Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Stranger in the Library by Eva Gates

 The Stranger in the Library

Book Summary

Outer Banks librarian Lucy is working on an art show at the library when paintings–and people–start to go missing, in this 11th Lighthouse Library mystery from national bestselling author Eva Gates.

When a traveling show of impressionist art comes to Nags Head, North Carolina, librarian Lucy and the staff at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library are inspired to create an educational display about art history. Their launch of the display is a huge success, but the morning after, they discover that a reproduction of a famous painting has gone missing.
No one knows why anyone would bother stealing it: the picture is of no value–the real, priceless painting is under lock and key at the art show itself. Lucy gets an invite to the glitzy opening night for the real show, where she notices unusual tension among the show’s organizers. Then, the man scheduled to give the welcoming speech fails to arrive, and a party-goer is discovered drowned in a fish pond.

Meanwhile, Louise Jane is totally captivated by Tom Reilly, a handsome, charming art dealer lurking at the edges of the receptions on both nights. Tom slipped away from the party early, and he cannot be located by the police. Who, Lucy asks, is Tom Reilly, the shadowy figure threatening to break Louise Jane’s heart?

Something is afoot in Nags Head, and it’s up to Lucy and her friends to get to the bottom of it before it’s not just paintings being framed.
My Thoughts

The Stranger in the Library byEva Gates is the eleventh A Lighthouse Library MysteryA Lighthouse Library Mystery.  It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series.  I always enjoy returning to Nags Head, North Carolina.  The author’s descriptions capture the area and the buildings (real and imagined). I would love to work in the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library (it reminds me of the TARDIS).   Lucy has been busy working on an educational impressionist art display for the library to complement a traveling impressionist art show that is visiting the town.  Louise Jane, of course, gets in on the act by donating a family painting to the library’s exhibit. Lucy is a strong female protagonist.  She is friendly and relatable (I would like to be her friend). She picked up some gorgeous dresses on her honeymoon (lucky girl). 

There is a delightful cast of characters in this series.  I have even come to like Louise Jane.  The mystery was well plotted and paced.  There are some twists along the way.   I loved joining Lucy as she asked questions and searched for clues.  I was not left with any lingering questions at the end (hooray).  The Bodie Island Classic Novel Reading Club chose Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith.  I enjoy it when an author mentions a book that I have not read previously (gives me a new book to add to my TBR pile). I liked the author’s note at the end with her explanation of the MacGuffin she used in the story.   I was sad when my trip to Nags Head came to an end, but I hope I will get to visit again soon.

The Stranger in the Library can be obtained from Amazon* along with the other novels in A Lighthouse Library Mysteries.  You can follow Eva Gates/Vicki Delany on Amazon and receive an email when she has a new book release.   Thank you for stopping by today.  As you can tell, blogger has still not fixed their issues (big sigh).  I am off call the computer company regarding my still broken computer (a warranty does not guaranty quick service or that they will find the warranty in their system).  I have provided proof of purchase (I am old school and keep copies of my receipts as well as warranties in file folders which paid off this time) and I am curious what they will say this time (I have a brand name computer with the warranty through them).  Wish me luck!  I hope that you have a perky day (and that you keep cool--it is so hot and humid).  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

*I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book.  I am not required to leave a review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.  

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