When she returns to New York to decide what to do about the house and property she discovers that maybe she was right to worry about Philippe after all and high tails it back to Waterfield to lick her wounds in private and see out the summer while renovating the house. It is not going to be a straight forward renovation however, as Derek Ellis the local renovations handyman has some very clear ideas about what she should be doing (and not doing) with her house. As if having to deal with a stubborn yet attractive handyman is not enough, Avery also has to deal with some very mysterious "going on's" in her house - including missing items and near death experiences. There is a lot of interest in Aunt Inga's house, and if Avery is not careful she could end up in the same place as Aunt Inga - or will she just vanish like the missing history professor?
I really only discovered murder mysteries last year when one of our regular library customers suggested that I try one - and I discovered that I like/love them (depending on how well they are written). I just adore the Miranda James "Charlie and Diesel" books, and loved the three books in the Elise Hyatt series about a furniture restorer who can't help but stumble across murder mysteries. Fatal fixer-upper falls somewhere in between the two series in terms of pace and structure, and while it took a few chapters for me to be truly hooked, I read the book in an afternoon because I didn't want to put it down.
The underlying murder mystery here has meat and substance, a read whodunnit that will keep you guessing as you try and untangle the suspects and clues. The human relationships took a little getting used to, as did Avery's voice, which seemed a little condescending to begin with. This was a great little puzzle and fun to read, I can't wait for the next book to arrive so I can see if Bentley is able to keep the pace and chemistry active through more than one story (and to see what is next for Avery and Derek).
If you like this book then try:
- Murder past due by Miranda James
- Classified as murder by Miranda James
- Dipped, stripped, and dead by Elise Hyatt
- French polished murder by Elise Hyatt
- Lending a paw by Laurie Cass
- Books can be deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
- Pies and prejudice by Ellery Adams
- One for the money by Janet Evanovich
- Death of a kitchen diva by Lee Hollis
- Death of a country fried redneck by Lee Hollis
Reviewed by Brilla