Thursday, October 8, 2015

"Booked for Trouble"

Eva Gates is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series from Penguin Obsidian, set in a historic lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The first in the series is By Book or By Crook, and Booked for Trouble was released on Sept. 1st, 2015. Eva is the pen name of Vicki Delany, one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers.

The author applied the Page 69 Test to Booked for Trouble and reported the following:
From page 69:
Chapter 6

The cop guarding the entrance to the lighthouse lane flagged me down as I pulled off the highway. I had the top of the SLK down, and the officer recognized me. She greeted me with a low whistle. “Nice wheels.”


“How much do you make as a librarian, anyway?”

“Not enough to afford this car. It’s my mother’s. You know I live here, so can I go in?”

“Yeah.” She waved me through.

Police vehicles still filled the parking lot, but Karen’s Neon had been taken away. A woman clad head to foot in a white gown, booties, and cap climbed out of the back of a van as I drove up. I avoided glancing around the side of the lighthouse. I spared a thought for my jacket. Even if the police did return it, there was no way I would ever wear it again.

Bertie was at the circulation desk, working on the computer. She waved at me as I came in and pointed down the hallway. I could hear low voices and cabinet doors being opened. “What are they doing?” I asked.

This scene from Booked for Trouble gives a good indication of what type of book it is. Probably a mystery: all the police activity. Obviously, an amateur sleuth: the first person POV character is a librarian, and she avoids the police and their activities. She lives at the lighthouse and works in the library there. Something very significant has happened at the library, because the police are searching it, and forensic officers are coming and going. Someone’s car has been taken away. We are left wondering what happened to the character’s jacket and why she would never wear it again. It’s probably easy to guess!

So, from all the clues, you should be able to tell that this is a cozy mystery. Also, that it’s part of the Lighthouse Library series (which it is). Location is not mentioned, but if there is a lighthouse, we can assume it’s near water. Likely on the ocean, but could also be at one of the great lakes. (The series is set on the Outer Banks at the Bodie Island Lighthouse near Nags Head.)

The book has been written with a light touch, and this section gives a small glimpse of that as the cop admires the SLK. I hope a bit of the character’s humour comes through as she says she doesn’t earn enough to afford the car she’s driving. She is also pretty down-to-earth and practical. She makes no attempt to pretend the SLK is hers.

So, all in all, page 69 is a pretty good page for giving readers a taste of the book: the sub-genre, the personality of the main character, a hint at the location, and the overall tone.
Visit Eva Gates's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch. Visit Vicki Delany's website and look for the first in her Year Round Christmas series, Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen, from Berkley Prime Crime, on Nov. 3rd.

--Marshal Zeringue