cover image TOOL & DIE: A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery

TOOL & DIE: A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery

Sarah Graves, Author . Bantam $22 (288p) ISBN 978-0-553-80309-9

The endless task of restoring her 1823 Federal home in Eastport, Maine, is the least of amateur sleuth Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree's problems in Graves's eighth entertaining "Home Repair Is Homicide" mystery (after 2004's Mallets Aforethought ). Sullen son Sam has dumped supportive girlfriend Maggie in favor of crass, materialistic and calculating troublemaker Kris. Bella, the housekeeper whose services Jake won as a prize, is driving every member of the household batty with her cleaning zeal. Jake's ex-husband, Victor, is ever ready to offer unhelpful advice, while a moose on the loose is creating a nuisance. In an effort to solve most of her problems by bringing Bella under control, Jake confronts her housekeeper and learns that Bella has been receiving death threats. Putting an end to these threats, apparently from Bella's ex-con ex-husband, turns out to be more difficult than expected, and Jake and best friend Ellie White wade into another murderous and treacherous entanglement with a clever, determined killer. A nicely drawn cast of characters, both human and animal, plus humor built around domestic bliss and angst, personal foibles and outrageous situations, all make for plenty of cozy fun. Agent, Al Zuckerman. (Jan. 4)