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By Book Or By Crook by Eva Gates
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By Book Or By Crook (2015)

by Eva Gates

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Lucy Richardson has moved to the Outer Banks from her comfortable home in Boston, ostensibly to escape an unwanted marriage proposal. She's been lucky enough to find a job working for a library in a renovated lighthouse, her last library job was at Harvard.

This library has been able to secure a set of first edition Jane Austen books, and a notebook written by the lady herself. On opening night, the library chair makes a few choice remarks about Lucy receiving her job over a local resident - even though Lucy has a degree and the local, Louise Jane, does not. Mr. Uppiton, the chair, also gets into an argument with the head of the library, Bertie, very loudly, with Bertie making a threat toward him.

Later on that evening, Mr. Uppiton is found dead, Bertie is in the room with a broken bottle in her hand (most likely the murder weapon, but we are never told so), and Lucy, along with the rest of their friends, is convinced she's innocent of the crime.

But finding the killer isn't going to be easy when you're the 'new kid in town'. Especially since Lucy is still on the suspect list herself. All she knows is that in order to keep the library alive she needs to keep Bertie out of jail, and she'll do whatever it takes, even if it nearly kills her...

I really wanted to like this book. It's got books, a cat named Charles, and Jane Austen. What could be better? Unfortunately, there's so much wrong with it. With Lucy living in the lighthouse on the fourth floor, she has to climb 100 steps (she said herself). Can you imaging climbing that several times a day? How did they get plumbing all the way up there? I wouldn't think it would be feasible.

Louise Jane was just a nasty piece of work. There wasn't a single redeemable quality about her that I can think of. As for Lucy, she's dumber than a box of rocks. She lives alone in a lighthouse but is afraid of ghost stories? She knows Louise Jane baits her and takes it every time instead of walking away?

She says she's never had a date, but recounts a story about an evening out with an ex-boyfriend - an ex-boyfriend she's slept with, no less. What does she consider dating? Also, there are two men chasing her practically right from the first pages of the book. I can see this turning into a love triangle - and that's never good in the long run. Really, how happy would you be if the situation were reversed and it was a guy and he was dating two women at the same time?

Unfortunately, the library in a lighthouse just didn't make sense, and all the to-do about people visiting merely because of the Jane Austen collection - and Jane Austen did not live by sea. She lived in Chawton, Hampshire, which is inland; and this is a big deal if you're speaking of Jane Austen.

I felt the mystery wasn't given as much attention as it should have, with more being paid to what people were wearing and what they ate, so when we finally figure out who the murderer is I really didn't care; and the reason why didn't seem believable. Sorry, but this book just wasn't my cup of tea; hopefully the series will improve with the next book. ( )
  joannefm2 | Nov 10, 2017 |
I stumbled upon this brand new cozy mystery series by happy accident, and am thankful I did! Set along the beautiful Outer Banks, Lucy has just escaped from her chaotic Boston life to start a job in the quaint local lighthouse library. Set to host first editions of Jane Austen's work, the library hosts a party commemorating the temporary additions. But when the chair of the library board is murdered among the masterpieces, and the novels start to slowly disappear from the locked display cabinet, the seaside town scrambles to protect to the library and find the killer. Set in a beautiful location with loveable characters (including one fluffy feline), this is a wonderful start to a new series!

Sarah M. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
Lucy Richardson quit her Harvard library job, leaving behind Boston and rejecting the marriage offer from the man her family wanted her to marry. She went to visit the relatives on the Outer Banks. After being introduced to the head librarian, she received an offer to become assistant librarian. The library is hosting an exhibit of first editions of Jane Austen's works. At an event to celebrate the exhibit, the library board chair is murdered and the head librarian is found with the likely murder weapon in her hand. Then the first editions begin disappearing in publication order. As in most cozy mysteries, some circumstances stretch the reader's imagination. The main one for the duration of the series will be the suitability of a lighthouse as a library. The main one for this installment concerns the security over the exhibit. As far as characterization, the author created some likable and some despicable ones. I really wish a few more of the despicable ones could have been guilty this time so we don't need to deal with them in the next installment. Several contradictions were in this book -- all minor -- but things a good editor should have noticed and corrected. Despite the problems, it was a fun "listen" (audiobook). I would probably prefer a different audiobook narrator. I found her voice annoying at times, and characters were not always distinguishable. ( )
  thornton37814 | Feb 26, 2017 |
The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is celebrating the arrival of a complete set of first editions by Jane Austen with a small open house with library patrons and local dignitaries. It’s marred by the murder of the library board’s chair, Jonathan Uppiton, and the theft of one of the Jane Austen first editions. Our heroine, Lucy Richardson, newly named to the post of assistant librarian, is in the thick of it.

By Book or by Crook is populated with all varieties of odd-ball book lovers, and a few folks who would like nothing better than having the library close – permanently. As usual, the lower the stakes, the more the venom. But Lucy is stunned when she learns that she herself is a suspect in Uppiton’s murder. She decides to do some not-so-subtle sleuthing to protect not only herself, but also the quirky library staff and her boss, who is from day one the police department’s number one suspect.

By Book or by Crook is a lively mystery with a great setting, wonderful characters and a heroine readers of cozies readers will find delightful. ( )
  NewsieQ | Sep 11, 2016 |
3 stars. Overall I enjoyed the book even though my copy was a misprint. Naturally the misprint was 20 pages at the climax of the book. Well at least I could glean what happened by reading the last chapter. The book had more romance than I like for a cozy with the I could smell the "male hormones" references.. really? and a love triangle set up within the first few pages. Ugggh. I may continue with the series. ( )
  tames | Jan 23, 2016 |
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For my number one fan, Alexander Delany
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451470931, Mass Market Paperback)

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....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:50 -0400)

Seriously determined to rewrite her life, Lucy, leaving her job poring over the rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library behind, arrives in the Outer Banks where she lands a librarian job at the lighthouse library that seems like a dream come true until theft and murder enter the picture.… (more)

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