A new cozy murder mystery series hit the bookshelves this month and I’m delighted to welcome the author, Eva Gates, here today to talk about this fascinating storyline.
BY BOOK OR BY CROOK is the first installment in Eva’s new Lighthouse Library Mystery series. To celebrate the release, thanks to Eva and the lovely Danielle at Penguin Group, I have a print copy of the book to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for more details.
First here’s a brief synopsis of BY BOOK OR BY CROOK:
Get bound up in murder in the first Lighthouse Library mystery!
For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.
Calling on her Aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.
Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending….
Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Eva as she tells us about ‘ghost stories.’
My new Lighthouse Library series from Obsidian is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That’s not a place I am very familiar with, so I have set about in the past year to get to know it. I’ve fallen in love with the fabulous beaches, the great restaurants, the marvelous lighthouses, and the miles and miles of wild seashore.
As the Lighthouse Library books are set in a real place – the Outer Banks – in general and a very real building – The Bodie Island Lighthouse – in particular, it’s been important to me to get as much of it right in the books as I can.
Yes, I am well aware that the actual lighthouse isn’t a library and it isn’t exactly big enough to house one, plus assorted offices, hallways, staff rooms, book shelves, meeting rooms, and even a small apartment, but I have enjoyed keeping the exterior of the building and the grounds as true-to-life as possible.
With one exception: the ghost stories. I have deliberately not read a single book about ghost stories or paranormal legends of the area, and there are many.
Not because I’m either squeamish or the nervous sort, but because it’s much more fun to make up my own.
There are no paranormal elements in the Lighthouse Library Series, but Lucy Richardson’s nemesis, Louise Jane McKaughnan, wants her to believe there are, hoping to scare Lucy out of her library job and back to Boston. Louise Jane considers herself to be one of a long line of women with special sensitivity to the supernatural. Lucy is never quite sure whether Louise Jane is telling stories she’s heard, or just making up what she thinks will scare Lucy the most.
Here’s Louise Jane’s first attempt:
The edges of Louise Jane’s mouth curled up. “I debated telling you about this. Andrew said I should keep it to myself. But I thought you deserved to know, Lucy. After all, you’re sleeping here. In the very room where Francis went mad. And died. You’re an intelligent, educated woman, aren’t you?”
I nodded. It was daylight, the twenty-first century. Bright sunlight streamed in the window, the sun played on the calm sea. My room was cheerful, modern, with electric lights, plumbing, Wi-Fi, a telephone. Even a doorbell. But the corners seemed deep and full of shadows. I mentally shook my head. This room didn’t even have corners!
“Now, don’t get me wrong,” Louise Jane continued. “Francis—the Lady, she’s called now— isn’t an evil spirit. Not at all. She was kind in life, or so they say, until she was locked away. She remains kind in death. When she sees a woman, a young—well almost-young—woman living in this room . . . Francis believes she’s trapped. And tries to free her. The only way she knows how. The way she freed herself.”
It was so quiet up here when the library was closed, high above the sea and the marsh, no one else around. At night, the darkness broken only by the rhythmic flash of the light.
“Well, well, look at the time. I promised to meet Andrew for a hike along the beach before lunch. Fresh air and exercise, there’s nothing like it. Are you all right, Lucy? You look awful pale.”
“I’m fine,” I squeaked.
Eva, thanks so much for joining us today and sharing this look at Lucy and the ghost stories. I can certainly see how it would be more enjoyable to let new ghost stories play out on their own.
Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with Eva, let me share a bit of background and you may realize you do know her. :)
Eva Gates is the pen name of popular mystery and suspense author Vicki Delany. Eva writes a new cozy series for Penguin Obsidian, the Lighthouse Library Mysteries, set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The first book in the series, BY BOOK OR BY CROOK, was released Feb 3rd.
For more on Eva and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Now for my thoughts on this fun new series:
Author Eva Gates has blended two charming elements – libraries and lighthouses – with cozy mystery to create an intriguing new series. The setting of a real life lighthouse transformed into a library quickly draws you in as the author incorporates issues libraries deal with daily.
The characters are delightful and realistic. The secondary characters are unique and add depth while enhancing the story. Moving at a steady pace, the story flows smoothly and holds your attention until the end.
Combining the picturesque setting with friendship, a hint of romance, an interesting mystery, and all-out-fun, the author has the beginnings of a tantalizing new series with BY BOOK OR BY CROOK. What could be more enjoyable than curling up with a good book in a cozy lighthouse that holds mystery and intrigue?
By Book Or By Crook by Eva Gates, A Lighthouse Library Mystery Book #1, Obsidian, @2015, ISBN: 978-0451470935, Paperback, 352 Pages
FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.
This giveaway is for one print copy of BY BOOK OR BY CROOK. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, Feb. 24.
To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner from this giveaway will have 72 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. The email will have ‘Thoughts in Progress Eve Gates' Tour’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).
Do you like lighthouses? Would you want to live in one? Do you think it would be fun to have a library in one? Thanks so much for stopping by today during Eva’s visit. I hope we’ve enticed you to check out this fun new series.
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