Reading Up a Storm By Eva Gates: Review/Interview/Giveaway

Apr 30, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze, Sandra Murphy

by Sandra Murphy

This week we are reviewing Eva Gates'(aka Vicki Delany) new mystery Reading Up a Storm. We also have an interesting interview with Eva. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of this book, along with a link to purchase it where a portion goes to help support KRL, and a link to buy it from Amazon.

Reading Up a Storm By Eva Gates
Review by Sandra Murphy

The Lighthouse Library is celebrating Bertie’s tenth anniversary at the library. A big storm is coming so as soon as the cake’s cut and eaten, guests head for home. For Lucy, that’s a short commute as she lives above the library in the lighthouse itself. The bright light of the beacon doesn’t bother her but on this particular night, between flashes, she sees a light bobbing in the water, like a boat being tossed by the waves. Then there are four mysterious lights that mimic boats in harbor, but there’s nothing but rocky shoreline. In the old days, wreckers used to lure boats in that way to plunder the cargo. Who would do it now?

It’s the Coast Guard to the rescue and two very wet people are pulled off the sinking boat just in time. The man is in his sixties and the woman is thirty-something—-not a father/daughter duo but a couple. He’s extravagant with his money, and she’s willing to help him spend it. book

When the man is found dead, stabbed in the chest, in a stolen boat tied up near the library, there are a few suspects. Ralph, a volunteer with the Coast Guard, had helped with the rescue and, for his trouble, was threatened with a lawsuit! Marlene, the girl who was in the boat, might be a suspect, but with the golden goose dead her future is uncertain. Both candidates for mayor were promised large donations, although no money had been handed out yet.

Lucy has other problems as well. Louise Jane pops up at the most inopportune times, like when Lucy is kissing Connor or when Butch sees Lucy home. It’s hard enough being part of a love triangle and unable to decide without Louise Jane’s interference. Marlene, the dead man’s girlfriend, wants to be Lucy’s BFF. Stephanie, a friend who’s home taking care of her mom after a car accident, is stressed, about to lose her job, and a suspect to boot. It’s a relief to think about the murder rather than her love life.

And then there’s Charles. He’s not a suspect. He’s a cat who works at the library, children’s hour being his favorite part of the job.

The characters are developing well. Their friendships are to be envied, the library to be admired, and the sea, to be respected lest the cost be too high. This is the third book in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series. I hope there will be a lot more.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble and a Kindle. You can find several of Sandra’s short stories at Untreed Reads including her newest, “Arthur,” included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now. Look for Denali, in the anthology Dogs and Dragons.

Interview with Eva Gates aka Vicki Delany:

KRL: When did you first start writing this series, and when did the first book come out?

Vicki: The first Lighthouse Library book, By Book or By Crook, written under my pen name of Eva Gates, was released in February 2015. I would have started writing it about 18 months before that.

KRL: Why did you choose to go with a pen name for this series?

Vicki: This is what’s called a “work for hire,” meaning I was asked to write the series, rather than coming up with the idea on my own. For that reason the publisher, Penguin, owns the copyright, and thus they also own the author’s name. All my other books are written under my own name of Vicki Delany.

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series? Please tell us a little about the setting and main character.


Eva Gates aka Vicki Delany

Vicki: The setting and characters were given to me, but I quickly came to love it all, and to make them my own. The books are set in a real place – The Bodie Island Lighthouse outside of Nags Head, North Carolina. Inside the lighthouse, fictionally, there’s a library. The protagonist of the series is Lucy Richardson, librarian, as befits a very cozy series. I’ve loved getting to know the Outer Banks.

KRL: How many different series do you have going right now?

Vicki: Three and a half. The Lighthouse Library series is, sadly, finished, but I still have the Year Round Christmas mysteries for Berkley, and am starting a new series for Crooked Lane called the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and Emporium series (look for Elementary, She Read in Spring 2017). I write the Constable Molly Smith series for Poisoned Pen Press, plus novellas for adult literacy for Orca Press in the Sgt Ray Robertson series (they’re the half).

KRL: Can’t wait for the Sherlock Holmes one next year! Is it hard to balance more than one?

Vicki: Not really. I work on one book at a time, although sometimes I’m interrupted by edits from the publisher on a previous book.

KRL: What are the differences between writing each one?

Vicki: The Ray Robertson novellas are pretty hard–boiled; the Molly Smith books are gritty police procedurals; the Sherlock and Christmas books are cozies. So the main difference is in mood and tone. It can be difficult sometimes to so dramatically change mood, so I often read a book of the type I’m trying to get into to help me make the switch.

KRL: What do you have coming up next?

Vicki: On April 5, the third Lighthouse Library book, Reading Up a Storm, was released. In November, the second Year Round Christmas book, We Wish You a Murderous Christmas will be out.

KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?

Vicki: I keep a very strict schedule: Every morning, seven days a week, and every day of the year, when I’m home or don’t have company. I find if I don’t have a routine, then it would just not get done.

KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?

Vicki: I outline, and I stick to the outline. I wasn’t always an outliner, but since writing for Penguin, where they require an outline, I’ve found that I like doing it that way. It gets the hard part out of the way.

KRL: Future writing goals?

Vicki: Just keep on cranking them out! I’m very happy writing cozies now, and happy to stay where I am.

KRL: What kind of research do you do?

Vicki: That depends totally on the type of series. For the Constable Molly Smith books, I talked to a lot of Canadian cops. For the Ray Robertson books I went to South Sudan, Haiti, and Turks and Caicos (okay, I was already in those places, so I used what I observed). For the Lighthouse Library books, I went to the Outer Banks, and for the new Sherlock series, I am planning a trip next month to Cape Cod. For the Christmas books, I didn’t have to do any research at all.

KRL: What do you read?

Vicki: Crime novels mostly. I like the traditional British-style police procedurals, and I love modern Gothics by people like Kate Morton or Simone St. James. I read a lot of really great Canadian mysteries as well. Too many favorites to mention.

KRL: Favorite TV or movies?

Vicki: I don’t have a TV and I rarely go to movies. But I do have Netflix, and I love some of the dark and gritty British TV shows such as Happy Valley and River.

KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?

Vicki: Read. That’s the advice I always give beginning writers. Read, and read a lot, and not only in your own area. Reading good books is how we tone our craft. Only by reading are you able to understand what works, and what doesn’t.

KRL: Anything you would like to add?

Vicki: Just my thanks for talking to me.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Vicki: That I am an extreme introvert. Remember, introvert doesn’t mean shy. I’m not that.

KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?

Twitter: @vickidelany @evagatesauthor
Facebook: Vicki Delany & Eva Gates Facebook page.

To enter to win a copy of Reading Up a Storm, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “storm,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 7, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.

If you use this link to purchase the book a portion will go to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:



  1. Three and a half series is impressive. Thanks for the chance 🙂
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  2. Reading Up a Storm sounds like a wonderful cozy, and the cover art is beautiful. Thank you for the giveaway.
    myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. This is a great series. I really enjoy that it is set in the Outer Banks and in a lighthouse library. Lucy and her cat Charles are great characters. Looking forward to reading the latest installment.

  4. I love this series saddened it has been retired. However, I am enjoying the other series, and look forward to the Sherlock Holmes Bookstore and Emporium series. Thanks, Eva/Vicki, for great reading adventures! Thanks, KRL!

  5. What a GREAT place to live —- above a library and also in a lighthouse!! I want to go there!!!

  6. Reading Up a Storm sounds wonderful. Thank you for this chance.

  7. i would love to live there also sounds so good

  8. Great interview! Love the cover and the book sounds awesome!

  9. Reading up a storm looks most interesting. Sorry I just learned of your stories. Especially since the lighthouse series is coming to an end. I am hoping this will be the start of reading your series.

  10. I’m fascinated to read that this series was more or less commissioned. I look forward to reading this entry.

  11. Great review and interview. Thanks for the chance to win.

  12. We have a winner!


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