By Book Or By Crook
By: Eva Gates
Opening Line: “Only in the very back of my mind, in my most secret dreams, did I ever dare hope to have such a moment.”
Overall: This is the first book in the, Lighthouse Library Mystery Series. There are 8 books published so far in this series, and a ninth to be released in June of 2022. This story is about Lucy Richardson, who leaves both her job at the Harvard Library, and the man she figured out she did not want to marry. She goes to visit her Aunt and Uncle on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, to relax and figure out what to do next. Lucy is thrilled when she finds out she has a job at the local library there, which is inside a lighthouse! Bodie Island, North Carolina is a real place and there is a real, working lighthouse there. However, in reality it is not a library. But I love that entertaining twist of imagination in this book to have a library inside of a lighthouse… and have Lucy be able to live inside a small apartment in the lighthouse too! I just loved that unique and charming idea for the setting of these books! I would love to live in this seaside town on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and live and work in a library lighthouse! That sounds like a wonderful life! Lucy is happy to be away from her Boston family and the pressures they have been putting on her. She is excited to live life on her own terms. But, at her first big event for the library, the Chairman of the Library Committee is found murdered. The local police are trying to solve the case and have her boss at the library, Bertie, pegged as the prime suspect. While that case is ongoing, the priceless Jane Austen novels on loan to the library start disappearing also. Do those two things have any connection, or are they separate crimes? Lucy has to try and figure out both who killed the library chairman and who keeps stealing the priceless Austen novels. Her new job depends on it.
Ovations: I love reading books about libraries, books, and librarians! I love that the Bodie Island location on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is a real place with a real, working lighthouse there that you can go visit if you wanted to. But, I also love the quirky idea of turning those real-life things into a fantasy lighthouse library setting for this book series. There is a haughty library cat names Charles, after Charles Dickens, who is a fun addition to the cast of characters. Speaking of characters, there is a love triangle between Lucy and two men in town who are interested in her. Love triangles always are fun to include to spice up the plots of books. I also liked that there are two mysteries going on at once in the book and you are not sure if they are connected or not. Trying to solve two mysteries and figure out if they are connected and why, adds more depth to the book.
Oh Well: There are a lot of characters to get to know in this book! I was often getting confused as to who was who. But, I am hoping that is just because this is the first book in a series and the author had to introduce us to everyone. Hopefully the next books to come won’t have so many characters in them. There were also a few parts of the story that could have been edited better, or just taken out all together. But, maybe those were small elements that just bothered me.
Opinion: I love how the North Carolina Island location for this book is a real place but there are magically imaginative things happening to make the lighthouse a library that also has an apartment for Lucy to live in. In my opinion, it sounds like a dream setting to live and work in! This is a cozy mystery, which means there is no sex, or graphic violence and the reader gets to solve the mystery right along with the characters in the book. I appreciated the fact that there were two mysteries to be solved in the book’s plot. It was quirky and unique and I will be reading more of the books in this new cozy mystery series. Rating: 6 out of 10