The Spook in the Stacks (Lighthouse Library Mystery #4)5 Stars

Published June 12th 2018 by Crooked Lane Books

The fourth book in the Lighthouse Library Mysteries finds the Lighthouse Library in the Outer Banks getting ready for Hallowe’en. Lucy is not crazy about the holiday, but with the enthusiastic volunteers she jumps in with costumes and events. With a model of a ghost ship and Louise Jane giving talks about local legends there is a lot going on. When Jay Ruddle, a wealthy senior announces that he is ready to give up his historical papers to either a library or educational institution, the Lighthouse Library is in the running. This brings Jay and his granddaughter Julia into the library to check out the rare books room. When Jay is found dead in the room, Julia is the prime suspect. Lucy tries not to get involved, but she and Bertie, the library director are sure that she didn’t kill her grandfather. Can they find the real killer before someone comes after Julia? With all that is going on, when Lucy starts to see ghostly apparitions and hear things, she is starting to think that some of Louise Jane’s stories might have something to them.

I find this series is very character driven. Lucy is a great MC, with a lot of friends, outside interests and is quite intelligent. Then there is Theodore “Teddy” Kowalski. I am still not sure about him. He has an affected English accent and seems to put on airs, that I am not comfortable with. He was featured quite a bit in this book and we did get to see a softer side to him, with a bit of toned down creepiness. We get to know the library staff, Lucy, Bertie, Ronald, and Charlene better in each installment of this series. I absolutely love Charlie, named for Charles Dickens, the library cat. He really is a special animal and just senses when someone wants or needs to give him a pat or a scratch. I love the setting in these books, a library in a lighthouse fascinates me. I have been to Nags Head and really enjoyed the area, so all that adds to my enjoyment of this series. The author’s writing is descriptive and the story is well paced. The murder itself was very intriguing. It seemed that with the victims unseemly past, there were many people that disliked him, but would they kill him? There were plenty of red herrings in this story and I was completely surprised at who the murderer was. A great cozy that can be read as a standalone, but I have read two others in this series and recommend you start at the beginning so you do not miss any character development. Great job Eva Gates.

About the Book (From Goodreads): 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.

Vicki DelanyAbout the Author: Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers.

She is the author of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane and the Year Round Christmas series from Penguin. Under the pen name of Eva Gates she writes the Lighthouse Library Series. Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com,  www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor, and twitter: @vickidelany. She blogs about the writing life at One Woman Crime Wave (http://klondikeandtrafalgar.blogspot.com)

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