honest review  after reading an Advance Reader Copy of this story.  #NetGalley #DeathKnellsandWeddingBells
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What I liked:
* Charles. He really proves himself as the greatest cat ever in this book and I didn't know I could love him more than I already did. 
* Teddy. His part of the story was very sweet and it was lovely to see. 
* Edgar Allan Poe. Seriously. So awesome. 
* Bertie and Eddie. It is simply lovely to see an older relationship handled so deftly. 

What I didn't like [buckle up buttercup]:
* No wedding. Seriously. I have been reading for NINE BOOKS and we don't even get the wedding?? UGH. I have a feeling we only get the reception because it worked well for the plot. EPIC fail [IMO]. 
* The ugly family drama. It was really distasteful and IMO, not needed. It didn't advance the story [even though it was trying to, but more on that later] and was just yuck. I wanted to skip those parts every time they came onto the page. 
* ALL the missing side characters. I missed them tremendously. The "new" people that were there for the "mystery" were no fun and just made me miss our regulars that much more. 
* Louise Jane. I am never going to like her, but she is borderline desperate in this one and it wasn't a good look; she typically is just annoying, but this time, I was both annoyed and felt sorry for her. 
* COULD the killer have been M O R E obvious?? I kept hoping I was wrong [when discussing this with the bestie, she said she kept hoping it was a red herring and that is perfect], but nope. It was one of the transparent mysteries I have read in a long time [and I am using the word mystery very loosely here] and I was left feeling very disappointed. 
* I have never been a fan of how Lucy disregards everyone's concern for her safety, but it was more so in this one. She has just married Connor and she continues to blow off his concern and get involved in a way that comes perilously close to her not having to worry about her marriage anymore. I know that he knew this about her going in, but it has seemed to amp up and it, for some reason, really bothers me. It seems really disrespectful. 

I have long had a love/dislike relationship with these books and when they are good, they are REALLY good and the the last two seem to have gone back to the meh of the first couple. It is very frustrating as a reader who has loved this author's other books - I WANT to love these, but it does seem to be getting harder and harder to do so.

And all that brings me to the audiobook. I tend to forget that I am not a fan of some narrators when they are doing cozies [but are really good in other genres] and such is the case here. I am just not a fan of the narrator in this series [I have listened to her reading other things and don't have an issue at all] for several reasons; she cannot stick to ONE ACCENT [she will be doing the southern thing for a character and then all of the sudden that slips and you are led to believe that a new character is speaking when in fact it is the same person, just without the accent they started with], she gets super breathy when things get tense [and things get TENSE in this one; I may have known who the killer was, but was not really ready for how they come after Lucy] and that kind of makes it weird. Like I said, I really like her reading other genres; this one is just not my favorite of hers. IF you are not bothered by these issues, then she will be fantastic for you!!

Thank you to NetGalley, Eva Gates, Elise Arsenault - Narrator, Crooked Lane Books and Dreamscape Media for providing the eBook ARC and the audiobook ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Death Knells and Wedding Bells
Lighthouse Library Mystery #10
Eva Gates
It was Lucy and Connor’s wedding day. Everything was going according to plan, the food was delicious, everyone was having fun until they weren’t. One of the guests went missing. Lucy’s curiosity will not allow her to let the murder go. She must discover the murderer and why. Lucy is a librarian at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. She receives a phone call from her boss and good friend Bertie James. Bertie’s friend Eddie is missing. Lucy didn’t think much about it until the body of another guests is found strangled. 
This is a good solid series. Lucy, our main character is constantly listening, asking questions and putting 2 and 2 together. I guessed who dunit early on in this tale but that did not take away from the pleasure of reading this great tale. This is the 10th book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery. There are several humorous situations.
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Gripping cozy mystery, very well described characters & unexpected twist. I listened to the audiobook, the narration was amazing. I loved it!

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for the ARC.
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I downloaded the audio version in error, but did read the book.  This is my review.

Lucy and Conner had the perfect wedding. The 10th edition of Lighthouse Library mysteries begins with their perfect wedding reception. After the last toast they went home since their Paris honeymoon was postponed for a month.  The next morning they attended a family brunch given by Lucy's mother.  Still perfect, until it's not. 

On the way to the ladies room, Lucy and her Aunt Joyce encounter a hotel maid trying to unlock a storage closet. They try to help her until the hotel manager kicks down the door. That's when they find the dead body of Aunt Joyce's 'plus one'. 

The story revolves around the dead man's story, a few likely suspects and Lucy's efforts to solve the murder.

This is a great story in a great series.  Highly recommended!

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I want to thank Netgalley and the author for gifting me the audio version. I have read another book from this series. I really enjoyed this novel a lot. It is a fast and easy murder mystery read. The characters are likeable and I feel like you are not really missing out on a lot of you start out of order. I also think the narrator did a great job.
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This was a fun, very straight forward Mystery nothing too deep. its not a monumental book but still a fun listen and good to listen to while relaxing or cleaning. I did think Lucy was a fun narrator of the book. the book is also written very well, Eva Gates did a great job putting you into the environment. I would love to listen or read another one of her books. 
Also Thanks to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for this ARC.
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It is nice to see the characters finally married but of course they still have mysteries to solve.  Another murder has occurred and it is up to Lucy and Connor to find out what happened.  I love the idea of a library in a lighthouse and of course the cat is the icing on the cake to make me want to visit.  It was interesting to see how the characters went about sorting out the clues and working out the family issues as well.  Love to see what happens next.
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I have received an audiobook copy from Net Galley and Dreamscape in exchange for an an honest review.

This has been an enjoyable story. To be honest, I picked it up without knowing Death Knells and Wedding Bells is the tenth installment of a series. I have not read the previous ones and must add that, at the beginning, there were some parts/characters (mainly Lucy’s extended family) that I could not follow completely, but that’s on me. 

The mystery itself was interesting and I was holding my breath when we got to the reveal of the murderer. Lucy is a charming character and I wished I could be friends with her. Connor, on the other hand, didn’t participate much. I don’t know how their romantic storyline unfolded in previous books, but I guess he or them as a couple were not the focus here.

As for the audiobook narration, that was excellent.

Overall, 4/5 stars!
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I love a good cozy mystery but this is one of those books that has so many inside links from other books that it took a bit away from it. But that ending though... I didn't see that coming at all!!!
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