Review | By Book or by Crook by Eva Gates

Spoiler Free



Published: February 3, 2015

Publisher: Obsidian Mystery

Pages: 325

Series: Lighthouse Library Mystery #1




4 Stars


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….


If you follow my Bookstagram then you know I totally buy cozy mysteries because their covers are so cute and they’re great for bookish photos. However, this happens to be the first cozy mystery I’ve read in YEARS. Yes, years. I read a few way back (middle school, guys) like before I realized they were even cozy mysteries, but I’ll probably end up rereading them because when I was younger my attention span for mystery books was  zero. I felt they just had too many characters and it was hard for me to keep track, but I totally love them now. They’re adorable AND great reads.

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This is going to be 100% spoiler FREE (I definitely won’t be telling you who the killer is) so you’re free to read this and then read the books! Which I suggest you do if you enjoy cozies or want to start some!

Lucy Richardson finds herself back in the Outer Banks, where she vacationed as a child, after running from her boring life back in Boston. Her family is very wealthy and cares a lot about image, and they’re trying to force Lucy into a marriage she absolutely doesn’t want. So when this unwanted boyfriend proposes to her in a fancy restaurant in front of a large crowd, she quickly says no, packs her bags, and flees to her Aunt Ellen in North Carolina. Within her first week there Lucy lands a job at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library as an assistant librarian. Not only does she get to work at the Lighthouse Library, but she also gets to live there in the fourth floor apartment. As a special Summer treat, the library is borrowing and displaying a collection of first edition Jane Austen novels. However, this town has more than just killer views and soon someone winds up dead and as the Austen books start going missing one by one, Lucy is caught right in the middle. This book features a fun cast of characters, including a handsome library cat named Charles. With murder, humor, and a classic love triangle this cozy mystery has it all!

I had absolutely no idea who the killer was or who was stealing the Austen books, so this was truly a mystery and the ending shocked me. My only complaint was the grammatical errors throughout the book. I can understand one or two, but there was a fair amount within there 300 or so pages. I’d expect just a little more from a published work, but it wasn’t a big deal considering I enjoyed the book so much.

This book was a lot of fun to read, it was like a little puzzle that I couldn’t wait to solve. All the classic elements of a cozy mystery were there; romance, humor, suspicious characters, a sweet little town, a cat, and a main character that is charming and endearing. Books like these are always a nice break from the typical 400 to 500 page books I usually read, where a lot more dire stuff is happening and it seems like the good guys aren’t going to win. This book was wrapped up sweetly (aside from the budding love triangle between Lucy, the mayor, and the detective) and can easily be read in one to two days. I finished this one and the second one in the series (review coming soon!) in one week, and I just started the third and final book. It’s my understanding that Obsidian dropped this series, but according to Eva Gate’s website another publisher picked it up and another couple of books are in the works so yay! I will definitely be on the lookout for those! If you’re looking for something short, sweet, fun, and puzzling then I really suggest this series!

Happy reading


Book Links  GoodreadsAmazon                    B&N         BAM


The Lighthouse Library Mystery Series






2 thoughts on “Review | By Book or by Crook by Eva Gates

  1. Pingback: ARC Review: The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates | Belle's Book Blog

  2. Pingback: ARC Review: Something Read, Something Dead by Eva Gates | Tonkin About Books

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