My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Because Reading is Better Than Real Life where at the beginning of the month visitors can choose which book I’ll be reading this month. On the first saturday of a month the poll will be up, then on the second saturday of the month I’ll announce the book that won and on the last saturday of the month I’ll post my review of the book.
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 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….
By Book or by Crook is a fun and enjoyable cozy mystery, but failed to fully impress me. I enjoyed the book while reading it, but didn’t really have the urge to pick it up again and I never fully felt engaged to the plot or story. There’s nothing obviously wrong with this book, but nothing that really stood out either.
I really like the original concept and setting. The library in a lighthouse was such a fun concept and I liked reading about this cozy lighthouse library. The setting in the Outer Banks region so close to the sea was also great. Then there is Charles the cat who is adorable and has his quirks and cat behaviour that made me smile. And he looks so pretty on the cover! I also liked reading a bit about how the ran the library.
Then there was the mystery fell a bit flat for me. The main character doesn’t really get much involved, she does a bit of her own research, but it was mostly awkwardly talking with people. She mostly focusses on her work in the library and while I enjoyed that part I had hoped for a bit more focus on the mystery. I didn’t predict the murderer, but then again there were almost no hints to that. I usually prefer there are some clues or that at least looking back it makes sense, here there was none of that and even with the explanation of the murderer it didn’t make much sense to me. The main character did figure it out, but more by accident and she didn’t really have proof, except for that it made sense and then the murderer came after her. It was just a bit meh.
Next to the murder mystery there’s also the mystery of books that go missing. And it’s unsure whether it’s connected or not to the murder. There’s a lot of focus in the book about the Jane Austen exhibit they are doing and I just couldn’t relate as much to everyone’s enthusiasm about those first editions. I haven’t read any of Jane Austen her books and never felt the urge to, so it felt like I missed a part there and I think that part of the book would’ve been more fun if you are a fan of Jane Austen her books.
The character were okay. At first I had a lot of trouble keeping them apart, the book starts literally at a party and the main character is meeting new people and I can honesty say I might have been even more overwhelmed than the main character herself. I am not good with names ad having a lot of them dumped at once didn’t help. After that it did get better and I at least got a feel for who was who. I would’ve liked a bit more depth concerning the side characters. We did got a reasonable feel for the main character and her life, but the side characters stayed a bit flat. And ugh I seriously disliked Louise Jane, I am not sure what it was about that character but she rubbed me wrong so badly.
To summarize: This was a fun cozy mystery, but I couldn’t fully get into the book. I did enjoy it while I was reading it, but didn’t really care or feel the urge to pick it up again once I put the book down. The lighthouse library made for a fun concept and the Outer Banks area was a great setting. I also loved the cat the Charles, who was my favourite character. I liked reading about the library, but didn’t really get all the excitement about the Jane Austen books as I haven’t read nay of her books myself. The mystery fell a bit flat, with little involvement from the main character, little hints to who the murderer was and the reasoning behind it was unsatisfactory to me. I had some trouble keeping the characters apart at first, but that got easier after a while. The side characters lacked some depth, I liked the main character well enough and disliked Louise Jane. Not sure if I’ll be continuing this series yet.