About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bodie Island Lighthouse and By Book or By Crook

Reading the first Lighthouse Library Mystery, By Book or By Crook, set in the Bodie Island Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina I had to find out about the actual lighthouse. The cover image on the book accurately shows the lighthouse.

Eva (Vicki) has a lovely explanation in her author’s note of how the lighthouse inspired her:

The lighthouse setting and grounds are as wonderful as described. It is not however, a library. Nor is it large enough to house a collection of books, offices, staff rooms, two staircases or even an apartment.

But it is large enough to accommodate my imagination. And I hope the readers’ also.
The website outerbanks.com explains the current lighthouse is the third upon the site:

Luckily, the old adage "third time's a charm" proved true, and a third lighthouse was planned and began construction in 1871. This lighthouse was moved further North and further inland to a 15 acre site, and was nearly double the height of its predecessors. A lighthouse keepers' duplex was constructed at about the same time, and by 1872, the lighthouse was in operation, providing a beacon to passing ships with a First Order Fresnel Lens. In 1932, the Bodie Island Lighthouse became automated, and by 1953 it had been transferred into the care of the National Park Service.

The National Park website describes the climb inside the lighthouse:

The Bodie Island Lighthouse has just over 200 steps from the ground to the top, equal to climbing a 10-story building. The narrow stairs have a handrail only on one side, one-way traffic, and 9 landings.

While there is no library in the lighthouse it remains a striking landmark on the Outer Banks.

Trip Advisor has it rated the 2nd of 8 attractions in the area of Nag’s Head. Reviewers have rated it at 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I hope our family travels will one day take us to the Outer Banks so I can visit the lighthouse.


  1. Thanks for this background, Bill. I've been to the Outer Banks, but never to this particular place. I always love learning about how real places inspire the writer, and lighthouses are fascinating places. I'd love to see this one too.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I think lighthouses have an allure for most people. I remember stopping on the coast in Australia near Melbourne to look and then climb inside a lighthouse.

  2. I do love it when an author takes a real place and builds it up in their imagination and their writings. I will be checking into the book when it comes out. And I would love to visit the lighthouse too.

    1. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I doubt I would ever have thought to put a library in a lighthouse. It works very well in the book.

  3. This and your previous post make me think I should try this one - I liked the other book I read by this author.

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. The characters and settings are so different in her respective series.