Friday, April 13, 2018

Aloha Eva Gates and BY BOOK OR BY CROOK (Lighthouse Library Mystery Book 1) - Book Review


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....

Key Biscayne Lighthouse

Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time. ~E.P. Whipple

Lucy escapes her parents' expectations, and an unwanted marriage proposal, by fleeing from Boston to Nags Head, North Carolina.  She finds solace in the Outer Banks, where she spent her childhood summers visiting her maternal aunt and female cousin who is more like a sister.  Lucy's getaway turns into an opportunity for a new direction - she is offered a job in the town's library that is housed in the historic lighthouse.  The icing on the cake - she can live in the "cozy" apartment in the upper echelon of the lighthouse.

Just as Lucy settles into her new job and new abode, she faces push back from some board members and some town folk who see her as an outsider.  Soon they see her as a bad luck charm when the library board president is murdered and one volume of the Jane Austen exhibition is stolen.  Lucy finds her blue blood backbone to face the criticisms and accusations while investigating both the murder and theft.  

BY BOOK OR BY CROOK is a typical cozy mystery - an amateur sleuth, quirky characters, a red herring, and a satisfying ending.  What sets this cozy mystery apart is the setting - what's not to love about a library in a lighthouse?  Add the excitement of the Jane Austen exhibition, an enthusiastic book club, and Josie's bakery treats for an entertaining escape for the reader (and Lucy) to the sandy shores of the Outer Banks.

I also read BOOKED FOR TROUBLE (Book 2). I am currently reading READING UP A STORM (Book 3).  I look forward to THE SPOOK IN THE STACKS (Book 4), coming in June.

Image result for sos aloha lighthouse
Coast Guard Lighthouse near Diamond Head

I am giving away swag to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway, 

1. Leave a comment about lighthouses - do you have a favorite?  Mine, of course, is the Coast Guard Lighthouse at the foot of Diamond Head.

2. Comments are open through Monday, April 30, 10 pm in Baltimore. 

3. I'll post the winner on Tuesday, May 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City



  1. I like lighthouses in general but I don't have a favorite.

  2. I have no favorite light house, I've only seen them in pictures or movies.

  3. I've never seen one up close and personal. Would be interesting.

  4. I love the little light house in Havre de Grace, MD, aka: Concord Point Lighthouse.


  5. I haven't seen many in person but the one in Cape May, BY was something to see. I don't remember the name now.
    Carol Lucia no
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  6. Don't have a favorite, but I wish the Lighthouse of Alexandria had survived.

  7. I love lighthouses. Always like to visit them when we are traveling. Love our lighthouses here in San Diego. And East Brother Light Station in San Francisco where we stayed one night.