Friday, February 2, 2018

A High-End Finish (Fixer-Upper Mystery #1), by Kate Carlisle (author), Angela Starling (narrator)

Audible Studios, December 2014

Shannon Hammer runs a home renovation and repair business in her home town of Lighthouse Cove, California--very happily and successfully. She's single, though, and lets a friend talk her into going on a blind date.

It's a mistake, ending in a very public struggle on the beach when her date, Jerry Saxton, doesn't want to take no for an answer. She and some of the spectators drive him off. She's not hurt, though, and puts off reporting it to the police until morning--and then gets caught up in issues relating to the current jobs her crew is working on. One of those is a call from a client. He's gotten a call from a neighbor that there's running water in the house Shannon is renovating for him. He's still in San Francisco; can she go check it out? She does--and finds a dead body, Jerry Saxton. And he was killed with one of Shannon's tools.

The new sheriff is a sexy hunk, but she is the most obvious suspect. Even when the coroner's report makes it clear that Saxton died while she was with other people, it's disturbing. It gets more disturbing when another death, and other unsettling incidents, indicate that one way or another, Shannon may be a target.

Lighthouse Cove is a small town, fairly close-knit, but not painted in unrealistically cozy, gauzy tones. Shannon has lots of friends, and is hard pressed to come up with anyone she'd call an enemy, but she and the local Mean Girls from her high school days have never stopped having some degree of hostility. Yet that hardly seems like a motive for murder. The characters are interesting and well-drawn, and while I thought for a while the story might be going in an unfortunate direction, in the end that was just a very nice bit of misdirection.

All in all, an enjoyable book with an interesting mystery.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.