Murder at the Lighthouse


...For any who enjoy British mysteries in particular, this is definitely a sterling example of the genre....

Newly widowed, Libby used what was left of her funds to move to Exham-on-Sea and start over, planning to finally open the patisserie of her dreams. Finding a body wasn’t part of the plan. When the victim is both a famous popstar and local girl made good, Libby’s stunned when the police write it off as suicide – particularly when she saw the injuries. With the help of the local inspector’s equally sceptical father, Max, she starts her own investigation. After all, in small towns everyone seems to have known the victim – and some grudges have been held for years.

Despite the overtones of a cozy mystery, this has a little more bite than the average genre entry. Libby is quite upfront that her husband’s heart attack was in some ways a blessing, and she’s still sorting through the mess he left. The sub plot with Mandy, a local teenager, is similarly decidely more gritty than the genre would usualy allow. This all works for the book, giving it a distinct feel and character. There’s nothing here to put off mystery readers, and the plot is well thought out. Several of the genre tropes are present, such as the killer being revealed at a gathering in front of everyone, and they are generally well done although the hint at the end about who Max’s mystery backers are left me raising an eyebrow.

It is definitely more Midsommer Murders than a strictly cozy mystery, although thankfully the author resists temptation to have bodies build up. Instead it is a realistic story of an old grudge, and a very realistic story of small town gossip, politics, and cakes. The presence of the W.I., and the details of the setting do make this a very British book, and the author admits that readers from Somerset (Burnham on Sea in particular) might find the landmarks familiar. One thing to note is that the animals do not play as large a role in solving the mystery as I expected from the blurb, and they are utterly realistic – so no talking animals here despite the books I’ve been recently reviewing.

Formatting, spelling, and grammar are the best kind of unobtrusive: nothing stood out to take me out of the story, and there’s not much to say about them. The attitudes, landmarks and culture are accurate to Britain, and the actual part of Britain where the book is set. As the first book in a series I find myself looking forward to the planned sequel. Much of this book is spent getting to know the area and characters, and I’d love to see what this author can do with the set-up already established and out of the way.

Cozy mystery readers, and people who enjoy small town settings or amateur female sleuths should give this a look. For any who enjoy British mysteries in particular, this is definitely a sterling example of the genre.

Rating: 4
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Discussion

Tregaron (23 February 2016)
I enjoyed it, but mainly as light entertainment and relaxation.

WilliamV (2 May 2016)
This b??k intr?du??s Libby F?r?st ?nd h?r ??t Fuzzy. W?lking ? n?ighb?ur's d?g, sh? ??m?s ??r?ss ? b?dy n??r th? lighth?us?. H?r inn?r sl?uth t?lls h?r th?t th?r?'s s?m?thing fishy. With Murd?r ?t th? Lighth?us?, Fr?n??s ?v?sh?m h?s ?r??t?d ? ni??ly w?v?n susp?ns? st?ry with l???l fl?ir. Th? st?ry ??mpris?s ? br??d v?ri?ty ?f l?vingly ?l?b?r?t?d ?h?r??t?rs with suffi?i?nt d?pth ?nd int?r?sting int?r??ti?ns t? s?lv? th? murd?r ??s?. I h?d ? gr??t tim? r??ding Murd?r ?t th? Lighth?us? - it is ? v?ry ?nj?y?bl? r??d. I w?s dr?wn int? th? st?ry right ?w?y, ?nj?ying th? ?xh?m ?n S?? fl?ir. Libby, M?ndy, Fuzzy ?nd B??r ?r? lik??bl? ?h?r??t?rs - I ?m l??king f?rw?rd t? r??ding m?r? ?b?ut th?m ?nd th? myst?ri?s th?y ?r? g?ing t? f???. This is f?r y?u if y?u lik? sh?rt?r r??ds, f?m?l? sl?uths, ??sy susp?ns?, p?ts ?nd s??sid? t?wns. ? susp?ns?ful ??sy r??d in ? s?ri?s t? w?t?h ?ut f?r.

rz3300 (24 August 2016)
Well I am not sure if British mysteries are the particular types of mysteries that I like, but that is really my genre that I turn to most often, so I am betting that will safe here, especially with it being a "sterling" example of the genre. Even for entertainment and relaxation like the above user said, I can see it being worth a read. Thanks for sharing.

porridge (11 September 2016)
There's not enough rain! Somerset's kind of miserable and there's no a downpour in sight.

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