Friday, June 15, 2018

The Spook in the Stacks: A Lighthouse Library Mystery

Greetings!  Vicki Delany (aka Eva Gates) is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than twenty-five books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing three cozy mystery series: the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane, the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Penguin Random House and, under the pen name of Eva Gates, the Lighthouse Library series, for Crooked Lane Books.  Vicki lives and writes in bucolic Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Her work has been nominated for the Derringer, the Bony Blithe, the Ontario Library Association Golden Oak, and the Arthur Ellis Awards. Visit Vicki at On Facebook at Twitter @vickidelany @evagatesauthor, and Amazon.

The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates is the fourth book in A Lighthouse Library Mystery series.  Lucy Richardson is the assistant librarian at Bodie Island Lighthouse Library in Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Halloween is approaching, and Louise Jane has convinced the board to do a special display which includes a detailed replica of the downed ship, Rebecca McPherson.  Bertie and Charlene are excited when Jay Ruddle puts their library on the shortlist to receive his historical North Carolina collection of maps and documents.  On Saturday during Louise Jane’s historical ghost story lecture, Jay is allowed access to the libraries rare book room.  Lucy later finds him dead in a chair with a blue velvet rope wrapped around his neck.  When Julia finds herself the prime suspect in her grandfather’s death, Theodore Kowalski (who is quite smitten with Julia) asks for Lucy’s help in clearing her name. While working to uncover some clues, Lucy notices some unusual occurrences at the library.  A ghostly horse, strange lights in the marsh, and the miniature crew of the replica of Rebecca MacPherson keep moving around.  With Halloween just around the corner, Lucy needs to keep her wits about her. 

The Spook in the Stacks is an enticing cozy mystery.  I just love the concept of a library in a lighthouse.  Lucy is lucky to be able to work and live in such a beautiful and unique building.  The author brought the library, Lucy’s apartment, and the area alive with her descriptions.  There is a nice variety of characters that the author has taken the time to craft and develop.  Lucy is a smart, friendly main character (relatable) and it is nice to watch her grow as the series progresses.  I did feel that Louise Jane is a little over-the-top for my tastes.  She enters a scene and takes it over (reminds me of a steamroller).  I delighted in the various books, authors and literary references sprinkled throughout the story.  The Halloween atmosphere was fun, and I reveled in the added paranormal element.  The mystery was pleasing with good components.  The Spook in the Stacks can be read alone (easily).  There are a couple a of subplots that enhance the book.  Lucy’s boyfriend, Connor McNeil is running for re-election and Lucy is helping with his campaign.  His competitor is not above mudslinging if it will help him win.  The book club is meeting to discuss Sleepy Hollow and the outdoor venue enhances the spookiness.  I like the history of the area and local lore included in the story.  My rating for The Spook in the Stacks is 4 out of 5 stars.  I thought The Spook in the Stacks was well-written with steady pacing.  The dialogue is realistic (for library and book people especially) and I thought Charles, the library cat, was charming.  There is some repetition in the first few chapters such as where Lucy lived, and the jobs the various library personnel perform.  The Spook in the Stacks is a lively, airy cozy mystery that you will keep you engaged and ordering takeout for dinner.   You can purchase The Spook in the Stacks at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, GooglePlay, and Bookbub. The first three books in A Lighthouse Library Mystery series are By Book or By Crook, Booked for Trouble, and Reading Up a Storm.

The author is giving away a print copy of The Spook in the Stacks. Enter below or click here.  Make sure to leave a comment before you leave for extra entries in the contest and stop by the other stops on the tour (listed below giveaway).  Thank you for visiting today.  I hope that you have a fascinating day.  I will be featuring Summer of Love by Caro Fraser tomorrow.  Take care and Happy Reading!

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