Kate Carlisle’s Writing What She Doesn’t Know
From the time I was a little girl, I’ve loved books. More than just the content—the stories, the language, the knowledge—I loved the book itself as an object. I always volunteered to hang Dad’s dry cleaning so I could lay claim to the thin, white cardboard sheets tucked inside his dress shirts. I used them to make my own little books, beautifully decorated but blank inside.
I moved on to take book arts classes at the local library and then at book arts centers. Writing the Bibliophile Mysteries with bookbinder protagonist Brooklyn Wainwright was a natural extension of a hobby I’ve enjoyed all my life.
The Fixer-Upper Mysteries? Not so much.
Shannon Hammer, heroine of A High-End Finish (November 4) and This Old Homicide (January 27), lovingly restores Victorian homes in the quaint town of Lighthouse Cove, California. While my father was a contractor and my brother painted Victorian buildings in San Francisco, I personally have no hands-on experience in that field. No, I have never restored a Victorian home. Or any home, for that matter. I had my kitchen remodeled a couple years ago, but I didn’t do the work; I just complained about how long it took.
Through Shannon, we get to explore every nook and cranny of the fascinating Victorian homes of Lighthouse Cove, from the grande dames to the crackerboxes. When most people think Victorian, they think of Queen Anne style, but there are many styles of Victorian architecture. In the books, readers will have the pleasure of traipsing through strangers’ homes and through the history in each, all wrapped up in a quirky whodunit.
It’s unfortunate for Shannon that in A High-End Finish, she literally stumbles upon a dead body in the basement of one of her projects. And even more unfortunate that the victim turns out to be a creep she went on a blind date with the night before, a date that ended badly… and publicly.
I grabbed my purse and jacket and started to dash off—until I felt cold air hit my skin. I looked down to see my teal blouse rippling in the breeze. Jerry had torn it off my shoulder!
I turned back and yelled, “You big jerk!” I was so angry. He’d ripped my clothing! What a Neanderthal! I knew it was wrong, knew I had to shake off this negative energy, but I wanted to give him a swift smack across his big stupid head. Just walk away, I thought.
I started to move, but stopped when I heard another sound.
Looking up at the pier, I saw two men rushing down the stairs toward me. The rest of the people standing at the railing were clapping and laughing and whistling. I even recognized a few of them when they waved at me. What did they think was going on here?
Jerry raised his head and glared at me. “You’ll be sorry for that.”
“Oh yeah?” I felt safer now that we were about to have company, so instead of slapping at him like I wanted to, I reached inside my purse and pulled out the only weapon I had on me. My pink needle-nose pliers. I leaned over and snipped them in front of his face a few times.
He recoiled. “Get that thing away from me!”
“Just a warning,” I said with deadly calm, furious with myself for ever believing that he might’ve been a nice guy.
So who do you think is the prime suspect when Jerry is found murdered the very next day? Especially when he’s murdered on one of Shannon’s job sites… and the likely murder weapon is one of the pink tools for which she’s known.
A High-End Finish is available now, so you have the chance to get in on the Fixer-Upper Mystery series right from the very beginning. I hope you’ll enjoy the stories and that you’ll love learning fascinating little tidbits about restoring beautiful Victorian homes.
Read more about the Fixer-Upper Mysteries at www.KateCarlisle.com!
A High-End Finish:
A Fixer-Upper Mystery
Brand New Cozy Series
An Obsidian Mystery (November 4, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
E-Book File Size: 2220 KB
In the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove in northern California, everyone knows the best man for the job is actually a woman—contractor Shannon Hammer. But while Shannon can do wonders with a power drill and a little elbow grease, she’s about to discover that some problems aren’t so easily fixed….
Shannon’s home-renovation and repair business is booming, but her love life needs work. On a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton, she has to whip out a pair of pliers to keep Jerry from getting too hands on. Shannon is happy to put her rotten date behind her, but when Jerry’s found dead in a run-down Victorian home that she’s been hired to restore, the town’s attractive new police chief suspects that her threats may have laid the foundation for murder.
Determined to clear her name, Shannon conducts her own investigation—with the help of her four best friends, her eccentric father, a nosy neighbor or two, and a handsome crime writer who’s just moved to town. But as they get closer to prying out the murderer’s identity, Shannon is viciously attacked. Now she’ll have to nail down the truth—or end up in permanent foreclosure.…
An awesome debut!
With a bit of home construction work in my past and a person who has renovated a house or two I loved this story. Shannon’s dad had built up a very successful business and Shannon has stepped to fill his shoes nicely. Her love life is a bit of a mess and she has a friend whose main mission seems to be to find Shannon and any of her other single friends a man. You would think Shannon’s last date and the man ending up dead would get her to stop but it barely slows her down. Shannon does meet some very interesting men, the new police chief who is thinks she may have committed murder and a crime writer who first met her when she was looking her absolute worst. If she survives and the murderer is caught there may be some developments in the romance department but first things first. She needs to stay safe and the police chief needs to do his job.
These characters are absolutely wonderful. Shannon, her friends, neighbors and co-workers all look out for each other. That what small town life means. Sometimes it means a lot of gossip but most of the time it means helping in any way they can. Her dad and uncle can’t always be around because when the fish are calling it is time to go fishing. The chief just needs to get to know everyone better and the writer seems to be settling in just fine. She also gives us some very interesting unsavory characters, the creepy Jerry and a man who comes to Lighthouse Cove for 2 weeks every year and no one in town wants him as their guest. Sadly Shannon drew the short straw this year and he is staying in one of the suites above her garage. He is one who believes the customer is always right but he is so very wrong.
I especially enjoyed all the descriptive details of the houses, the lighthouse and the town of Lighthouse Cove. It is so important to have the foundation of the setting as the series continues.
As for the plot, there was a lot of action, plenty of suspects and a few surprises. It was a captivating cozy and thankfully we don’t have long to wait for the next installment. This Old Homicide: A Fixer-Upper Mystery comes out January 27. This girl, who had her own set of pink tools, gives this story 5 starfish!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”