Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: By Book or by Crook by Eva Gates (Review/Giveaway)

Cozy Mystery, #1 Lighthouse Library Mystery Series


Obsidian Mystery

Release Date:
 February 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads

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 of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.

Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending....

My Review

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 Bodie Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where she gets a job as a librarian. Her first assignment is setting up an exhibit to showcase a set of Jane Austen first edition novels.

Lucy is stunned to find that so many people in town despise her. In fact, one person who made his feelings publicly known is the head of the library board. He states quite loudly for all to hear that he intends to get rid of her. So, when he is found murdered in the library, all fingers point to Lucy and her boss. When the Jane Austen books are stolen – one by one – everyone is all too ready to put the blame on Lucy and run her right out of town. She has no intention of sitting quietly by and letting that happen.

It took me a little time to warm up to the characters in this book. Most of the supporting characters weren’t very likeable, but I did like Lucy and the people she worked with at the library. Although her boss, Bertie, took me some time to like.  Did I mention the library has a cat named Charles (named after Charles Dickens, of course.)

I have to admit, I knew who the killer was rather early in the book. It didn’t ruin anything for me as there were several different possibilities so I could really have bought any of them being the culprit. I’m already reading the second book in the series.

For reading challenges:

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2016
Craving for the Cozies Reading Challenge 2016
Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2016
Blogger Shame Reading Challenge 2016

FTC Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.


Now you can win a paperback copy of By Book or by Crook by Eva Gates? Thanks to the publisher, I have one paperback to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Just a few simple rules...

1) You must fill out the rafflecopter form below.

2) Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old

3) US Residents Only

4) For one extra entry: Tweet about this giveaway.

5) For one extra entry: Leave a comment for the author.

6) For one extra entry:  Follow this blog...old followers, too!  Just let us know how you follow and under what name.

7) For one extra entry: Follow me on Twitter.

8) For one extra entry: Follow or friend me on Goodreads

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited.

The giveaway begins on February 11th (midnight est) and ends on February 18th (midnight est).

The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter. The winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen. I will announce the winner here on my blog.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting this great giveaway, Yvonne. The cover is darling and the premise of this cozy sounds like a good match for book lovers.

    1. (P.S. I will add this giveaway to my blog's sidebar.)

  2. I like discovering a new series at the beginning too. The lighthouse on the cover is striking and would definitely make me pick it up to take a look at the store.

  3. I would love to read this book — thanks for the chance to win copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  4. I really want to read this series. It's been on my TBR!

  5. I love this author who is also known as Vicki Delany. She writes a great series set in western Canada. Not a cozy series though. Anyway, I need to try her new venture in cozy writing.

  6. Love Lighthouse. This one will definitely be
    on my TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Carol Smith

  7. I love lighthouses and love the cover. Love to find new books to read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. This would be a great title to add to my cozy challenge list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy. Love your books.

  9. Thank you for hosting this wonderful giveaway. It sounds great and I'd love to add it to my mystery collection.

  10. I liked the review, can't wait to read it.

  11. Thanks for another great review. I, too, like to start series at the beginning and this one looks like it belongs on my TBR stack.

  12. Wonderful novel, great author whose books are memorable and great. Thanks for this lovely review and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. Lovely book cover, just right for a cozy mystery. Good luck! Thank you, Darlene Cruz aka Read Book

  14. Absolutely adore the wonderful cover. I'm new to cozy mysteries and I always appreciate your reviews and giveaways with great suggestions. Thanks!!

  15. I think a library in a lighthouse would be wonderful to see, but maybe a little cramped. Thanks for the review.

  16. Cute cover and I am always game for a cozy. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

  17. I love the cover. By Book or by Crook sounds like a good read. Thank you for this chance.

  18. I checked it out of the library but never got around to reading it. I like the idea of a lighthouse library and the cat.

  19. What a fun series and thank you for the opportunity to enter.

  20. I am so interested in this book...I love lighthouses and this author does it well.

  21. I just added this series to my tbr list today along with the Key West Food Critic series.

    I'm a huge lover of Lighthouses. I love visiting them and collecting them. I have them on my tables, shelves, wall and clothes.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  22. That sounds like a great read and the cover is cute too.

  23. This sounds like a great little series. I love the setting! Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

  24. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of this cozy!!!

    wfnren at aol dot com

  25. I have been wanting to read abook by this author. Thanks for the Giveaway

  26. Really all I needed to see was the library in the lighthouse. Throw in interesting characters and a cat named Charles how can I resist??

  27. I love starting a series with the first book. This sounds like one I will enjoy!

  28. By book or by crook sounds like a good read ♡ Thank you

  29. I have this on Kindle by trying to win for my Mother who is a fan of cozy mysteries.

  30. I love the cover, and the book sounds like a fun read. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  31. I've been curious about this one! I'm glad that guessing the culprit early on didn't ruin the book for you. Thanks for sharing - and the giveaway.



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