Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A High-End Finish: A Fixer Upper Mystery by Kate Carlisle

Shannon’s home-renovation and repair business is booming, but her love life needs work. On a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton, she has to whip out a pair of pliers to keep Jerry from getting too hands on. Shannon is happy to put her rotten date behind her, but when Jerry’s found dead in a run-down Victorian home that she’s been hired to restore, the town’s attractive new police chief suspects that her threats may have laid the foundation for murder.

Determined to clear her name, Shannon conducts her own investigation—with the help of her four best friends, her eccentric father, a nosy neighbor or two, and a handsome crime writer who’s just moved to town. But as they get closer to prying out the murderer’s identity, Shannon is viciously attacked. Now she’ll have to nail down the truth—or end up in permanent foreclosure.…
Series: A Fixer-Upper Mystery, #1 | Publisher: Audible | Narrator: Angela Starling | Length: 8 hours and 52 minutes | Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery | Source: Publisher | Ratings: 3.5 Cups
I’m normally not one for books that feature home improvement themes because, to be honest, my house is sort of like that movie The Money Pit, so I usually avoid having to relive the home improvement drama that seems to abound here but this is a cozy mystery and I’m always up for a new and unique cozy mystery series.
Here’s what’s going on. When Shannon’s blind date, who happens to be a complete and utter wanker, is found murdered in a Victorian she’s been hired to restore, she becomes the new police chief’s prime suspect. It doesn’t help matters that her tool is the murder weapon.  And when Shannon is attacked, she along with her friends and family are determined to clear her name and catch the person out to get her.
For this one being a first in a series, I was surprised at how nicely the book flowed. Normally, they tend to be bogged down with introductions and backstories but I loved the pacing of this one.
I liked Shannon, for the most part, she’s determined, a little quirky, and she knows her way around a home renovation. But, at times, she seems a little too juvenile. I mean, she’s still having problems with the girls that were the ‘means girls’ in high school. And it was a constant complaint of hers throughout the book, so it got a bit annoying. She should really be over that by now.
Like most cozy mysteries, there’s a bit of a love triangle going on involving Eric Jensen, the new chief of police, and Mac Sullivan, a writer. While both men seem interested in Shannon, I find myself rooting more for the police chief than the writer and I’m eager to see where it goes.
I thought the mystery was well handled and I liked the way it was layered with several incidents. I did work out who it was fairly early on but it was still interesting discovering it along with the characters.
This was my first time listening to Angela Starling narrate and, I have to say, I rather enjoyed it.
Overall, I enjoyed most of this one. The ‘mean girls’ thing, I could have done without, but the rest of the book was fun.
Learn more about Lighthouse Cove and its residents HERE.

Fixer Upper Series
Eaves of Destruction (Fixer-Upper Mystery #5) 
A Wrench in the Works (Fixer-Upper Mystery #6)

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