Monday, June 18, 2018

The Spook in the Stacks - by Eva Gates - #review #giveaway

Halloween in North Carolina’s Outer Banks becomes seriously tricky when librarian Lucy Richardson stumbles across something extra unusual in the rare books section: a dead body.

Wealthy businessman Jay Ruddle is considering donating his extensive collection of North Carolina historical documents to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, but the competition for the collection is fierce. Unfortunately, while the library is hosting a lecture on ghostly legends, Jay becomes one of the dearly departed in the rare books section. Now, it’s up to Lucy Richardson and her fellow librarians to bone up on their detective skills and discover who is responsible for this wicked Halloween homicide.

Meanwhile, very strange things are happening at the library―haunted horses are materializing in the marsh, the lights seem to have an eerie life of their own, and the tiny crew of a model ship appears to move around when no one is watching. Is Lucy at her wit’s end? Or can it be that the Bodie Island Lighthouse really is haunted?

With The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on everyone’s minds and ghoulish gossip on everyone’s lips, Lucy will need to separate the clues from the boos if she wants to crack this case without losing her head in The Spook in the Stacks, the delightful fourth in national bestseller Eva Gates’ Lighthouse Library mysteries.



Note to self (re: bucketlist) - find and visit a library housed in a lighthouse, even if I have to make one myself!

Jay Ruddle is an polarizing figure of a wealthy, and at least somewhat ruthless, businessman.  The folks from the library (yea!) and the nearby college history department (boo!) are both possible recipients of his vast collection of North Carolina historical documents and memorabilia, and therefore see Jay's beneficial (good) side; other locals do not remember Jay so fondly, remembering how his business practices ran many family ventures out of business in his pursuit of wealth.  I'm rather middle-of-the-road (or on the fence) about Jay being a good vs a bad person.  Sounds like someone else in the US right now.  At least Jay didn't say if he wasn't Julia's (grand)father, he'd probably be dating her. (Ouch!)

Lucy is a delightfully neurotic librarian returned physically and emotionally to the Outer Banks of NC, after running way from an unwanted proposal from a man of which her society matron mother approved.  Part of me would like to sit Lucy down and remind her that books aren't of much use sitting on the shelf - they need to circulate to have an effect.  I was a wee bit distressed to see her waffling so much about her 'relationship' with Connor.  Thank goodness Edison didn't take years to collect himself after each test of an electric light.  You're not failing at relationshiops time after time, you're discovering different ways relationships don't work on the way to finding one that does.

Look at me being all positive!  (Actually, my history is more like Lucy's, so I have a good deal of sympathy for her.)

Stacks is the fourth Lighthouse Library mystery and my first foray into the series.  It really reads quite well as a standalone, but am quite eager to read the rest of the series (By Book or by Crook-#1, Booked for Trouble-#2, and Reading up a Storm-#3)!

So ... is the library haunted?  Gosh, I hope so!



Vicki Delany 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.




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)

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