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A Bat in the Belfry

by Sarah Graves

When it comes to home repair, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree is a fervent wielder of power drills and paint brushes. And when catching criminals, she's been known to really bring down the hammer. But when a shocking murder rocks the small town of Eastport, Maine, Jake may be the next victim for whom the bell tolls. It is nearly midnight when the enormous bell in the belfry of All Faith Chapel--silent for decades--booms forth, startling awake the entire town of Eastport. Upon inspection of the steeple, the police uncover the body of local teenager Karen Hansen, who had climbed the belfry's dark, rickety stairs for a midnight rendezvous. But instead of the promise of an exciting new life, Karen meets her death. Meanwhile, as an epic nor'easter bears down on the idyllic island town, Jake Tiptree hurries to shore up her ramshackle old house against the big blow. An amateur detective, she has sworn off chasing criminals. But when the news of Karen's murder spreads and much of the evidence points to Jake's likable houseguest, she and her sleuthing partner, Ellie White, get to work. They discover an unexpected ally in newcomer Lizzie Snow, a woman from "away" who seemed to have blown into town with the nor'easter, and who also seems to know a lot about the mind of a killer. Can Jake and Ellie trust her? As a killer roams free and the townsfolk struggle against the pounding, screaming storm, the resulting tempest of gossip and suspicion rivals anything the Atlantic could brew up--and threatens to keep Jake and Ellie from putting the final nail in this cold-blooded case. Complete with Home Repair Is Homicide repair tips! Praise for Sarah Graves and the Home Repair Is Homicide series "Graves's trademarks are edgy, traditional mysteries peppered liberally with humor, and sprinkled with layered, well-written characters."--Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier "Just hearing her list the ways you can kill yourself fixing up an old house . . . is a hoot."--The New York Times Book Review "What distinguishes the novel are its likable, no-nonsense protagonist-narrator, her references to home repair that the author cleverly fits tongue-and-groove into the story and, especially, the detailed descriptions of the town."--Los Angeles Times "Graves makes rehabbing shutters and other chores suspenseful."--The Boston Globe "Nail-biting suspense that ensnares the reader . . . full of courageous women and compelling action. Highly recommended."--Library Journal "Think Diane Mott Davidson with a tool belt instead of recipes."--The Denver Post "Like a runaway home renovation project, the appeal for her books keeps getting larger."--Milwaukee Journal SentinelFrom the Hardcover edition.

The Book Of Old Houses

by Sarah Graves

After finding a long-buried book underneath her 1823 fixer-upper--a book containing her name written in blood--Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree puts aside her hammer to find someone who's got the blueprint for a perfect murder. Includes home repair tips.

Crawlspace: A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery

by Sarah Graves

Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree abandoned Wall Street to its bankruptcies and bailouts for a far more rewarding life fixing up an 1823 Federal-style house in Eastport, Maine. But in Sarah Graves's chilling new mystery thriller, Jake discovers that no matter what your address, the most terrifying crimes always hit closest to home.The infamous Dodd murders are hardly among Eastport's proudest legacies. So when bestselling true-crime author Carolyn Rathbone arrives to research the case for a new book, the locals in the seaside town let her know that she's about as welcome as a spoiled clam. But surely no one would harm a crime writer out of a sense of civic pride-or would they?Jake has her own problems, from the mysteries of old-house insulation to an anonymous caller plaguing her with death threats. But with Carolyn's arrival, the slayings of the wealthy Dodd women suddenly go from cold case to hot topic-much to someone's dismay. For Carolyn Rathbone's untimely investigation hasn't only reopened old wounds and stirred up new suspicions; it's unearthed a string of deadly secrets-ones that a cunning killer is grimly determined to rebury right along with Carolyn herself.Suddenly Jake finds herself inescapably targeted by one of the most deranged criminal minds she's ever encountered. For as much as she fights to insulate herself from his grisly compulsions, someone with a taste for terror has already crept closer than she dares to imagine. She'd rather die than lose the home and family she's built-and that suits her nemesis fine, because her death is just exactly what he has planned.From the Hardcover edition.

The Dead Cat Bounce

by Sarah Graves

dead cat bouncen. Stock market jargon for a small, temporary rise in a stock's trading price after a sharp drop. Since she bought her rambling old fixer-upper of a house, Jacobia Tiptree has gotten used to finding things broken. But her latest problem isn't so easily repaired. Along with the rotting floor joists and sagging support beams, there's the little matter of the dead man in Jake's storeroom, an ice pick firmly planted in his cranium. Not much happens in her tiny Maine town, but that's about to change. Jake's unknown guest turns out to be a world-famous corporate raider, local boy turned billionaire Threnody McIlwaine. When Jake's best friend, quiet and dependable Ellie White, readily confesses to the murder, cops and journalists swarm into snowbound Eastport. Jake smells a cover-up, and begins poking into past history between McIlwaine and Ellie's family. But someone doesn't like nosy neighbors. . . and Jake's rustic refuge may become her final resting place.

Dead Level

by Sarah Graves

Nobody knows the nuts and bolts of home repair quite like Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree, ex-Wall Streeter turned proud owner of an 1823 Federal-style house in Eastport, Maine. But when a killer with a screw loose sets his sights on Jake, her newest renovation project becomes a dire matter of life and deck. Driving deep into the woods to her husband's cottage with her best friend, Ellie White, in tow, Jake knows she has a challenging week ahead of her. Aside from saying goodbye to paved roads and indoor plumbing, Jake bet her husband that she could finish building the cottage porch in only a few days--a lofty goal for even the craftiest home renovator. But as Jake and Ellie set to work, they soon realize that they're not alone. Someone is watching them . . . and that someone is out for blood. Recently escaped from prison and having fled into the woods, Dewey Hooper recognizes Jake the instant he sees her. Her testimony got him sent away for murder years ago and here, in the remote wilderness, he can finally exact his revenge. Determined to make payback look like an accident, Dewey hatches a lethal scheme to ensure neither woman returns to Eastport alive. But Jake and Ellie are tough as nails and not afraid to fend for themselves. With the exit roads flooded and a deranged convict stalking their every move, they'll have to keep their wits above water to prevent the quaint little cottage from turning into the ultimate death trap.Complete with Home Repair Is Homicide repair tips!From the Hardcover edition.

A Face at the Window

by Sarah Graves

Back in the day, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree turned profits managing the fortunes of Manhattan's most fortunate. Then she fled the rat race for a stately old fixer-upper in easygoing Eastport, Maine. But now a rat from an even darker corner of Jake's past has turned up...a killer with a blueprint for demolishing her new life.As a home repair enthusiast, Jake knows that nothing lasts forever--not windows or doors, not plaster or plumbing. And not good fortune.After more than three decades eluding justice, the man who murdered her mother is finally about to stand trial--until he vanishes into thin air. Jake has a terrible foreboding of where Ozzie Campbell will turn up next. And while the local police chief is sure she's overreacting, the truth is far worse than even Jake's worst fears.With her normally full house empty for at least another week, Jake has been looking forward to the unaccustomed peace and quiet. Now her cozy, well-loved home feels more like a big empty death trap ready to snap shut. First a pair of out-of-towners clearly not in Eastport for vacation turn up asking questions about her. And if she has any doubt they're connected to Campbell, those doubts are erased when he calls her with a grim warning. But exactly what Campbell wants from her isn't clear, only that he'll stop at nothing to hurt those closest to Jake. And his first victims are the most defenseless of all. Suddenly Jake can't help but feel that her house--and her life--has far too many windows. And in any one of them she might see the face of her killer.From the Hardcover edition.

Knockdown

by Sarah Graves

They say you can't go home again--and when it comes to someone with an old score to settle, sometimes you'd better not. That's what Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree discovers when the past she thought she'd laid to rest comes calling at her lovingly restored 1823 Federal-style house in Eastport, Maine. Unfortunately, her old life and her new one are about to collide with deadly consequences. . . . Jake is deep in her latest home improvement project--repainting a porch--when she notices the man repeatedly biking past her house. His face is unsettlingly familiar, but his chilling message seems inexplicable: Blood shows up again. Murder will out. If it's a prank, it's an ugly one, and so is the anonymous email warning her to beware the Fourth of July--just two days away. Back in her days as a hotshot financial manager she did business with plenty of shady characters, but she's still baffled as to the identity of her nemesis--until she receives a photo of a murdered man. Now Jake knows what--and whom--she's up against. But knowing her enemy is no guarantee that she can escape the grim payoff he has in store for her. From home invasion to kidnapping, this twisted killer is slowly but surely plotting a knockdown with not just Jake but the entire town of Eastport at its explosive center. And no one can predict when or where the shockingly deadly finale will occur.From the Hardcover edition.

Mallets Aforethought (Home Repair Is Homicide Mysteries #7)

by Sarah Graves

Home Repair is Homicide 5. Old Harlequin House is Eastport, Maine's most notorious landmark, once a hideout, hospital, and makeshift morgue for gangsters and their molls. Now Jake Tiptree and her friend Ellie White are refurbishing the mansion to host the local Historical Society's Memorial Day gala-until stripping old wallpaper in the parlor reveals a secret door to a room with a pair of corpses. One of the bodies is a skeleton dressed in 1920s flapper chic. But the other is that of a real-estate mogul with a chilling message pinned to his pocket: "Guilty." In between Ellie's Lamaze sessions, baby showers, and CPR classes, the two amateur sleuths sift their way through a trail of bafflingly contradictory clues. Then another corpse with a note declaring him "Guilty" surfaces. Jake and Ellie must find a killer who's building an airtight case against Ellie's husband, George-and planning to nail everyone who stands in the way.

Nail Biter

by Sarah Graves

Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree took the dangerous plunge from Wall Street power broker-to homeowner! Now the do-it-yourself enthusiast is about to discover that her own dream house is built on a foundation of murder. Buying a beachfront fixer-upper to lease out to Eastport, Maine's, burgeoning tourist crowd seems like a good idea to Jake Tiptree and her best friend, Ellie White. But working double-time as landladies to a coven of wannabe witches isn't what they had in mind. And it only gets worse when Jake i...

Repair to Her Grave

by Sarah Graves

Home repair can be murder. Jacobia Tiptree and her teenage son are used to their Eastport, Maine, home attracting more than its share of houseguests. This year Jake is hoping the plaster dust will keep them away while she finally gets her gem of a fixer-upper into shape -- from doorknobs and chandeliers to leaky pipes to ghostly phenomena. But when the charming and mysterious Jonathan Raines appears on her doorstep -- and then just as suddenly disappears -- remodeling the house becomes the least of Jake's problems. Could Jonathan's disappearance have something to do with his quest for a cursed violin -- the one that local legend says was hidden by a long-ago owner of Jake's house before he too vanished without a trace? Soon Jonathan's grief-stricken girlfriend arrives downeast, and Jake needs to strip Eastport's past of its idyllic veneer -- before a killer paints her very dead indeed! From the Paperback edition.

Tool and Die

by Sarah Graves

On this warm, sunny day, Jake is on her way to interview a large, angry man with a criminal history. Jim Diamond might be harassing his ex-wife with threatening letters, and Jake promised her house-keeper, Bella Diamond, that she'd look into the matter. Jim doesn't have a history of violence, but when Jake arrives, she finds that a killer was there before her. Add that to the moose in her kitchen, a rebellious son, and a troublesome ex of her own, and Jake is at her wits' end. When the killer strikes...

Trap Door

by Sarah Graves

When Jacobia " Jake" Tiptree left behind her high-powered, high-risk career on Wall Street for the charming town of Eastport, Maine, she expected a quiet life spent fixing up her 1823 Federal-style house. But there are skeletons in her closet that may prove beyond repair. . . Suddenly the perils of the stock market pale in comparison to the murder, mayhem, and mystery of remodeling. "From the Hardcover edition. "

Triple Witch

by Sarah Graves

Jacobia Tiptree saved her sanity--and her son, Sam--the day she abandoned Wall Street for the seacoast village of Eastport, Maine. In her new home, a charmingly dialpidated fixer-upper, she looks forward to repairing old radiators and restoring antique shutter for years to come. But Jake's hopes of serenity are dashed when tiny Eastport erupts in a crime wave.Hometown bad boy Kenny Mumford--old flame of Jake's best fiend and fellow sleuth, Ellie White--is the first victim. When his corpse washes up on the beach at Prince's Cove, all evidence points to a drowning...except the bullet hole in his forehead.When bodies begin littering the Maine scenery, Jake and Ellie learn that the ante on Kenny's small-town antics has been upped. Add a pair of unwelcome arrivlas--Jake's ex-husband, and an unscrupulous New York ex-money mogul--and you've got a blueprint for more deadly danger than one house can hold.From the Paperback edition.

Unhinged

by Sarah Graves

Once a Wall Street hotshot, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree chucked it all for a charmingly dilapidated fixer-upper in the tiny town of Eastport, Maine. She was certain she'd left the dangers of city life behind--until she discovered that no place, no matter how idyllic and peaceful it may appear, is safe from murder. It began with the mysterious disappearance of Harriet Hollingsworth--Eastport's snoopiest resident. Everyone is convinced the old busybody bolted out of town to escape her creditor--everyone except Jake and her best friend Ellie who know Harriet would never leave home without her most prized possession. But before Jake and Ellie can persuade police chief Bob Arnold to open an investigation, they'll need to come up with proof more sinister than a pair of abandoned binoculars. Just as Jake starts poking around for clues, things suddenly take a troubling turn for the worse. A suspicious accident nearly kills her teenaged son, Sam, and her husband, Wade, just misses getting his head blown off. Jake is prepared to attribute these incidents to a spate of bad luck--until another "accident" leaves a visitor to Eastport unmistakably dead. Most perplexing, all this mayhem coincides with the unexpected arrival of a man from Jake's past: a former New York City cop. Harry Markle claims he has unintentionally brought an unwelcome guest into Eastport: a crook determined to knock off everyone with ties to Harry. Twenty-four hours ago, Jake's only worry was fixing her broken-down gutters and downspouts before the big storm swept into town. Now, everything seems to be falling apart all around her. Jake knows from experience that the truth is usually as messy and complicated as do-it-yourself remodeling. As it becomes chillingly clear that appearances in this quaint community are more misleading than ever, she'll have to find a way to lure a homicidal maniac into the light--before he nails another victim.

Wicked Fix

by Sarah Graves

Do-it-yourself killer fixes small-town thug. . . For ex-Wall Streeter Jacobia Tiptree and her teenaged son, Sam, September promises tranquil days winter-proofing their rambling handyman's special of a home in Eastport, Maine. But there's nothing idyllic about this Down East autumn. For starters, the return of truly vicious native son Reuben Tate stirs up the town. And when somebody slits Reuben's throat and hangs his corpse on the cemetery gate, the police trace a bloodied scalpel to surgeon Victor Tiptree--Jacobia's former husband. Yet Jake knows her troublesome, trouble-prone ex is capable of just about anything except murder. Proving that, though, is another matter. Eastport is packed with tourists and former residents for the annual Salmon Festival--and Jake soon realizes any Eastporter, past or present, has motive for Tate's murder. To nail the real killer, Jake and her best friend, Ellie White, must probe a past as rotten as crumbling clapboard, while a secret hatred builds toward a series of murders even more brutal than Reuben Tate himself. . . .

Wreck the Halls

by Sarah Graves

When ex-Wall Streeter Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree bought a charming 1823 fixer-upper in tiny Eastport, Maine, she figured she'd also bought herself a tranquil, stress-free life. But Jake soon learned that appearances can be deceiving, and that even small towns have their share of dark secrets -- including murder. People hardly ever lock their doors in Eastport. So when Jake and her best pal, Ellie, arrive at Faye Anne Carmody's kitchen door, they knock and walk right in. But though Christmas is just two weeks away, what they find is far from festive: a dazed Faye Anne covered with blood, and her no-good husband -- the town butcher, Merle -- nowhere in sight. Nowhere, that is, until Jake discovers his body -- tidily wrapped in his own butcher paper. It doesn't take long for news of the murder to race through the small town, and just about everyone has a theory about the grisly crime that has robbed Eastport of its least-liked citizen. But while police chief Bob Arnold considers it an open-and-shut case, Jake and Ellie aren't convinced of Faye Anne's guilt. Jake has enough going on in her life without trying to investigate a murder. After all, she's just married her longtime love, Wade, and the pair plan to spend the winter rehabilitating the paint-encrusted windows in Jake's old house. But Jake has to admit that there are a lot of details that don't add up: for example, Faye Anne's complaint that she was being stalked, and blood-splattered evidence at the crime scene that just doesn't make sense. Then there is the diary that Faye Anne's secret, sometime boyfriend claims is hidden somewhere in her house. Could Faye Anne's own journal be the key to unlocking an even more fiendish murder plot, or is her double-crossing lover trying to frame her? When yet another Eastport citizen turns up dead, Jake realizes the murderer's trail began long before the night Merle Carmody died. But what keeps eluding her and Ellie is the motive behind the mystery. The truth is so close, they can almost taste it -- but can they stop the shrewd killer before he chisels another victim's name onto a tombstone?

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