Booked for Trouble

Lighthouse Library Mystery, Book #2

By Eva Gates

ISBN 9780451470942

Author’s website:

Brought to you by OBS Reader Jeanie


The author of By Book or By Crook returns to the Outer Banks and the Lighthouse Library, where Lucy Richardson must shed light on a shocking murder…

Lucy has finally found her bliss as a librarian and resident of the Bodie Island Lighthouse. She loves walking on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one, but TWO eligible men. But then her socialite mother, Suzanne, unexpectedly drops in, determined to move Lucy back to Boston—and reunite her with her ex-fiancé.

To make matters worse, Suzanne picks a very public fight at the local hotel with her former classmate Karen Kivas. So, when Karen turns up dead outside the library the next morning, Suzanne is immediately at the top of the suspect list. Now Lucy must hunt down a dangerous killer—before the authorities throw the book at her poor mother…


I am SO glad to have had this opportunity to visit the Lighthouse Library again!  Eva Gates has successfully written another mystery that drew this reader in from the first page and led me quickly through this action-driven, fast-paced Lighthouse Library tale. Booked for Trouble is the second novel in this series and can be read as a stand-alone.

Lucy is happy to live at the Bodie Island Lighthouse – which is a real working lighthouse, except the real one does not nor has not housed a library.  Eva Gates’ descriptions are so excellent that one can almost feel the sun on their face, the sand and water under their bare feet, and hear the rolling waves of the ocean.  If I could pick any one dream place to live, this home and library by the sea so beautifully designed by the author would definitely be within my top three choices!  The library is completed by Charles, a Himalayan cat with the perfect cat-sonality; he spends his nights in Lucy’s little apartment upstairs.

Lucy’s mother has come to visit, staying at what used to be the most upscale, luxurious hotel of the Outer Banks.  While it still commands its primo location, it appears as if the maintenance budget was ran out of funds several years ago.  Suzanne Richardson still stayed there because she loved the prestige, ambiance and amenities.  Something is different about Suzanne on this trip.  Yes, she is trying hard to get Lucy to return to Boston and the high-society man she had selected for Lucy to marry – who is the reason Lucy ran to the Outer Banks initially, to visit her mother’s sister and gain perspective, until she fell in love with the lighthouse and the library.  Suzanne refuses to talk about Lucy’s father or any other reason to visit except to see her daughter and her sister.  She is drinking her meals, which is highly unusual.

Suzanne is a bit of a snob, even rude at times.  She grew up on the Outer Banks with her sister, and wanted more for her life than the tradesmen she might meet there to marry.  When Karen Kivas, one of her former school peers and now a housekeeper at the hotel, greeted her, Suzanne was rude, leading to nasty words between the ladies until Karen threatened Suzanne.  George, the manager of the hotel, tried to settle the matter.  He was also a high school peer, but Suzanne kept her nose in the air and barely acknowledged their acquaintance.

The following evening, Karen and George were attending the Classic Novel Reading Club at the library, as was Lucy and her mother.  Tension between Karen and Suzanne was noticeable.  Karen remained afterwards to help put things away, and Suzanne apologized to her.  Both ladies agreed to meet later in the week to catch up with each other’s lives.  That, however, was not to be.  The next morning, Karen was found dead.  And the suspect?  Witnesses who had heard the spat between the ladies led the police to believe that Suzanne did it…especially when a missing, very valuable diamond necklace was found in her tote bag that she had accidentally forgotten and left in the room where the book club had met.

Lucy is a great librarian, and someone who I’d like to know (if she were real!)  We continue to learn more about her, including ambivalent feelings about her mother and her challenges in deciding whether Connor (the mayor) or Butch (police detective) is the man she wants to date.  We get to know Suzanne also, and she gets to know a side of Lucy that she has not yet seen.

Conversations are solid and realistic, yet it is the continuous action that drives this mystery.  This delightful, suspenseful novel speeds by too quickly!  The plot is complex, with more than one mystery occurring and almost no clues of how they might be connected.  The bad guy/ gal is hard to detect in spite of clues here and there that could lead one to both motive and murder and / or theft…and I like that.

I was sold on this series from the first book; this is an author, and a series, that I definitely want to see more of.  I highly recommend this to cozy mystery readers who appreciate a well-written plot with depth and its share of chilling moments.  It can be enjoyed by adults of all ages and older teens, and is definitely great for the pet lover, the library lover, those who appreciate a setting as uniquely gorgeous as the ocean and as enticing as only a lighthouse – and living in a lighthouse – can be.