Thursday, April 26, 2018

Book Review ~ By Book or by Crook (Lighthouse Library Mystery, Book #1) by Eva Gates @evagatesauthor

Book Details:

Series: A Lighthouse Library Mystery (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: February 3, 2015
ISBN-10: 0451470931
ISBN-13: 978-0451470935


About the Book:

Get bound up in murder in the first Lighthouse Library mystery!

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.

Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending.... 

By Book or By Crook is a wonderful first book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series by Eva Gates. The premise of a library inside a historic lighthouse is what drew me to the series. I'm glad I found my way to North Carolina and into the Lighthouse Library Mysteries. The setting is wonderful and perfect for a cozy mystery series. The author does a great job with character development and world building throughout the series.

Lucy leaves her job at Harvard Library and her 10-year relationship with Ricky to spend some time in the Outer Banks with her Aunt Ellen and cousin Josie. Hoping to work through her relationship woes, Lucy instead finds that she fits in among most of the residents in the Outer Banks. Things being to look even brighter when she obtains a job in the local library - a library that just happens to be housed inside a historical lighthouse. Unfortunately, after clearly indicating at a library function that he plans to eliminate Lucy's position, the chair of the library is found dead on one of the upper floors of the lighthouse library. Lucy and her boss, Bertie, are now prime suspects in his death.

To make matters worse, there is a thief among them. The library has been authorized to house a genuine set of first edition Jane Austen novels. Someone is pilfering them one at a time, making not only the library look bad, but also the employees charged to care for the collection. Instead of just having to worry about a murderer, now Lucy, Bertie, the police, and library employees have to keep a look out for a thief. 

Lucy is a wonderful character. She may come from money but she doesn't act like it or flaunt her family's riches. She's pretty down-to-earth and likeable. I love Charlene's obsession of rap music and her passion for wanting to share. There is the potential for a love triangle but it doesn't overstep the mysterious death of Mr. Uppiton or the thefts of the Jane Austin books. All of the secondary characters are unique in their own way and believable. Oh, and how could I forget about Charles?! The library cat is a delightful addition to the cast.

The story is well paced, enjoyable, and full of suspense. The author did a wonderful job describing the characters and scenery within the book. I was able to visualize the story as it played out. An enjoyable start to the Lighthouse Library series, Book or by Crook is engaging, doesn't divulge the suspect right away, and keeps the reader guessing. I enjoyed the book a lot.

I purchased this book myself.

Note: I was finally able to read the entire series in March 2018 (my TBR pile is pretty tall) and am just now able to write reviews for them. You'll see reviews for the rest of the series soon - including The Spook in the Stacks, book 4, releasing in June 2018. 

My Rating:

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