BOOK REVIEW + GUEST POST: The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates (Cozy Mystery)

Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a BOOK REVIEW of THE SPOOK IN THE STACKS by Eva Gates as part of her book tour for this new release! Additionally, author Eva Gates has graciously provided a GUEST POST discussing her love of lighthouses!

(Book 4 in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series)
Eva Gates
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Date of Publication: June 2018
Number of Pages: 313

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Wealthy businessman Jay Ruddle is considering donating his extensive collection of North Carolina historical documents to the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library, but the competition for the collection is fierce.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


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.

You can connect with her on:



For the Love of Lighthouses

By Eva Gates

Lighthouses are marvelous things.

Because I live in the middle of a continent, and always have, lighthouses to me were never more than scenic buildings on windswept shores.

But now I’m writing the Lighthouse Library series from Crooked Lane Books, which is set in the historic (and real) Bodie Island Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As I’ve worked on the books, I’ve learned some of the history of lighthouses in general and the Bodie Island Lighthouse in particular.

The first lighthouses were nothing more than buckets of flaming pitch hauled up to the top of a tall pole, to show fisherman or sailors the way home. These lights were essentially to help your family or villagers find their way at night. But over the years the primary purpose of a lighthouse became to protect people one might never even meet. A ship, simply passing in the night.
Imagine being on a leaky, creaky sailing ship. A dark night, a terrifying storm. A near, but not visible, coastline, dangerous currents and sharp rocks.
And then, visible though the dark, a brief flash of light telling you where you are, and what dangers to avoid.
These days, with satellite navigational systems and coasts lit up enough to be seen from space, a lighthouse is little more than a quaint relic of the past. But they are marvellous places to visit, a reminder of the past, and I believe a true marker of civilization.

In BY BOOK OR BY CROOK, the first book in the Lighthouse Library Series, Lucy Richardson is having dinner with an old friend.
“A lighthouse,” Connor said at last, as the Roanoke light flashed, “is a truly marvelous thing.”
“Beautiful,” I agreed.
“So much more than that. At the Currituck Light they have a saying on the wall I always remember, ‘to Illuminate the dark space.’ That doesn’t seem so important in today’s world, where there are so few truly dark spaces. Particularly along most of the coast of North America. Lights on the eastern seaboard are so bright some cities scarcely have night any more.  But in the old days, the days before electricity? Imagine being out to sea, in a warship powered only by wind or a small fishing boat on a cloudy night, no radio, no satellite guidance, a storm raging all around. And then, in the distance, that flash of light. And you would know you were not alone.”

These days lighthouses aren’t the light in the darkness they once were, but in THE SPOOK IN THE STACKS, Lucy still finds refuge there.
I gathered every bit of courage I had, and I turned and ran.  The bright white light over the front door shone clear and strong and welcoming. The lighthouse lamp came on, and I could see the path laid down in front of me. I stumbled up the steps and reached the door.  My hands shook so badly, I could barely get the key into the lock. At last the door opened and I fell into the library. I slammed the door behind me, and stood with my back against it, heart pounding.

Charles strolled out from under the desk. He stretched mightily and then eyed me. His fur lay flat across his back and his spine wasn’t arched. He turned around and headed for the stairs, knowing it was bedtime.

I tiptoed to the window and peered out. The light high above me was in its dormancy period, and I saw nothing but darkness.

I hope you’ll discover your own love of lighthouses, or renew one you already have, along with Lucy Richardson and the gang of the Lighthouse Library.


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

If you’ve been reading my blog for even a minute, you are fully aware of what a huge sucker I am for cozy mysteries that involve books in any way, so when the opportunity presented itself to read this one, I had to get my hands on a copy!

Last year, I read and reviewed Body on Baker Street the author’s Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series under her name Vicki Delany, which you can check out HERE.  I was incredibly excited to discover she was one and the same and couldn’t wait to begin reading the Lighthouse Library series, as I had the first installment By Book or By Crook on my shelf. Ultimately, life happens and while I did not have the chance to start the series from the beginning prior to picking this one up, it was so gratifying to feel as though I wasn’t missing anything as I began to read. This book can very well be read as a stand-alone though I am now looking forward to starting the series from book one sooner than later!

The story is fast-paced, page-turning, and incredibly atmospheric for not only its Halloween vibes, but also the richly detailed setting of the lighthouse. I loved escaping to this coastal community and could practically hear the ocean waves and feel the damp fog around me! The entertaining cast of characters were all well-developed and just quirky and suspicious enough to keep the identity of the culprit a surprise until the very satisfying end. Lucy’s investigative skills are quite sophisticated and work well as a guide for the reader given that very few clues are revealed as the story unfolds. Additionally, the library staff are so endearing and truly created a welcoming and special place for visitors that will be fun to return to once again.

Overall, this was a delightful and well plotted mystery in a series that I look forward to continuing on with. But until the next adventure, you can find me behind the pages of the previous books!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Great Escapes Book Blog Tours and especially Eva Gates! It was an absolute pleasure hosting as well as providing a review! And be sure to check out the other blogs on the tour for more opinions and author extras!

June 10 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
June 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
June 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 11 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
June 12 – Varietats – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 12 – Rosepoint Publishing – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
June 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
June 13 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
June 14 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 14 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 15 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
June 15 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
June 17 –  Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 17 –  A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
June 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 18 – The Book Diva’s Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 19 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 19 – Curling up by the Fire – REVIEW
June 19 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 20 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
June 20 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 20 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
June 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
June 21 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog –  CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 22 – The Montana Bookaholic – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 22 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 23 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 23 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW


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