Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Home for the Homicide

Home for the Homicide (Do-It-Yourself Mystery - Book 7) by Jennie Bentley

Publication Date: 12/03/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425260496
ISBN-13: 978-0425260494

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Jennie Bentley (aka. Jenna Bennett) on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Fatal Fixer-Upper (2008), Spackled and Spooked (2009), Plaster and Poison (2010), Mortar and Murder (2011), Flipped-Out (2011), Wall-to-Wall Dead (2012), Home for the Homicide (2013)

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Home for the Homicide, courtesy of the author's website.


Avery Baker was a big city textile designer, until she inherited her aunt’s old Maine cottage and found her true calling—home renovation. But she never expected her latest job would come to such a bone-rattling dead end... 

For Avery and her husband Derek, renovating the Craftsman Bungalow was like stepping back in time. The quaint old home was just as its original owners had left it—from the beautiful butler’s pantry to the surprisingly exquisite ribbon tile. But it’s the attic that yields the most heart-stopping surprise.

In a discreetly hidden antique crate, Avery finds a clue to a decades-old missing persons case. As Avery works on the house and delves deeper into the sinister story, it becomes clear that someone very crafty wants the Craftsman home’s secrets to stay that way!


Jennie Bentley's seventh book in her Do-It-Yourself Mystery series, Home for the Homicide is part murder mystery, part home renovation, part Christmas decorating. Fans of the series will enjoy the tips and techniques in the back of the book as much as the story of the Greene sisters' home on North Street and what Avery finds in the attic. Bentley's attention to detail on everything from the wall paper to the Christmas decorations for Avery and Derek's home is spot on and readers will enjoy the festive seasonal atmosphere and a good whodunit.

What I liked:

This is a series that has always been heavy on the home renovation. I liked the fact that Bentley continues to go into a lot of detail about the renovations projects in this book, as well as, the details of the mystery. What makes this series so good is that readers can enjoy learning about home improvement while trying to put together the clues to the crime at the same time. I love the tips at the back of the book that the author always includes.

I'm happy that Derek and Avery are finally able to settle down into their life as a married couple. There was a lot of tension that surrounded that part of the story that may be missing in this latest installment, but Bentley continues to develop other interesting ideas for Avery's personal life, and of course Derek's EX is never far away. The secondary characters are definitely a big plus for this series.

I liked the Christmas theme and how Avery was decorating for the Christmas Tour of Homes, that's something I have always wanted to take part in myself. There are so many beautifully decorated homes that I would love to get to see. I thought it added a nice Christmas touch to the book and made me a little nostalgic for the time when I had the opportunity to enjoy decorating.

What I didn't like:

This one was a little light on the mystery aspect of the story. The main focus was obviously on the home renovation and the Christmas tour. Though the mystery of the infant bones in the attic was definitely intriguing I thought that the author should have spent a bit more time developing it. It was rather easy to figure out what had happened and who caused it early on in the novel. Readers will certainly pick it up a bit quicker than our protagonist Avery does.

Bottom Line: 

It was a good book about home renovation but probably not the author's best effort as far as the mystery goes. The potential was there, but it just didn't quite have the punch that some of the previous books in the series had. I wasn't disappointed, just not overly excited about how this one turned out. As always take it with a grain of salt and read it for yourself.

Home for the Homicide is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Jennie Bentley is the author of the New York Times bestselling Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation mysteries from Penguin/Berkley Prime Crime, featuring Avery Baker, a textile designer, and Avery's boyfriend Derek Ellis, a handyman, who renovate houses in fictitious Waterfield, Maine. 

As Jenna Bennett, she writes the Cutthroat Business mysteries, featuring realtor and Southern Belle Savannah Martin, who stumbles over dead bodies in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as the Soldiers of Fortune science fiction romances from Entangled Publishing, and a variety of other romancey stuff involving the usual hot and handsome heroes: dashing FBI agents, gorgeous Greek gods, and wealthy businessmen.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Home for the Homicide by Jennie Bentley.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 25th.

1. Please leave a comment describing your own adventures in fixing up your home.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

We don't do the work since we are not creative.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

It took us two summers to sand, and then paint our house, because my husband thought it would be character building to do it ourselves! :)

Linda Kish said...

My son and DIL are currently doing the floors and painting the walls. It is a very slow process since work and life gets in the way. In the meantime, things are piled up all over. I am slowly losing my mind.

cyn209 said...

we renovated our home over 10 years ago & it was surreal watching the contents of each room being shoved into another room!!!!

thank you for the giveaway!!

Anonymous said...

We have not donew much with our house over the past 20 years but I see lots of renovations in my future. Hopefully they will go smoothly

Carol N Wong said...

My husband and I bought a house with a few problems, turns out a lot of problems. We fixed them and then sold it for the same price so we actually lost money. At least I know that I can change a doorknow and he can assemble a ceiling fan.


Rita Wray said...

I'm trying to forget the hassle we had with the contractor we hired when we bought our house a few years ago. He ripped us off and left us with a terrible mess.


Karen B said...

I've done painting and wall-papering in the past (measure twice and cut once - still made mistakes~!~!) but now at 72 I want someone professional to do it.

Sue Farrell said...

We bought a 3 bedroom house and did a lot of renovating and put on an addition---and turned it into a one bedroom house. That took a lot of planning and people can't believe that we really did that.

Sue Farrell said...

We bought a 3 bedroom house and did a lot of renovating and put on an addition---and turned it into a one bedroom house. That took a lot of planning and people can't believe that we really did that.

Dotty Kelley said...

I'm lucky i can hang a picture straight.

lag123 said...

I am definitely not a fixer upper.
lag110 at mchsi dot com

bn100 said...

Haven't done any of that

Anita Yancey said...

I am all thumbs when it comes to home improvement so I don't do it. My husband does take on small projects, but he works so much that it takes him forever to complete it. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Wendy Newcomb said...

Oh, you don't want me to 'fix' anything up in the home, lol! I've been very spoiled by a husband that takes care of all that kind of thing for me. If I even tried I believe things would end up being in worse shape, lol.


Linda said...

No renovations. Just trying to keep up with home repairs. And do less of that myself with every passing year. Hire the help I need. Have found an honest & hard-working handyman 2 years ago. My good fortune!

Thanks for the review & giveaway.

Michelle Fidler said...

We live in an old home and years ago I helped scrape the old wallpaper or paint off the walls. I'm really not into renovations.

Carol M said...

Even though it needs it we haven't done any renovations.