A Bat in the Belfry

A Bat in the Belfry

Book - 2013
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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 A Bat in the Belfry
 
"Stylishly suspenseful." -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
"Nobody else can take a home repair project and turn it into a first-class mystery the way Graves can. It's a top-of-the-line story." -- RT Book Reviews
 
"Graves does the Down East region justice, nailing not only the scents, sounds, sights, and people, but the culture. . . . It doesn't hurt that she's a damn good storyteller, to boot. [Her] prose is sharp, smart, and witty." -- Crimespree Magazine

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
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345534996
Branch Call Number: M GRA
Characteristics: 293 p. ;,25 cm

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LoveAGoodRead
May 31, 2013

I have read several of the Home Repair Series and although I liked this book, I found it to be my least favorite.

Pros: The characters are all likeable. Along with the usual members of the Tiptree family, a couple of new people have been introduced. The setting in Maine is well described and the stormy weather plays an integral part of the story. The storyline is interesting and the action moves at a good speed. Home repair tips are interspersed throughout the book.

Cons: The story is told from several points of view. Jacobia's story is told from a first person POV, while the other characters actions are in the third person. The changes between the two can often be distracting. Jacobia's role often seems to be secondary to the new character introduced, Lizzie Snow.

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l
LoveAGoodRead
May 31, 2013

A teenage girl is found murdered in the belfry of a local church and the suspected killer happens to be a houseguest of Jacobia and Wade Triptree and bestfriends with their son, Sam. When out-of-towner Lizzie shows up looking for a missing relative, Jake and Lizzie join forces to help each other. Lizzie wants to find her dead sister's daughter and Jake wants to clear Chip's name and Lizzie's law enforcement background could be a big help. Lizzie in the meantime runs into an old flame and fellow law enforcement officer, who also wants to help find the missing niece. Twists and turns lead the group to suspect several of the town's young hoodlums and the costs of involvement are dangerous and near deadly.

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