I spent this past Saturday sitting on the rocks at Pemaquid Point. The lighthouse had its usual line of visitors waiting for a tour of this stately landmark. Maine has 65 historical lighthouses spread out along 5,000 miles of coastline, inlets and islands. The oldest, Portland Light (1791), is located in Cape Elizabeth. Maine is commonly called the Lighthouse State.
While I sat watching the turbulent sea doing its dance over the picturesque rocks, I overheard one group talking about the mystery of lighthouses. I thought about their discussion and wondered how many mystery writers might have used this type of setting for one of their stories. How perfect with miles of sea, pounding waves, wind, rain, snow and bleak isolation. My research turned up a list you might enjoy.
“The Lighthouse” by P.D. James is #13 in the Adam Dalgliesh mystery series. A secure and secluded retreat for the rich and powerful becomes the setting for a series of unsettling murders. It is left up to Commander Adam Dalgliesh (while under personal pressure) to try and solve this sensitive case. After a second murder, Dalgliesh is faced with a danger more treacherous than murder.
“Body in the Lighthouse,” by Katherine Hall Page, is #13 in the Faith Fairchild series. Faith and her family are spending time on Maine's Sanpere Island in Penobscot Bay. There is unrest on the island due to an aggressive developer. Faith discovers a body while exploring the grounds of the Sanpere Historical Lighthouse. Will Faith solve the murder?
“Murder Most Maine” by Karen MacInerney is #3 in the “Gray Whale Inn” cozy mystery series. In this one, a skeleton is discovered walled up in the lighthouse on Cranberry Island. The keeper of the Gray Whale Inn, Natalie Barnes, attempts to find the true killer.
“A Double Life: Newly Discovered Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott,” is edited and introduced by Madeleine Sterne. One of five stories, “A Legend of the Lighthouse” has a stormy, coastal setting but a familiar plot of love lost and then re-found on the brink of death.
Finally, check out “The Lighthouse Horrors,” edited by Charles G. Waugh, for tales of adventure, suspense, and the supernatural. Not for the light of heart.
Happy reading mystery lovers!
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