Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Review of A Bat in the Belfry by Sarah Graves
A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery

This latest installment in Sarah Graves’ “Home Repair is Homicide” mystery series quite literally had me on the edge of my seat, racing heart-in-mouth to the conclusion. Former Manhattan money-manager Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree is still hard at work, as for the past fifteen years, on her beloved antique four-story house in Eastport, Maine. A seriously bad nor-easter threatens the region, and small-town gang violence erupts and spills out to injure, and even kill, innocents. Then her hardworking, former alcohol and substance abuser, son Sam’s best friend Chip is tapped for the murder of a young girl; and Chip won’t alibi himself, although he insists he is innocent.

This series always contains a back theme of home repair, as Jake’s old-old house seems determine to keep her actively repairing, refurbishing, and replenishing; but this time, it’s not just the house. One of the two churches in town, also a real antique, seems determined to lose its steeple, which would be both a sad event, and also potentially very dangerous for any passers-by if it falls. Meanwhile, the storm slackens momentarily and then picks up speed, while Chip is targeted, not just by law enforcement, but by a bereaved daddy.

Any reader who loves cozy mysteries that are also thrillers and heartwarming needs to introduce herself or himself to this wonderful series. It isn’t necessary to start at the beginning, but my advice is: do yourself the benefit of reading all of the installments.

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