Thursday, June 8, 2023

Death Knells and Wedding Bells by Eva Gates

 Death Knells and Wedding Bells

Book Summary

Librarian Lucy’s wedding is nearly perfect—aside from a missing guest and the strangled body she finds. Now, she must vow to find the killer in this 10th Lighthouse Library mystery.

Lucy and Connor planned for the perfect Outer Banks wedding—and that’s exactly what they got. Aside from typical rumblings of familial tensions, the late spring weather allowed for a beautiful day, the food was delicious, and everyone had a good time, until one of the guests goes missing.
Before Lucy can look forward to the rest of her life in Nags Head and the work she does at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, she gets a phone call from her boss, Bertie James. Eddie, Bertie’s friend, never made it back home after the reception. Initially, Lucy doesn’t think anything of it—sometimes wedding guests simply have a little too much fun. But this quickly turns to something darker when she discovers the body of a wedding guest strangled in a locked closet, and the police immediately start asking questions about Eddie. Lucy must figure out if the two are connected before it’s too late—both for Bertie’s friend and the rest of her wedding guests.

With the Classic Novel Reading Club reading the Selected Works of Edgar Allan Poe—Lucy wonders if the master of the macabre can assist her investigation or if the hunt for the killer’s identity will remain as nothing more than an unsolved mystery.

My Thoughts

Death Knells and Wedding Bells by Eva Gates has readers returning to Nags Head, North Carolina for Lucy and Connor’s wedding.  I like how everyone (family, friends, co-workers, and even a soon-to-be ex-wife) came together for the couple’s wedding.  There was a wrinkle or two during the day, but it was overall a wonderful wedding day which Lucy and Connor deserved.  The murder of Aunt Joyce’s plus one casts a shadow on the wedding weekend.  I know Lucy was enjoying her wedding weekend, but I have a feeling that a murder was icing on the cake (she loves solving a whodunit).  The force’s newest detective, Detective North, is not happy with Lucy’s sleuthing and is vocal in expressing his displeasure to Detective Sam Watson.  The mystery was straightforward.  It is a whodunit that can easily be solved early in the book.  I did, though, enjoy following Lucy as she questioned people and searched for clues.  I love Charlie’s role in the takedown.  I could envision the scene in my head and it had me laughing.

Eva Gates has created a great cast of characters for this series.  I like Lucy’s curiosity.  She has questions and Lucy likes to get answers.  Lucy is a natural born sleuth.  It is also what makes her a good librarian.  I like how the characters are there for each other.  Bertie may be Lucy’s boss, but she is also a friend.  The same goes for the rest of Lucy’s coworkers.  I understand Lucy’s motivation for wanting to help Bertie’s plus one, Eddie.  I enjoyed the beautiful descriptions of Nags Head, Lucy and Connor’s new home, and Bodie Island Lighthouse Library.  I like how the author likens the library to the TARDIS.  There is no way the lighthouse could be big enough to house the library and Lucy’s Lighthouse Aerie (now Louise Jane’s).  It gives readers a chance to use their imagination (I see this regular lighthouse on the outside with a beautiful, big library on the inside).  Death Knells and Wedding Bells is the tenth A Lighthouse Library Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone, but new readers will struggle in the beginning (gets easier the further you get into the story).  I did find the pacing a little slow at times, especially in the beginning.  In addition, there is repetition of information (case details, background on suspects and victim). Overall, though, I enjoyed my latest trip to the Outer Banks, and I am looking forward to my next visit.   There is humor sprinkled throughout the story.  Louise Jane provides several mirthful moments.  I enjoyed the book club discussions about Edgar Allan Poe’s stories (A Tell-Tale Heart is my favorite).  I like how the death of Aunt Joyce’s plus one related to The Cask of Amontillado.  Death Knells and Wedding Bells takes readers to the Outer Banks with beautiful beaches, jovial nuptials, a snuffed out plus one, an absent date, a single-minded detective, and a probing bride.  

Death Knells and Wedding Bells is available from Amazon*.  You can find the other A Lighthouse Library Mysteries here.  You can find Eva Gates aka Vicki Delany's novels here.  Thank you for joining me today.  I will return on Tuesday, June 13 with The Spectacular by Fiona Davis.  I hope that you have a relaxing weekend. I am going to get some chores done around the house (and hopefully not injure myself this time).  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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