Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Flipped Out

Flipped Out (Do-It-Yourself Mystery - Book 5) by Jennie Bentley

Publication Date: October 2011
Pubisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 304pp
ISBN-13: 9780425244074
ISBN: 0425244075

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Jennie Bentley (Jenna Bennett) on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from Flipped Out

Video: Jennie Bentley describes the background for the Do-It-Yourself mystery series.


Inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led Avery Baker down a new career path - home renovation. Finding a property's hidden potential has rewards and challenges - not to mention certain unanticipated dangers. Like murder...
Avery and her hunky handyman boyfriend, Derek Ellis, are renovating another house in Waterfield, Maine. But it's not just any house. It belongs to local news anchor Tony "the Tiger" Micelli - and it's a quaint cottage with limitless possibilities. Even more exciting is that the makeover is going to be filmed as part of a home-renovation TV show.
Unfortunately the road to cable-TV fame is a bumpy one: this DIY spins into a DOA when Tony's corpse is found at the cottage, flat on his back and not from natural causes. Turns out there were a few people who wanted Tony dead, and the murderer might have his sights set on more Waterfield residents. That means it's up to Avery to nail the killer. And fast.

The fifth book in the Do-It-Yourself Mystery series, by Jennie Bentley continues the saga of transplanted home renovator Avery Baker. Flipped Out, set against the backdrop of a coastal town in Maine, is full of small town charm and unique characters. Bentley plays on the popularity of the DIY channel and shows like Extreme Home Makeover to make this series a success and she easily engages the reader in the renovation projects as well as the whodunit. This long running series is peopled with quirky and fun characters and realistic villains and victims. The latest in the series, Flipped Out, takes on a TV production crew as well as a killer. It may sound a bit ambitious for a cozy, but Bentley pulls it off with style.

Most readers have an idea within the first few chapters, whether or not a book will suit them. Sometimes it's the style of authors writing or the overall premise that sticks with the reader. Sometimes it's the setting or one particular character. And there are those times when a book just doesn't suit at all. Thankfully, that's not the case with Flipped Out. From the first page of this book, the author captivates the attention of the audience. She sets a tone that is in keeping with the rest of the series, but still unique to this particular book. Readers will love the "homey" feel and charm of this small main town. They will identify with the townspeople and fall in love with Avery and her boyfriend Derek almost from the first page. I love it when a book reaches out and grabs you, this one is certainly like that. It just feels warm and comfortable, like putting on your favorite houseshoes  or pair of jeans. It's so good it makes you sigh with relief.

Generally in a cozy mystery you have an established group of characters and the victims and villains are usually those that may have been talked about now and then, but don't make up the core group. I liked the fact that in Flipped Out, Bentley chose to shake it up a little bit and make the victim an established character instead of one on the fringe. The victim, Tony is the fiance of Derek's very tedious and annoying ex-wife. Tony is a character that readers who have read the other books in the series, are very familiar with. Derek's ex-wife Melissa is a constant thorn in Avery's side and it was fun to see her as a possible suspect in this one. I think readers will agree it's time Melissa got a little bit of what she deserves. 

The romance between Derek and Avery is well established but there is a little trouble in paradise in this addition to the series. Which provides a possible new direction for the series in the future. Melissa's antics are always a bit of problem, but Derek continues to allow her to insinuate herself into his life and Avery just has to put her foot down. Long time readers of the series will probably be cheering when Avery puts Melissa in her place and leaves Derek sitting alone in the parking lot. A great moment in the series! I look forward to see where the author takes this thread.

The mystery itself was different and interesting. Home renovation is something that I find enjoyable along with many other people. This series strikes a cord with those who enjoy seeing how renovation can breath new life into an old house, but in Flipped Out it also brings out the worst in some of the characters. The murder itself, was believable and when the motives start to pile up and the suspects start to come out, the reader will be drawn in like a moth to the flame. This is probably the best book in the series to date. Bentley's ability to describe the clues and plant doubts in the mind of the reader is exception. I had no idea who the killer was until the very end. I kept thinking I had it figured out and then Bentley would throw in another twist. I love being stumped and readers who love a good cozy, will find this one hard to put down.

I recommend it to all my cozy mystery fans. What a great addition to an already spectacular series! Flipped Out is not one you'll want to miss.

Flipped Out is available NOW from your favorite bookseller. 

I'm giving this one 5 of 5 apples from my book bag!
Jennie Bentley is the author of the bestselling Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, writing as Jennie Bentley, and the Savannah Martin Real Estate mysteries, writing as Jenna Bennett. A former Realtor® and renovator, and current real estate assistant, Jennie lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with a husband, two kids, two frogs, two goldfish, a parakeet, and a hyper-active dog.

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Flipped Out by Jennie Bentley.
~ You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
~ US Addresses only (Publisher Request).
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST November 6th.

1. Please leave a comment in appreciation to the author on THIS post.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Kaye said...

Ooh, I like it when the author leaves good clues and red herrings. I'd love to win this one. Filled in the form.


Book Loving Mommy said...

I love cozy mysteries! This one sounds great!

Linda Kish said...

Sounds great. I like the idea of small town stories even though I don't live in one.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Pat L. said...

Book sounds great. Thanks for giveaway.

cyn209 said...

thank you for the giveaway!!!

can't wat to read FlippedOut!!!

Martha Lawson said...

Another new to me author!! Love finding them. The book sounds great..

Theresa N. said...

This really appeals to me.
Theresa N

lag123 said...

Love the review!!!! I can't wait to read this one!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Karen B said...

Wonderful review! I'm not a DIYer but love to see others work hard.

Tore said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway. Your book sounds really good. Tore923@aol.com

Susan S. said...

sounds very good; can it be read without reading previous ones in the series? I have never read a cozy mystery.

Nancy said...

I have read the first 2 books in this series and loved them.

justpeachy36 said...

Susan, you can read it as a single title, but be prepared... once you do you'll want to go back and read the rest... it's a great series!

Julie said...

This sounds like it would be a terrific addition to my cozy mystery library!! Thanks for the chance to win a copy:)

mamabunny13 said...

This sounds like a great cozy mystery!
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

ann said...

This sound like a really good book that I would enjoying reading - hope to win

amhengst at verizon dot net

Carol N Wong said...

I love DIY type shows and flipping house shows so I know I will love 'Flipped Out".


thatlittlehouse said...

I've never been to Maine, but I think it makes one of the best settings for cozies, and this sounds like it has so many other good points to make it a favorite!

nblexp ( at ) gmail (dot) com