Publication Date: 11/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Kate Carlisle on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Excerpt from, A High End Finish, courtesy of the author's website.
FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!
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.…
Kate Carlisle brings readers the first book in her new Fixer-Upper mystery series, A High End Finish. Readers who love Carlisle's Bibliophile mysteries will be intrigued by this new direction from the well-loved author. Lighthouse Cove is an enchanting seaside town near San Francisco and home renovator and contractor Shannon Hammer is an equally delightful. This book not only has great tips for renovating a home, but also a well plotted and thoughtful mystery. A great new series in the making!
What I liked:
I am always a fan of small town settings in cozy mysteries. It may limit the suspect pool a little bit, but there is so much character and substance in a small town like Lighthouse Cove, that it makes up for it. Kate Carlisle chooses to set her new cozy series in a small California coastal town, that is a joy to read about. I enjoyed the way that the town was so invested in the heroine's love life. Everyone seemed to have a stake in what happened on Shannon's blind date and I thought that was priceless. Living in a small town myself, I know that to be true. Everybody knows everything about you and that comes across so well in this book.
Shannon Hammer is an interesting heroine for a lot of reasons. I'm definitely not what anyone would call a feminist, but I do like strong female characters and Carlisle comes through with Shannon. Her career as a home renovator and contractor was perfect for her. She showed a lot of pride in her work and I loved all of the home improvement information. But most importantly I liked the idea that her profession is one that usually belongs to the male gender. You don't see too many ladies out swinging a hammer. The last name might have been a little too much, lol, but I still loved Shannon's no nonsense approach to life and love.
Readers are treated to a great mystery with this one. Shannon's blind date with Realtor, Jerry didn't go quite the way she would have liked. He gets a little too touchy-feely and she threatens to kill him in front of the home-town crowd. When he turns up dead in at one of her job sites, done in with one of her pink handled pipe wrenches she seems like the most logical suspect. But as she starts to delve a little deeper it appears that Jerry was quite the ladies man and the suspects start to pile up. I liked the way Carlisle kicked this one off. She gets the murder out of the way early, and then lets the heroine take over. Sussing out information and following clues. Shannon may have been a bit too tentative in her first investigation but I think she has a lot of potential.
Love interests abound for Shannon after her disastrous blind date. Not only does the sexy police chief get involved but a local crime writer as well. The secondary characters were well developed and really added to the overall feeling of the community and how they fit into Shannon's life. She has her friends, family and several locals to bring out the storylines. I look forward to learning more about each and every one of them.
This was an excellent start to a new series. Not too overwhelming with details and full of surprises. I did figure it out before it was all said and done, but I think it was more a question of wanting this person to be the bad guy than too much info from the author. Carlisle proves she a few tricks up her sleeve by going in a totally different direction than her previous series and I think it was definite success.
A High End Finish will be available tomorrow from your favorite bookseller. Pre-order is available NOW from some online retailers.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Award-winning author Kate Carlisle worked in television for many years before turning to writing. Inspired by the northern seaside towns of her native California, where Victorian mansions grace the craggy cliffs and historic lighthouses warn fishermen and smugglers alike, Kate was drawn to create the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, featuring small-town girl Shannon Hammer, a building contractor specializing in home restoration. Kate also writes the New York Times bestselling Bibliophile Mysteries (The Book Stops Here, A Cookbook Conspiracy, Peril in Paperback) featuring Brooklyn Wainwright.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A High End Finish by Kate Carlisle.
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