Libby Forest is a new resident in Exham on Sea in Somerset. She’s moved from London, after the death of her husband, and if truth be told she’s not terribly unhappy with is passing. Her two children, her friends, and her neighbors all warned her against moving to a small town, but she’s glad she did. She’s working on a cake cookbook, doing a part-time stint at the local bakery, and generally enjoying her new life.
She’s walking a neighbor’s dog on the beach one morning, right near Exham’s lighthouse, when she discovers a bundle, a bundle that turns out to be a body of a woman. The woman grew up in Exham but has been long gone, making her name as a singer in the United States. No one even knew she was back. The death is considered accidental until a second woman is killed, this one who watched comings and goings around the lighthouse and kept a diary of what, and whom, she saw.
Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham is what’s called a cozy mystery, which generally means in the tradition of Agatha Christie and with a noted absence of graphic violence. I’m usually not a fan of cozy mysteries (my likes tend more in the direction of police procedurals) but a cozy mystery makes a nice break.
And it wouldn’t be a cozy mystery without a spot of romance, and there’s that, or at least a potential romance between Libby and the father of the investigating police officer. And the officer keeps bumping into Libby at crime scenes and places she really shouldn’t be. And it doesn’t take long for the village to know what’s going on, because, well, this is a small town, and everyone knows everything pretty quickly.
Evesham is the author of four other Exham on Sea mysteries, Murder on the Levels, Murder on the Tor, Murder at the Cathedral, and Murder at the Bridge; and two historical mystery romances set in Victorian England, Danger at Thatcher Hall and An Independent Woman. She’s been a speech therapist, professional communicator, and a road sweeper, and worked in the criminal courts. She lives in Somerset, England.
Murder at the Lighthouse is an entertaining story, and a good example of what cozy mysteries are all about.
Top photograph by Flash Alexander via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.
"Cozy mystery" is a new genre to me, but I love the sound of it. Thanks for your thoughts on the book. My youngest son and I are listening to And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie -- definitely not cozy.
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