- Hardcover: 313 pages
- Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (June 22 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1683315804
- ISBN-13: 978-1683315803
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Spook in the Stacks: A Lighthouse Library Mystery Hardcover – Jun 22 2018
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Praise for The Spook in the Stacks :
Gates creates an atmosphere that perfectly balances the chill of a spooky night with small-town coastal charm in a mystery that will delight bookish cozy fans."
"Lively... Book lovers will envy Lucy's dream of a life, working in a wonderful library, surrounded by amusing friends, not to mention a fine feline companion and a handsome suitor. Cozy fans will look forward to her further adventures."
- Publishers Weekly
Praise for By Book or by Crook :
"[A] charming, entertaining, and smart series... [featuring] an unusual (and real) setting and colorful cast of characters that set it apart from other bookish cozies."
- Library Journal starred review
"A charming new series by Eva Gates. A librarian in a historic lighthouse with a cozy apartment upstairs and a clever cat named Charles (Dickens) make for a book lover's dream. Lucy is a delightful and engaging sleuth surrounded by a cast of intriguing characters in an original and unique setting."
- Krista Davis, New York Times bestselling author of the Domestic Diva mysteries
"A smart whodunit... A likeable heroine."
- Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats mysteries
"A library in a lighthouse? And a cat? Sign me up! A fun read for all cozy fans."
- Laurie Cass, national bestselling author of the Bookmobile Cat mysteries "
About the Author
Eva Gates is a national bestselling author who began her writing career as a Sunday writer: a single mother of three high-spirited daughters, with a full-time job as a computer programmer. Now she has more than twenty novels under her belt in the mystery genre, published under the name Vicki Delany. She lives in Ontario. This is her fourth Lighthouse Library mystery.
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Halloween is only days away, and several events have been planned, from parties for the children’s groups to presentations by Louise Jane, an expert in the legends of the Outer Banks. Unannounced, Jay Ruddle, a multimillionaire and former businessman and resident of Nags Head, arrives at the library. He is considering the library and one other location the honor of donating his huge collection of maps and documents of the area from the 16th through the 18th centuries. His granddaughter, Julia, and his assistant and current curator, Greg, are there with him. With the collection would come a stipend to build a separate, climate-controlled facility and have a curator so that the collection can be viewed by those interested.
Jay, Julia, and Greg are present when one of the events begins. Julia wants to join Theodore, a local man who is besotted with the fair Julia, in hearing Louise Jane’s presentation, and Greg stays with them as the men vie for her attention. Jay, who prefers the facts of history, looks at the library’s current rare books and documents. When the event is over, Lucy goes to get Jay for Julia and Greg, and finds that Jay is dead – and not from natural causes.
One would think that a retired, 82-year-old man would not have many enemies. Not so. There are several possible suspects, from former competitors to folks from the other location being considered for the collection to Louise Jane’s hinting that maybe a spirit still not at rest killed him. Lucy gets into it against her own good counsel when Julia is the primary suspect.
Lucy and her co-workers are a delightful group who work well together and are well defined, as are her best friend, Stephanie, and Connor, the Mayor and man she is dating. Excellent, realistic dialog and actions primarily build each person. I like Lucy and Julia; I envy Lucy’s job and aerie! Louise Jane is the one we almost enjoy disliking, but as Lucy notes, Louise Jane is a born storyteller who draws in everyone listening to her. Theodore is even a much more likable young man in this tale.
Fourth in this series, The Spook in the Stacks can be read as a standalone or as part of the series. The author shares sufficient backstory to bring the reader up to date. There are significant plot twists that change the course of the investigation more than once, and a few incidences when Charles, usually a laid-back cat, seemed to be irritated at something – or some specter – around the model of a ship that sank with all hands on board. And other sightings by Lucy herself, for which she had no explanation. These events, and more, bring this set of mysteries to a startling denouement, with a bad guy who was one of the few I had not even considered. This novel is sure to keep the most discerning cozy mystery lover up late, turning the pages to find whodunit. I highly recommend The Spook in the Stacks to those who enjoy mysteries served up in libraries, lighthouses, or at oceanside settings.
From a grateful heart: I received a copy of this e-Arc from the publisher and NetGalley, and this is my honest review.
Eva Gates has written another warm, entertaining and humorous tale. This reader could seen and feel the mist that creeps up from the shore, and shared Lucy's disquiet at the strange sights that appear in the evening. The Lighthouse Library is a wonderful setting, complete with its own library cat, Charles, who has his own part to play in these stories.
After a long wait between books 3 and 4, I'm hoping the next will be here soon!
This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher.
I found this book to be wonderfully entertaining. Lucy is an engaging amateur sleuth, and I really enjoyed spending time with her. There is a fun group of eccentric Outer Banks residents as supporting cast members. From Theodore Kowalski, rare book collector, to Louise Jane, the resident ghost story expert, to Bertie, the head librarian, these are all characters that made me smile. And of course, Charles the library cat (named for Charles Dickens) is a charming character and, so far, is one of my favorite cozy cat characters. Eva Gates also writes the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries (under the name Vicki Delaney) and in both series she has written quirky characters that are also realistic. In fact, I found myself wondering if Gemma Doyle and the gang could somehow take a vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I have a feeling that Theodore Kowalski and Donald Morris from the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mysteries would get on splendidly. But I digress….
The mystery itself was absorbing, with enough suspects that it wasn’t easy to solve the crime. In fact, I didn’t figure out who the murderer was until the final reveal. And there was a good dose of literary allusion thrown in. Each Lighthouse Library Mystery features a different classic novel that the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library Classic Book Club is reading, and the mystery incorporates some elements of the featured novel. The featured novel in Spook in the Stacks is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow - a perfect choice for a Halloween story.
I have not read the first three books in this series, and the author provided enough background that I didn’t feel lost. I already had Books One and Three in the series, and when I finished The Spook in the Stacks, I ordered Book Two so that I can start from the beginning and get caught up. I am really looking forward to visiting the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library again.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.