From the New York Times best-selling author of the Bibliophile Mysteries and A High-End Finish comes the second Fixer-Upper Mystery...
Contractor and part-time sleuth Shannon Hammer specializes in improving the quirks and flaws of the Victorian homes in Lighthouse Cove, California. The quirks and flaws of their residents are another story... Valentine's Day is approaching, and while Shannon is delighted to be friends with not one but two handsome men, not everyone in town is feeling the love. After her elderly neighbor Jesse Hennessey fails to make his daily appearance at the local diner, Shannon swings by his place to check on him. Not only does she find Jesse dead - of an apparent heart attack - but she also realizes that his home has been ransacked.
Someone suggests that a thief was searching for a priceless necklace Jesse claimed to have retrieved from a capsized sailing ship, but Shannon doesn't believe it. Everyone knows Jesse had a penchant for constructing tall tales - like the one about him having a hot new girlfriend. But his death is soon ruled a homicide, and shady suspects begin popping out of the woodwork. When another victim turns up dead, Shannon is convinced she must find the killer before someone else gets nailed...
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A Fixer Upper Mystery
The story was an enjoyable enough mystery based in a small town with the usual love triangles and simmering social tensions. There are the cute animal companions, the best friends and bits of town history that are trademarks of the genre. I think more could have been made of the ghost subplot or it could have been dropped altogether. It is possible this subplot was the author setting the scene for the next book. All in all it was a pleasant listen, though I found the story a little slow-moving at times, especially to start with, and some of the characters seemed less fully drawn than others.
The narration matched the pace of the story and was clear and concise but some of the accents felt ever so slightly off.
This book is similar in tone and format to the Aurora Teagarden mysteries which have been made into a TV series. A series inspired by this book could appeal to a similar audience.