By Lucy Richardson, from By Book or by Crook, the first Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates
I am so nervous. I’ve only had this job for four days and tonight I’m going to meet all the movers and shakers behind the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library.
Yes, that’s right. I work at a library in a lighthouse. How neat is that? And, to make things even better, I have my own apartment on the fourth floor. I call it my lighthouse aerie, it’s so tiny and perfect.
Hard to believe it was just a few short weeks ago, that my long-long-long time boyfriend, Richard Eric Lewiston III, pulled a small blue box out of his suit pocket, dropped to one knee, and asked me to marry him.
I fled into the night. The next day I quit my job at Harvard Library, packed my favorite possessions into my Yaris (leaving my least favorite at my parents’ house when I cowardly knew the maid would be the only one at home) and drove to Nags Head, North Carolina. My intention was to throw myself into the arms of my favorite aunt and spend the summer lazing about on the beach while deciding what to do with the rest of my life. But Aunt Ellen isn’t one for letting anyone laze about, and before I knew what was happening, she’d invited her best friend, who just happens to be the director of the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, and by the time tea was over, I found myself with a new job.
Ricky hasn’t bothered to call me to ask me to reconsider, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about our relationship and why I fled into the night, but you can be sure my mom has. Ricky, you see, is the son of my dad’s law partner, and it’s been expected by both sets of parents that he and I would marry for a long-long-long time. I told Mom I was okay and doing fine, and had no intention of coming back, and since then I’ve let her calls go to voice mail.
Right now I have every bit of clothing I own thrown on the daybed or tossed on all available pieces of furniture. Charles, the library cat, is studying the selection. I want to look perfect. Librarian-ish and suitably responsible, yet pretty and fun-loving too. I’ve been told some eligible men might be at the party (not that I’m interested in meeting men) and the catering is by Josie’s Cozy Bakery. Yummy.
It’s an important night at the library. Oh, not so everyone can meet the newest employee (but I’m sure they’ll be checking me out too), but because we’ve managed to obtain the loan of a complete set of Jane Austen first editions for the summer. Tonight’s reception is to show the collection to the board and friends of the library before opening to the public tomorrow. I suspect Bertie, the library director, has a secret up her sleeve too!
It’s an important night, for the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library as well as for me.
I sure hope nothing goes wrong.
Eva is giving away a copy of By Book or By Crook to one lucky reader in the U.S. or Canada. Please leave a comment to be eligible.