cover image Nail Biter: A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery

Nail Biter: A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery

Sarah Graves, . . Bantam, $22 (260pp) ISBN 978-0-553-80310-5

In Graves's neatly constructed ninth whodunit set in Maine (after 2004's Tool & Die ), former New York financial whiz Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree and her best friend, Ellie White, invest in a rental property in Quoddy Village ("the nearest thing to a suburb that the tiny island city of Eastport had"), but soon run into trouble. The first renters are a coven of witches led by Gregory Brand, a charismatic man with several women and a teenage girl in tow. After the body of no-good local Eugene Dibble surfaces on the property, the teenager disappears and her desperate mother turns to Jake. Mindful of her recent experiences with her own troubled teenage son, Sam, Jake agrees to help. As Jake delves into Eugene Dibble's life, she balances sleuthing with the never-ending restoration work on her 1823 Federal home and the relationships with her new husband and her former one. Readers will enjoy Jake's repair tips as they follow her dogged investigation all the way to its startling conclusion. (Jan.)