Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
It is my pleasure to share my thoughts today about
Death by Demo by Callie Carpenter!
Death by Demo (A Home Renovation Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Publisher : Crooked Lane Books (December 5, 2023)
Hardcover : 229 pages
ISBN-10 : 163910562X
ISBN-13 : 978-1639105625
Kindle ASIN : B0BXKH9N2J
Perfect for fans of Kate Carlisle and Diane Kelly, after her ex-husband tears down their marriage, the last thing Jaime wants is to renovate a worn-down historic home. But when a body is discovered behind a wall, she realizes she’ll have to catch the killer before she builds herself up again.
Jaime and Henry were the perfect couple with the perfect life; together, they ran one of the most successful construction and interior design companies in all of Charlotte, North Carolina. But when Jaime catches her charismatic husband in an affair, she realizes her husband is not the man she thought she married. The divorce is equally gutting—due to an ironclad prenuptial agreement, Jaime receives only one thing: a historical house in disrepair. Knowing that any renovation she attempts will be tedious and costly, Jaime starts to believe that things can’t get much worse—until she finds a dead body in the house.
The body is found behind a recently renovated wall—and this leaves Jaime with more questions than answers. Who killed this person and why? Could it have been the previous owners, someone who snuck in while nobody was looking, or Henry? Furious that the house is now a crime scene, which further delays all renovations, Jaime decides to investigate the murder herself, DIY-style. Together with the new resident cat she calls Demo and the handsome and friendly hardware store owner who happens to be her neighbor, Jaime is ready to use all the tools in her toolbox to catch the killer.
Jaime needs to renovate this house if she wants to move forward with her life, but will this murder investigation leave her in ruins—or worse?
Jamie Moore signed an ironclad prenuptial agreement when she married Henry King never imagining their perfect life would come to an end. Together they ran King Contractors, a very successful construction and interior design company. After catching Henry in an affair their love bubble burst and all she received in the divorce was a historical house in need of a ton of repairs to even make it livable or flippable. But Jamie takes the bull by the horns and starts to demolish a strange wall in the home. She is shocked when the wall quickly falls apart and the dead body falls out.
She now has so many questions. Who is the dead body? Who killed them? Why were they killed? Could Henry be involved? Is that why he gave her this house? Or was it the previous owners? Or did some random person see the empty house as a great place to dump a body?
Now the house is a crime scene and any work Jamie had planned comes to a halt. With nothing but time on her hands, she decides to do some sleuthing of her own with a little assistance from Mike, her new neighbor/hardware store owner, and a cat she found on-site she now calls Demo.
Several years ago my husband and I owned a construction company with some friends. These days I have been binge-watching Fixer Upper from the Magnolia Network. So when I saw this book, the synopsis spoke to me on several levels. I just had to read it. We too, saw many cats on our construction sites and one very special one found a home with our friends. I immediately had a soft spot in my heart for Demo.
I enjoyed meeting Jaime Moore. She made a huge mistake signing a prenup without reading it but now she is trying to make the best of a bad situation. She did most of the work at King Contractors so she does have the skills, knowledge, and reputation to start her own company. She develops well throughout the story. Her ex-husband was a real tool and his new girlfriend is awful too. They were very easy to dislike. Thankfully Jaime has her best friend of 24 years, Lara in her corner. Her parents are supportive but their plans for her to take her life in another direction didn’t mesh with what Jaime wanted to do. Detective Scoles is an interesting cop and more open with Jaime than I expected him to be. All of Ms. Carpenter’s characters have room for growth as the series continues but their introductions were done very well within this story.
Several people could have gotten into Jaime’s new house which means plenty of suspects. Jaime doesn’t know who she can trust and her list includes some people she has known for years including her ex. The body itself offers an interesting clue sending Jaime’s quest in a different direction. She did have a few instances that made me want to jump into the story to stop her from making stupid decisions. One did fall into the TSTL (too stupid to live category) but she was in dire straights already. The way she handled it though was very smart and a little bit painful and was followed by an exciting showdown where she was very lucky.
I really liked the way the story ended. It gave me just a peek at what’s to come for Jaime and I think the future of this series looks bright.
Death by Demo has given this series off to an exceptional start. The theme has me invested on a personal level and I am looking forward to seeing what develops in book two.
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About the Author
Callie Carpenter grew up with an architect father who was more than happy to share his love of woodworking with his daughter. She has a (mostly unused) bachelor of science degree in geology, one husband, and two cats. When Callie isn’t writing, she’s working at her day job, reading, yanking weeds out of her garden, or planning her next home renovation project.
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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.”