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Home Repair is Homicide Series

Sarah Graves
The Dead Cat Bounce by Sarah Graves
Dead Level by Sarah Graves
A Bat in the Belfry by Sarah Graves

Home Repair is Homicide Series : Titles in Order

Book 16
When it comes to home repair, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree  is a fervent wielder of power drills and paint brushes. And when catching criminals, she’s been known to really bring down the hammer. But when a shocking murder rocks the small town of Eastport, Maine, Jake may be the next victim for whom the bell tolls.
 
It is nearly midnight when the enormous bell in the belfry of All Faith Chapel—silent for decades—booms forth, startling awake the entire town of Eastport. Upon inspection of the steeple, the police uncover the body of local teenager Karen Hansen, who had climbed the belfry’s dark, rickety stairs for a midnight rendezvous. But instead of the promise of an exciting new life, Karen meets her death.
 
Meanwhile, as an epic nor’easter bears down on the idyllic island town, Jake Tiptree hurries to shore up her ramshackle old house against the big blow. An amateur detective, she has sworn off chasing criminals. But when the news of Karen’s murder spreads and much of the evidence points to Jake’s likable houseguest, she and her sleuthing partner, Ellie White, get to work.
 
They discover an unexpected ally in newcomer Lizzie Snow, a woman from “away” who seemed to have blown into town with the nor’easter, and who also seems to know a lot about the mind of a killer. Can Jake and Ellie trust her? As a killer roams free and the townsfolk struggle against the pounding, screaming storm, the resulting tempest of gossip and suspicion rivals anything the Atlantic could brew up—and threatens to keep Jake and Ellie from putting the final nail in this cold-blooded case.
 
Complete with Home Repair Is Homicide repair tips!

Praise for A Bat in the Belfry
 
“Stylishly suspenseful.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Nobody else can take a home repair project and turn it into a first-class mystery the way Graves can. It’s a top-of-the-line story.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“Graves does the Down East region justice, nailing not only the scents, sounds, sights, and people, but the culture. . . . It doesn’t hurt that she’s a damn good storyteller, to boot. [Her] prose is sharp, smart, and witty.”—Crimespree Magazine

Praise for Sarah Graves and the Home Repair Is Homicide series
 
“Graves’s trademarks are edgy, traditional mysteries peppered liberally with humor, and sprinkled with layered, well-written characters.”—Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier
 
“Just hearing her list the ways you can kill yourself fixing up an old house . . . is a hoot.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“What distinguishes the novel are its likable, no-nonsense protagonist-narrator, her references to home repair that the author cleverly fits tongue-and-groove into the story and, especially, the detailed descriptions of the town.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Graves makes rehabbing shutters and other chores suspenseful.”—The Boston Globe
Book 15
In this new Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery, a killer with a screw loose sets his sights on Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree, whose latest renovation project becomes a dire matter of life and deck.
 
Driving to a cottage in the Maine woods with her best friend, Ellie White, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree has a challenging week ahead of her. She bet her husband that she could finish building the cottage porch in only a few days—a lofty goal for even the craftiest home renovator. But as Jake and Ellie set to work, they soon realize that they’re not alone. Dewey Hooper, a recently escaped convict, is watching them. Jake’s testimony got him sent away for murder years ago and here, in the remote wilderness, he can exact his revenge. Tough as nails and not afraid to defend themselves, Jake and Ellie are determined to keep their wits about them—to prevent the quaint little cottage from turning into the ultimate death trap.
 
Praise for Sarah Graves and the Home Repair Is Homicide series
 
“Readers won’t be able to put this page-turner down—but it will certainly make them think twice about vacationing at that Maine lakeside cottage.”—Leslie Meier, author of the Lucy Stone mysteries
 
“Just hearing her list the ways you can kill yourself fixing up an old house . . . is a hoot.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Graves makes rehabbing shutters and other chores suspenseful.”—The Boston Globe

Complete with Home Repair Is Homicide repair tips!
Book 14
Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree is deep in her latest home improvement project—repainting the porch of her lovingly restored house in Eastport, Maine—when she notices the man repeatedly biking past her house. His face is unsettlingly familiar, but his chilling message seems inexplicable: Blood shows up again. Murder will out. Then there’s the anonymous email warning her to beware the Fourth of July—just two days away. Jake remembers some shady characters from her days as a hotshot financial manager, but she’s baffled as to the identity of her nemesis—until she receives a photo of a murdered man. From home invasion to kidnapping, this twisted killer is slowly but surely plotting a knockdown, not just for Jake but for the entire town of Eastport.
Book 13
When a bestselling true-crime author arrives in Eastport, Maine, to research the infamous Dodd murders for a new book, she finds herself about as welcome as a spoiled clam. But surely no one in the quaint seaside town would harm the crime writer—or would they? Suddenly the unsolved and not-quite-forgotten slayings of the wealthy Dodd women go from cold case to hot topic, while just as quickly, onetime Wall Streeter Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree turns from probing the mysteries of old-house insulation to an investigation that’s reopened old wounds and unearthed a string of deadly secrets. Jake would have preferred to insulate herself and her family from danger, but someone with a taste for terror has already crept closer than she dares to imagine.
Book 12
It starts with a phone call that reopens a painful chapter in Jake Tiptree’s past. After years of delay, the man who murdered Jake’s mother is finally scheduled to stand trial—until he vanishes into thin air. Maybe the only thing worse about Ozzie Campbell’s disappearing is that Jake has a terrible foreboding of just where he’ll turn up next. With her family away, Jake had hoped to savor a few days of unaccustomed solitude. Now, without warning, her cozy, well-loved home in Eastport, Maine, seems more like a death trap ready to snap shut. Suddenly Jake feels that her house—and her life—has far too many windows. And in any one of them she might see the face of her killer.
Book 11
Once upon a time, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree was a hotshot money manager to Manhattan’s rich and dreadful—until she left city life behind for a centuries-old fixer-upper in the quaint seaside town of Eastport, Maine. But even this tiny haven has its hazards—and they can be astonishingly deadly….

What would you do if a long-buried book was unearthed from beneath your 1823 fixer-upper—a book containing your name written in blood? That’s the mystery Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree faces in the midst of her latest old-house renovations. But it’s only the first in a town better known for its scenic views and historic homes than its body count. Now Jake is putting aside her hammer and fixing to find someone who’s got the blueprint for a perfect murder.

Complete with Home Repair Is Homicide Repair Tips!
Book 10
When Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree left behind her high-powered, high-risk career on Wall Street for the charming town of Eastport, Maine, she expected a quiet life spent fixing up her 1823 Federal-style house. But there are skeletons in her closet that may prove beyond repair…Suddenly the perils of the stock market pale in comparison to the murder, mayhem, and mystery of remodeling.
Book 9
Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree took the dangerous plunge from Wall Street power broker–to homeowner! Now the do-it-yourself enthusiast is about to discover that her own dream house is built on a foundation of murder.

Buying a beachfront fixer-upper to lease out to Eastport, Maine’s, burgeoning tourist crowd seems like a good idea to Jake Tiptree and her best friend, Ellie White. But working double-time as landladies to a coven of wannabe witches isn’t what they had in mind. And it only gets worse when Jake is called out one stormy night to make a repair–and stumbles on a dead body in the utility shed.

A small-time thief and street preacher with a particularly violent message, the deceased was no favorite of Jake’s–nor of anyone else in Eastport. But what’s he doing shot to death on Jake’s property? Jake’s bewitching tenants–including an ex-cop, a con man, and a mute teenage girl–claim to have been too busy conjuring spells to have heard or seen a thing. Then a member of the coven disappears without a trace and Jake doesn’t think it’s a case of witchcraft–but a kidnapping…or worse.

Scandal, secrets, and a mysterious box buried deep in the foundation of her own home are just the beginning of a mystery that threatens to bring Jake’s house–and life–crashing down. Now she and Ellie are racing to find a missing girl who may be the key to it all…or lead them to a killer holding the final nails to their coffins.


Praise for the Home Repair Is Homicide Mysteries of Sarah Graves:

“Anyone who can mix slaughter and screwdrivers is a genius. Plus, anyone who has bought a home that needs even a new toilet seat is probably consumed with murderous thoughts.”—Boston Herald

“Like the old Victorian homes she describes…Graves’ stories seem to grow better with the passing of time….Readers who enjoy solving mysteries and fixing up older homes will appreciate Jake’s do-it-yourself expertise in both areas.”—Booklist

“A sleuth as tough as the nails she drives into the walls of her 1823 Federal home enhances a clever plot, which comes to an unexpected and explosive conclusion. Many will relish the vividly described Down East setting, but for anyone who’s ever enjoyed making a home repair it’s the accurate details of the restoration of Jake’s old house that will appeal.”—Publishers Weekly

“Think Diane Mott Davidson with a tool belt instead of recipes!”—Denver Post
Book 8
Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree traded her power-broker life for a run-down dream house in peaceful Eastport, Maine. But the do-it-yourself enthusiast is learning that no matter how carefully you build your home, murder has a way of slipping in through the cracks….

It’s a bright June afternoon and old-house-fixer-upper Jake Tiptree is driving through downeast Maine on an unusual errand. She’s getting ready to interview a large, angry man with a criminal history. Jim Diamond may or may not be harassing his ex-wife with life-threatening letters, but Jake promised her new housekeeper, Bella Diamond, she’d look into the matter. An ex-con and a deadbeat, Jim Diamond doesn’t have a history of violence…that is, not until Jake arrives at his apartment and discovers that a killer has been there first.

Suddenly Jake and her best friend, Ellie White, find themselves at the center of a murder with too many suspects and too few clues. And as if that’s not enough, Jake is now saddled with the manic Bella, whose certainty that she’ll be the next victim is fueling a supercompulsive neatness–one that threatens to clean Jake and her long-suffering husband, Wade, out of house and home.

Add to that a moose in her kitchen, a rebellious son with a habit of dumping Miss Right for Miss Wrong, and a troublesome ex of her own, and Jake is already at wit’s end. Then she gets word that a horde of her dad’s long-lost relatives mean to descend on Eastport, intending to be put up at her far-from-fixed-up fixer-upper.

When the killer does strike again, it’s not where Jake expects…and the victim couldn’t be more of a surprise. For this is a case bigger than the usual angry—ex-spouse variety, and now that Jake and Ellie have gotten themselves involved, they’ve each won a special place in a ruthless murderer’s master plan of greed, deception, and death. And the prize? A pair of eternally private rooms–six feet under!
Book 7
Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree left her high-powered career for a dilapidated fixer-upper and the dream of a quiet existence in the quaint town of Eastport, Maine. But she found that no matter how carefully you remodel your life, murder can take up residence anywhere.

It’s Eastport’s most notorious landmark: the old Harlequin House. Named for the disgraced physician Chester Harlequin, it was used as a hideout for gunshot gangsters and their molls during Prohibition’s heyday. Now fixer-upper enthusiast Jake Tiptree and Harlequin’s only living descendant, Ellie White, are refurbishing the mansard-roofed mansion to host the local Historical Society’s upcoming gala. But when stripping down old wallpaper reveals a secret door to a room containing not one but two corpses, Jake and Ellie once again find home repair leading to homicide.

One of the bodies is a skeleton dressed in 1920s flapper chic. But the other is that of
real-estate mogul Hector Gosling, and in his pocket is a paper bearing the single word “Guilty.” The less-than-scrupulous tycoon has been poisoned, and when it’s learned that the offending substance is the poison that Ellie’s husband George has been using to kill red ants, he is immediately taken into custody. Then it develops that George had recently accused Gosling of a scheme to scam George’s vulnerable old aunt out of her life savings—and George out of his inheritance.

With George held for murder, Jake and a pregnant Ellie swing into action. In between Ellie’s Lamaze sessions, baby showers, and CPR classes taught by Jake’s ex-husband
Victor, the two amateur sleuths must sift their way through a trail of seemingly contradictory clues. Then another corpse surfaces and suddenly Jake and Ellie realize they must find this killer fast. A clever culprit is not only building an airtight case against Ellie’s husband. He—or she—is planning to nail everyone who stands in the way.
Book 6
Once a Wall Street hotshot, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree chucked it all for a charmingly dilapidated fixer-upper in the tiny town of Eastport, Maine. She was certain she’d left the dangers of city life behind—until she discovered that no place, no matter how idyllic and peaceful it may appear, is safe from murder.

It began with the mysterious disappearance of Harriet Hollingsworth—Eastport’s snoopiest resident. Everyone is convinced the old busybody bolted out of town to escape her creditor—everyone except Jake and her best friend Ellie who know Harriet would never leave home without her most prized possession. But before Jake and Ellie can persuade police chief Bob Arnold to open an investigation, they’ll need to come up with proof more sinister than a pair of abandoned binoculars.

Just as Jake starts poking around for clues, things suddenly take a troubling turn for the worse. A suspicious accident nearly kills her teenaged son, Sam, and her husband, Wade, just misses getting his head blown off. Jake is prepared to attribute these incidents to a spate of bad luck—until another “accident” leaves a visitor to Eastport unmistakably dead.

Most perplexing, all this mayhem coincides with the unexpected arrival of a man from Jake’s past: a former New York City cop. Harry Markle claims he has unintentionally brought an unwelcome guest into Eastport: a crook determined to knock off everyone with ties to Harry.

Twenty-four hours ago, Jake’s only worry was fixing her broken-down gutters and downspouts before the big storm swept into town. Now, everything seems to be falling apart all around her. Jake knows from experience that the truth is usually as messy and complicated as do-it-yourself remodeling. As it becomes chillingly clear that appearances in this quaint community are more misleading than ever, she’ll have to find a way to lure a homicidal maniac into the light–before he nails another victim.
Book 5
When ex—Wall Streeter Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree bought a charming 1823 fixer-upper in tiny Eastport, Maine, she figured she’d also bought herself a tranquil, stress-free life. But Jake soon learned that appearances can be deceiving, and that even small towns have their share of dark secrets — including murder.

Wreck The Halls

People hardly ever lock their doors in Eastport. So when Jake and her best pal, Ellie, arrive at Faye Anne Carmody’s kitchen door, they knock and walk right in. But though Christmas is just two weeks away, what they find is far from festive: a dazed Faye Anne covered with blood, and her no-good husband — the town butcher, Merle — nowhere in sight. Nowhere, that is, until Jake discovers his body — tidily wrapped in his own butcher paper….

It doesn’t take long for news of the murder to race through the small town, and just about everyone has a theory about the grisly crime that has robbed Eastport of its least-liked citizen. But while police chief Bob Arnold considers it an open-and-shut case, Jake and Ellie aren’t convinced of Faye Anne’s guilt.

Jake has enough going on in her life without trying to investigate a murder. After all, she’s just married her longtime love, Wade, and the pair plan to spend the winter rehabilitating the paint-encrusted windows in Jake’s old house.

But Jake has to admit that there are a lot of details that don’t add up: for example, Faye Anne’s complaint that she was being stalked, and blood-splattered evidence at the crime scene that just doesn’t make sense. Then there is the diary that Faye Anne’s secret, sometime boyfriend claims is hidden somewhere in her house. Could Faye Anne’s own journal be the key to unlocking an even more fiendish murder plot, or is her double-crossing lover trying to frame her?

When yet another Eastport citizen turns up dead, Jake realizes the murderer’s trail began long before the night Merle Carmody died. But what keeps eluding her and Ellie is the motive behind the mystery. The truth is so close, they can almost taste it — but can they stop the shrewd killer before he chisels another victim’s name onto a tombstone?
Book 4
Home repair can be murder.

Jacobia Tiptree and her teenage son are used to their Eastport, Maine, home attracting more than its share of houseguests. This year Jake is hoping the plaster dust will keep them away while she finally gets her gem of a fixer-upper into shape — from doorknobs and chandeliers to leaky pipes to ghostly phenomena.

But when the charming and mysterious Jonathan Raines appears on her doorstep — and then just as suddenly disappears — remodeling the house becomes the least of Jake’s problems. Could Jonathan’s disappearance have something to do with his quest for a cursed violin — the one that local legend says was hidden by a long-ago owner of Jake’s house before he too vanished without a trace?

Soon Jonathan’s grief-stricken girlfriend arrives downeast, and Jake needs to strip Eastport’s past of its idyllic veneer — before a killer paints her very dead indeed!
Book 3
Do-it-yourself killer fixes small-town thug . . .

For ex-Wall Streeter Jacobia Tiptree and her teenaged son, Sam, September promises tranquil days winter-proofing their rambling handyman’s special of a home in Eastport, Maine. But there’s nothing idyllic about this Down East autumn. For starters, the return of truly vicious native son Reuben Tate stirs up the town. And when somebody slits Reuben’s throat and hangs his corpse on the cemetery gate, the police trace a bloodied scalpel to surgeon Victor Tiptree—Jacobia’s former husband. Yet Jake knows her troublesome, trouble-prone ex is capable of just about anything except murder. Proving that, though, is another matter.

Eastport is packed with tourists and former residents for the annual Salmon Festival—and Jake soon realizes any Eastporter, past or present, has motive for Tate’s murder. To nail the real killer, Jake and her best friend, Ellie White, must probe a past as rotten as crumbling clapboard, while a secret hatred builds toward a series of murders even more brutal than Reuben Tate himself. . . .
Book 2
Jacobia Tiptree saved her sanity—and her son, Sam—the day she abandoned Wall Street for the seacoast village of Eastport, Maine. In her new home, a charmingly dialpidated fixer-upper, she looks forward to repairing old radiators and restoring antique shutter for years to come. But Jake’s hopes of serenity are dashed when tiny Eastport erupts in a crime wave.

Hometown bad boy Kenny Mumford—old flame of Jake’s best fiend and fellow sleuth, Ellie White—is the first victim. When his corpse washes up on the beach at Prince’s Cove, all evidence points to a drowning…except the bullet hole in his forehead.

When bodies begin littering the Maine scenery, Jake and Ellie learn that the ante on Kenny’s small-town antics has been upped. Add a pair of unwelcome arrivlas—Jake’s ex-husband, and an unscrupulous New York ex-money mogul—and you’ve got a blueprint for more deadly danger than one house can hold.

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