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Fatal Fixer-Upper

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First in the new Do-It-Yourself mystery series! Avery Baker was once a New York designer, but inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path-home renovation. Now, with help from hunky handyman Derek Ellis, Avery starts learning the ABCs of DIY. But when the designer-turned-renovator finds clues that lead to a missing professor, she wonders if sh First in the new Do-It-Yourself mystery series! Avery Baker was once a New York designer, but inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path-home renovation. Now, with help from hunky handyman Derek Ellis, Avery starts learning the ABCs of DIY. But when the designer-turned-renovator finds clues that lead to a missing professor, she wonders if she can finish the house-without getting finished off in the process.


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First in the new Do-It-Yourself mystery series! Avery Baker was once a New York designer, but inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path-home renovation. Now, with help from hunky handyman Derek Ellis, Avery starts learning the ABCs of DIY. But when the designer-turned-renovator finds clues that lead to a missing professor, she wonders if sh First in the new Do-It-Yourself mystery series! Avery Baker was once a New York designer, but inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path-home renovation. Now, with help from hunky handyman Derek Ellis, Avery starts learning the ABCs of DIY. But when the designer-turned-renovator finds clues that lead to a missing professor, she wonders if she can finish the house-without getting finished off in the process.

30 review for Fatal Fixer-Upper

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kasia

    I will admit, yes I'm a sucker for super cute cozy mysteries; they envelop me in a world of "Who did it? Why? What's going on?" and they have a slightly old fashioned charm to them that regular fiction lacks. They usually revolve around small towns and nosy neighbors, random weird characters that make me giggle and of course the crime, figuring out who did it is quite delicious and fun and there's nothing better than turning into a Sherlock Holmes for the duration of the book. This might be the a I will admit, yes I'm a sucker for super cute cozy mysteries; they envelop me in a world of "Who did it? Why? What's going on?" and they have a slightly old fashioned charm to them that regular fiction lacks. They usually revolve around small towns and nosy neighbors, random weird characters that make me giggle and of course the crime, figuring out who did it is quite delicious and fun and there's nothing better than turning into a Sherlock Holmes for the duration of the book. This might be the author's first novel but it's really wonderful. Light and fun but whimsical and very smooth, it had enough charm to keep me glued to the pages until I finally finished it in unmentionably late hours of the evening ( actually not too long ago) and it made me crave for more of Avery, but for that I will have to wait till next spring. When a textile designer living in New York finds out that her aunt in Maine is dying to spill some family secrets, she finally decides to take a trip but all is too late. The older Aunt Inga has passed away right before she arrives but lo and behold, the house is left in Avery's name alone with all of its possessions. At first she is heartbroken but later feels an air of uncertainty, someone wants her to stay away form the house and its furnishings and keeps meddling with the property. Is the place more valuable than she though and was the aunt's death an accident or cold blooded murder? It seems that everyone form her friends in Maine to relatives and other acquaintances seem suspicious, each possibly having a motive, not to mention the legends of missing furnishings belonging to Marie Antoinette, could her Aunts old fashioned stuff be mixed with priceless antiques? Read and find out and enjoy the crisp and refreshing new voice of Jennie Bentley, she's a sassy lady with tons of charm and talent. There are plenty of ex-boyfriends, meddling relatives, family secrets, cute potential love interests, suspicious and shady characters and tons of clues. The book was also a breeze to read, not something that I had to labor over (always a plus). Lovely mystery with many twists and turns, I figured a part of it out ( by luck! ) but I simply loved the entire book and it had the perfect balance of mystery, even a tiny bit of romance ( nothing blah) and lots of clues and fund home renovating tips, cant wait for the next one!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tana Hall

    Fatal Fixer-Upper weaves wonderful design and renovation tips seamlessly into a fun--yet gripping!--story. I work in the design and architecture field, and the description of furniture patterns, design, textures, etc. were fabulous! And what a feeling for the historic architecture of New England ... like "This Old House" combined with "Mystery!" :) Fatal Fixer-Upper offers a great read for mystery and design lovers--and sends sparks in the romantic arena as well, with snappy, sexy repartee betwee Fatal Fixer-Upper weaves wonderful design and renovation tips seamlessly into a fun--yet gripping!--story. I work in the design and architecture field, and the description of furniture patterns, design, textures, etc. were fabulous! And what a feeling for the historic architecture of New England ... like "This Old House" combined with "Mystery!" :) Fatal Fixer-Upper offers a great read for mystery and design lovers--and sends sparks in the romantic arena as well, with snappy, sexy repartee between the heroine and her hunky handy-man. I'm looking forward to the next in the series!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Grey853

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is one of those books that should have a 2 and half star rating. It wasn't just a 2, but it was less than a 3. It had it's good points, interesting narrative about old houses and restoration along with some creative secondary characters. What it had going against it was the main character. I was put off by the romantic meanderings of Avery's love life, whether it was about the ex or the new guy. Also, she's really not the the brightest bulb in the pack. She does a lot of really stupid thing This is one of those books that should have a 2 and half star rating. It wasn't just a 2, but it was less than a 3. It had it's good points, interesting narrative about old houses and restoration along with some creative secondary characters. What it had going against it was the main character. I was put off by the romantic meanderings of Avery's love life, whether it was about the ex or the new guy. Also, she's really not the the brightest bulb in the pack. She does a lot of really stupid things throughout the book that put her at risk. Any good mystery reader knows that if you go into a dark house that shouldn't be dark, the last thing you do is go into the basement! I knew pretty early on who the bad guy would be, never a good sign for a mystery. Plus, there was quite a bit of repetition that a good editor could fix. Still, it had promise, just not enough to make it a three star book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mascanlon

    Another new series, I seem to be running across them everywhere lately. Avery is a NY textile designer who inherits her aunt's old Maine cottage which leads to a new career path----home renovation. There is a hunky handyman involved and a cast of characters who will turn in to series regulars one hopes. Fast-paced, well written and fun without to much of the soul searching you sometimes find with new authors. I'll look out for Bentley's next offering for sure.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    First book in this series and I loved it. Couldn't put it down. About the time Avery found her boyfriend cheating on her she got a letter from her Aunt Inga in Maine to come and visit. She decided it was perfect timing but when she gets to to Waterfield, Maine her aunt has died and left her house to Avery. Avery has a degree in design so to make more money on the house when she sales it she decides to fix it up with the help from Derek who renovates houses. But someone doesn't want her to do tha First book in this series and I loved it. Couldn't put it down. About the time Avery found her boyfriend cheating on her she got a letter from her Aunt Inga in Maine to come and visit. She decided it was perfect timing but when she gets to to Waterfield, Maine her aunt has died and left her house to Avery. Avery has a degree in design so to make more money on the house when she sales it she decides to fix it up with the help from Derek who renovates houses. But someone doesn't want her to do that. Someone broke in and destroyed several things and stole a piece of furniture that could be valuable. Someone wants her to sell the house ASAP as is but who. With Derek's help and a lesson in history regarding the house and its contents Avery sets out to find who is trying to stop her. Being from New York City can Avery stay in town long enough to solve the mystery and finish the house? Great mystery, good cast of characters with that small town feel. The writing just flowed from page to page. Already started reading the second book in the series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary C

    How many modern women from NYC say "gosh" on a regular basis? Main character came off more as a country bumpkin Southern belle wannabe than a designer from NYC. But it's an entertaining and will satisfy a craving for a cozy read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    #ReadAllTheBooks

    There's a trend in mystery novels. Whenever something becomes wildly popular, you can be sure that there will be a mystery novel that takes that popular thing & runs with it. Sometimes these series are good, but sometimes they are poorly done & are written in such a hurry that corners are cut & the series is ultimately sloppy. Luckily for myself & any other readers out there, this book was rather well done & enjoyable. `Fatal Fixer-Upper' follows the character of Avery, a textile designer who rec There's a trend in mystery novels. Whenever something becomes wildly popular, you can be sure that there will be a mystery novel that takes that popular thing & runs with it. Sometimes these series are good, but sometimes they are poorly done & are written in such a hurry that corners are cut & the series is ultimately sloppy. Luckily for myself & any other readers out there, this book was rather well done & enjoyable. `Fatal Fixer-Upper' follows the character of Avery, a textile designer who receives a strange letter from a rarely seen & elderly aunt. Her letter requests that Avery come down to see her so that a great wrong can be corrected. Before Avery can get down there, her aunt is dead & Avery has been named the sole heir of her property. While that may sound great at first, she discovers that she's inherited a house in severe need of care, two humongous cats & an equally humongous mystery that may have resulted in her aunt's death. I really didn't know if I'd like this book or not. Like I said, sometimes the fad books can really stink & there's an equally bad trend of having annoying lead characters going around nowadays. I was pleased to discover that not only did I enjoy the book's house flipping premise, but I also liked the character of Avery. Ok, so some of her fabric ideas seem a little cheesy, but she's easy enough to like & relate to. I do have to warn people, if you are looking for a hard core "make you guess" mystery, you will be disappointed. I was able to guess the whodunit early on in the book, although I will admit that I didn't guess their motives. There's enough to the book that I liked to make up for this. I liked the chemistry between Derek & Avery, plus I liked that the book ended with a promise of other mysteries solved. The two of them showed that they liked each other, but they didn't spend their time pawing at each other or leading each other on. The flirtation between the two of them was honestly very believable. I did particularly like that this book was actually a *gasp* mystery, unlike other books that have come out recently. It wasn't the meatiest mystery out there, but neither did was a romance thriller that packaged itself as a mystery. You actually get mysteries & clues & a little sleuthing. Bottom line: If you are looking for something with a bigger mystery, you'll be disappointed. If you are looking for a book where the two lead characters spend most of their time pawing each other, you'll also be a little disappointed. But if you want something nice & entertaining to read while you are waiting for the next season of `Design Star', you'll like this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    First Line: The letter from Aunt Inga arrived, as the saying goes, a day late and a dollar short. If Aunt Inga had put the correct amount of postage on the letter, Avery Baker might have arrived at the elderly lady's old house in Maine in time to find out what she needed help with. As it is, when Avery arrived, her aunt was dead and Avery found herself the heir to her aunt's estate-- including one very neglected Victorian house. What at first seemed like a huge inconvenience turns out to be a ble First Line: The letter from Aunt Inga arrived, as the saying goes, a day late and a dollar short. If Aunt Inga had put the correct amount of postage on the letter, Avery Baker might have arrived at the elderly lady's old house in Maine in time to find out what she needed help with. As it is, when Avery arrived, her aunt was dead and Avery found herself the heir to her aunt's estate-- including one very neglected Victorian house. What at first seemed like a huge inconvenience turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Avery sublets her New York City apartment, quits her job as a textile designer, and moves to Waterfield, Maine-- intent on renovating the old house in order to sell it for as much money as she possibly can so she can move back to New York. Hiring handyman Derek Ellis to help her with the renovations, Avery soon realizes that some of the facts just don't add up, and that her aunt's fall down the staircase was not a case of an old lady losing her balance. She has to find out what's going on before she's the next one to have "an accident." Mysteries that have the renovation of an old house at their centers are one of my reading weaknesses. It was good to see that Bentley didn't merely use the renovation as a springboard for the plot and then ignore the work done on the house. Avery is a complete novice. Her skills lie with textiles-- textures, colors and patterns. She's never tried to bring an old house back to life. The man she hires, Derek Ellis, has, and it's hilarious to see his burgeoning sense of horror as Avery talks about bringing Manhattan industrial loft-style chic to the old Victorian home. It's also fun to watch their attraction to each other grow. Although I knew the identity of the killer as soon as I saw his shoes, the why of the crime totally escaped me even though the author put the reason right out in plain sight. My only defense is that I was enjoying the story and the characters too much to pay close attention. The good news is that Avery plans to keep on renovating in future books, so I'll get to enjoy the chemistry between the former textile designer and the handyman, the do-it-yourself tips, more wonderful old houses, and a solid cast of secondary characters in this fun series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kourtney

    I just finished Jennie Bentley’s first book in her Do-It-Yourself series! I know a couple years late. LOL. But I just picked it up this summer. Fatal Fixer-Upper doesn’t disappoint. Avery is a plucky, likable protagonist (and a believable Manhattanite sans the Sex in the City crap). Before I finished page 1, I’d signed on to read until the end. (And pick up the other books in the series) Her boyfriend, Philippe, is someone I’d swear I met in NY. Setting the story in a small Maine town where Avery I just finished Jennie Bentley’s first book in her Do-It-Yourself series! I know a couple years late. LOL. But I just picked it up this summer. Fatal Fixer-Upper doesn’t disappoint. Avery is a plucky, likable protagonist (and a believable Manhattanite sans the Sex in the City crap). Before I finished page 1, I’d signed on to read until the end. (And pick up the other books in the series) Her boyfriend, Philippe, is someone I’d swear I met in NY. Setting the story in a small Maine town where Avery fixes up an old Victorian was a stroke of genius. (At least to me since I love old Victorian homes and I’m from New England.) The chemistry between Avery and the hero is a slow pressure cooker. You feel it building and you know it’s going somewhere. Or at least you hope it does. The plot weaves in a missing history professor and Maria Antoinette. Without missing a beat, Jennie delivers the perfect blend of background information and historical stuff so you can solve the mystery without overwhelming the reader. The writing is top-notch. Jennie’s writing style sucks the reader in and holds onto them until the last page. And as a nice cherry on your banana split of a book, there are do-it-yourself renovation tips at the end of the book. Have to confess I had an idea of who the killer was from about half way through the book, but I wasn’t 100% certain until I got to the last 50 pages. Now I need to go buy the rest of the series. :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    A pretty good read overall. This is the first in a series of books about Avery Baker, a designer who inherits her great aunt's Victorian house in Maine and her two Maine Coon cats. Avery goes to Maine with the intention of selling the house and returning to NYC but murder changes her plans. Avery says that she graduated summa cum laude from Parsons The New School of Design. Their standards must be slipping. But we already know that she got her job by sleeping with the boss. On page 74 Avery does A pretty good read overall. This is the first in a series of books about Avery Baker, a designer who inherits her great aunt's Victorian house in Maine and her two Maine Coon cats. Avery goes to Maine with the intention of selling the house and returning to NYC but murder changes her plans. Avery says that she graduated summa cum laude from Parsons The New School of Design. Their standards must be slipping. But we already know that she got her job by sleeping with the boss. On page 74 Avery doesn't know that a 2x4 is a piece of wood. On page 85 she starts renovating a room by refinishing the floor first instead of last. On page 189 she glues down tile and immediately grouts without waiting for the tile adhesive to dry but at the end of the book the author gives instructions for tiling a back splash and instruction #7 is "Allow [tile adhesive:] to dry fully." Why 3 stars? I was in the mood for a safe series mystery and I love Victorian houses, Maine and cats. And, BTW, Avery is the most irresponsible pet owner since Stephanie Plum.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    In the first installment of the DIY series from Jenna Bennett aka Jennie Bentley, Fatal Fixer Upper, this new cozy had clever DIY tips for you to fix up your home or business. We were introduced to Avery Baker, a New York interior designer who had inherited her aunt's old Maine cottage. And that had lead her down the path to home renovation with handsome handyman, Derek Ellis. When they met, sparks flew between them. While she learned the process of DIY, they were on the case of a missing profes In the first installment of the DIY series from Jenna Bennett aka Jennie Bentley, Fatal Fixer Upper, this new cozy had clever DIY tips for you to fix up your home or business. We were introduced to Avery Baker, a New York interior designer who had inherited her aunt's old Maine cottage. And that had lead her down the path to home renovation with handsome handyman, Derek Ellis. When they met, sparks flew between them. While she learned the process of DIY, they were on the case of a missing professor, while they rehabbed her great-aunt's home. With Derek's ex-wife trying to get her clutches back into her arms and her ex-fiancé to win her back, they had their fill of excitement. The closer they've gotten closer to the truth, she wondered if they can finish the process in time, before she became the next victim on his or her list.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julieasmith

    New cozy series. I liked this first effort very much and will start the second asap. Characters are likable and mostly believable. Plot somewhat predictable- exactly what I want in a cozy. This reminds me of the series by Sarah Graves- set in the same part of the country, same style of houses. Jacobia is a little more "real" than Avery-

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    another book my sister gave me, (she gives me a big box of books for christmas each year!) this was a great read, couldn't put it down. It goes into the keeper file, to be read again.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Denise Walker

    Perfect, exactly the kind of cost mystery I needed to kick of the summer months. Bentley is a fun writer, fun characters and great setting.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Decker

    I really, really, loved this series debut. After months, even years, of having this recommended, I finally had the chance to read it and it was well worth it. I absolutely flew through it and had to force myself to put it down at times. If I could, I might have read it all in one sitting. The characters are likable and intriguing. The plot is solid and I can't wait to read the next in the series.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I love a good mystery series. One where the main character pulls you in and you can’t help but root for them. Book 1 this series hit all my mystery sweet spots- a main character that often finds their way into trouble, a potential love interest, small town know-it-all’s, and a variety of hijinx.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    This takes place in Maine during the summer. I liked the small town setting. I also enjoyed the history, design, and restoration in this book. I also liked the bed and breakfast. It sounded charming. The mystery was okay. It didn't intrigue me. The characters were okay. The main character made some stupid decisions.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kitty Jay

    Avery Baker is a fabric designer at a high-end company in New York. When she receives a mysterious letter from a great-aunt she hasn't seen in years, she heads to Maine and discovers that her aunt has passed away and left her everything. She decides to stick around and fix up the house before selling it, but finds herself interested in more than renovation when she picks up the trail of a killer determined to keep a secret. Some of this book felt rather cartoonish. The flamboyantly French Phillip Avery Baker is a fabric designer at a high-end company in New York. When she receives a mysterious letter from a great-aunt she hasn't seen in years, she heads to Maine and discovers that her aunt has passed away and left her everything. She decides to stick around and fix up the house before selling it, but finds herself interested in more than renovation when she picks up the trail of a killer determined to keep a secret. Some of this book felt rather cartoonish. The flamboyantly French Phillipe, historical objects being smuggled in through tunnels, and - naturally - the hunky handyman, but all of it worked to pull off a fast-paced, fun little mystery. Avery is maybe a trifle scatter-brained, but genuinely likable, and the cast of characters was great. The only time I stumbled was when this exchange took place, between Derek (hunky handyman) and herself: "Derek quirked a brow. 'And when you need two-by-fours from the lumber depot? How are you gonna get those home?' I wasn't entirely sure what two-by-fours were, but presumably they were too big to carry. 'Ask them to deliver?' ... 'Bet you have a car, though.' 'A Ford F-150,' Derek corrected. When I looked blank, he clarified, 'It's a pick-up truck.' " (74). I will admit that I grew up in construction and in Texas, so two-by-fours and F-150s are part of the local vernacular. That said, really? When I quoted that part to my boyfriend, he wrinkled his brow and asked, "Is she an alien...?". Not to mention, she's a designer. She specializes in textiles, but she mentions that she took some interior designing classes, as well, and not once in that time she learned what a two-by-four was? Has she never watched any variation of CSI on TV where a man is bludgeoned by a two-by-four? Never flipped through a home renovation project show? The author, Jennie Bentley, was clearly trying to highlight how out of her depth Avery is, but there are so many better examples than two-by-fours and F-150s. Derek could have asked if she knew what rabbited lintels were or knew what a soldering iron was. Instead, it's two of the most common things to ever exist. I soldiered past that, however, and thankfully things got better. There's a side plot where the flamboyantly French Phillipe turns out to have a secret of his own - pretty obvious, but funny nonetheless - and there's a small red herring at the local school. The other complaint I had, however, is that they literally identify the murderer about 260 pages in and outline every single one of his/her schemes and how he/she did it, but then are surprised when - guess what! - he/she turns out to be the murderer 40 pages later. Even before that, it was fairly obvious who it was, but still a fun romp to get there. There is also a bit at the end on home-decorating tricks, which could turn out okay, but I have to question Avery's tastes. It appears Pinterest and its obsession with all things renovated and hideous has escaped the confines of the Internet and landed in a book. Some examples of Avery's "brilliance" include: - a piece with "the distinctive arched and scrolled backrest and carved gilt-wood frame. My fabric, by contrast, was hip and modern, with a pattern of overlapping lipstick kisses in three shades of pink" (2) - a "reproduction of a rococo chaise lounge" that is "upholstered in eye-popping shades of bubblegum pink, lemon yellow, and orange, with black trim and tassels" (5) - her own couch, which is "oyster silk blend with black piping, printed with cross sections of enormous black and green kiwifruit" (8) These all sound like something that could be found in a freshman's dorm room. In other words, not classy. I was wincing at the description of gorgeous furniture being upholstered in, apparently, the tackiest fabric one could imagine. Though Avery assures the reader that all of these things looked great, I cannot imagine a world where this would not be reviled. Maybe because I didn't live in the 70s. All in all, however, this book is fluff. It's not great fluff, but it's kind of cheesy and fun and there's some good bits.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    Quite predictable though it was, this was everything that I like in a cozy. The main character was quite sympathetic - just the right blend of sassiness, savvy, and cluelessness. For the most part, the other characters were also easy for me as a reader find them appealing. The plot in a nutshell is that New York textiles designer Avery received a letter in the mail from a very elderly aunt in Maine. Avery hadn't seen this aunt since she had been five years old and was therefore to have received Quite predictable though it was, this was everything that I like in a cozy. The main character was quite sympathetic - just the right blend of sassiness, savvy, and cluelessness. For the most part, the other characters were also easy for me as a reader find them appealing. The plot in a nutshell is that New York textiles designer Avery received a letter in the mail from a very elderly aunt in Maine. Avery hadn't seen this aunt since she had been five years old and was therefore to have received this letter out of the blue. What was in the letter, an allusion to an admission of some sort of shameful secret, was even more surprising. With prodding from both her boyfriend and boss Philippe and her mother, Avery rented a car and drove the six hours to Maine. Upon arrival, Avery had a number of startling discoveries. First, the aunt had died in the intervening days from when she had written to Avery and her niece's arrival in Maine. Then, Avery learned that she was named sole heir to her aunt's Victorian estate. That inheritance wasn't much of a blessing since it was in a very poor state of disrepair. Of course, secrets unfold, and a murder is solved. Also, as often happens in cozies, there is the development of a romance between Avery and the very attractive but rather complicated handyman she hired. This little novel is the first in a series and I believe that I will continue reading to see where the next adventure takes Avery and her new love. If you enjoy cozies, the Atlantic seacoast, the Victorian era, or just a light little cozy with a bit of chaste romance, give this book a look. You just might be glad you did. Happy reading!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rogue Reader

    This is Jennie Bentley's first Do-It-Yourself mystery and it is a good read, setting the stage for the series. Protag Avery Baker is a NY textile designer who bags it when she finds her lover and boss in a nooner with the blonde receptionist. That's it. Providentially, Avery's aunt has died and left her historic Waterfield, Maine home to Avery. And therin is the story. Avery has the hots for handyman Derek Ellis and they end up in an uneasy and tension filled truce as Derek rehabs Avery's house an This is Jennie Bentley's first Do-It-Yourself mystery and it is a good read, setting the stage for the series. Protag Avery Baker is a NY textile designer who bags it when she finds her lover and boss in a nooner with the blonde receptionist. That's it. Providentially, Avery's aunt has died and left her historic Waterfield, Maine home to Avery. And therin is the story. Avery has the hots for handyman Derek Ellis and they end up in an uneasy and tension filled truce as Derek rehabs Avery's house and Avery learns the tricks and tips of the rehab trade. Love the setting, love the local dialect and Maine Coon cats that make their home there. Love the practical advice. Good job, Bentley, and I'll buy the rest of your series! --Ashland Mystery

  21. 5 out of 5

    Doris

    Advertised as a romantic ghost hunting mystery, the book sounded promising. I quit reading on page 8 when the author had her characters define someone incorrectly. "She's my aunt." "I thought she was my aunt." "She's both of our aunts," Mother said. "Her father and my grandfather were brothers." Maybe at some point in the story this will get corrected but the sheer ignorance means I won't read further to find out. (To clarify, the children of brothers are cousins. That means the 'aunt' is first cou Advertised as a romantic ghost hunting mystery, the book sounded promising. I quit reading on page 8 when the author had her characters define someone incorrectly. "She's my aunt." "I thought she was my aunt." "She's both of our aunts," Mother said. "Her father and my grandfather were brothers." Maybe at some point in the story this will get corrected but the sheer ignorance means I won't read further to find out. (To clarify, the children of brothers are cousins. That means the 'aunt' is first cousin to the father of the woman identified as Mother, first cousin once removed to 'Mother', and first cousin twice removed to the other speaker.) I just wish that Goodreads didn't automatically mark any shelved book as read, because I am certainly not reading, and have not read, this.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    thought this might be a fast fun read as I like another author (Sarah Graves) who has a similar subject about fixing up an old house she owns in Maine(read 11 of her books). this one was a disappointment. Young woman inherits a house in Maine that her 98 yr old aunt owned. The person that murdered the aunt is obvious from the getgo. I was hoping that because it was this obvious that a twist in the story would happen, nada. very lame. the worst part is i bought two other books in the series at th thought this might be a fast fun read as I like another author (Sarah Graves) who has a similar subject about fixing up an old house she owns in Maine(read 11 of her books). this one was a disappointment. Young woman inherits a house in Maine that her 98 yr old aunt owned. The person that murdered the aunt is obvious from the getgo. I was hoping that because it was this obvious that a twist in the story would happen, nada. very lame. the worst part is i bought two other books in the series at the same time as I had the false hope that it'd be really good. I fear a donation of these books will be next.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Very good start to what is a new series for me. I love the characters, the mystery was not over the top and the main character is not an all out sleuth, she just happens upon the mystery. Thinking that this is going to be a great series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Light and fun. If you downplayed the sexy handyman there are times when it seems like a Nancy Drew story ( but lets not downplay the sexy handyman!)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heather Boers

    Yes it was predictable, and corny and unrealistic, but in spite (or because ?) of that, this was a real page turner. This author has got something going on, and I hope she writes many more books

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Avery Baker loved living in New York. She loved her job as a designer. And she might have loved her boss. Her life completely turned upside down after receiving a letter from her Aunt in Maine. After an unplanned break-up with her boyfriend/boss Avery made her way to the Pine Tree State. Upon her arrival she discovers that her aunt has suffered an unfortunate accident and did not survive. Avery is now the heir to her aunt’s estate, including the family cottage. Avery has a tough decision to make Avery Baker loved living in New York. She loved her job as a designer. And she might have loved her boss. Her life completely turned upside down after receiving a letter from her Aunt in Maine. After an unplanned break-up with her boyfriend/boss Avery made her way to the Pine Tree State. Upon her arrival she discovers that her aunt has suffered an unfortunate accident and did not survive. Avery is now the heir to her aunt’s estate, including the family cottage. Avery has a tough decision to make. After subletting her apartment for the summer she decides to stay in Maine and begin renovating the cottage with the hopes of selling it for a nice profit. What Avery didn’t plan on was the handsome Handyman, burglary, and murder. I enjoyed this book very much. In fact, I wanted to take book 2 off of my bookshelf and begin reading it. The characters are well-developed. You get a sense of who they are very quickly. The plot moves along at a steady pace. I didn’t want to put the book down. The setting was interesting to me, though maybe a bit hard to picture. I am not familiar with that part of the county. I highly recommend this book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    Wow! I loved this book, the first in this new series!! The characters are interesting and likeable. There is friendship, humor, romance, and an intriguing awesome cozy mystery! Avery gets a letter in the mail from a great Aunt she only met once who wants her to visit. She goes for a quick trip to find that her Aunt just died. Avery goes back to NYC to find her boyfriend is cheating on her so she returns to her Aunt's house for the summer to fix it up to sell. She meets Derek, a local handyman wh Wow! I loved this book, the first in this new series!! The characters are interesting and likeable. There is friendship, humor, romance, and an intriguing awesome cozy mystery! Avery gets a letter in the mail from a great Aunt she only met once who wants her to visit. She goes for a quick trip to find that her Aunt just died. Avery goes back to NYC to find her boyfriend is cheating on her so she returns to her Aunt's house for the summer to fix it up to sell. She meets Derek, a local handyman who agrees to help her. They have an interesting relationship which I really liked. Accidents begin to happen but who is behind them and why? Why did her Aunt want to see her? The book was hard to put down and there were some interesting twists to keep it very interesting! Can't wait to read the next book!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Marty

    The typical cozy mystery storyline: Big city professional has a problem and or inherits an old house in a quaint area. Wants to sell house but falls in love with it instead. The police officer or handyman becomes the new romantic interest. It takes a bit for the city girl to become accustomed to the small town ways, but it works out in the end. The typical storyline is here, but this one ranks a bit better than average. Avery Baker (city girl) finds boss/boyfriend in bed with another lady at the The typical cozy mystery storyline: Big city professional has a problem and or inherits an old house in a quaint area. Wants to sell house but falls in love with it instead. The police officer or handyman becomes the new romantic interest. It takes a bit for the city girl to become accustomed to the small town ways, but it works out in the end. The typical storyline is here, but this one ranks a bit better than average. Avery Baker (city girl) finds boss/boyfriend in bed with another lady at the same time she inherits a broken down mansion in Maine. She didn’t know her great aunt, but becomes intrigued with the happenings in the small town…. Including the disappearance of the college professor who was working with her deceased great aunt on some sort of project. – The hunky contractor fixing up her aunt’s house is a handy cohort in adventure.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Bomes

    At first I wondered if this book was going to be a fluff piece. The main character Avery Barker at first seemed to be a ditsy woman in love with her boss a french guy who was pretentious. As the book moved on though it caught my attention and as I kept reading Avery Barker became a more developed character and her handy man Derek is immediately likable. The details of the area and houses are great and the story line was a terrific one even though I picked up on who the murderer was mid way throu At first I wondered if this book was going to be a fluff piece. The main character Avery Barker at first seemed to be a ditsy woman in love with her boss a french guy who was pretentious. As the book moved on though it caught my attention and as I kept reading Avery Barker became a more developed character and her handy man Derek is immediately likable. The details of the area and houses are great and the story line was a terrific one even though I picked up on who the murderer was mid way through the book. It was a good read and I will be looking forward to reading the next ones in the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Salacious Bee

    Kind of a slow read for me. I felt that the author had a lot of time to spend on the first half, but then had to hurry through the second half to finish the book. I had high hopes but they fizzled by about a third of the way in, because unfortunately, I could see where things were headed. I could tell whudunit a little sooner than the reveal, and made it to the end just to say I finished the book.

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