Shot Through the Hearth

Shot Through the Hearth

by Kate Carlisle

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Contractor Shannon Hammer is measuring murder motives in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Wrench in the Works and Eaves of Destruction...

Shannon's good friend and retired tech billionaire, Raphael Nash, is loving his new retired life but he can't stay unoccupied for too long. He's started the Marigold Foundation that helps fund small companies and individuals who do humanitarian work around the world. It's an exciting time in Lighthouse Cove as Raphael hosts the first ever global conference inviting big thinkers from every area of industry to give presentations on eco-living.

Raphael's old business partner arrives in town with a grudge and a plan to steal him away from his important new passion project. Shannon knows her friend has no intention of giving up Marigold and is proud of Raphael for sticking to his guns. But when his former associate winds up dead, all signs point to Raphael.

It's up to Shannon to hammer out the details of the murder before her friend gets pinned for the crime...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984804396
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/29/2019
Series: Fixer-Upper Mystery Series , #7
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 529
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

A native Californian, New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle worked in television for many years before turning to writing. A lifelong fascination with the art and craft of bookbinding led her to write the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring Brooklyn Wainwright, whose bookbinding and restoration skills invariably uncover old secrets, treachery, and murder. She is also the author of the Fixer-Upper Mysteries featuring small-town girl Shannon Hammer, a building contractor specializing in home restoration.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


"Have you ever been to a barn raising?" I asked.


My foreman, Wade Chambers, chuckled. "No. But I've seen them in the movies." We strolled around the old Victorian farmhouse we were about to start renovating. Raphael Nash, the owner of the house and the acres of farmland surrounding it, wasn't here. He had been smart enough to rent one of our town's beautifully restored Victorian mansions until this rehab was completed.


"I've seen that movie, too," I said.


"Right?" Wade nodded, grinning. "Some city guy hides out in Amish country to avoid being killed by the bad guys. And sometime in the second act, everyone in the community comes out to help the Amish family build a barn. It looked pretty cool."


"Except for the part where the guy almost drowned in a corn silo."


"Oh, yeah." He made a face. "Ugh."


I sighed as we stepped gingerly on the badly warped planks of the rickety wraparound verandah. "Watching that movie probably doesn't count as actual job experience."


It was embarrassing to admit I'd never built a barn, especially since I'm a building contractor and I've been hanging out at my father's construction sites from the time I was eight years old. My name is Shannon Hammer, and ever since my dad retired five years ago, I've owned Hammer Construction all on my own. And even though we specialized in Victorian home reconstruction, I was proud of the fact that we had built or renovated almost every other style and type of structure out there. But in all my years of building and rehabbing, I had never taken part in a barn raising. In fact, I couldn't remember anyone in the Lighthouse Cove area ever building a new barn.


That might've been due to the fact that I was born and raised in this small coastal town in Northern California, not the first place that came to mind when you thought of farmland. But back in the eighteen fifties, the town was settled by dairy farmers, and to this day, outside the town limits, there are thousands of acres of rich farmland with a gazillion happy cows wherever you look. And yet, I couldn't remember ever seeing a new barn go up. Apparently, the local farmers had managed to get by with the same old barns that had been standing on their properties for over a hundred years.


"So anyway, Rafe wants a new barn," I told my foreman.


"I figured that's why you brought up the subject," he said. "Does he want the barn before or after we renovate his house?"


"Pretty sure it's after, but we'll double-check when we meet tomorrow morning."


We stopped at the front steps and stared across the wide field to the funky old barn where Rafe housed his small herd of milking cows and the odd assortment of hybrid farm equipment he was working with. The red paint was faded and peeling off. A few of the vertical slats were missing, and some of the remaining wood had started to disintegrate. The roof was uneven and missing some shingles.


"It looks ready to fall down."


That was an understatement. I stared at the old structure and felt a glint of excitement. I had never been one to shy away from a challenge, and replacing this clearly unstable outbuilding with a shiny new one would be fun. I turned to Wade. "We can do this. How tough can it be? It's just like any other job, only bigger, right?"


"Way bigger," he said. "But if anyone can get it done, Shannon, you can."


"It's nice of you to say so."


"You're my boss," he said with tongue in cheek. "I have to say nice things to you."


I smacked his arm and we both chuckled. But as we walked back to my truck, I sobered. "Rafe hinted that he's got a deadline for both of these projects, but he wasn't willing to mention what it was. Said we'd talk about it when we meet tomorrow."


"Does he know that the house alone will take at least six months, maybe longer?"


"I warned him."


"Okay," Wade said easily. "Guess we'll find out the rest of the details tomorrow."


"Yeah." The meeting with Rafe and my two foremen was scheduled for six o'clock in the morning. I just hoped we would all be awake enough to go over the final details of the job.


Wade pulled himself up into the truck and settled in the passenger seat. "Rumor has it the guy is made of money."


"Despite the condition of his house and barn, those rumors are true," I said mildly, starting the engine and putting it in reverse.


"Well, then, if he wants a barn . . ."


"We'll give him a barn," I said with a soft laugh.


With a firm nod, Wade pulled out his tablet and started a tentative list of supplies, equipment, and manpower. After a minute, he glanced up at me and grinned. "Guess we'll have to schedule some time to watch one of those barn-raising movies."



Early the next morning Wade and Carla showed up at my place driving Wade's wife's classy BMW sedan. I had offered to drive my truck-with Carla squeezed into the skinny backseat-but then I figured that since we were meeting with a genuine bazillionaire, the image of us driving up to his house in a luxury sedan would send a better message. Namely, that our company was successful. And that we had great taste in cars, too.


Not that my truck wasn't impressive. It was big, shiny, and powerful. And besides, Rafe was a farmer now. Wouldn't he appreciate that his new contractors were driving up in a big hunky truck?


I had to shake my head as I jumped into the front passenger seat. The fact that during our phone call last night the three of us had actually discussed which car we should drive was a testament to our nerves and the importance of this job. A contractor was never so happy as when she had jobs lined up. And this job was a big one that could keep my crew and me busy for months.


"So tell us more about this new client," Carla said as Wade drove off toward the outskirts of town where Rafe's extensive property sat.


I turned in my seat so I could see both her and Wade. "I've only met him a few times and I think he's a pretty great guy. Business-wise, most of my information is from Marigold. Plus I looked him up online when we first talked about doing the job."


Raphael Nash, or Rafe, as he preferred, had made millions in the tech world by inventing, among other items, a unique solar battery that collected and stored energy in miniature solar panels, each the size of a deck of playing cards. From there, Rafe and his company were able to apply those panels to a dozen different uses, including small shingles that were attractive enough to use as siding on homes. They did twice the work of larger roof panels, storing up enough sun power to keep a home running for years.


Rafe was convinced that these small, attractive shingles would look perfect on the outside walls of the sorts of Victorian homes found along the Northern California coast, and while experimenting with the idea, he had discovered Lighthouse Cove. And Marigold.


After that first creative victory, Rafe and his company had gone on to invent a bunch of other products and gadgets that had revolutionized the alternative energy field.


Then, last year Rafe quit the business, leaving his tech company in his partner's good hands and moving to Lighthouse Cove, where he had bought the old Jenkins farm. He had hoped to live a quieter, more rural life, living off the land as much as possible. But instead of retiring to milk cows and fish, his mind wouldn't allow him to relax. He continued to dream up new and crazy ideas to improve life on the farm, mainly focusing on solar- and wind-powered farm equipment. He had even invented a self-reeling fishing pole that ran on solar batteries and he was currently experimenting with safe wind technology. He had installed three wind turbines on his property but had stopped using them after hearing that the big machines might endanger the birds. The guy was a marvel. And he was gorgeous, by the way.


No wonder my friend Marigold had fallen in love with him. And vice versa.


"Gorgeous? Really?" Carla said after hearing my rundown. "Tell me more."


"Well, let's see. He's tall, dark, and handsome. Classic good looks."


"Yummy," she said. "Where's he from?"


"According to Marigold, his mother is from Costa Rica and his father is from somewhere in the Midwest. Rafe was born and raised in San Diego. Also according to Marigold, the guy has already made enough money to last ten lifetimes. Now he wants to concentrate his talents on inventing ways to make life better for the poorest people on the planet."


"That's not a bad goal," Wade said as he made the left turn at Paradise Lane and continued east up and around the hill.


"I've heard he's one of the fifty richest men in the world," Carla said.


"He's definitely in the top twenty," I figured.


Carla bit her lip nervously. "I hope he'll be able to relate to us little people."


"If Marigold loves him," I said, "he's got to be a nice guy."


After a few seconds of contemplation, she nodded. "Okay. I'm holding on to that."



"We'll sit at the dining room table," Rafe said after I'd introduced him to my two foremen at the front door.


"Wherever you'd like," I said.


He led the way into the cramped foyer, past an old wooden newel post that seemed to be the only thing holding the ancient staircase upright, and past the arched entry leading into the sparsely decorated living room.


"I'm not really living here," he explained, "so please excuse the lack of décor."


"No problem," I murmured as we followed him through another archway into the dining room.


"Whoa," Wade said, halting as we all stared at the spread Rafe had arranged for the meeting. The dining table was covered with platters stacked with donuts, pastries, and bagels. Another plate held cream cheese and all the other goodies that we might want to smear onto the bagels. There was a coffee urn, mugs, and a row of soft drinks lined on top of a sideboard.


"Wow," Carla said. "You expecting company?"


Rafe grinned. "You're it."


"This is so nice," I said with a big smile. "You didn't have to do it on our account, but I'm not about to complain."


"Good. Then grab some coffee and have a seat."


We happily followed his instructions and then sat down at the table.


"When I schedule a meeting this early," Rafe explained as he grabbed two fat donuts and put them on his plate, "I figure breakfast should be included in the deal. And since I'm basically a twelve-year-old kid when it comes to nutrition, this is my kind of breakfast."


"Mine, too," I admitted, chuckling. "Thank you for doing this. It wasn't necessary, but it's greatly appreciated."


"Don't thank me yet. I'm about to put you to work for the next few months."


"We're looking forward to it."


"Good. Then let's get started."


But instead of pulling out blueprints for the house or listing all the features he wanted in his new barn, he began talking about Marigold. "You know I've asked her to marry me."


I bit back a smile. "I might've heard a rumor about that."


His own smile was brilliant. "Then you know she said yes."


"I'm so happy for you both," I said, and laid my hand warmly on his forearm.


"She's like no one else I've ever known," he said in an awestruck whisper. "She inspires me to be the very best person I can be. That's why I've started the Marigold Foundation."


"A foundation. That's . . . interesting." I blinked and somehow thought of my father's old saying that the rich were different than you and me. "Does Marigold know you did this?"


"I just told her last night."


"Did she run off screaming?"


Rafe barked out a laugh. "You do know her pretty well."


"Yeah, I do." I kept smiling. "And I know she's not generally impressed with grand gestures."


"No, she isn't," he said, meeting my gaze directly. "And while the gesture may be grand, it isn't an empty promise. The foundation is fully funded, and except for salaries for a small staff, all the foundation money will go toward grants to help eradicate poverty and hunger while saving the environment."


I stared into his eyes for a long moment, then nodded. I already knew that his goals were altruistic and humane, so why not accept him at his word?


He held up a hand. "Okay, let me rephrase that. I'm not looking for any pie-in-the-sky ideas." He smiled. "I don't want any Kumbaya moments from people applying for grant money. I want to hear down-to-earth nuts-and-bolts stuff. I want to hear ways to use cutting-edge technologies that will actually help people."


I'd had a positive impression of Raphael Nash from the first minute I'd met him last month, but my loyalty was with my friend Marigold. I trusted my instincts, though, as well as Marigold's, and everything I'd just seen in Rafe's eyes and heard in his voice told me that he could be trusted.


I took a small bite of a bear claw and chewed it for a few seconds. I wondered why he had mentioned the Marigold Foundation and thought I'd better ask the question. "How is the foundation connected to the work we're going to do on your home and the new barn?"


"I'm glad you asked," he said, gulping down some coffee. "Let me explain what I have in mind."


The three of us pulled out our tablets and prepared to take notes.


Rafe folded his hands together and smiled. "I'm going to put on a conference."


I glanced at my two foremen. As announcements went, Rafe's wasn't exactly earth-shattering. But the more he talked it through, the more I could see that this conference of his could be a major event. He already had a name for it.


"Future Global Survival Con," he said with a wide grin. "Impressive, right?"


He looked so guileless yet so proud of himself, I almost laughed. His twelve-year-old-boy sensibilities were showing again.


"Very," I said.


"I recently sent out two thousand glossy color brochures to companies and individuals who are active in all the fields I plan to target. So far, over three hundred people have registered to attend." He looked so delighted with himself, it was contagious. I smiled back as he added, "We'll be sold out at five hundred."

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Shot Through the Hearth 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
cgenna1 10 hours ago
Each book in Kate Carlisle’s Fixer-Upper series keeps me looking forward to the next. Shot Through The Hearth is a light, entertaining read with its main character Shannon Hammer, a contractor who is a smart take charge gal. The camaraderie between the characters remind me of my own friends and family. It’s so easy to feel like part of the community in Lighthouse Cove. Murder tends to find Shannon- of course- but once again this mystery didn’t disappoint. I did not figure out who murdered Raphael’s associate Dillion but it sure was a fun read, while Shannon figures out who the murderer is and why they did it. If you want a well written mystery that’s a page turner, with a smart spit fire heroine- you’ll enjoy spending your time reading Shot Through The Hearth. Need a gift for a friend or group of friends? This would be perfect! ENJOY-
BMarquart 10 hours ago
Shot through the Hearth is another great read in the Fixer Upper Mystery series by Kate Carlisle. It took me a little while to get into this book as there were many new characters to meet and background to learn before the action really started, but once I fell into the mystery, I really enjoyed the story. There were so many characters attending the eco-friendly conference that it was not easy to figure out who committed murder, which is a plus in my opinion. This is a great quick and fun murder mystery to add to your collection.
DebR3 12 hours ago
A refreshing and easy read. This cozy mystery is the 7th in the Fixer-Upper series by Kate Carlisle. I received this book to review. Shannon Hammer and her crew are contracted by billionaire Rafe Nash to renovate his Victorian farmhouse and raise a barn for a conference he will be holding on his property. There is a long list of characters old an new. When a couple of unlikeable attendees are murdered, this adds a who new element to the conference. There are a few twists and turns in the plot. Of course, Shannon is knee deep in the mystery. This was an enjoyable book with some interesting information on renovation and eco-living.
bumblebee23 20 hours ago
This is the seventh book in the Fixer-Upper series and another hit! Shannon and Mac are awesomely paired so of course, it will be great! This time there is a huge conference being put on by Rafe on how to be eco-friendly in so many areas and to give prizes through the Marigold Foundation for the great ideas individuals come up with. There are hundreds of attendees so something has to go wrong....and Shannon is there to help the police figure out who did it yet again! I love the characters (they feel like old friends) and the love Shannon and Mac have for one another. This book has some amazing environment saving ideas that I definitely want to read more about! You definitely should pick this book up, get in a comfy chair with a cup of tea, and enjoy another fast and fun read by Kate Carlisle.
Bronte63JS 1 days ago
Another Winner! Eco-living, smart mice, and murder round out Shot Through the Hearth, the latest installment of Kate Carlisle's Fixer-Upper series. Shannon Hammer along with the cast of regulars help plan, build and participate in the first ever global conference in Lighthouse Cove. Of course murder disrupts the best laid plans. It is up to Shannon, her friends, and the police department to catch the killer. I love this series for the cozy, small town feel and the familiar cast of characters that rounds out each of these novels. Shot Through the Hearth keeps you guessing until the end. It is well worth your time.
DianeD54 2 days ago
Shot Through the Hearth is book #7 in this series and it never gets old! Once again Shannon Hammer finds herself at a crime scene and then trying to help solve a murder. This book stands on its own so if you have not read the previous books, it is not a problem. I enjoy all the characters, watching their relationships grow, and the loyalty between friends. I didn't not expect the twist at the end! I can't wait to see what Shannon gets into next!!
Dollycas 2 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Shannon Hammer, contractor extraordinaire, knew her job for billionaire Raphael Nash was going to be a huge job but big thinking Rafe has expanded his plans for his project and Hammer’s construction crew and for Lighthouse Cove too. Not only does he want the home on his property renovated he adds a barn-raising and a garden tower all to be completed before a global conference about eco-living. He has a vast schedule of events with many guest speakers, including Mac, Lighthouse Cove’s resident author. Rafe has also created the Marigold Foundation, named after his lady love, to award money for research and ecologic humanitarian work around the world. He hopes the conference will become an annual event. While Rafe Nash is over the moon excited about the foundation and conference, his former partner Dillon Charles is not happy. He wants Rafe to come back to the company they built together and to do new projects together. Rafe tries hard to explain he has a new life in Lighthouse Cove and has no plans to leave it but Charles is not backing down. Then as the barn-raising gets underway Dillion Charles is found dead and Rafe finds himself at the top of the suspect list. Shannon vows to help her friend. She plans to find the real killer before he gets screwed for a crime he didn’t commit ___ I am always excited when a book in this series is released. With a little home construction experience, I am always pulled into Shannon’s new project and all the drama that surrounds it. Because of this series, I look at every Victorian home that crosses my path in a new light. This time the project is huge and takes about 8 months to complete so we don’t get as many details of all the work completed but the author gives us plenty of information to visualize not only the house with its wonderful outside living space, but the grounds, the barn, the tower, and the unique pods Rafe Nash brings in for his conference. Ms. Carlisle has also constructed a fantastic mystery. The victim was shady and unlikable. As the story continues information comes to light the pries the suspect list wide open. Many people have a motive, the key is the opportunity. A second death gives a little more focus to who did the deed and readers are taken right into the middle of the scary big reveal when all the clues fall into place. That wasn’t the only scary moment, there are a few that added to the suspense of the story. I was captivated by the process and each little twist and I was still totally surprised at the end. I enjoy that Shannon is a woman in a male-dominated field who knows her job but isn’t afraid to admit when she doesn’t know something. Her field is Victorian restoration, not barn building, and she sent one of her crew to witness and help in an Amish barn raising and bring back what he learned to have their job go off without a hitch. Her crew, many of who worked with her dad, trust her and they work together like a well-oiled machine. Shannon also has a strong man in her life and he is right there to help when she finds herself dealing with yet another dead body. Of course, Eric Jensen, the chief of police, is on the scene and kept in the loop on everything Shannon uncovers. Her father is not quite as involved this time but it is for a good reason. Her uncle also makes an appearance. All the characters have a purpose and the dialogue flows so well. Engaging characters and another fine mystery. A great addition to this series. Each one has
BrendaJErickson 3 days ago
So much fun to catch up with Shannon and her crew! The gals are all in with wedding plans and smart mice. Can't wait for the next book.
ethel55 3 days ago
I look forward to catching up with favorite characters and this was a great mystery. It was also a very timely topic for a cozy mystery. Billioniare Raphel Nash is settling in to his retirement in Lighthouse Cove, but needs an outlet for all his creative ideas and humanitarian dreams for the world. He plots out a huge conference to invite people to understand and help with Global Survival and hires Shannon to help renovate not just his home, but provide conference space, a tall building for plant life and an old fashioned barn raising. The books covers a lot of time, months in, the framework is set for the conference, which brings all sorts of new faces (and suspects) to LIghthouse Cove. When Rafe's former partner is found dead, Shannon is on the scene to try to understand the dynamics of the pair and how to clear her friend's name. There was a lot of time spent at the conference and I liked the peek into the world of wind turnbines, smart mice, living plants and how patents for new ideas are started.
charleneC 4 days ago
I love this series! Lots of interesting,colorful and complex characters, some old, some new! Shannon's multi millionaire friend throws a conference and suddenly attendees start dying. Lots of twists and turns in this very well plotted out story! I love, love, loved it!
bp124 4 days ago
Kate Carlisle has once again written a very enjoyable Whodunnit book. Ms. Carlisle has a way of weaving together a story with enjoyable characters and a very intricate case of murder or shall we say, murders. Once you start, you won't want to put it down because you can't wait to see the outcome. I thoroughly enjoy each time we catch up with Shannon and all of her wonderful friends. I especially like the wonderful descriptions of the old victorian mansions. It makes you want to tour them all! If you want a truly enjoyable read, this is it!
ShelliKing 5 days ago
Shannon and Mac are up to their necks in trouble once again! I have loved every book in this series. This one is no different. Imagine my surprise when I realized that 7 books into the series, this was the first time I noticed that Shannon Hammer's father was named Jack! I can't wait for number 8!
Beckysah 5 days ago
This one keeps you wondering who did it. There wasn't as much about the building that Shannon does. Her dad has a new girlfriend, which I see a a future mystery in. Lots of strange characters attend the conference that Rafe holds. I was convinced I had the person figured out, but I did not. I did realize that when other things happened toward the last 1/4 of the book. This one will keep you guessing!
Penny Stiles 5 days ago
Kate Carlisle’s most recent Fixer Upper Mystery may be my new favorite. In Shot Through the Hearth, Shannon Hammer is again confronted with a homicide that hits close to home. She must find the murderer in order to remove suspicion from a dear friend’s fiancé. There are a plethora of viable suspects from which Shannon and Mac, Shannon’s amazing boyfriend, must determine the culprit. The backdrop of this mystery is a first-time global conference on eco-living. Of course Shannon’s construction team is building the main attractions. In addition they are also renovating the onsite Victorian home of the sponsor. This conference has attracted hundreds of worldwide experts in dozens of fields to Lighthouse Cove to discuss how to save the Earth. While most of the attendees are legitimate scholars, entrepreneurs, and thinkers, there a few strange individuals, too. Some of the ideas shared are brilliant, interesting, and exciting. Others are a little beyond far-fetched, as are their inventors. These new characters, along with those we have come to know so well in the previous books, make Shot Through the Hearth a great read. It kept me guessing until the end. I was also pleased that there are a few teasers about the near future of some of the regular characters. These have made me even more excited for the next Fixer Upper Mystery than I usually am. Enjoy reading Kate Carlisle’s latest!
Brittmom 5 days ago
Book 7 of the fixer up mysteries. Shot through the Hearth is another great read by Kate Carlisle. Once again Shannon Hammer is right in the middle of another murder and it is up to her to solve it with help of the man in her life Mac Sullivan and a few good friends while trying to keep her friend Rate out of jail and her friend Marigold safe and still remodel a home, build a barn, and an ecosphere. Never dull. Highly recommend this series.
GHeins 7 days ago
I have read all of the books in Kate Carlisle's Fixer-Upper Mystery series and I really enjoy jumping into the story and visiting with the characters at the beginning of the book. This book was a little different. Shannon has a huge time and life consuming construction job. The way the story is written, I felt very consumed by this project as well. I haven't read a book in this series since the last one came out and I was really struggling to remember Marigold and whether or not I'd ever been introduced to Raphael Nash. Mac was mentioned near the beginning of the book, but he wasn't introduced with enough information for a reader new to this series to understand who he was until a little later in the book. Once I got past the construction project, I found the book easier to get into, and finished it fairly quickly. Overall, I liked the book, but I would not suggest this be the first book in the series someone read.
Booksandknitting 8 days ago
Shannon and her crew are renovating an old farmhouse for millionaire Rafe and Shannon’s good friend, Marigold. Rafe has retired from his tech empire and is happily working on inventions to help the environment. Shannon is working on a tight deadline because Rafe is sponsoring an eco conference and everything must be ready. Not only is the house being remodeled, but they are building an ecosphere (a plant-filled tower) and prepping for a barn-raising. Everything is finished and the conference has begun when things begin to go wrong. First, Rafe’s old partner (a completely unlikable character) turns up and insults Marigold and argues with Rafe. The conference is full of zany characters, egotistical snobs, and just plain crazies. Shannon and her boyfriend, Max, get involved in the investigation. Quick-paced and warm-hearted, this is a good cozy mystery to read on an autumn day with a glass of apple cider.
TheGenreMinxBookReviews 9 days ago
Shot Through the Hearth is the seventh book in the Fixer-Upper Mystery series and what a lovely addition this book was! Shannon Hammer has always thrived on challenges and when her friend’s beau, retired tech billionaire Raphael Nash, contacted her about taking on a renovation project for his old Victorian farmhouse, she and her team were excited about the opportunity. What they didn’t realize was the scope of what Raphael was looking to accomplish. This was going to be their biggest and most challenging construction undertaking yet. With everything moving along relatively smoothly, Shannon was loving the challenge. Raphael wanted to repurpose as many materials as possible and he had many great plans that included the latest green building methodologies. His “crowning achievement” was going to be the venue that he wanted created to hold the first annual Future Global Survival Con where like minds would be attending with the goal of exploring cutting edge technologies that would help people. Unfortunately, not all in attendance were as altruistic minded as Raphael and it was not long before Shannon found herself entangled in another murder investigation. There is a lot to appreciate in Shot Through the Hearth. This story will definitely appeal to readers who enjoy a green living lifestyle because there are a lot of cool ideas discussed. The murder mystery that Shannon finds herself involved in was quite interesting and following the twists and turns to uncovering the murderer was nicely done. There were also many great characters who were quirky and added much humor to the story. Overall. Shot Through the Hearth was a humdinger of a cozy mystery and I would recommend it to all readers who enjoy a crafty whodunit. This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Berkley Prime Crime. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
BonMaimeo 9 days ago
This 7th book in this series has two things happening that touches my heart: restoration of old homes and saving and protecting the environment. This series still provides enjoyment and entertainment with some quirky and/or unpleasant characters as well as the regulars ones that I still like such as Shannon and her close friends. This cozy, fast-paced, page-turner still has me a fan of this author. I loved it. As a Kate rater, I was given a complimentary copy for my honest review.
K1721M 11 days ago
As one of Kate’s Raters, I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It's all about saving the environment in this seventh installment of Carlisle's fixer-upper series. Narrated by Shannon Hammer, contractor and protagonist of the series, it introduces new characters and brings back familiar ones. Retired tech billionaire Raphael Nash is hosting a grand conference in Lighthouse Cove and has hired Shannon and her crew to renovate his home and barn for the on-site event. Not only is he the fiancée of Shannon's friend, Marigold, the namesake of his foundation, he is gorgeous and a genuinely nice guy. Unlike Shannon and the business-owners of Lighthouse Cove, who stand to benefit from the conference, Rafe's former business partner, Dillon Charles, is less than thrilled. Vitriolic, condescending, and rude, he rubs everyone the wrong way. Virtual opposites in both looks and personality, his association with Rafe is a puzzle.  He vents his feelings of frustration and betrayal on Rafe, trying to convince him to return to their company. But, his criticisms and insults only make things worse. When Dillon is found dead during one of the opening events of the conference, it is a shock, but not a surprise. Shannon finds herself at a crime scene, a familiar, yet unfortunate occurrence for both her and police chief Eric Jensen(AKA "Thor"). And, as if that wasn't bad enough, it is followed by another death. Then, a series unfortunate events too numerous to be coincidental. This was another enjoyable book in the series. Reminiscent of signature Agatha Christie, there are several suspects, each having a motive, the culprit being the one you least expect. It had a good story, likeable characters, and humor(sometimes laugh-out-loud). And, as always, I learned something new.
Saramarg 13 days ago
I'm fascinated with all of the detail in the latest in Kate Carlisle's Fixer-Upper Mysteries, particularly since I don't know anything about home construction or renovation. This time it's a huge job for building contractor Shannon Hammer and her crew. Her friend, billionaire inventor Rafe, wants to time the renovation of his Victorian farmhouse with the Future Global Survival Con he will sponsor on his property in Lighthouse Cove. The construction will include a tower to be used as a vertical garden for "a lush maze of plants and flowers growing up the walls and cascading down the walls." And, of course, an old-fashioned (environmentally friendly) barn raising. But there is bad feeling between Rafe and his former tech partner, who noisily demands that he return to their company. When his partner turns up dead, Rafe is only one of the suspects--it seems everyone disliked the guy intensely. Several of the conference attendees have reason to get revenge after dealings with him that ended up as a huge disappointment . . . to say the least! I loved spending time with Shannon's friends, crew, father, uncle, and other Lighthouse Cove residents, including her boyfriend (author Mac), Rafe's fiancee Marigold, a hunky Scottish stonemason, a botanist that cries when he thinks his plants are not being treated well, and many more. This is a strong entry in in the series with a well-developed mystery--check it out!
arkieclown 18 days ago
SHOT THROUGH THE HEARTH by Kate Carlisle is the seventh book in the Fixer-Upper Mystery series. It’s the wonderful story of Shannon Hammer, contractor and owner of Hammer Construction in Lighthouse Cove. She’s hired by Raphael “Rafe” Nash (a retired tech billionaire who is engaged to one of her best friends, Marigold) to enlarge and remodel an existing home, build an Ecosphere, and to hold a barn raising. During the lengthy remodel, Rafe spends his time working on creating the Marigold Foundation and making plans for the first global conference where knowledge can be shared in order to make this planet better for us all as well as inviting the top people in the eco-living field (both as attendees and speakers) to attend. Once the conference starts, we meet a wide array of professionals from an ethnobotanist, a specialist in smart mice studies, and an eco-fisheries expert. Rafe has even enlisted Shannon’s boyfriend, MacKintyre “Mac” Sullivan – author and former navy SEAL, to be one of the speakers. Dillon Charles, Rafe’s partner, attends managing to disrupt things making several people angry. Even Rafe, who after Dillion insulted his fiancée, told him to leave the property and not come back. When Dillion is found dead among the barn raising materials, things start to unravel at the conference. With such a wide array of patrons and so many of them despising the victim and having a good motive for murder, where will the authorities start? Police Chief Eric Jensen, boyfriend of Shannon’s sister Chloe, and Tommy Gallagher, assistant police chief and Shannon’s ex-high school boyfriend, have their hands full! Disaster continues to strike with another murder, gun shots, and poisonings. It seems as the crimes and victims pile up that the suspect list grows just as high. Shannon and Mac agree to help Rafe any way they can. They are determined to figure out who and why before the conference is in the recycle heap or someone close to them becomes a victim too. Is Shannon really a murder magnet? Can they figure out who the real murderer is before they strike again or get away? While Shannon live to see her wonderful romance with Mac progress further? Can Rafe straighten out the mess of the past? Will there be a second global conference? SHOT THROUGH THE HEARTH is a very well written cozy mystery that will have you suspecting just about everyone as you explore the possible suspects alongside Shannon Hammer. It will keep you turning pages while you hope that neither Shannon nor her friends, who we have come to think of as our friends too, come to any harm as danger lurks and bullets fly. You will even chuckle a few times proving there is laughter even in the “small things” in life. Kate Carlisle has managed to keep this series fresh and exciting and once again proves what a great writer she is. Although part of a series, this book can definitely be read as a standalone book. Without hesitation, I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a cozy mysteries, a great whodunit story, a clean read that will keep you turning the pages or just an out and out great book regardless of what genre you like. This book will fit the bill and have you recommending it as well.
JuliW 18 days ago
I love old houses, and the idea of a construction company that specializes in the restoration and reconstruction of old Victorians makes me happy in my soul. There's just something magical and homey in an old house. The main character in Kate Carlisle's Fixer-upper Mystery series, Shannon Hammer, breathes new life into old Victorian of course, I had to give this series a try! Shot Through the Hearth is the 7th book in the series. Normally I don't jump into a series after so many books, but I was willing to try it to see if I would like the characters and the plot. I'm glad I did! This was an enjoyable cozy! I was easily able to figure out most of the characters and their relationships, although I think I would have understood the nuances a bit better had I started at the beginning of this series. In Shot Through the Hearth, Hammer Construction is hired for a complicated reconstruction and new construction project. They have 8 months to refurbish a large Victorian home, and build some green eco-friendly structures, including an eco-friendly barn. Their client, Rafe Nash, made his millions in the tech industry and energy efficient inventions. He plans an eco-friendly convention just after the construction projects are finished. Shannon finds herself really liking Rafe (which is good since he is engaged to a close friend of hers), but his business partner, Dillon, is another matter altogether. Things get dicey when a body is found in the barn during the convention.....and then another body turns up. With more than 500 people in attendance at the conference and most of them quirky in one way or another.....there are a lot of suspects and lots of investigation! For me this was a nice introduction to this series. I'm definitely going to backtrack and read the Fixer-upper Mysteries from the beginning! **I voluntarily read an advanced review copy of this book from Berkley via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Pompie1999 19 days ago
This was my first book in this series and I am impressed. Of course, I expected to be impressed since I have read all of the books in the author’s Bibliophile Mystery series and have loved each and every one of them. I’ve also watched a few of the movies based on this series and liked them okay, but wasn’t totally impressed. My belief is that the book is always better than the movie – and that was certainly correct this time. I like both Shannon and Mac much better in the book! I liked the lighthearted banter between Shannon and Mac and also between Shannon and her friends. Shannon and her construction company are undertaking their biggest job yet and it is really exciting for them because they will be doing some types of construction they’ve never done before. Not only will they be refurbishing an old farmhouse, but they’ll also be constructing all the venues for a huge environmental/earth survival conference where all of the latest green building technologies will be featured. This is all at the behest their client Raphael (Rafe) Nash who is a retired tech bazillionaire who is engaged to one of Shannon’s best friends – Marigold. As the conference begins, Shannon meets some really strange people who are involved in all sorts of planet-saving research and/or projects. Some are true ding-a-lings, some are serious believers, and others are putting their drive and intelligence to good use by developing earth sustaining products. Everybody seems really excited about this first-ever conference – and the chance to win a grant from the newly formed Marigold Foundation. It isn’t too long into the conference before a body is found. The victim was a real dastard and wasn’t liked by anyone – meaning that there are well over five-hundred suspects. Finding someone who didn’t want him dead would be an easier task. As both the conference and the investigation continue – other strange things happen – and then another body. Who is trying to ruin the conference? Or – is someone also trying to kill Rafe or Marigold? Mac and Shannon continue to help the Police Chief with the investigation because they want to assure that their friends, Rafe and Marigold, aren’t harmed. One of my favorite parts has to do with Shannon and the ‘smart’ mice. Also, as I mentioned before, the humor and banter among the main characters are delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and definitely recommend it. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
nfam 20 days ago
Murder at a Planet-Saving Conference Shannon Hammer, a contractor who specializes in restoring old houses, is particularly pleased to get a commission to restore the old farmhouse that will be the home of her friend, Marigold, and her fiance, Raphael Nash, a retired tech billionaire. In addition to the farmhouse project, Rafe wants Shannon’s team to construct a conference center. It’s supposed to have environmentally friendly buildings and be the site of a planet-saving conference. The project has a short timeline because Rafe wants to showcase his green building technology. The site is ready on time and the conference goes on as scheduled. Shannon finds the participants an interesting mix of odd-balls and serious technologists. All is going well. The five-hundred people in attendance seem to be enjoying the site and the presentations until Rafe’s ex-partner is found dead. Now Rafe is the primary suspect and Shannon and her partner, Mac, need to help the police figure out what happened. This is a fun read. Shannon and Mac engage in amusing banter. I found Rafe an attractive character. The descriptions of his conference center are well conceived. If you enjoy renovation and construction, the process of building the center is well described. The background in eco-friendly technology is interesting, but sometimes veers into parody. Still, it’s fun to meet the strange characters responsible of the ideas. Altogether, this is a fun book. I received this book from Net Galley for this review.