ARC Review: The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates

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It’s Halloween and celebrations are in full swing at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. The book club is reading Sleepy Hollow, multiple ghost talks are scheduled, cardboard gravestones abound, oh, and there’s a real dead body in the rare books room. Looks like librarian Lucy Richardson is back on a case!

Published: June 12th, 2018

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Length: 250 pages (Kindle)

Series: Lighthouse Library Mystery #4

Three Stars (2)

“I don’t go looking for trouble, you know. It seems to find me all on its own.”

 

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Wealthy businessman Jay Ruddle is considering donating his extensive collection of North Carolina historical documents to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, but the competition for the collection is fierce.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

 

“It seems as though some imagination is needed to get to the bottom of this case.”

 

Huge thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for sending this my way! I was super pumped when this got announced because I had read this series hadn’t been renewed after the third book, and when this came on NetGalley I requested it right away.

I will admit that this book is coming out at a weird time because we’re right in the beginning stages of Summer and this book takes place right at Halloween. While this did strike me as odd, it didn’t bother me while I was reading. Halloween happens to be my second favorite holiday, so it was fun for me to immerse myself in spooky things.

There were some good things about this book and some not so good things. Let’s start with my least favorite parts here, rip the band-aid off so to speak, and then move on to the good bits! For one, Lucy seemed different somehow. She was a little more snarky, a little less fun, and a good portion of this book focused on her feelings for Connor and her fears about their budding relationship. It was a tad boring. Two, I didn’t laugh nearly as much in this book as the previous three, and I missed the humor. Some of the ‘funnier’ moments seemed forced and weren’t funny at all. Three, this book had a really creepy element, and I’m not talking about Halloween creepy. I’m talking about borderline stalking creepy. See, in this book, Teddy becomes infatuated with one of the new characters, Julia, and he basically follows her around, shows up at her hotel, constantly offers to drive her places and tries to take her to a museum right after her grandpa dies. It was creepy and made me feel weird and I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if Teddy hadn’t been a central character here.

This is my lowest rated book of the series, and I do have some problems with this latest installment, but that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. It was fun to go back and visit with characters I didn’t think I’d see again, I love the beautiful ocean side setting and coastal vibes, and the mystery was good! I genuinely didn’t know who committed the crime, and I was guessing the whole book. I had a lot of theories by the end of the book, but I was surprised that none of my theories were proven correct. Plus, I really liked the ghostly elements scattered throughout! This was the good type of creepy and I thought it was a lot of fun.

As a whole, this book was a fun and light read, a mystery that isn’t deep but does get your brain moving and involved in the book. I gave this book a three roses because I did have some problems with it, mainly the writing felt different than the previous three, but all the while I was enjoying myself. I do believe I’ll read any other books later released in this series because they’re fun, but I think I’ll go in without such high expectations.

Find The Spook in the Stacks here:

Goodreads     –     Barnes & Noble      –     Amazon

 

The Lighthouse Library Mystery Series:

By Book or by Crook     –     Booked for Trouble     –     Reading Up a Storm

 

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