The Spook in the Stacks
By Eva Gates
A Lighthouse Library Mystery #4
Crooked Lane Books, 2018
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Wealthy businessman Jay Ruddle is considering donating his extensive collection of North Carolina historical documents to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, but the competition for the collection is fierce.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.
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There’s so much to love in this story! And how could any mystery fan resist that title? The Spook in the Stacks is everything that a cozy mystery should be; I was hooked from the first page and its steady pace never let up. I’m new to this series, but understand that it has found a new home with Crooked Lane Books – and I’m so glad! This fourth story can stand alone, but I’m eager to read the previous books.
Library/librarians, lighthouse, and North Carolina’s Outer Banks … what’s not to like here? The setting literally becomes a major character and is vividly conveyed by the author. Lucy is a likeable heroine, easy to connect with. Then there’s the Halloween theme, ghost stories related to the area – even the lighthouse library itself – and mysterious sightings of a gray horse and lights. Finally, add to that some political intrigue, historical artifacts, family inheritance, and a little romance between Lucy and Connor. Everything blends together and makes for a thoroughly enchanting read.
I’m also glad to say that The Spook in the Stacks is a clean read with no profanity. Discovering the writing of Eva Gates/Vicki Delany has been delightful and I will be looking for more of her stories.
I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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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