Member Reviews

In this installment of the Lighthouse Library Mysteries, newly married Lucy McNeil has just returned from her honeymoon in Europe, where she experienced many of the great works of art. She and her fellow library staff create a homespun version of an art museum in order to tie in with the fancy gala being hosted in the town of Nags Head featuring many real famous paintings. When one of the replicas vanishes from the library wall and then the gala planner ends up dead, Lucy realizes she has another mystery on her hands.

I admit I am not that big of an art history fan. I can appreciate brush strokes and the capabilities it takes for color theory and image creation but I am not an art geek. I recognized the famous names in the book but that's about the extent of my art education. Unfortunately, since I didn't find this all fascinating it detracted a little from my full emersion in the story but that didn't detract from the cleverness of the plot and the little details Ms. Gates includes in her mysteries leading to the whodunit, which is why I still gave five stars.

My thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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A travelling exhibition of American Impressionist art is coming to Nags Head in the Outer Banks and Lucy, the librarian at the Bodie Island Lighthouse library is using it as a springboard to feature art history education in the library. She has borrowed as much art as possible mostly in the form of prints and reproductions from the local residents to put up on the walls alongside a display of art books. The morning after the library’s successful launch party, she notices a painting missing. Not very valuable, it’s a poor reproduction of a painting by a famous Outer Banks artist on loan from Louise Jane’s grandmother who is a descendant of the artist.

The excitement of attending the opening night of the travelling exhibition overshadows the mystery of the missing painting, especially after a man is found dead in the fish pond. Lucy will need all her sleuthing skills and will have to pair up with librarian Louise Jane despite their past history to solve both these mysteries.

This is a fun addition to the series, taking us into the shadowy world of art collection and those who work in it. There are some unlikeable characters involved with the art exhibition, as the stranger to town, Tom Reilly, whose purpose is unclear. Some good twists and a thrilling ending round out an enjoyable mystery.

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The Stranger in the Library by Eva Gates is the eleventh A Lighthouse Library Mystery. It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series. I always enjoy returning to Nags Head, North Carolina. The author’s descriptions capture the area and the buildings (real and imagined). I would love to work in the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library (it reminds me of the TARDIS). Lucy has been busy working on an educational impressionist art display for the library to complement a traveling impressionist art show that is visiting the town. Louise Jane, of course, gets in on the act by donating a family painting to the library’s exhibit. Lucy is a strong female protagonist. She is friendly and relatable (I would like to be her friend). She picked up some gorgeous dresses on her honeymoon (lucky girl). There is a delightful cast of characters in this series. I have even come to like Louise Jane. The mystery was well plotted and paced. There are some twists along the way. I had someone pegged as the guilty party. I loved joining Lucy as she asked questions and searched for clues. I was not left with any lingering questions at the end (hooray). The Bodie Island Classic Novel Reading Club chose Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith. I enjoy it when an author mentions a book that I have not read previously (gives me a new book to add to my TBR pile). I liked the author’s note at the end with her explanation of the MacGuffin she used in the story. I was sad when my trip to Nags Head came to an end, but I hope I will get to visit again soon.

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This is the eleventh book in the Lighthouse Library series. I love this story. We see Louise Jane and Lucy working together to solve the mystery. We actually get to see LJ in a nicer, gentler light. The book is well-written and well-plotted.

I really liked the mystery of Louise Jane’s artist ancestor. Also, the introduction of Tom made this interesting.

Lucy and Connor are adjusting to being married and care deeply for each other. I liked how Tom called Connor in order to find Louise Jane and Lucy.

I can’t say anymore. So please read this story to find all the twists until the reveal.

I received an advanced copy from Netgalley. I am not required to leave a positive review.

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The Stranger in the Library is the 11th in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series and we join Lucy and Connor as they return from their honeymoon. It’s straight back to work for them - Connor is the Mayor of Nags Head, while Lucy is assistant director at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library.

A travelling art show of impressionist painters is coming to town and the library staff decide to create their own educational display about art history, with reproduction artwork, to compliment it. They hold an open house cocktail party at the Library the night before their display launches when a donated reproduction of art work by a local painter is stolen. Then the next night the director of the company organising the travelling art show is murdered. Are the two events connected?

There are lots of twists and turns, danger and near deaths before we all find out who the murderer is. Loved meeting up with everyone again. If you haven’t read the series yet - then I recommend you start.

With thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for my copy to review

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Eva Gates for providing me with a complimentary digital ARC for The Stranger in the Library coming out June 4, 2024. The honest opinions expressed in this review are my own.

I really love this series and I’m glad there are more books coming out. I just recently found out this author is also Vicki Delany. So I’ve read several books by her. I love her writing. I I think her books are super cozy! This book was a little different since it was mostly about an art deal and not really book related. I would’ve liked to see a little more of Lucy and Connor’s honeymoon in faraway places. The last book seemed to skip over the actual wedding and this one skipped the honeymoon. But I’m excited to see more of Lucy and Connor after their marriage. I just love lighthouses and libraries and small town feels. So I’ll definitely read more in the series.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys lighthouse library cozies!

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Follow that painting! Lucy is newly wed and happily working at the library when the art show comes to town showcasing reproductions. Who on earth would not only steal one but then return it? More importantly, who would kill over it? Lucy and Louise Jane have quite a puzzle on their hands especially since there's also the mysterious Tom, who Louise Jane found...interesting spoilers! This latest in the long running series will probably be most appreciated by fans but as cozy readers know, individual installments of such good series are also readable as standalones. Thanks to netgalley for the ARC. A more layered read than usual- and a good one.

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The Stranger in the Library is another great tale in the Lighthouse Library series, set on the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the town of Nags Head. The setting is such a fun one as the library is set in a working lighthouse, not feasible but great to imagine. Newlywed librarian Lucy has organized an art exhibit at the library with reproductions and prints while an art exhibit with authentic work is being held in town. When Lucy, her cousin Josie, and coworker Louise Jane discover one of the main event's organizers dead outside the venue, Lucy puts on her sleuthing hat to find the killer. At the same time, a reproduction piece of a long dead famous OBX artist is stolen from the library and then returned with the back paper slashed. Odd! The piece is on loan from Lousie Jane's grandmother and the famous artist is an ancestor., the reproduction by his brother. So, Louise Jane gets involved, especially when a handsome art dealer she likes is somehow involved. Expect adventure, twists, turns, self-serving suspects, danger, and a great murder mystery and a couple of surprises at the ending.
I received a copy for the purpose of an honest review. These are my thoughts.

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Lucy is a librarian at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. When a traveling show of impressionist art comes to Nags Head, the Library decides to mimic the event using copies (or fakes) of some of the paintings. This allows the library to inform their patrons about the artists and their work.
One of Lucy's co-workers has a famous artist in her ancestry and she has a copy of one of his more famous pieces. After the library's event, Lucy notices that Louise Jane's paining is gone. Who would want the fake? It's not very good and is not worth anything. Then one of the organizers for the show with the actual pieces turns up dead. Who would want him dead, his wife, the other organizers? Lucy can't help but be curious as she asks questions and tries to figure out the puzzle.

The story is fun and entertaining. I love reading about places that are so different from where I live. The library sounds interesting and the characters are definitly quirky. This book is easy-to-read and is just a nice escape.

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The Stranger in the Library is the 11th installment in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series, which is sure to delight readers. Set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, librarian and amateur sleuth Lucy is delighted to organize an art history event at the library to complement an art show in town. But when one of the art show organizers is discovered dead at opening night of the show and a reproduction is stolen from the library, Lucy and her friends vow to get to the bottom of it and figure out if both things are connected.

This series is always a fun read and this book is no different.

Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for an advance copy.

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"A Stranger in the Library” the 11th instalment in the "Lighthouse Library" Mystery series by Eva Gates. I love this series and couldn’t wait to visit Nag’s Head and the Bodie Island Lighthouse library in the Outer Banks of N.C. Again. Outer Banks librarian Lucy is working on an art show at the library when paintings–and people–start to go missing

This time the story is more centred around an impressionist art show and Louise Jane’s family heirloom painting. Louise Jane takes a fancy to someone that attends the library art exhibition and chaos soon follows.

As always I like how Eva incorporates things in the story that makes me want to learn more on the subject or read the book the book club is reading Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith.

The mystery is interesting and well plotted, and I loved the characters which are well developed. I kept guessing and second-guessing myself on whodunnit right to the very end.

I can't wait for the next instalment! I highly recommend this book to all my cozy mystery loving friends.

I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Literary Cozy Mystery that finds a North Carolina librarian and her friends as they turn sleuths when paintings start going missing and people start dying during a traveling impressionist art show.

5/5 stars: This is the eleventh entry in Gates' Lighthouse Library Mystery series, which is a Culinary Cozy Mystery that takes place in North Carolina and features an assistant director and librarian who's library's located in an Outer Banks lighthouse. With plenty of twists and turns, Gates has masterfully crafted a mystery that deftly balances the suspects, clues and red herrings and will leave you pondering the whodunit until the final reveal. Additionally, Gates' writing and character work is stellar; the characters are well-rounded and complex while remaining incredibly likable. I always get a kick out of catching up with Lucy, Conner, her mayor husband, her family and friends and the staff and patrons of the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. Plus it's always fun to read about Louise Jane's hi-jinks... the woman just doesn't give up. And of course there's no better cat than Charles, who deigns to live with Lucy and Conner when not “working” at the library. While you could read this as a stand-alone, you'll gain so much more by reading the series from the beginning; so be sure to pick up book one, By Book or by Crook.

I received this eARC thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. Publishing dates are subject to change.

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The Stranger in the Library is the eleventh title in this North Carolina set series. Readers old and new will be happy to spend time with librarian Lucy and those around her.

I enjoyed the storyline that had to do with art and paintings. Of course, readers also get to experience some nefarious doings, including the murder. They can have fun with this, knowing that all will be revealed.

Those who enjoy traditional mysteries will want to give this one a look.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this title. All opinions are my own.

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The Stranger in the Library is the 11th book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. It was great, I really enjoyed it. The main characters are still interesting and the characters brought in for this book became so real, so quickly. The author is great at making the temporary characters (those not reoccurring) feel like you've known them for a long time. Plus, they are always fascinating. I think that's why this series continues to be great after so many books. The mystery was a good one, as always. I always look forward to the next in the series.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this wonderful ARC. I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my blog, Goodreads, Bookbub, & Amazon accounts.

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A traveling exhibit of American Impressionist Artworks is coming to Outer Banks To gather excitement, Lucy McNeill hangs copies of the paintings in the library. At the celebration party welcoming the collection, the O’Callaghan original from the collection goes missing and a prickly local artist, Farrago, is found dead in a koi pond. Not long after, the missing canvas is found at the library, with its backing cut open. As Lucy starts investigating with her friend Detective Sam Watson to try and solve the case. Can Lucy solve the case?

The plot starts slow, but is engaging and quickly picks up. The characters are realistic, engaging, and help draw the reader into the story. Dynamics between Detective Sam Watson and Lucy are endearing and at times, infuriating, but keep the reader wanting to read more. Fans of the other books in the series, mysteries, library fiction, and small town novels will want to pick this one up. Recommended for most library collections.

Please Note: A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. No other compensation was received.

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A traveling exhibition of impressionist art comes to Nags Head, and Lucy decides to organize an art history display in support at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. The morning after the local library exhibit opens Lucy discovers that one of the reproductions is missing from the library. The next night, the major exhibition opens, and one of the organizers is found dead in a pond outside the building.

First, a reproduction of little value is stolen. Then, one of the major exhibition’s organizers is murdered. Lucy begins investigating and becomes really confused when the stolen reproduction is returned. And a mysterious art dealer seems interested in Louise Jane, who works with Lucy in the library. There are many threads to pull together in this 11th Lighthouse Mystery, and Eva Gates manages to captivate readers to the end.

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If you love cozy mysteries, this is the book for you!
Eva Gates’ 11th book in her Lighthouse Library Mysteries set in North Carolina takes us on an adventure regarding missing artwork, possible family heirlooms, & artists who have connections/seem to know one another.
Lucy is determined to find out what happened to the missing painting, as well as adjusting to being a newlywed to the towns mayor! Talk about a lot going on here. Later on in the evening, Lucy discovers a dead body in the fish pond & notify police immediately.
There is a lot to unpack here, but I love how Gates prepares the readers without spoiling the outcome every time in her books. I couldn’t even guess who it was honestly! I can’t wait to read about Lucy’s next adventure.

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I like most of the characters if one is missing from the next book, I wish them all the best. The mystery kept me guessing and the setting is great.

Thank you to the author publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review

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Lucy & Connor have returned from their European honeymoon just in time for Lucy to create an art history display at the Lighthouse Library for an upcoming show on impressionist art. But the library staff are surprised to find that a reproduction of a famous painting has gone missing the net morning. The painting belonged to Louise Jane's ancestor but it was no real value.

Then at the glitzy opening night, Lucy, her baker cousin & Louise Jane find the body of show organizer drowned in a fish pond. Was this a tragic accident or murder? Tom Reilly, a handsome, charming art dealer has captured Louise Jane's heart but may have more nefarious intensions in mind.

This was another solid entry in the long-running Lighthouse Library mystery series.
I received a digital ARC from Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books. All opinions are my own.

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I mistakenly thought the series ended when Lucy and Connor got married and I’m so glad I was wrong! This series is so much fun with a library in the lighthouse and interesting characters who come together for a book club.

A traveling show of impressionist art comes to Nags Head, North Carolina, and Lucy and her coworkers create a display about art history. Louise Jane talks her grandmother into loaning a family painting that is a reproduction of a valuable painting that is guarded at the exhibit. The question they face is why would someone steal a painting that has no value? Even more curious is that it is returned.

On the evening of the gala, a man who was instrumental in getting the traveling art to Nags Head is murdered. Lucy and Louise Jane find the body and end up working together to help solve the mystery. While I find Louise Jane annoying, she does add something to these stories with the delivery of her lines. I liked that she had a love interest in this story, and he is a hottie! Go Louise Jane!

The ending is quite exciting and I was surprised by the killer because it seemed like there were several suspects. As always, reading Ms. Gates’ Lighthouse Library Mystery series is an enjoyable read with the charming setting of Nags Head, the lighthouse library, and characters who feel like your friends. I hope there are many more stories to come in this series.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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