Cover Image: The Stranger in the Library

The Stranger in the Library

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Member Reviews

The Stranger in the Library is the 11th book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. I love this series and always look forward to the next installment. Lucy, Conner, Bernie and of course Charles the cat, seem like old friends. If you like lighthouses, libraries, or the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you'll enjoy book and this series.

Thank you #NetGalley for a free copy of this book for my honest review.

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Life is good - Lucy and Connor are back from their honeymoon, a travelling Impressionist Art show is having a showing at an exclusive party in Nags Head and the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library is having it's own Impressionist educational art show before the party. When Louise-Jane's reproduction of a famous painting is stolen and a party-goer at is murdered, Lucy finds herself in the midst of a dangerous mystery.

Reading this series is like visiting with old friends. I love the relationship between Lucy and Connor, Lucy's quirky and sweet friends, and the setting in North Carolina. Louise-Jane plays a larger part in the mystery and it was fun (I don't want to give anything away)!

Grab your iced tea or hot chocolate and curl up with a perfect cozy mystery!

I received an ARC from NeGalley and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Outer Banks, library, lighthouse, library-cat, amateur-sleuth, librarian, small-town, small-business, cozy-mystery, art, art-theft, art-show, detective, family, family-dynamics, friction, friendship, investigation, local-gossip, local-law-enforcement, mayor, murder, relationships, relatives, series, unputdownable, unpleasant-guests*****

Nags Head, North Carolina. Librarian Lucy and the staff at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library are part of an art appreciation initiative involving some local residents. There are nice, wretched, and even pretentious characters present and then the body of one is found face down in the mud. Let the excellent sleuthing begin!
I requested and received a free temporary EARC from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
Available 04 Jun 2024 #LighthouseLibraryMysteryBk11

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The Stranger in the Library is another great book in the lighthouse library series. Lucy and friends are involved with an art show and have curated their own at the library. Even though none of the works at the library are originals one is stolen then returned. The next night the man over the real art show is found murdered. Lucy and friends work hard at solving the mysteries.They find answers that rock the art world .

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It is always a delight to return to the Lighthouse Library. Lucy and her husband, Connor, are back from their honeymoon in Paris, and the library is hosting a local version of the grand art exhibition opening across town. But a local artist’s copy of his true artist brother’s painting disappears from the library, and Lucy and her cousin Josie, along with occasionally annoying colleague Louise Jane, find the body of the exhibition organizer in a pond outside the exhibition hall on opening night.
And then the stolen copy reappears.
There are great surrounding characters: a local artist who has a beef with the established art world; the exhibition volunteer who acts like she owns the world but is about to be cut off financially by her ex-husband; her daughter, who definitely is trying to live her own life; and the mysterious stranger who seems to be courting Louise Jane but may be using her to get at some legendary art treasure that may be related to the stolen and then returned painting. And then the dead man’s wife, who may or may not have been estranged, shows up to further confuse things. Lucy isn’t sure who she can trust, and to make things more complicated, she finds herself helping the woman who for years had tried to drive her out of the library.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Just as I’ve enjoyed every book in this series. You could read and enjoy this as a stand-alone, but I think you’ll enjoy it even more in the context of the characters and their evolving relationships.
Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.

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The familiar library staff is back with another murder mystery. Throughly enjoyable and annoying Louise Jane is back in full force. I liked getting a small sliver of Lucy's married life. The traveling art world coming to Nags Head is funny to me but it all ties in great together. I enjoyed reading about the familiar characters and the mystery that gets them all running around in circles. I have to admit I did not figure out who did it until the very end.

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The Stranger in the Library is the 11th book in the delightful Lighthouse Library Mystery series. Even after 11 books, this series continues to be entertaining and enjoyable. The characters are wonderful and the mystery kept me guessing. Lucy is married to Connor who is the Mayor. Lucy works at Bodie Island Lighthouse Library with her boss Bertie and coworker Louise Jane. All of the regular characters make an appearance. There is an Art Show in town and the library has its own literary art show with books on art and artists and some not valuable reproductions. Lucy and Connor are invited to the opening night of the Art Show. They meet the people who put it together. There is a disturbance and then someone ends up dead. The library has a Book Club meeting and a few of the people from the Art Show attend. Louise Jane's grandmother's painting that isn't worth anything is missing. That adds to the cozy mystery! This book was hard to put down and was very enjoyable! #TheStrangerInTheLibrary #LighthouseLibraryMystery #NetGalley #CrookedLaneBooks

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This was a great addition to the series. I love the characters - it's like catching up with old friends. At times this book moved a bit slower than the others in the series, but still enjoyable. Recommend the series, but this can be read as a standalone.
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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My unrestrained thoughts: I picked up this book solely because of the interesting description and the cat on the cover. And let’s just say that was the best decision ever! Such a nice cozy mystery.

Now, onto a little sophisticated review – it may contain tiny spoilers!


The Stranger in the Library, by Eva Gates, is the 11th part of the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. The book starts with Lucy and the rest of the library setting up an art and history show in honor of the traveling art show coming to Nags Head. Needless to say, it is a resounding success, managing to attract locals and tourists to the traveling show.

Tension soon fills the air as one of the replicas at the library goes missing… and reappears the next day with a slashed back. But its reappearance is right after one of the organizers of the traveling show is found dead. And it tingles the detective side of our dear protagonist! All of Lucy’s instincts point to Tom Reilly, a charming art dealer from Paris. But Louise Jane is quite smitten by the man and vehement that he’s not responsible for any of the strange happenings in the town.

Coziness drips from every word, every sentence of this book while managing to keep the mystery alive. Though I didn’t bite my nails while turning the pages, the story contained a certain kind of tension that made me eager to find out who the killer was. Also loved how the author tried to point us to Tom Reilly through the book club’s choice – Ripley Under Ground. It’s just a little detail but it’s amazing to see how it was included in the narrative.

I totally wasn’t able to guess the person (or persons) , but I am not sure if I was impressed with the big reveal. Or the events that followed after. But that didn’t take away from the fact that I enjoyed the book completely.

It was a fun read, letting me venture into a fascinating side of the art world as I ran alongside Lucy to solve the mystery. It surely did prompt me to read the entire series – which I will be getting on to soon!


What I liked about the book:

The simple yet engaging narrative: Once I started reading, I was hooked! The language is enough simple that anyone can read it, and at the start, it felt like an Enid Blyton book (one of my favorite authors). I almost imagined their world without technology and people having elaborate breakfasts and evening tea. But it’s soon pretty clear to have been set in the present. The narrative is slow at times but all the scenes felt necessary, even including the ones with talks of seances! Did I say I was hooked? If yes, I will say it again!

The homely atmosphere: I have recently come to a realization that I love novels set in a small village. It is easier to imagine with the ever-present setting and the recurring tight-knit group of characters. Gates did so well with setting that setting! Because I could envision the atmosphere of the place even now – a beach town that provides the right kind of homely escape for the city people. Lucy’s relationships with the citizens also added more to the familiarity of Nags Head.

The art talks: The mystery is bound to be complex, as it is set in the art world. The author could have easily skimmed through the art part, which she, thankfully, didn’t do. The book didn’t graze the art background; instead, it dived deep into the art shows, the supposed feud of the artist brothers, and the shady side of art deals. Even the O’Callaghan brothers felt realistic with the way they were talked about . That made the book more informative and richer!

Louise Jane: We are always swayed by the opinions of the main character. If they don’t like a side character, then we also form negative opinions of them. But Louise Jane managed to steal my attention simply because of her quirkiness. I don’t know how she behaved in the earlier novels but in this one, I could see she and Lucy shared a hesitant camaraderie, kind of a love-hate friendship. What won me over was her suggesting to hold a séance when they were literally on the brink of death. That made me laugh out loud – even now, as I wrote this!


What I wasn’t impressed with:

I loved Lucy and her ability to sniff out stuff most, even the police, missed. However, I noticed that she reached most of her conclusions based on pure hunch. I especially didn’t like how she filled the gaps between the story of the O’Callaghan brothers with her own supposedly-s. And wanting to check Tom’s room based on her own far-fetched assumptions? That didn’t sit right with me either . It seemed as if that was the best way the author could come up with to uncover the mystery. And that made everything wobbly, a whole case of what-ifs for me.

Another thing that I noticed was that Lucy recounted the O’Callaghan history more than two times – when one time was enough. It was repeated to the point that I now remember more about some random fictional artists than my own life. The history is essential for the mystery, but I was saturated after reading it again and again.


My final thoughts?

The Stranger in the Library is one of those books that will make you love its flaws as well. It is a light mystery and if I am ever in the need of finding a quick read, I know I will turn to this one!


Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
#netgalley #arcreview

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Book eleven, another cozy mystery in the Lighthouse Library series, is set in Nags Head on the Outer Banks and focuses on an art exhibit. Lucy, the librarian and amateur sleuth, is caught up in a mystery involving a painting crafted by a fictional Outer Banks artist who was friends with Renoir. The novel includes a lot of Lucy's stream of consciousness narrative as she helps the local police solve the murder of a visiting art dealer. The book captures the feel of the small Outer Banks community. Book eleven can be read as a stand-alone novel.

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The Stranger in the Library is the eleventh book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. You could probably read this book as a standalone but you would miss out on the character development and history from the last books. A traveling art show has the Lighthouse library displaying their own works of art. A reproduction painting disappears after the display only to turn up with the backing cut and clearly something was removed from the painting. The opening of the art show leads to the discovery of a dead body in the fish pong. Librarian Lucy and Louise Jane begin an investigation for the stolen item that connects to the dead body in this easy to read and interesting cozy mystery. Lucy once again finds danger as she cracks another case for a fun, unpredictable read that will leave the reader coming back for more. My voluntary, unbiased, and non-mandatory review is based upon a free review copy from NetGalley.

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Lucy and the staff of the Bodie Lighthouse Library create an education display to complement an
impressionist art show being held in Nags Head. Included in the display is a reproduction of a
Robert O'Callagham original, a famous Nags Head artist. The painting is missing the next day but
is later returned. Why was it taken in the first place?
While attending the cocktail party and art show, the owner of the gallery behind the show, Mark
Farrago, is murdered. Is the murder related to the O'Callagham reproduction or Farrago's dealings
in the art world?
Enjoyed catching up with Lucy and friends in the eleventh Lighthouse Library Mystery.
#TheStrangerintheLibrary #NetGalley

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The mystery in 'The Stranger in the Library' is elevated a notch as Lucy has returned from her honeymoon with Connor and is hosting an art exhibit at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. There is an edge to this latest offering by Eva Gates that is engaging and the mystery had me guessing the entire book. I love the setting in Nags Head, and I have actually visited the Bodie Island Lighthouse which is the model for the book's library. I will admit this adds an extra layer of interest for me as I can picture locale's in my mind. I recommend the entire series for an enjoyable reading experience.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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It was wonderful to visit with our friends at the Outer Banks again, as our story begins Lucy and Connor are returning from thier honeymoon in Paris and Rome where they were able to appreciate a lot of famous and fabulous art. This works out well for Lucy as her first task on returning to work is to set up a display of books and pictures honoring American Impressionism in honor of a display coming to Nags Head. The display hopes to promote Art and Art education and the library group has an "exhibit" the night before the real opening night in town and it is a wonderful success. Unfortunately the next morning Lucy finds one of the paintings on display has disappeared, this is curious as it has no real value, it was supposedly painted by the relative of a local American Impressionist, who was famous and happens to be a relative of Louise Jane's. All this fades into the background however when one of the exhibit's promoters is found dead as opening night is wrapping up. What is going on in the Art world, is the death tied to the exhibit or is it personal? Does the missing painting play a role, you will have to read to find out! Thanks to #NetGalley and #CrookedLaneBooks for the opportunity to read early!

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I always enjoy visiting with Lucy and the gang. This book isn’t in the lighthouse much. I did find the whole Tom and his disguises a little confusing and unnecessary, I didn’t get the point. I think it is obvious who the killer is from the start, based on the portrayal of the characters. I found the mystery of what was behind the painting more interesting. #TheStrangerintheLibrary #NetGalley

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Too many characters at the chapter one. Its difficult to me to remember all the characters mentioned. I give it a try until chapter 5 but honestly I can’t.

Btw, the premises of this story are all good. The ‘valuable’ art are just missing from the library and everyone seems afraid as the key library is duplicate. Someone is entering the library and nothing is missing eventhought the expensive things inside except the copy of valuable art.

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Lucy is back from her honeymoon and has installed an art exhibit in the library. With copies and prints being shown in the library and genuine pieces being shown at a different exhibit, it’s odd that a piece turns up missing. But then it its returned and Lucy cannot let it go, she n needs to figure out why and what it happened.

Between the two art exhibits, Lucy is on the trail and soon adds not only the returned piece to her sleuthing lit, but also a murder. Can Lucy figure what’s going on without losing everything she’s worked so hard for? Time, and some sleuthing, will only tell.

Another great entry in this series. I love the setting and all things books, so it’s a perfect place for our protagonist to be based in this series. each entry has a solid mystery, a few quirky characters, a cute kitty and lots of red herrings to follow. It’s a series I have on the top of my must read list and watch for new entries to be released.

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Thanks to #NetGalley & author Eva Gates for the opportunity to read the ARC of #TheStrangerintheLibrary - the newest in the Lighthouse Library series. Gates continues to provide great cozy mysteries. There are no surprises here for those that follow this series - the regular cast of characters, the adorable library cat, and what has to be one of the loveliest fictional libraries in the USA. That said, this novel would work fine as a stand-alone.

Stranger in the Library adds the elements of a high-end art show while the book group is appropriately reading _Ripley Underground_ (I love all of the shout-outs to authors old and new which works well with the library setting). There are tensions between artists, art dealers, and art collectors that gather for the event. When a painting disappears and a body shows up, Lucy and her friends are once again investigating.

I'm not sure how long the Lighthouse Library series will continue, but as long as Eva Gates continues to craft very enjoyable cozy mysteries, I will be reading them.

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Eva Gates has created another enjoyable visit to the Outer Banks. Freshly returned from her honeymoon, Lighthouse librarian Lucy is tasked with organizing a display of art reproductions at the library in conjunction with the town’s art show of originals. As usual for Lucy and her friends, complications occur. Along with husband Connor, detective Sam, friend/nemesis Louise Jane, and a variety of interesting characters, Lucy finally follows the clue to a successful resolution. I was lucky enough to be able to read an advance copy and enjoyed every minute.

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The art world is notoriously full of drama, and when a couple of interesting characters gather at an art show in a small town there is no shortage of drama. Local librarian, Lucy is thrust into the middle of it all when she discovers a body.

I enjoyed 'Stranger in the Library'. It has all the classic elements of a cozy small town murder mystery. The story started off a little slowly but once the action started the pace picked up. I really enjoyed the snippets of art history and thought it was well researched and the fictional art and artists were done very realistically. I also liked the fact that I wasn't able to guess the murderer and enjoyed the surprise ending.

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