Cover Image: The Stranger in the Library

The Stranger in the Library

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

NetGalley surprised me again with a pleasant cozy mystery. I really appreciate being able to choose from fresh looks from time to time. I like those light crime stories when, in addition to the investigation, the lives of the characters are emphasized. This time, art and digital investigation meet, and Lucy throws herself into the investigation of a painting and a murderer. I think the characters are likable, the setting and atmosphere are pleasant. And the mystery gets a little twist at the end, which made the conclusion interesting. Overall, I loved investigating with Lucy and the small town residents.

Was this review helpful?

I adore this series. As a long time traveler to Hatteras Island, I appreciate the setting ANF the author’s creative liberties with said setting!
Cute cozy mysteries.

Was this review helpful?

I gave a neutral rating because I did not finish it so I can't be a fair judge of the overall book. I tried quite a few times to get into this book but I couldn't and every time I tried I was left feeling frustrated. From the very beginning it was just information overload and rapid fire names. There were so many characters and they were being cycled through so quickly that I couldn't keep straight who anyone was or actually get to know any of the characters. I only made it to about 10% and was left feeling very overwhelmed. I couldn't get any of the names or information to stick in my brain so it was all meaningless to me.

Was this review helpful?

The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library has created a huge display of historical art. The launch of the display was a huge success. The next day Lucy realizes that a reproduction of a famous painting has gone missing. The real painting is under lock and key in a nearby exhibit in Nags Head. Worried about why the print was taken, the employees report the theft. Lucy gets an invitation to the real exhibit, so when the key speaker is a no-show Lucy wonders if the theft is somehow linked to the man's disappearance. When the man's body is found Lucy and friends can't help but get involved in the investigation.

The characters in the book have great chemistry in their relationships. Lucy is a smart, strong female protagonist who is relatable and realistic. The mystery is well-plotted with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. The storyline moves at a quick steady pace to keep the reader engaged in the story.

All thoughts and opinions are my own, I have not been influenced by anyone.

Was this review helpful?

Returning to this series is like going home. Familiar characters and setting. And speaking of characters - my favourite character in this series, Louise Jane, has big events occurring in this book. And by the end, I was wondering what it would mean for her. That was a big cliffhanger!

This is both a murder mystery and an art mystery. Our library (yes, since this is the 11th book, it is our library) is hosting an art show of sorts. Louise Jane's grandmother lends a painting for the show, and with all the focus on that painting you just know it will be key in the book. But that's all I'll say. There's also a cast of new characters, probably all only for this book, who add to the story. They're written well, and many have big personalities.

While there is a murder, I enjoyed the art mystery more, because it felt more like a treasure hunt, and I enjoy when that happens in mysteries. What made it more enjoyable is it throws Louise Jane and Lucy together more, and you just get the feeling they are becoming good friends in this series now. Of course, Louise Jane still tries to find ways to hold a seance, but that's just one of the things that makes her my favourite in these books.

Another standout is the eccentric local artist who demands his artwork by adored by millions. When he first appeared, I was in two minds - it was going to be a disaster or be brilliant. It ended up being a brilliant choice in the book and really well written. Eva Gates took the risk and we get to read the reward!

A fun read - and I do recommend reading this series from book one. I guess you can read this as a standalone, but there are many characters connections that will make more sense with knowledge of prior books.

Video link will be shared later.

Was this review helpful?

Lucy is a librarian in Nags Head, NorthCarolina which is also known as the outer banks. She is working on an art show. Slowly pieces of art and people start to go missing. Lucy is the assistant director at the Bodie Island Lighthouse library. Her and her husband Connor, who is also Mary of Nags Head, have recently returned from their honeymoon. The library is having a cocktail party open house for the art show. Lucy’s cousin Jose who owns the bakery is catering the party. The Historical Society is also having a party the next night. One of the pictures at the library is a reproduction called Stormy Seas. Louise Jane, head of the Historical Society, has an uncle George who hand painted the picture of his brother Robert’s original. When Lucy opens the library the day after the cocktail party, she realizes the painting is missing. When it does get returned the back paper has been sliced like someone was looking for something. At the Historical Society party there are all the right people attending. Mark, who is the owner of the company hosting the party is found dead in the fish pond.by Lucy, Jose and Louise Jane. This is when the story evolves into so much more. The three of them all get involved in the investigation of Mark’s death. Chaos and intrigue ensues.and secrets come to the forefront. This was a great little cozy mystery. There are a few road blocks and unexpected turns of events but Lucy prevails and finds the culprit to the murder. I am looking forward to book 12 now.

Was this review helpful?

Finding a dead body in the fish pond wasn't on Lucy's to-do list.

Just back from her honeymoon in Paris, Lucy has been hard at work planning the library's promo for a local art event. Despite some, uh, unexpected guests, everyone seems to be enjoying themselves despite the downpour outside. The only snag seemed to be that the noted guest speaker was a no-show. Bet you can guess whose body was found in that koi pond as the party wound down.

There's another surprise ahead for Lucy. One of the borrowed but not valuable replicas is missing when she returns the next morning. Are the crimes related? Well, we know the dead man didn't have it on him but who would steal a replica painting, community sentiment attached to it or not? You surely don't have to have read the book to know Lucy is soon caught up in investigating, although her focus is largely on the stolen painting. She has the help of friend-enemy Louise Jane who was smitten with one of the mysterious guests, one supposedly known in the art world. One problem. He's gone missing and the police can't turn up any info on him, not that that seems to bother Louise Jane. Is he the murderer? Was Louise Jane inadvertently involved? Is she hiding something or maybe someone?

While the local artist is fictional, you'll learn a bit about art along the way, such as how painting strokes seem to identify the likelihood of it being such and such an artist as well as how/why certain signatures are used. You'll also gets insight in how it is evaluated and authenticated, not to mention how art dealers wheel and deal in acquiring and selling pricey art. The brief dive into the art world was fun. You get to see Lucy in action, albeit much of it seemed to be online, as well as meet some of the locals, including a very snooty, obnoxious artist who likes his own work much more than he perhaps should. And, it was great fun to see Lucy and Louise Jane team up rather than maintaining their usual polite co-existence. It'll be interesting to see what comes of that possible story line given the ending.

Bottom line, although the start was relatively slow going, it was giving us the background we'd need, so that made sense. I was a bit surprised to find Lucy being part of the police investigation in a way, albeit unofficially. The situation she (and Louise Jane) find themselves in at the end is also because of rather poor choices on Lucy's part. Her hunches aren't always factual, let's just say, and lead to more headaches. I'll just say, as way of a teaser, I hope she's not claustrophobic.You'll love Louise Jane's idea for summoning help. Nope, not giving away anything else. Eva Gates has another winner here and despite my minor quibbles, I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with Lucy, Conner, and the rest of this cast, even the one in disguise. Thanks #CrookedLaneBooks and #NetGalley for inviting me back to Nags Head, NC. I've never been there in real life but feel like I have via Gates' books. I'd love to visit the very real lighthouse, albeit it doesn't really host a library.

Was this review helpful?

The Lighthouse Library mystery series is one of my favorites! Set in the Outer Banks of North Caroline, this mystery centers around some art that has disappeared from the library. With excellent characters and a page turning mystery, this is a good read. Thanks #Netgalley and#CrookedLaneBooks for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Was this review helpful?

I love to revisit the Lighthouse Library mysteries with Lucy and now husband Connor. This time it's an art display at the library gone awry and watching Lucy along with Louise Jane -- who is becoming a little more likable in each book! Danger, mixed with the expected Nags Head characters and charm, another winner in the series!!

Was this review helpful?

The Stranger in the Library written by Eva Gates is the 11th book in her Lighthouse Library Mysteries, a cozy amateur sleuth series set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Art work disappears during an event at the library, and protagonist Lucy is determined to find out who took Louisa Jane's grandmother's painting. A stranger wearing various disguises appears, as well as several art critics and artists, all who have interesting connections to one another. Lucy is also adjusting to being newly married to the mayor so she's got a lot on her plate this time. I enjoyed the mystery and shenanigans, and the side stories were also entertaining. The mystery had a small twist, which you'd think by now I'd be able to spot, but not in this one. Gates always sends us away with a neatly tidied up story and a curiosity to continue reading the series.

Was this review helpful?

Join Lucy and all of her friends from the Lighthouse Library in Nag's Head, North Carolina as they become entangled in an art-world mystery. Filled to the brim with a cast of characters that I have adored from the very first book, this 11th instalment in the series shows the staying power of a great cozy mystery series.

As a reader who adores a good art-centric mystery, this was an absolute grand slam for me. As always, Charles the library cat is ever present with his sassiness and love of being around his humans (even when they don't give him enough pets).

A strong edition to this already wonderful series, fans new and old alike will be drawn in from start to finish. I honestly did not know what the end result would be until the very end either, a hallmark of a great mystery.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to read this book for free and provide my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book was so fun! I love reading about Lucy and all the gang. This time there is a big art show in town and during the opening gala a guest is found dead! Lucy and Louise Jane team up and try to help the police find the identity of the killer. I had a lot of fun, highly recommend!

Was this review helpful?

An American Impressionists Art show is in Nags Head and the Bodie Island Lighthouse is providing the community with it's own Impressionists art show for educational purposes using reproductions. The invitation only grand opening of the art show is the scene of a suspicious death of one of the organizers. Plus one of the reproductions in the library goes missing.

Ms. Gates provides a skillfully written fast-paced plot, with several suspects and some well placed twists and turns as there is more than one mystery in the book that needs to be solved. It was interesting to see Louise Jane being more friendly toward Lucy than in previous books which provided a new dynamic to the story. From the the first page to the last I couldn't put the book down.

Was this review helpful?

While I love the characters and the mystery was good, I'm not sure that I like the police including Lucy in the investigation. I wish she would just do her own investigating and not seem like the police need her to solve the crime. I do enjoy the character's personal lives and their stories are entertaining. Looking forward to the next book!

Was this review helpful?

This has been a great series following Lucy Dalton who works at the Nags Head Lighthouse Library. This book is the 11th book in the Lighthouse Library a mystery series. In this book Lucy gets involved in some of the art world when the library hosts a showing of reproduction artwork, and the next day a piece comes up missing. Their show is the night before a showing of original artwork. Of course Lucy is there when the dead body is found, and she works with local law enforcement to help them solve the mystery of the missing artwork and the dead body. There’s lot of information about original and reproduction artwork and that lends itself to understanding the painting arts. Don’t miss this series! Although this can probably be read as a stand-alone book I’d would suggest reading the series starting at the first book. I received an arc of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

It had been too long since the last Lighthouse Library mystery by Eva Gates a.k.a. Vicki Delany. She is one of my topmost favorite writers, and I look forward to reading the next episodes in the four mystery series she writes.

Though THE STRANGER IN THE LIBRARY is the 11th. book in the series, these books continue to be amazingly interesting and captures the reader from the start.

Lucy is now married (…read the previous book: DEATH NELLS AND WEDDING BELLS). The plot of this book has to do with the art world, and we learn quite a bit about it, thanks to Ms. Gates’ always extensive research.

I particularly liked the sinister and tense last part of the book, affecting Lucy and her antagonist, the annoying but necessary Louse Jane. It is interesting that Louise Janes’ character has matured a bit, and has become softer in her jabs at Lucy. Hopefully the ordeal they had to endure will have got them closer together…at least this reader hopes. Her exasperating character is very much needed, since it makes the story much more enjoyable.

The ending was exceptionally well done, and I never suspected whodunit, and am satisfied with the whydunit.

I thank Ms. Gates, Net Galley and Penguin Random House for making n advance copy of this book to me so I could post a personal review. I highly recommend this book and all the previous ones.

Was this review helpful?

THE STRANGER IN THE LIBRARY is the eleventh book in the Lighthouse Library Mysteries by Eva Gates (Vicki Delany). I just love a visit to the Lighthouse library in Nags Head, NC, and a chance to catch up with librarian Lucy Richardson McNeil, the library cat, Charles (named after Charles Dickens) and all the locals who make the story so colorful. This character-driven cozy mystery transports the reader to the pages, making them feel invested in the outcome, while the author’s strong descriptive language brings each scene to life. In this newest release, Lucy and the library gang are creating an education art history display while the town is hosting a traveling art expedition of nineteenth-century American Impressionism. There are just enough details about the art and the setup of exhibits to make it seem realistic without bogging down the pacing. I especially enjoyed the new dynamics between Lucy and her frenemy Louise Jane as they work together to discover who stole a reproduction of a famous painting and why the culprit returned it, albeit with the backing slashed. It contains an element of a closed-room mystery, which adds to the enjoyment.

Besides the mystery over Louise Jane’s family’s reproduction heirloom, the death of one of the organizers has the town on edge. Since Lucy found the victim, she feels compelled to find answers. The fast-paced plot picks up even more quickly as Lucy investigates, with the help of her friends. I really liked how the library’s book club’s pick, Ripley Under Ground, plays a part in the investigation. There were several twists and suspects galore with all the attendees of the art exhibition around when the death happened. I never did correctly guess the culprit until the harrowing, heart stopping reveal. Be prepared to sit glued to the pages until you’ve read the conclusion! I’m anxiously waiting for the next book to find out what next adventures await Lucy and friends!

I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

The Stranger in the Library is the 11th book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. I have loved this series from the first book. The author has created a charming series set in a libary within a historic Lighthouse on the Outer banks. It is written beautifully atmospheric to the area and the author sweeps the reader into the coastal setting Thank you to the publisher, the author and Net Galley for the opportunity for review. My review opinions are my own.

This was one of the most exciting in the series. Lucy and Louise J are having a art show at the library. Lucy and Conner have just returned from their overseas honeymoon where they enjoyed seeing art and Lucy is excited to present a art show in the libary. When a painting disappears a deeper mystery is found surrounding the missing painting which turns out to be a print. As Lucy and Lousie investigate they work together as never before finding red herrings and clues abound in the art world as well as murder and mayham. This was such a well crafted mystery to conclusion I did not guess the ending. A exciting read I highly recommend for all who love intriquing mysteries. Well done to the author. I hope this wonderful series will continue it is exciting and fun to read.

Was this review helpful?

The Outer Banks and a library in a lighthouse along with great supporting characters including a library cat. What could be much better?!? I love this series and this installment was very good. I like the addition of the art element in this mystery. A good plot which made for very interesting reading. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves cozies, coastal living and books!

Was this review helpful?

In the 11th installation of the Lighthouse Library Mystery series, librarian / amateur sleuth, Lucy O’Neil, investigates an art theft and subsequent return. I have enjoyed all the books in this series and this one was a delight. Thanks to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?