Cover Image: The Stranger in the Library

The Stranger in the Library

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Member Reviews

I enjoy this cozy series very much and this latest outing for the ‘lighthouse library’ is equally fun and well-written. This time, Lucy and the rest of the library staff, are hosting a library event that ties into a fancy opening night for a traveling American Impressionist Art exhibit that’s in town. Louise Jane, Lucy’s colleague and occasional pain in the side, delights in sharing her ancestor’s works and the anecdotes of family lore with anyone who’ll listen. Events at the library night result in visible animosity by some of the highflyers in town for the exhibition. When that becomes a death at the opening night, everyone looks for solutions to the mysteries, particularly Lucy.

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Another thoroughly enjoyable entry into the Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates (aka Vicki Delaney). All the favorite characters are back for this engaging story. Another branch of Louise Jane's family get explored in some depth and protagonist Lucy finds her self "out on a limb" as she endeavors to untangle the mystery. A recommended read.

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As a devoted reader of Eva Gates' Lighthouse Mysteries, it gives me great pleasure to share how much I enjoyed her latest in this series. The staff at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library developed an exhibit at their library that partners with the an important Art show that is opening in the area. A poor reproduction of a work by an artist from the area who gained famed as a renowned American Impressionist painter is stolen the night the exhibit at the library opens and then mysteriously reappears a day later. At the Art Show opening, one of the men responsible for bringing the exhibit is found dead in a two-foot Koi pond.

All of the characters you've come to know and love are in this novel. As with the previous works in this series, the title the Library's Classics Book Club is reading, Barbara Highsmith's 'Ripley Under Ground", pairs with the mysteries in this story. which takes place in the high stakes world of art. It was especially enjoyable to have Lucy and Louise Jane working together.

If you are a reader of this series, you will be delighted. If you are not, this is a good title to become familiar with the series and characters. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this title prior to publication. I look forward to learning what favor Louise Jane will ask of Lucy in a future work ;)

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I never get tired of Lucy and her lighthouse library. One of the best cozy settings ever! In this book, I enjoy the Impressionist art display and the way the plot hinges on it. That feels like something fresh. I also like seeing a new side of Louise Jane. I generally find her super annoying, but not so much in this book :>D I don't find this title quite as emotionally engaging as I'd like, mostly because of the sub-category of the kind of crime going on. Can't say more without spoilers. But still, a good entry in a strong series!

Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This was an interesting mystery with multiple layers. A mystery within a mystery awaits as people in the art world descend on Nags Head. The first mystery is who stole the replica painting and for what purpose? Then a dead man is found in the pond at the art show adding another mystery. Louise Jane has stars in her eyes for Tom Reilly but he is a mystery himself. This book is a bit different than the others in the series as Lucy is asked for her help by the police instead of investigating on her own. Lucy teaming up with Louise Jane is a major step from the once contemptuous relationship the two shared at the beginning. I found this to be an intriguing mystery and was impressed by Lucy’s deductive skills which she’s really honed in on. An unexpected turn of events takes this mystery down more than one interesting avenue of investigation. Well thought out and executed in clues to be put together later the plot was complex but easy to follow. I enjoyed this book and the mystery kept me guessing, ending with a nicely done twist.

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An art show at the library, as well as more of a story involving Louise Jane. A definite cozy mystery, well done once again by Eva Gates. Lucy sets out to help solve who "borrowed" a picture from the libraries art show, as well as solving who the killer at the art show. Well written, killer revealed at the end with just the right amount of drama.
Thanks to Ms Gates, NetGalley & the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

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I love the lighthouse library mysteries. They are so much fun to read and the characters add so much to the story. I loved that Louise Jane had more storyline this time around.

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Librarian Lucy McNeil is recently married and returned from her honeymoon in Europe, happy to be home. She's involved in displaying Impressionist art in the library, a co-project of a traveling art show, and they are displaying reproductions of art, which are meant for library visitors to learn about the genre. While the opening goes well, Lucy is amused once again by Louise Jane, who has a painting by one of her ancestors at the opening, a well-known Outer Banks artist. But the next day they notice the painting is missing, and no one seems to know where it has gone. Even though they report it to the police, it now has to take a back seat, because Lucy, her cousin Josie, and Louise Jane have discovered the body of one of the show's organizers.

What Lucy wants to know is are the two crimes connected, and if so, how? Even if Detective Sam Watson asks for Lucy's impression of some of the suspects, she's more concerned with the painting, as it wasn't valuable but sentimental. Why would someone steal it at all?

But there's also the problem of Louise Jane being attracted to Tom Reilly, a man who claims to be an art dealer, but he disappears and can't be found. While Louise Jane refuses to believe anything bad about him, Lucy isn't so sure. And finding him might be just as difficult as finding out why the painting was taken, and why the organizer was killed. Can she once again enter a murder investigation but without putting herself in danger?...

This is the eleventh book in the series and I have read them all. While I will admit that it took me a few books to warm up to the series, I now love it. I have fully immersed myself in the Outer Banks without actually visiting there, and the populace in this book makes you want to do so. The characters are quite human, and actually have human interests. By that, I mean that they don't spend their time sitting around drinking, but they also watch television, go shopping, etc. It's the same type of lives that we, outside the books, live. This is what makes them so endearing, and the author has done a wonderful job of it.

But back to the book -- when the painting is discovered missing, I, along with Lucy, am wondering why anyone would want it at all. But then there's a surprise in store (and I won't mention it here) that helps in the investigation, and we only have to decipher the clue. Hah! Easier said than done. Especially when Lucy is pretty much on her own this time, since Sam is concerned with finding out who killed the Person in the Pond. Two very different mysteries, with possibly two different reasons. Or is it?

When the ending comes, I have to say that I figured out the killer earlier than Lucy, but then again, as I've said many times before, I read a lot of mysteries, so this is how my brain works. However, finding the reason why was a bit more difficult, and worth the read altogether.

There's a bit of a twist at the end, and it makes everything even more worthwhile. Again, I love this series and would have no problem recommending it to anyone. You can read this as a standalone, but it will make you want to go back to the beginning and see how it all began. Recommended.

I was given an advance copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley but this in no way influenced my review.

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One of my favorite cozy series and authors.
A must read for cozy lovers

Thank you to netgalley for the chance to read and review this book

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This is the epitome of cozy mystery. Something to cozy up sit down to enjoy a snack with. Not super high stakes but fun all the same. Wont have your heart rate shooting through the roof and anxiety to read alone, but will keeping you thinking "whoodunnit"! Thank you to Netgalley for this arc

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Murder and mystery greet Lucy and new husband Connor on their return to Nags Head in North Carolina after their honeymoon in Europe. Having spent time visiting art galleries and viewing internationally revered paintings Lucy is delighted to be asked to organise her own display in the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. With a critically acclaimed art show taking place nearby, the library's educational display which includes only reproductions and quirky items the show is a great success.

One of most interesting pieces of work belongs to library worker Louise Jane's grandmother who has loaned a painting by one of their ancestors of which they are both extremely proud. When a body is found during the glitzy opening night of the impressionist art show and one of Lucy's exhibits disappears she knows the overworked police department will be glad of her help. As she tries to discover if there is a link between the two cases the danger grows ever closer. Will Lucy identify the killer or will Connor's happy ever after be over almost before it begins?

I love this series and it's always good to return to Nags Head. Lucy is a great main protagonist and everyone else works so well together. The new characters cover the gamut of anyone who could be involved in the art world from artists and dealers through to patrons and buyers all of whom have secrets to hide.

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, Crooked Lane Books, but the opinions expressed are my own. This is another great addition to a series it's easy to recommend.

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Thank to NetGalley for an ARC of this book. I love this series and this is a great addition. This story follows Lucy as she delves into the art world as she works to solve the case of a missing picture and a murder. I love this series because the characters a great and the mystery is always fun and complex. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, then you will love this book.

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I enjoyed this romp into impressionist artwork. Lucy is a fun sleuth and Gates' plots are enjoyable to read.

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Outer Banks librarian Lucy is working on an art show at the library when paintings–and people–start to go missing, in this 11th Lighthouse Library mystery from national bestselling author Eva Gates.


Lucy and the rest of the staff at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library are busy setting up a display about art to go along with the Impressionist Show coming to town. The display is a success, or so they thought. But the next morning they discover one of the paintings that Louise Jane’s Grandmother let them use, a reproduction, is gone.


Why in the world would someone steal a reproduction? There is more confusion when said painting turns up on the library’s doorstep. With parts missing!


And who is this mysterious “Tom”, that Louise Jane is so giddy over? Could he be a thief? Or a murderer?


Lucy and company won’t rest until this mystery is solved, and a killer is brought to justice.


Always a pleasure!


NetGalley/ Crooked Lane Books June 04, 2024

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Another fantastic addition to the Lighthouse Library Mystery series.

This story is a fast paced mystery with rich characters and events to keep you guessing, all written with the beautiful backdrop of the Outer Banks. I really like how all of the Lighthouse Library Mysteries are in conjunction with a book being read by the Library book club. I was excited to read this story and it did not disappoint.

In this story, Lucy has jut returned from her honeymoon all aglow. She is very excited to bring some the knowledge she has acquired about art to her new display in the library to run in conjunction with a fine arts exhibition that will be in town. This display is discussing art, as well as showing some pieces of from the masters, all reproductions of course, or are they?

One of the pieces goes missing seemingly while the library is all locked up tight. While pondering the missing art work, Lucy and her husband Connor attending the opening night of the exhibition only to finish out the night finding the dead body of one of the Art Experts, Tom.

The detective on the case, Sam Watson, who has grudgingly taken help from Lucy in the past, is shockingly not only open to her input, but asks for her to join in on some of his interviews. It is up to Lucy to unravel the mystery of who killed Tom, and what happened to the missing library painting.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC.

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A traveling art show has come to Nags Head and Lucy has put together her own art show at the library. When the opening of the art show is brought to an early close when the body of the organizer is found in the koi pond outside the gallery. There are a lot of strange things going on, a missing painting, a stranger in disguise, a goth artist who seems to be pointing the finger at everyone. Can Lucy sort through all the clues and figure out what is going on?

This series was kind of hit or miss for me for a while, there have been some great books in the series and some that I didn't enjoy as much. The series seems to have hit its stride and the last few books have really been good. I was afraid when Lucy left the lighthouse that the series would lose something but I love the beach home that she and Connor are remodeling.

The art angle in this mystery was very interesting and I loved how there were multiple mysteries that all wove together around the whole art theme. Also, not to spoil anything, the ending is very exciting! If you're a fan of this series you'll love this book!

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

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I found it easy to pick out who was the culprit even if I didn't know why in this mystery. There were clues leaning towards it. I have enjoyed this series in the past. In this book, I enjoyed the side story more that the actually murder. There is some intrigue and romance that is fun to see for Louise Jane. She has become a better character. The relationship between her and Lucy made for a good read.

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The 11th Book in the Lighthouse Library Mysteries. I enjoyed this book but wasn’t precisely wowed by the mystery. Great character development and each co-worker seems to have their own story within the series. This story focused more on Louise Jane, who seemed likable than usual. We find that the changes in Louise Jane are because she has fallen in love with one of the suspects Lucy and the staff of the Lighthouse Library have set up an educational display about art history to correspond with a traveling show of impressionist art. The display was a success, but Lucy noticed in the morning that the painting Louise Jane’s Grandmother lent them was missing. Even though the painting wasn’t valuable, Lucy wants to know what happened to the missing painting. After the opening of the Art Show Lucy comes across the dead body of the organizer of the traveling art show, Mark Farrago. Now Lucy and her co-workers are up to their necks to try to find out who killed Mark and what happened to the missing painting. We also find that the changes in Louise Jane personality are because she has fallen in love with one of the suspects. Will Lucy and her co-workers solve this murder, will they find the painting and will Louise Jane find her true love. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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ty netgalley for the free copy!! ♡

this was a fun read! i found Lucy and Louise Jane to be very likable characters, the mystery aspect was well done and kept me interested all the way to the end.

the writing is a lot more casual/light-hearted for something tagged as a thriller, considering what i'm used to. still, i wasn't annoyed by it in any way. the pacing was a little slow for me at the beginning considering there was a lot going on during the first chapter, however it was a good introduction to the story and the context needed.

also the cover is super cute :)

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Books that take place in libraries or bookshops or anything bookish are always a hit or miss for me. I was hoping that this would be a hit, but I couldn't care less about the story or characters. I tried to keep reading to make sure that I wasn't DNFing too soon, but at almost 10%, my opinion isn't changing, unfortunately. I am sure other people will like this, as the writing is solid and it is setting up a mystery I think readers will like.

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