A Death Long Overdue is the seventh book in the Lighthouse Library series. Library director Bertie is hosting her college reunion at the library, so the staff prepare a special exhibit of library equipment from the past for the party. The check-out slip for the Celestine Prophecy shocks guest Helena Sanchez but she refuses to say why. Later that night, Helena’s body is found in the marsh outside the library. While Lucy tries to find the killer, her boyfriend Connor tries to plan a date that won’t be interrupted by the investigation.
I wasn’t crazy about this book for a few reasons. First, we hardly learned anything definite about the victim. She was barely even a rough draft of a character. Then there were too many supporting characters. Their names and physical descriptions were given at the beginning, but most were only mentioned in passing in the rest of the book. The ones who end up being important weren’t fully developed. Finally, there weren’t enough clues to explain why the murderer wanted the victim dead. There weren’t even enough clues to explain how they knew each other.
On the plus side, Lucy and Connor’s relationship is progressing. We also get a little more insight into Louise Jane.
Tea and Treachery is the first book in the new series Tea by the Sea. Lily Roberts left New York City a year ago to open a traditional English tea room in Cape Cod. In addition to running her shop, and baking of its goods from scratch, she helps her grandmother run the bed and breakfast next door. Real estate developer Jack Ford wants to buy the property next to the tea room and B&B and build a golf resort, which would most likely put Lily and Rose out of business. Rose is the prime suspect when Ford turns up dead on the grounds of the B&B after their very public argument. Lily must find the real killer before her grandmother ends up in prison.
This book is written by the same author as the Lighthouse Library series (she publishes under multiple names). It’s always hard to judge the first book of a series because there’s so much set-up involved, but I wasn’t impressed by Tea and Treachery. Rose is a truly annoying character and Lily is an absolute doormat. I’m guessing the author did this on purpose in order to have easy ways to develop the characters in later books, but if so, that’s just lazy character development. I realize the series is about a tea house, but I could have lived without the endless talk of how to make a proper cup of tea. I read this last month and now I can’t remember who the murderer was or how Lily solved it, so I guess that says it all about the mystery. Not a great debut.