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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

By Book or by Crook (Lighthouse Library, #1) or... how to get screwed by your publisher.

By Book or By Crook: A Lighthouse Library Mystery - Eva Gates

I hemmed and hawed about how to rate this book because it's a good story, with a fantastic setting (a library in a lighthouse!) and good characters.  But it is the worst book I've ever read for editing by a major publisher ever.  

 

Quickly: Lucy moves away from her old-money family in Boston to live near her aunt on Bodie Island, North Carolina and gets a job as the Assistant Librarian at the Lighthouse Library.  She finds herself surrounded by people who either wanted her job or wanted her job eliminated.  During a reception celebrating a showing of Jane Austen first editions, the library board's chairman is killed.  Then the Austen books start going missing...

 

It's a really good story for a first in a series.  The murder plotting is really great - I never even considered the guilty person once. Lots of potential here for a very smart, enjoyable series.

 

But the editing!!!  This is what I stumbled over that slipped past the Obsidian/Penguin staff:

 

Lucy lives in a round lighthouse.  She mentions specifically her apartment is round and has no corners.  Then proceeds to describe the room as having corners ("the iron day bed... tucked in a corner").

 

The mayor tells Lucy he's going to bring his friend's daughter to one of her lectures.  In the next paragraph, she's his niece (he also tells Lucy he's an only child).

 

waived instead of waved

providence instead of provenance

 

corner instead of counter

setting instead of selling

injunction instead of injection

 

The icing on this particular cake is the acknowledgements at the end, where the author thanks "Laura Fazio, my marvellous editor at Obsidian".  What is it, exactly, that she's thanking her for?  Because it certainly isn't her fabulous editing.