Friday, December 10, 2010

FATAL fixer-upper

Title: FATAL fixer-upper

Author: Jennie Bentley (Bente Gallagher)

Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery

Copyright Date: 2008

Print Date: November 2008

ISBN: 9780425224571

Pages: 325 + Home-Renovation and Design Tips

Series: 1st in the Do-It-Yourself Mystery series

Book Description (from back cover):
Avery Baker was once a New York textile designer, but inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path — home renovation. Finding a property's hidden potential has rewards and challenges — especially when a mystery surfaces behind the walls...

To Avery, the idea of preparing her aunt's crumbling and cluttered home for sale is overwhelming. So when someone offers to buy the place as-is, Avery's relieved. Until she learns it's worth more than she thought — that is, with a few repairs here and there...

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 and then her own life is threatened, Avery wonders if she can finish the house — without getting finished off in the process...

I really enjoyed reading this one (followed by the 2nd book in the series, and I have the 3rd on hold at the library). I wasn't sure about Avery at the beginning, though. I mean, it was so obvious her boyfriend was an absolutely dud (in the jerk-sense). How could I like a character with such bad taste? Fortunately, she clued in and from there on ... thumbs up.

As for the mystery part of things — yeah I guessed who the culprit was pretty early on, but I still enjoyed the details and other story lines along the way to Avery's uncovering the truth.

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