What Lies Buried: A Novel of Old Cape Fear

Written by Dewey Lambdin
Review by Bethany Skaggs

Readers may be familiar with Lambdin from his naval adventures, and though his love of all things nautical appears in passing, he’s chosen to keep both feet firmly planted on the soil of pre-Revolutionary Wilmington, North Carolina, in his first murder mystery. Harry Tresmayne, respected political leader and gentleman, has been found murdered, and his friend, chandler Matthew Livesey, must find the guilty party. The more Livesey learns about Harry’s private life, the more suspects he uncovers, some of whom are willing to do anything to prevent discovery.

Lambdin has crafted an appealing mystery that delves into the politics and social structure of colonial America. The fast pace keeps the reader’s attention, but Lambdin’s real forte lies in his characterization and setting. Livesey, his family, and the inhabitants of Wilmington come alive, and Lambdin’s setting, from Livesey’s chandlery to the ships in the harbor, transports the reader to the 1700s. The story’s one drawback springs from Lambdin’s excellent characterization: the realistic Scots brogue and frontier polyglot of some characters’ dialogue will slow readers while they pause to mentally translate. Overall, a very enjoyable mystery which I hope will be the first of many to feature Matthew Livesey and his family.