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 Jeremy 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.