Cover Image: Death By Beach Read

Death By Beach Read

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

My rating: 1 of 5 stars, almost a DNF.

Book 9 in the series.

Honestly, this was my least favorite of the whole series. It was slow paced, and Lucy was almost unlikable in this one! She was snobby and I got tired of all the "white" lies she told. The storyline was very predictable.

It makes it on to the Read shelf, but barely. I finally skipped to the end just to see if I was correct in my deduction. Yep.

This series has been very up and down for me, some I have absolutely enjoyed and others just dragged and didn't entertain me at all for various reasons. I keep saying I am done with the series and then one shows up on NetGalley and I request it. Time to stop, for real this time.
Was this review helpful?
An entertaining read and I loved the setting. 
Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I want to thank Netgalley and the author for gifting me the ebook. Cute murder mystery. It is part of a series but I felt like I didn't miss much by not reading the previous books. Will read the rest of the series.
Was this review helpful?
Death by Beach Read:  A Lighthouse Library Mystery
By Eva Gates
Crooked Lane Books
June 2022

Review by Cynthia Chow

As much as librarian Lucy Richardson adores living in the tiny apartment atop the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, the decision to move in with her fiancé Connor McNeil makes the Lighthouse Aerie a little too cozy.  So she and the mayor of Nags Head have invested in a fixer-upper on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, with Connor and his carpenter father making the most out of their budget.  It’s fortunate that both McNeils enjoy the DIY construction, as buying the home while planning a wedding strains their finances.  Lucy did get a great deal from the previous owner Ralph Harper, who has few fond memories of his family home and hasn’t lived there for decades.  It’s even worse for his sister Joanna, who after a traumatic event vowed to never return to the house even after more than 40 years.  Someone else sure has though, as Lucy discovers that through a secret entrance only a home invader has been sneaking in and leaving marks in the dust. 

It takes a meeting of the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Novel Reading Club to bring out the reclusive Jo Harper, as she feels an attachment to their selection of The House of Seven Gables.  While few members actually got through the entire Nathaniel Hawthorne book, Jo not only is quite knowledge about it, she has her own words of warning for Lucy.  Jo has nothing good to say about the McNeil family and advises a befuddled Lucy to stay far away from Connor.  The threat seems to be misdirected though, as when Lucy finds a body in her kitchen it turns out to be the black sheep brother of Jo and Ralph, the long-absent Jimmy Harper.  While his being strangled to death with Lucy’s cat’s leash would seem to be a bit damning, it’s Ralph who becomes the prime suspect in the eyes of Detective Sam Watson.  With gossip quickly spreading through the “Bankers” and locals congregating at the library for more news, Lucy uses her research and librarian skills to gather evidence and look into whether Jimmy’s past or present crimes led to his death.  An act of arson, the return of a manipulative Library Board Member, a fake ex-wife, and the need to finish her wedding plans all have Lucy on a deadline to save her library, her home, and her Outer Banks family.

By this 9th in the series, characters are well-established and very familiar to longtime fans.  Now that Louise Jane McKaughnan has finally achieved her goal of being the rightful (in her mind) inhabitant of the lighthouse apartment, she has become less of an irritating antagonist and more of an occasionally helpful advocate for the library and the town.  Loyal readers will be rewarded with the protective, territorial presence of Charles the Library Cat, who makes every library visit a delight for regular patrons.  That a real Bodie Island Lighthouse actually exists only makes the setting more alive and gothic, especially when Louise Jane and Jo whisper of family ghosts and hauntings.   The characters have grown and evolved from their first introduction, demonstrating the author’s ability to make them very real and worthy of readers’ being invested in their future.  This continues to be a unique series that delights with a library cat, imaginative library, and very engaging characters, propelling readers through to an unexpected, but very enjoyable conclusion.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

This is my first read in the Lighthouse Library series, so whilst I missed some of the little details, it didn't stop me enjoying the story.

I did feel that sometimes the author was trying to misdirect us by giving us superfluous information, but this could just be me.

I liked the mystery, I liked that Lucy seemed to grow a pair as the book progressed (I don't know what she was like in the other books, but she was a bit of a doormat at first in this one).

Quirky characters, a fun cat and a mystery that I did not guess right away. I would read more of this series in the future.
Was this review helpful?
Princess Fuzzypants here:  Lucy, Connor and Charles, the Library cat, have all moved into the new home, an old beach house that has been empty for fifteen years.  The sellers are Ralph and Jo.  Jo left the house at age 17 when she was traumatized by a “ghost” and never returned.  Both Lucy and Connor doubt the place is haunted but that does not mean that strange things are not happening.  They include finding the corpse of the siblings long lost brother on the floor of the kitchen.  How he got in and why he was there is a big mystery.

As the investigation proceeds, they find out more about the family history of the house and secret entry points and a possible treasure.  At least that was what the deceased believed.  He and his partner broke into the house several times to search and it had to have been the partner who killed him. But who is that person?  As things transpire, and someone tries to burn down the house- Charles saves his humans- most of the obvious suspects are eliminated.  Lucy finally twigs to the secret identity and it is a corker.  And strangely satisfying for the reader too.  I do enjoy this series.  I like the stories and the mysteries and the setting.  And I love Charles.  Five purrs and two paws up.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a fun read. I would absolutely recommend it to all my cozy mystery lovers. Will be purchasing it for sure.
Was this review helpful?
I have read all the books in this series and found each and every one to be amazing!  

This book takes us back to the Outer Banks (one of my personal favorites) to check on Lucy and Connor.  They have purchased a home and are beginning rehab.  And that's where things start to happen.  There's a lot going on in this house that has been uninhabited for years!   I'm not giving anything away.  But, I was pulled into the location, characters, and house from the first chapter!  

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. I didn't realize that it was part of a series, so I haven't read any others in the series. I think there is just enough information for you to follow along without feeling like you missed the prior eight books. 

We follow Lucy and Connor who recently moved into a house on the beach in the Outer Banks. They're slowly fixing up their home while working their respective jobs. But then Lucy hears sounds at night. A few days later, they come home to find a dead body in their kitchen. 

Lucy has helped the police previously, and she seems quite well known for her instincts. So she tries to figure out who this mystery man is, who killed him, and how did they get into their house as it wasn't broken into? 

Then a number of other strange things start to happen. Is this related to the dead man in her kitchen? Or is it just a coincidence? 

I read this really quickly, so it definitely kept me engaged in the story. I also really love the found family that Lucy has in her community. I love the small town feel. I would definitely recommend this one if you enjoy cozy murder mysteries. 

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
This was the coziest mystery set in a warm place I've ever read!

If you enjoy cozy mysteries, you'll enjoy this book. The red herrings, cozy setting, small town, bakery... it's all there! Even the dialogue is cozy.

I like my mysteries a little bit more sophisticated, but this was a fun little escape from the crazy thrillers I've been enjoying lately. I think this is perfect for a specific type of reader!
Was this review helpful?
Lucy and Conner are planning to get married.  They have purchased their dream home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  But the house comes with a history.  Originally built by a bootlegger, his ghost is said to haunt the house.  His granddaughter, Jo, was so traumatized by seeing his ghost that she hasn't been back to the house in ages.  She lives with her older brother but never goes out.  Their other brother, the black sheep of the family, turns up in the house...dead.  

Lucy, who works in the library is trying to unearth the backstory in order to solve the murder.  Rumors of a treasure in the house add new perspective as to why the brother, Jimmy, was in the house.  But who murdered him?

The writing in this book is good.  The characters are well developed.  The superhero pet, who seems to be in all cozy mysteries. is there.  This time in the character of a cat named Charlie.  My only beef with the book is that the ending didn't exactly twist and turn.  In fact, it was pretty obvious.  And Lucy didn't really have to apply any "little grey cells", as the mystery pretty much solved itself when the murderer confessed in a fit of rage.  But, all in all, it was a good read.
Was this review helpful?
This cozy mystery is a good addition to the series. Gates gives readers an entertaining mystery as well as more information on the people and history of the community. 

The most interesting aspect of this novel for me was two support characters. Jo had been traumatized by an event in her late teens that resulted in her becoming a recluse. I liked how various events provided the opportunity for healing. The other interesting character was Diane. Gates did a good job with this character showing how loss of status in the community can result in an overbearing and fake personality.

I like the setting of the Outer Banks, the quirky characters and the mystery rooted in acts from years ago. There is nothing sophisticated or especially enlightening in the novel.  It is just a fun and entertaining read. 

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Lucy and her fiance Connor have moved into a historic cottage on the Nags Head Beach.  Connor & his dad are busy with DIY projects.  Lucy is disturbed by strange sounds when she is alone with just Charles the library cat, There are stories about how the teenage daughter of the previous owner fled in the night 40 years earlier. Did she see a ghost?  Then Lucy and Connor find the dead body of a stranger in their kitchen.  When the dead man's identity is revealed, they realize he had a long-time connection to their house. 
 
This is the ninth book in the Lighthouse Library mystery series.   Not much of this story focuses on the library but on the history of the house & the previous family's secrets.  The reveal of the killer was a surprise to me.

I received a digital ARC from Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books.  All of the above opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Eva Gates heads into another Lighthouse Library mystery with Death By Beach Read.  Librarian Lucy  has moved into a fixer upper historic cottage on Nag's Head Beach with  her fiance Connor. Connor and his father are renovating the cottage while Lucy plans for the wedding.  Then Lucy discovers someone was in the cottage while she was alone with her library cat Charles.  Then Lucy and Connor find a dead strange man in their kitchen.  Whodunit?  There is a forty year old connection to a former family owner.  Then to keep with the creepy atmosphere Lucy's book club is reading the House of the Seven Gable.  Very satisfying resolution with the creeps getting their comeuppance.
Was this review helpful?
The ninth in the series, Death by Beach Read.  Another great book in the series.  I really liked the mystery in this one, perhaps one of my favorites.  It kept me guessing and I was happy with the outcome.  This author's writing style is one of my favorites.  I read a lot of cozy mystery series.  When I started the book, I kept marveling at the sentence structure.  I had to keep telling myself to focus on the story.  It's pure delight reading anything by this author.  I read another one of her series too. There are a lot of wonderful descriptions of the historic house they are remodeling.  The supporting characters are great (Louise Jane is still my favorite).  The new characters introduced in this book (particularly Jo & her gardens) were wonderful.  I hope to see more of them in future stories.  I hope there are many, many more to come in this series!  I recommend this series to everyone.
Was this review helpful?
Death by Beach Read is the ninth book in one of my favourite cozy mystery series. You can read them as standalones, but I recommend you start at the beginning as so much happens in the character's lives that you would miss out on. In this book Lucy and Connor have moved into their new home, one that had been empty, but owned by an old family from Nags Head Beach. It needs a lot of work, but Connor is sure that it will be an amazing home. Of course that means Lucy has to move out of her apartment in the Lighthouse Library. The owner had history with Connor's parents and that leads to some issues. At night Lucy hears sounds and sees things that have her scared to be alone. When a dead body is discovered in their kitchen one morning, they have to figure out what is going on and why does it seem like someone is trying to sabotage their renovations.

There is a lot going on and Lucy has her hands full. She is helping Sam plan her wedding, trying to find the murderer, driving back and forth to work, dealing with Diane, a nasty character from a previous book who is back in town, and trying to help Charles get used to living somewhere else besides the library. We meet some new characters in this story that add some interest to the library book club and to give us some suspects in the murder. I really liked Jo, the recluse who finally began to come out of the house. She has secrets and a past that have held her hostage for years. Of course Lucy asked lots of questions and followed her instincts to put together clues. She also gets help from Louise Jane. She is one character that has grown and changed so much as the series has gone on. She used to be really obnoxious and mean to Lucy, and I am really pleased with the direction her character has taken. Lucy almost has it figured out, and then there is the showdown. A great mystery with several suspects, motives and red herrings. I recommend it to cozy mystery lovers.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, I was not expecting that person to be the killer, well done! 

I love this series. Who wouldn't want their town library to be in an old lighthouse. Looking forward to Lucy and Connor's wedding in a future book.
Was this review helpful?
Because of the setting of the lighthouse turned into a library, I quickly became a fan of this series. Charles, the library cat has a personality of his own. The characters have grown through out the series. Great character arcs. The murder suspects are as nasty as ever. The due to the lack of light on the library, focusing instead on Lucy's home with her fiancé, Connor made the story not so interesting to me. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

Thank you Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for the advanced reader copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
Another glorious cozy set in Outer Banks, NC. 

Lucy Richardson is very happy. She is engaged to the Mayor, Connor McNeil and they are moving into their gorgeous new home on the beach. In the midst of home renovations, Lucy keeps hearing what sounds like creaking floorboards but when she investigates, no one is there. Until a dead body turns up in their kitchen, who just happens to be the wayward twin of the man they bought the house from. This is a bit of a locked room mystery and how the past can interrupt the future. Lucy just wants to figure out whodunit so she can get her home and her life back.

Without giving spoilers I thought the resolution was a little on the goofy side. I have only read a couple of these and not in any particular order so I may have to go back to the beginning of the series for full understanding. However, that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. I look forward to more in this series and Ms. Gates' alter ego Vicky Delaney's continuing series.
Was this review helpful?
I was sold by the cover of this book alone. But I loved it even more when I opened it and read this great little murder mystery. This is a great summer read for anyone who loves to play detective!
Was this review helpful?