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By Book or By Crook

(Lighthouse Library Mystery #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  4,618 ratings  ·  773 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 371 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by NAL
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  4,618 ratings  ·  773 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook

Jane Austen. My literary idol. So close.
Lucy has hit a bit of a rough patch.

She spent over a decade at the Harvard Library, fulfilling her love for literature...but then an engagement rears its ugly head and family pressure from all sides...she takes off.

She retreats to the Outer Banks and is quickly hired as a Lighthouse Librarian. Everything is going great, at first...but she quickly learns just how much simmers below the surface of small towns.
She spoke as if "librarian" were another
Julie  Durnell
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I loved this first in a new series to me-the setting was terrific as it is one of my favorite places to stay and I have visited the Bodie Lighthouse before. The idea of it as a library and being able to live/work there too would be a fantasy come true! I enjoyed the cast of characters and hope to read more of them in the next book!
Lucy leaves her Harvard Library job, her family, and her ex-fiance behind in Boston and moves to the coast of NC to take a librarian position in a small town library. She loves the Outer Banks, the library and her apartment in a refurbished lighthouse. She arrives as a set of Jane Austen first editions arrives for display at the Bodie Lighthouse Library. Just as the events showcasing the priceless books begin, the president of the library board is murdered in the lighthouse and the loaned Austen ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Two of my favorite things, libraries, and lighthouses, so when they are combined it really gets me excited.

Lucy Richardson is the newest librarian at The Bodie Island Lighthouse Library but her hiring has some people quite twitterpated. One thought the job should have been hers, others didn’t think the position was necessary, and even the head of the library board wants to get rid of her. The head librarian and the staff at the library are thrilled to have her join them, espec
❂ Murder by Death
The story gets 4 stars but the editing barely deserves 1 star. Some of the worst big-publisher editing I've seen, with a slew of errors. Great story and characters, though and a very well-plotted murder. The author got screwed on this one.

Full review:
This is a cozy mystery, and this is the first book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. I have read all the books in this series, and I have reviewed most of them. I have to say most of the time I find it hard to get into the first book in a series because it is just a lot of getting to know of the characters. This book was so great because there was a really good mystery going on with the meeting the characters. I also feel that this book was not pushing the meeting all the characters on y ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
By Book or By Crook was book one in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. It was okay; a bit clunky in some parts, but overall a fun cozy. I had no problems suspending disbelief at the notion of transforming real-life Bodie Lighthouse into a public library because author Eva Gates did provide a note addressing the issue. Also, her writing was convincing enough for me to buy into the idea.

A promising series, started in 2015. I will definitely do some catch-up reading.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Probably supposed to be charming; really just annoying.

Round rooms don't have corners, but she keeps looking in them.

Louise Jane clearly doesn't like Lucy, but Lucy keeps biting on the baited hooks Louise dangles for her.

Determined not to go down without a fight, then backs off when the opportunity to do something presents itself? Saved by a cat? Then why not pay attention when the cat exhibits hostility in the first place?

Maybe I'm not a mystery reader.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Starting a new series from the first book is so much fun. The idea of a library housed in an old lighthouse appealed to me. The setting is charming and perfect for a cozy mystery.

Our amateur sleuth is Lucy Richardson. She recently fled Boston after her boyfriend wanted to take their relationship to the next step and she didn’t want to. In fact, he really didn’t want to either. Their wealthy parents were the ones who really wanted the marriage and Lucy had no intention of giving in. She heads to
Chatting About
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
I enjoyed the idea of a lighthouse being used as a library. If you're a Jane Austen fan, a library fan, and a lighthouse fan, this is the cozy for you! ...more
Feb 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is a white lady book. And I’m tired of white lady books.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozies
I had a bit of a hard time getting into this new series. The characters were fine but by page 20 I really wanted to smack one or two of them. As I continued reading I found myself drawn into their lives and the library they all love. I'm most definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the series when it arrives in September of 2015. ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The author says right at the beginning of this book that the idea of a lighthouse being big enough to house a fully operational library with separate living accommodation is a fantasy so that really sets the tone for the book right from the start. So I shouldn't have been too surprised by the woeful lack of research about the first editions of Jane Austen's novels. Or perhaps she did her research and then decided to completely ignore it because it would have ruined the plot!

But I still gave it 5
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
I finished this back in June, so some details are fuzzy.

Lucy previously worked at the Harvard Library and is now a new librarian at Bodie Island's public library, which is housed inside a lighthouse. There are a few folks who aren't thrilled that she got the job, but for the most part Lucy loves her new position. She's particularly excited about the Jane Austen first editions the library currently has on loan. That excitement turns to dismay and horror as one of the first editions goes missing
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was another of those really great cozies that just hook you right from the beginning. I've had it downloaded on my Kindle for a while, and thought, why not? I'm glad I did.

I love Jane Austen, and Pride and Prejudice particularly. I loved the idea of the Lighthouse library hosting a special event with first edition books- how I would love to see that in real life! I can see why it caused such a buzz around the town. The actual setting is made up for this series, as there is no library locate
Mar 29, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book (unintentionally) reads like a cross between a mystery and Harry Potter, where there is a lighthouse that appears normal from the outside, but expands to fit a few thousand extra square feet once you enter its magical doors. Its fine to set a mystery at a popular summer resort area, to appeal to beach readers. But then to completely ignore the setting you've chosen is ridiculous. The author's note admits that the lighthouse could not house the library, except in her imagination. So why ...more
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good start to this series.
By Book or By Crook is a light, cozy mystery. It's easy on the suspenseful moments, but is still an entertaining mystery. Main character Lucy is endearing, though sometimes I wished she would speak up more. However, this is the first book, so maybe her gumption grows as the series does. I loved the inclusion of Jane Austen books and how much Lucy and her fellow librarians loved them. I thought the setting of a lighthouse library to be a great idea - Lucy's little home in the upstairs of the libr ...more
Peggy R
Nov 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I am a fan of this author's writing as Vicki Delany and so I decided it was time to start this series. This is a 3 1/2 star read for me. It is a very solid beginning to a series. I love that this is series involves books and a library located in a lighthouse. It makes for a setting that really calls to me, as a book lover. The characters are solid. I liked Lucy and thought that she has the potential to become a favorite main character for me. In this first book, she is still finding her footing ...more
Usually I like to keep up with new series in the "cozy mystery" genre, but I was running low, so at my last trip to Barnes and Noble I picked this up because I liked the premise and cover. I'm glad to say that this book lived up to my expectations and even more!

The characters were great! Some were likeable, some not so much, but they were all realistic. There were no absolutely perfect characters in this book. However, by the end of this book the author seems to setting up a love triangle. I sin
Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
With BY BOOK OR BY CROOK, the first book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series, author Eva Gates is off to a great start to what will be a wonderful series.

The setting is this story is stellar. A library in a lighthouse on the Outer Banks? Yes! More please.

Protagonist Lucy Richardson is smart and plucky. She, as well as the cast of supporting characters are sure to be favorites to readers.

With a suspenseful plot and unexpected twists that kept me guessing until the reveal, this book was har
Overall, a fun light mystery that definitely kept me guessing. Lucy is a likable heroine even if she does struggle with occasionally needing to summon all her courage to speak her opinions (as evidenced by a boyfriend who thought he knew her well enough to propose and then got a bad surprise). I liked how she struggled with missing her family and yet didn’t want to involve them because of their overbearing, overgenerous ways.

The mystery is definitely light with only a brief scene with a body and
Author Annabelle Leigha
What a wonderful book! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. I really could see the water, the lighthouse, and feel the sun. I'm looking forward to the next in the series!! ...more
There's libraries. And, then there are charming libraries. And, they don't get much more quaint and charming than the Lighthouse Library on Bodie Island, North Carolina in Eva Gates' By Book or by Crook. This first in a new series will either make you want to move there to get a job in the library, or run, knowing the library is the scene of murder, theft, and possibly, ghosts.

Lucy Richardson fled to the island after she didn't want to marry the lawyer and family friend she'd been dating for yea
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really, how could this not be a good book? We have a cozy mystery set in a library, in a lighthouse with a hero cat...You just know it's going to be a good read, how can you miss?
Carla Johnson-Hicks
The first in The Lighthouse Library Mystery series. It has everything you would want in a cozy mystery: a library that is housed in a lighthouse, the protagonist living upstairs in the lighthouse, a small town, a murder, some thefts and a bit of a budding romance.
Lucy has returned to her summer stomping grounds on Bodie Island on the Outer Banks. She has quit her job of 10 years in the library at Harvard and turned down her boyfriend’s proposal and wants to start a new life. She has been hired
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh this was so good! I had started this series pretty much in the middle when I had the chance to review the fourth book...then the fifth that I couldn't resist. But I knew I wanted to get back to the beginning and how it all started. Lucy didn't feel very welcome around certain people at the Lighthouse Library when she first started and was nearly accused of stealing some rare old Jane Austen books the library had on display. Instead, she just wanted to clear her boss Bertie who was accused of ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A library in a lighthouse? A murder and rare Jane Austin books stolen? The best part- a big Himalayan cat named after Charles Dickens as your partner in solving the mystery. What else could a cozy mystery lover and the new librarian in town want? Maybe the local mayor and the local police officer in a competition to date you? Great book to start this series- an enjoyable story!
Cathy Cole
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love libraries. I love lighthouses. When I came across this first book in the Lighthouse Library cozy series, my eyes lit up, and when I discovered that "Eva Gates" is the pen name of one of my favorite authors, Vicky Delany, that was the icing on the cake. North Carolina's Outer Banks seems to be one of the hot settings for cozies, and By Book or by Crook fits right in with its neighbors.

I liked Lucy Richardson, even though she didn't win any points by staying in a relationship for ten years
Dawn Michelle
I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. It was just meh. Which is weird because I just read another series from the same author [using a different name] and L O V E D it, so I was really looking forward to this one. Sigh.

HOW does one set of circumstances [love-triangle {WHICH is never okay}, the MC having a cop and a mayor to choose between etc etc] work for one series and NOT for another? Because there are a LOT of similarities between this book and the first book of her other series and w
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Play Book Tag: (POLL BALLOT) By Book Or By Crook / Eva Gates - 3*** 1 7 Apr 22, 2020 01:58PM  

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Eva Gates is a pseudonym of Vicki Delany. ...more

Other books in the series

Lighthouse Library Mystery (8 books)
  • Booked for Trouble (Lighthouse Library Mystery #2)
  • Reading Up a Storm (Lighthouse Library Mystery #3)
  • The Spook in the Stacks (Lighthouse Library Mystery #4)
  • Something Read, Something Dead (Lighthouse Library Mystery, #5)
  • Read and Buried (Lighthouse Library Mystery, #6)
  • A Death Long Overdue (Lighthouse Library Mystery, #7)
  • Deadly Ever After (Lighthouse Library Mystery, #8)

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