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.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Booked for Trouble by Eva Gates

Booked for Trouble by Eva Gates – It is summer time on the Outer Banks of North Carolina which means it is tourist time. Lucy Richardson is back for the second book in the Lighthouse Library mystery series.

Lucy is content in her position at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library and then her mother, the redoubtable and lovely Suzanne Richardson, arrives abruptly from Boston. Mother has been known to take sudden long trips in her car when she wants “me time” but Lucy doubts her mother has simply come to visit Lucy and Suzanne’s sister. She is correct. Mother wants Lucy to end her summer “fling” in the Outer Banks and return to Boston to marry her former fiancĂ©, Ricky, and take her rightful place in Society.

With powerfully selective hearing Suzanne ignores Lucy’s protestations that she has no intention of returning to Boston and Ricky is not in her future.

Suzanne had grown up on the Outer Banks at Nag’s Head and departed as soon as she was done high school after drawing the attention of Lucy’s father who was on a vacation trip to the Outer Banks. Having their first born five months into their marriage may have spurred the marriage.

Lucy gets a glimpse into her mother’s past when Suzanne is referred to as Sue in a nasty exchange with Karen Whiteside, a high school classmate, working as a maid in the posh, though fading, resort in which Suzanne is staying at Nag’s Head. George Marwick, another high school classmate who is the hotel manager, rescues Sue from the verbal fray. 

Sue only became Suzanne when she reached Boston. The oft imperious Suzanne is not amused at being reminded she was once Sue. 

Shortly thereafter Karen is murdered outside the lighthouse library and detective, Sam Watson, is not excluding anyone as a suspect.

Lucy cannot help thinking about who could be the killer. At the same time she has noticed her mother, normally well organized and controlled, is distracted and drinking far more than usual.

Head Librarian, Bertie, tries to deflect attention from the library by telling the community that the murder took place in the marsh area outside the library but Dianne Uppiton, her fiercest critic on the Library Board, makes sure all know the body was found at the base of the lighthouse.

The story continues with the library once more in the midst of a murder investigation. What could be a better setting for a cozy mystery series? 

Gates (a pseudonym for Vicki Delany) has established a number of interesting continuing characters. Not all is sunshine in Nag’s Head but life is good on the Outer Banks.

The second Lighthouse Library mystery is deftly written. What reader could not be impressed by this description of a suspect:

                “You can’t trust a man who doesn’t like libraries.”

By that criteria I am lucky as I am a man who loves libraries.

I found myself glad to read a mystery where the characters are real people and the sleuth is a young, 30 years old, woman who loves books and whose greatest problems in life are a moderately overbearing mother and trying to decide between two handsome men interested in dating her.

Lucy is not a dazzling sleuth. She is a dedicated librarian who loves cats as much as she loves reading. She is a nice person with whom to spend some hours.

I expect the series will continue to do well. 


  1. So glad you enjoyed this, Bill. The setting really is appealing. And I couldn't agree more about not trusting people who don't love libraries. It's a better 'yardstick' than whether the family pet likes a person... ;-)

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I do have an unspoken suspicion if someone tells me they do not like libraries or worse sees no purpose to libraries. There is something wrong with this person .....

  2. I am actually sometimes called "The Margaret Atwood of Prince Edward County" after I spoke to a meeting of the town council a couple of years ago arguing against them closing three of the County's six libraries. In a rural community with no public transit! We won, and all the libraries remain open!

    1. Vicki: Thanks for the comment. Well done. I think you should run for town council. I have been a member of the public library board in Melfort for over 35 years. We have always had a councillor on our board. I think it is helped a great deal in helping the library to have a councillor as a board member. Now I can see some stormy weather ahead for the lighthouse library in the next book with that municipal election looming and the library becoming a political issue.

  3. Bill, I often wonder if these mysteries count as young adult fiction. They seem to read like YA, however well done the mystery may be.

  4. This sounds good. I really enjoyed the one Vicki Delany book I have read - I'm quite picky about cozy, series, themed mysteries, but I am definitely prepared to give this one a go.