Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Review: The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates

The Spook in the Stacks (Lighthouse Library Mystery, Book #4)
by Eva Gates
Release Date: June 12th 2018
2018 Crooked Lane Books
Kindle Edition; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-1683319214
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher /Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours

4.5 / 5 Stars

Wealthy businessman Jay Ruddle is considering donating his extensive collection of North Carolina historical documents to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, but the competition for the collection is fierce.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? 

My Thoughts
The Spook in the Stacks is the fourth book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series and I have enjoyed every single one of them.  What I truly love about these books is the setting as the lighthouse is such a perfect place for an author to go wild with her imagination and the author certain makes use of the setting to set up mysterious events and community outings that are perfect.  It makes me wish there was such a library so that I could go visit as I'm sure I could spend hours in such a place.  And for Lucy to be able to live at such a place?  Lucky!!

This installment is set during Hallowe'en and while I'm not a fan of trick or 'treating, I definitely love the idea of Hallowe'en, with all of the ghost stories and the hauntings.  I really think what draws me to this series are both Lucy, the assistant librarian, and her cat Charles, whom I adore, and I am not normally a fan of cats.  But cats, for whatever reason, belong in a lighthouse and a library, and Charles definitely adds both nuance and character to the story, often helping Lucy sort out her thoughts.  Lucy's character feels so normal as she doesn't really try to manipulate the cops or try to do their job, she just happens to be in places where she hears things and then immediately passes on the information.  I like how she respects the detective's job and doesn't think about them condescendingly, one of my pet peeves in some cozy mysteries.  So, the story is not necessarily about Lucy doing a lot of detective work, but she does find out a lot of information by just being who she is and listening to people's conversations, something that I really like.  And because so many of the events take place at the lighthouse, you do learn a bit more of the history of the area which is definitely a bonus.  Lucy is also just a regular woman struggling with her emotions in a new relationship which makes her seem more real, someone who is questioning her choices and decisions. Her struggle is very real and something anyone can relate to.

The author has definitely written a novel that draws you into the lives of the characters and I was happy to learn more about them; this is one of those series where I enjoy every single character, even the annoying ones.  The plot was entertaining and events moved along rather quickly, with quite a few twists and turns.  I didn't have a problem figuring out who the murderer was, but it was still fun figuring it out along with Lucy with the help of her trusted cat Charles.  I'm not sure if people are aware that Eva Gates is actually Vicky Delany, Canadian author of many other cozy mystery series, and that Crooked Lane Books saved this series for which I'm eternally grateful.  

The Spook in the Stacks was a fun and delightful read and I couldn't be happier discovering this series was to continue as there was quite a long wait between books three and four.  The plot was interesting and so were the characters and I can't wait to see what this author has in store for Lucy and Charles in the next installment.  For anyone who loves fun and interesting cozy mysteries, I highly recommend this series.