I have been enjoying a variety of cozy mysteries, especially those involving libraries and bookstores. These three were all enjoyable. All were provided to me at one time by the publisher upon my request. The ratings and opinions shared are my own.

Death by Beach Read (Lighthouse Library Mystery #9) by Eva Gates, Elise Arsenault (Narrator)

Published June 7th 2022 by Dreamscape Media

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Death by Beach Read is the ninth book in one of my favourite cozy mystery series. You can read them as standalones, but I recommend you start at the beginning as so much happens in the character’s lives that you would miss out on. In this book Lucy and Connor have moved into their new home, one that had been empty, but owned by an old family from Nags Head Beach. It needs a lot of work, but Connor is sure that it will be an amazing home. Of course that means Lucy has to move out of her apartment in the Lighthouse Library. The owner had history with Connor’s parents and that leads to some issues. At night Lucy hears sounds and sees things that have her scared to be alone. When a dead body is discovered in their kitchen one morning, they have to figure out what is going on and why does it seem like someone is trying to sabotage their renovations.

There is a lot going on and Lucy has her hands full. She is helping Sam plan her wedding, trying to find the murderer, driving back and forth to work, dealing with Diane, a nasty character from a previous book who is back in town, and trying to help Charles get used to living somewhere else besides the library. We meet some new characters in this story that add some interest to the library book club and to give us some suspects in the murder. I really liked Jo, the recluse who finally began to come out of the house. She has secrets and a past that have held her hostage for years. Of course Lucy asked lots of questions and followed her instincts to put together clues. She also gets help from Louise Jane. She is one character that has grown and changed so much as the series has gone on. She used to be really obnoxious and mean to Lucy, and I am really pleased with the direction her character has taken. Lucy almost has it figured out, and then there is the showdown. A great mystery with several suspects, motives and red herrings. I recommend it to cozy mystery lovers. I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Elise Arsenault. She added voices, emotion and tone to make this a wonderful book to listen to.

Under the Cover of Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery #6) by Lauren Elliott

Published March 30th 2021 by Kensington

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Under the Cover of Murder is the sixth book in Lauren Elliott’s Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery series. Addie’s best friend, Serena, is finally getting married to the love of her life, Zach. The wedding is going to be held on his family’s luxurious yacht, currently moored in the town’s harbor. Shortly before the wedding, the body of an unidentified man washes up on the beach, the only clue a torn piece of a book in his hand. No one recognizes the man and the wedding proceeds as planned, but the next day, another body is found on the beach. It is one of the guests, uninvited though, and everyone is forced to stay on board the yacht under police guard, until the murderer is found. Addie wants off, so her only choice is to do some sleuthing of her own.

I really like how Addie has changed as this series progressed. She is a very logical, practical, concrete person and really rubbed me the wrong way in the first few books. She could be very abrasive. Perhaps it is the wonderful community, the people she has become friends with or romance, but she has softened and is much more likable. This was a locked door mystery, but there was also the first murder and whether or not it tied in to this one. Everyone at the wedding is a suspect, so there are many to check out. There are so many secrets, drinking, infidelity, lies, thievery and forgery, so lots of motives to sort through. Addie was also dealing with some personal relationship issues and as she is not good at social cues, she was a bit flustered. There were several twists that kept me guessing right to the end. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Pippi. Addie has now taken ownership of this sweet little dog, so I look forward to seeing more of her in the future. A great addition to this series.

A Margin for Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery #8) by Lauren Elliott

Published April 26th 2022 by Kensington

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Margin for Murder is another great addition to the Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery. Addie and her friend Paige head to Pen Hollow for a book sale at the library that is closing its doors due to lack of funding. When they arrive they do buy some books, but also furniture and the library’s Bookmobile. Everyone isn’t happy about the purchase, but it is on the level. When they quickly peruse the contents of the bookmobile which are sold with it, they find several classic first editions and an early edition of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. While waiting for it to be delivered to them, there is a crash and the mayor is killed and the first editions go missing. Paige and Addie are the prime suspects of the local sheriff, so Addie’s boyfriend, Simon who is also the coroner calls in the local detective, Marc, Addie’s pervious boyfriend, from Greyborne Harbor to work with the sheriff to find the real culprit and let Addie and Paige return home.

As always, there is more going on than meets the eye. Addie runs into an old boyfriend who she lost touch with in high school. He is back in town to close up his grandmother’s house and estate. He invites Addie and Paige to stay with him in her mansion, which is just a little creepy. There are also a couple of very angry librarians at both the closing of the library and the selling of the bookmobile. These were just a few of the suspects, but there were more as the victim was not well liked. There are some red herring and twists that kept me guessing. The romance angle was a bit tricky in this one. Simon seemed to be a bit aloof and Marc still has feelings for her. Throw in the old boyfriend who wants to rekindle something and Addie’s head is spinning. The mystery was well written and plotted with a surprise at the end that kept me guessing. There is a sweet romantic ending for Addie as well. A fun cozy mystery that I enjoyed.