Read and Buried
by Gates, Eva

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.

Eva Gates is a national bestselling author who began her writing career as a Sunday writer: a single mother of three high-spirited daughters, with a full-time job as a computer programmer. Now she has more than twenty novels under her belt in the mystery genre, published under the name Vicki Delany. She lives in Ontario. This is her sixth Lighthouse Library mystery.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library has become a construction site, thanks to the aging foundation. A few days before the historical society's planned Settler's Day Fair, celebrating Outer Banks history, Lucy Richardson and her boss, librarian Bertie James, are called to the construction site to oversee the removal of a Civil War strongbox. Opening it, they find a journal containing a hand-drawn map and what looks like a code. They lock it away in Bertie's desk, but rumors of buried treasure spread through the small town, bringing members of the historical society and historians from the local college to the library. That night, Lucy, who lives in an apartment above the library, is returning after dinner with her beau when they find the library door bashed in, Bertie's office ransacked, historical society president Jeffrey Hughes murdered, and the map and code sheet missing. In the run-up to the fair, Lucy learns that many have reason to want Hughes dead and launches an investigation. As with Gates' The Spook in the Stacks (2018), this is a sure bet for library-loving cozy readers. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

The Outer Banks of North Carolina offer stunning beaches, historical sites, and murderers. Librarian Lucy Richardson is delighted that her community has raised the large sum of money needed to save the lighthouse that houses the library and her apartment (Something Read, Something Dead, 2019). But a metal box found buried near the wall proves to be a harbinger of trouble. The box contains a small leather-bound notebook, a hand-drawn map with some numbers, and what appears to be a cypher that proves difficult to crack. Although the journal records nothing more gripping than notes on the daily weather, the whole trove draws the interest of many people with their own nefarious reasons, and a tale of buried treasure quickly spreads. Members of the library board and two ambitious college professors fight over the find, whose notebook was written by a Mrs. Crawbingham, a name unknown to even the island's keenest historians. When Lucy returns from dinner with her boyfriend, mayor and dentist Connor McNeil, they find the library door smashed and historical society member J eremy Hughes dead in the room where the box was locked away. The notebook is still there, but the map and code page are gone, though not the photographs of them Lucy had the wit to take. Police detective Sam Watson, no stranger to Lucy's skills as a sleuth, is willing to cut her some slack while she investigates while warning her of possible danger. Jeremy, who had a bad reputation with women, was having yet another affair and claiming he was about to get a divorce from a wife he's left less than brokenhearted. He was also involved in enough dubious business deals to create plenty of motives for his death. Cracking the tricky code looks to be the key to the case. Historical injustices combine with a touch of romance and code-breaking in a neatly packaged cozy. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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