Friday, December 8, 2017

The Lighthouse Keeper, by Cynthia Ellingsen (author), Kate Rudd (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, April 2017

Dawn Connors is the daughter of treasure hunters, and didn't find growing up on ships in, from a child's perspective, random places all over the world, fun or happy or secure. Now as an adult, she's living in Boston, working in the financial industry, and in a relationship she hopes will lead to marriage. It's secure, and stable, and she's determined to hold on to this.

Then what's expected to be a light, entertaining show about the history of Starlight Cove, Michigan, where her parents now live, turns out to be a vicious exposé on a famous shipwreck that Dawn's great-grandfather, Captain Fitzy Connors, commanded.  There have long been stories that he survived the wreck and stole the silver coins being transported. The tv show pushed the idea that the current Connors wealth comes not from a wreck her father found, but from the vanished silver coins. In short order, she's lost her job and her boyfriend, and heads home with a plan of investigating the Wanderer wreck and proving Captain Fitzy's, and her father's, innocence.

It's the first time in years that Dawn has been back to Starlight Cove, on Lake Michigan, but it's the only place she ever thought of as home as a child. Yet the tv scandal show has stirred up trouble even here, and even as she buys and rehabs a lighthouse to cover the real reason she's here, she encounters friends, enemies, and people whom she can't figure out which category they belong in.

It's mystery and romance in a small town, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I do have a really tiny, insignificant complaint, which will matter, most likely, to exactly no one.

At one point, getting around Starlight Cove on a bike, Dawn thinks about the fact that in Boston, people would routinely take a cab to go just five blocks.

In Boston? Seriously? Yes, we have cabs in Boston. Yes, they have customers. But in Boston, allowing for the fact that "five blocks" is in Boston a remarkably squishy, useless term, nobody takes cabs for short distances, in ordinary circumstances. In Boston, it's easier to walk, or take the T. Because Boston is a lousy city to drive in, not worth doing if you don't need to have your own car with you. Although even then, parking is expensive and hard to find, too.

No, someone who, like Dawn, had lived ten years in Boston, would regard the T as a normal way of getting around, and a cab as a relatively expensive option for special cases. This would be especially true in the compact, crowded financial district, where Dawn presumably works.

But that's a personal pet peeve, and nearly everyone has them when someone writes about their hometown who doesn't really know it. Heck, my subconscious kept trying to transplant Starlight Cove to the New England coast, and I kept having to slap it down!

Dawn, her parents, Kip Whittaker, the Henderson brothers, and others in Starlight Cove were interesting and likable characters, and there's an interesting mystery at the heart of the story.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.