In this multilayered cozy, the 11th in Graves's home repair series (after 2006's Trap Door), Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree has uncovered what looks to be a very old book while fixing up her 1823 house in Eastport, Maine. Local rare book expert Horace Robotham offers to take a look at it, but then dies in what appears to be a mugging gone wrong. Jake doesn't think too much about this until a stranger drives up to her house three weeks after Horace's death. He introduces himself as a friend of Horace's, says he might have some information about the book and then asks Jake if he can hide a gun in her house. Meanwhile, Jake's father is putting the moves on her sassy housekeeper, Bella. Although the development of minor characters is a little thin, local color and an entirely unexpected denouement combine for engaging reading. (Jan.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Jake Tiptree is back wielding sledgehammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches in the old Maine house she is attempting to renovate. With more enthusiasm than sense or skill, she decides to remove a claw-foot bathtub from the bathroom on the morning she is hosting an afternoon tea honoring a respected pillar of the community. The suspense builds-will the tub be stuck halfway out the window when all the ladies arrive? Miss Fargeorge, the honoree, doesn't have much use for Jake, but she wants her to persuade a visiting professor to stop bothering people with questions. Professor DiMaio believes that his old friend, rare book dealer Horace Robotham, was murdered because of an old book Jake found buried in her cellar. Jake had sent Horace the mysterious book-which listed all the owners of Jake's house written in blood-but he died suddenly, and the book disappeared. Jake doesn't want to believe the professor and certainly doesn't trust him, but she begins half-heartedly to investigate. When more deaths follow, Jake turns her enthusiasm to sleuthing and hires a local carpenter to take over her bathroom project. Narrator Lindsay Ellison's appealing voice and entertaining Maine accent carry the story; she gives Jake's character a straight interpretation even though she is the Calamity Jane of Maine. Recommended for larger mystery collections.
Juleigh Muirhead Clark
A gun-toting college professor arrives in Eastport, Maine, looking for revenge. Ignoring the fact that she's hosting a party the next day in honor of retired schoolteacher Merrie Fargeorge, whose Eastport pedigree is ancient, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree has just taken a sledgehammer to the bathroom in her 200-year-old fixer-upper when Dave DiMaio arrives on her doorstep certain that he knows who murdered his friend Horace Robotham, a rare-book expert who was vetting the strange old volume Jake discovered in her foundation (Trap Door, 2007, etc.). The police have written it off as a mugging gone bad, but Dave is sure the perpetrator is his old college classmate Bert Merkle, an eccentric forger of old books. Jake and her fellow sleuth Ellie White get caught up in Dave's hunt for the killer after someone pushes a local writer to a watery death and a video-game-obsessed teenaged friend of Merkle is found poisoned, a death the state police consider an accident. Jake is also dealing with Merrie, who's annoyed by the uproar; her son, recently out of rehab; and her father, who wants to marry her housekeeper. Jake, Ellie and Dave have several exciting adventures and near-death experiences before the case is resolved. Fans of Jake and her Eastport pals will enjoy this convoluted tale, packed equally with incidents and tips on household repair.
Mixing slaughter with screwdrivers, renovator-author Sarah Graves wields the pen and paintbrush behind the Home Repair Is Homicide series.” —Miami Herald
“Packed equally with incidents and tips on household repair.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Multilayered.… engaging.”—Publishers Weekly