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The Dead Cat Bounce (Home Repair is Homicide #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  2,699 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
dead cat bounce n. 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 d
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Bantam (first published 1997)
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"It's pretty good. But," she said, "the author uses this device all the time."

"What," he asked, "device do you mean?"

"The device," she replied, "of splitting dialogue around stage directions."

"Oh, that," he remarked, "is so annoying."

"Yes, it," she answered, "is."


On reread:

"Wow, I," she said, "still notice that device."

"I got tired of you reading examples," he replied, "to me."

"But I didn't read even," she said, "the worst ones. Out of," she added, "love for you."

"I thank," he said, "you for t
Jul 19, 2013 Scartowner rated it really liked it
Shelves: maine-writer
"I think," this reader says, "that breaking up sentences," she notes especially in dialogue,"is extremely irksome and distracting." "Could this be," she muses, "an editorial issue?" "Although this is a wonderfully fun," she exclaims, "and enjoyable and nicely written tale," she continues, "is it really necessary to use employ this style," this writer moans, "on every single page?"

Despite this aspect, I intend to read every single Sarah Graves novels.

Nov 02, 2009 Spuddie rated it really liked it
Note that this review refers to the audio version, which I couldn't find listed anywhere!

#1 Home Repair is Homicide mystery featuring Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree in Eastport, Maine. Jacobia is a former financial adviser who lived in New York and had some pretty high-flying clients--including some unsavory 'connected' folks. A year ago, she decided to abandon the rat race and bought a 200-year-old house in Eastport, Maine and moved in with her teenage son Sam. Since then, her life has been one big ins
Diane ~Firefly~
Feb 08, 2010 Diane ~Firefly~ rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, kids
I started off giving it 3 stars but as the could have been better section kept growing and the enjoyed didn't, I had to go back to 2 stars.

What I enjoyed:
* The town has an interesting personality, as does its residents.
* Sam, wow could there be a more perfect son?

What could have been better:
* The killer was obvious, I don't know why Jacobia and the town had such a difficult time figuring it out. (view spoiler)
Feb 27, 2010 Jo rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, cozy-mystery
Not bad, just okay. I liked that the setting is a small town in Maine (I have a soft spot for Maine and any small harbor town) but for the most part, I found this mystery to be kind of boring. Since the main character, Jacobia, used to be a financial advisor, there is quite a bit of financial mumbo jumbo throughout the book that was very uninteresting to have to read through. Overall, it started off extremely slow but it did get better and more exciting towards the end so I'll check out another ...more
Aaron Pogue
Nov 06, 2010 Aaron Pogue rated it it was ok
The setting is vivid, the characters are strongly portrayed, and the story of murder is fascinating. Unfortunately, Graves refuses to tell the story. She constantly interrupts the narrative, and that makes it a chore to ferret out the scattered bits of real story along the way.
Aug 20, 2011 Lee rated it really liked it
I'm hoping to start some remodel work on my house this fall. With that in mind I picked up this book, it's qualifications being - it's a mystery and although it's fiction it deals with home repair (the first in the Home Repair is Homicide series) and it was sitting on my library's bookshelf. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it's a pretty good book. A 'cozy' set in Eastport Maine. I looked it up and the town is real. Apparently NPR did an interview with some of the locals back in 20 ...more
Melissa Morley
Sep 02, 2013 Melissa Morley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: who-dunnit-s
I like this author for light mystery tales. She adds home do it yourself projects and financial planning to her suspense. Her characters are not predictable in nature, and relationships in this series have some interesting elements. I like her descriptive word pictures, as well as her sense of humor. I listen to these on audio.
Sep 05, 2008 Sfdreams rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is the first book in Sarah Graves Repair is Homicide mystery series. I first read it many years ago (1998?), along with the next two or three, then lost track of the series. I love this series! I made a concerted effort recently to read my way through once again and get caught up to date.

This first book is perhaps the weakest of the series, but Ms. Graves is only getting better and better. The protagonist is Jacobia Tiptree (Jake to her friends),a high powered stockbrocker who moves to Eas
May 11, 2014 Peacejanz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed
Where have I been? This delightful mystery author has been around for a long time and I just found her. If you love mystery and if you love the Northeast coast of the US, run to get this book - the first of a series, A Home Repair is Homicide. This author is a poet; her descriptions of the physical area, the people, and her thoughts are so compelling that I found I was dwelling on them, rather than racing through to grab the clues and solve the mystery. So many characters - the weird neurosurgeo ...more
Nadine Jones
Jul 29, 2010 Nadine Jones rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A perfectly charming murder mystery set in Eastport, Maine. I have no idea if the Maine descriptions are accurate or not, but I assume they are since the author lives in Eastport. :-)

Jacobia is a formerly poor child, turned Wall Street wiz kid, turned Maine ... something. It wasn't clear to me how she was supporting herself once she moved to Maine - I guess she had made so much money on Wall Street that she was all set. One day she happens upon a dead body in her unheated storage room (where sh
Mar 19, 2011 Lynda rated it it was ok
Another new series for me. Dead cat bounce is the beginning of an interesting cozy series set in Maine about a divorced mother named Jacobia known as Jake. In her previous life she was a financial consultant. As in all series beginnings, a lot of time is spent setting up the scene and major characters. There was a little too much financial data for me but hopefully that was limited tgo this book. Jake's friend Ellie has confessed to murdering a local man whose body was found in Jake's home. Jake ...more
Nov 03, 2011 Jan rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit, own-copy
Jacobia (Jake) Triptee is a "retired" commodities broker who moved with her son to an island off the coast of Maine to escape life in the city as well as her controlling ex-husband. Jake falls in love with a 200 year old house and spends her time either repairing her "money hole" residence or solving a mystery or two. I'm still trying to figure out how someone so well versed in the financial world found time to learn how to properly glaze a window or repair lath, or to acquire all the knowledge ...more
Jan 21, 2017 Carla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-my-shelf
I have enjoyed mystery novels since I was in 3rd grade, reading the books my mom brought home: Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Mary Stewart. So, I enjoyed this novel, even though I'd figured it out early on. Some of the writing devices were a bit tiring, but most of the characters were relatable. What really bothered me was that there were some really heinous actions that were just kind of waved off because the character was likable. That really bothers me!
Jul 21, 2012 Carol rated it did not like it
Terrible. The writing is very disjointed, and floats back and forth between past and present without warning. I tried to give this a chance, and went past my 50 page rule, but half way through I closed up the book, and put it away. It wasn't worth my time.
Elizabeth Noah Astle
May 08, 2017 Elizabeth Noah Astle rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed this book--the first in its series.

Jacobia Tiptree has bought an old fixer up house in a small town in Maine. She quite her fancy wall street financial advisor job and took her son and moved.

A dead body is found in Jacobia property and her best friend Ellie confesses to the murder. Ellie tells Jacobia to figure out the truth and who the murderer really is.

There was the main plot of who the murderer was and some smaller plots like Janets mom. I have to admit that I had a guess ab
Cathy Savage
Mar 18, 2017 Cathy Savage rated it really liked it
This was a book I picked up on a whim not really expecting much from it. I was pleasantly surprised! The character development was sufficient that the reader got to know them and anticipate their responses. The plot moved along at a nice pace and the surrounds were nicely described. There were a couple of characters introduced that obviously were there only to cement a particular piece of the puzzle but their removal was done in a believable manner. I enjoyed the writing style enough that I will ...more
Mar 05, 2017 Bsublime rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
There was a lot to like about this book. Enough that I will be reading at least the next book in the series. But, I hope they turn down Jake's attitude. She at time came across as incredibly arrogant. So smug I was hoping that someone would smack her across that face. But I love the Maine town, the cast of characters, the sprinkling of details about the house etc. Fingers crossed that they get better.
Guy Cabell
Mar 03, 2017 Guy Cabell rated it really liked it
It's a very interesting story, if the investigator is much more laid back than your average detective. I enjoyed the way the author put together all the different threads at the end.
Nathan Trachta
Mar 09, 2009 Nathan Trachta rated it really liked it
Normally I don’t read many murder mysteries; however, after chatting with Ms. Graves on another reviewer’s review (on Amazon) of a different work of Ms. Graves, I decided to read at least one of her books and me being me, I decided to start at the beginning. Dead Cat Bounce is Ms. Graves initial forte with Jacobia Tiptree as the protagonist; it takes place in Eastport, Maine, interestingly Ms. Graves’ hometown.

Dead Cat Bounce was a 4 star book for me. Earlier I was thinking about calling it a 3
Patti Phillips
Jan 16, 2014 Patti Phillips rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
The ‘Home Repair is Homicide’ series gets off to a hammering start with this first installment, “Dead Cat Bounce.” Jacobia Tiptree has purchased a fixer-upper on an island in Maine and while handy with a wrench and other assorted tools, she is not prepared for the corpse she discovers in her storeroom one murky morning.

When the body is revealed to be that of a local billionaire and Tiptree (the newcomer in town) begins to investigate why he wound up in her house, her safety and that of her son i
Anne Marie
Jun 26, 2016 Anne Marie rated it it was ok
The two stars I gave for this book go toward the Maine setting and having to finish the book to see if I guessed correctly on who murdered Threnody McIlwaine. By the way...why the complicated name? What's the point to have a complicated name in an already complicated murder mystery? I've read countless numbers of mysteries but this story was difficult for me to follow, or get interested in. One minute we would be reading about suspicions, the next about the tugboat out on the pristine bay.
So ba
"dead cat bounce": stock market jargon for a small temporary rise in a stock's trading price, after a sharp drop.

Dead Cat Bounce is the first installment of the Home Repair is Homicide series, set in Eastport Maine, the easternmost US city, in the modern day. Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree has traded her fast-track life as an investment analyst for 'fat cats' including high-level mobsters, and escaped her marriage with an egotistic, narcissistic brain surgeon, for a more peaceful life in Maine with her
Jul 07, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Since she bought her rambling old fixer-upper of a house, Jacobia Tiptree has gotten used to finding things broken. But her laatest problem isn't so easily repaired. Along with the rotting floor joists and saggingsupport beams, there's the little matter of thedead 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 billionair
Oswego Public Library District
A single mother, Jacobia Tiptree, and her good, but troubled teenage son have moved to remote Eastport, Maine to get away from an annoying ex-husband and the busy urban life they had led. Eastport has a wealth of interesting characters, all of whom the reader meets in the course of solving the mystery of a murdered stock trader that Jacobia finds in her house, the one that she is hopelessly attempting to remodel herself. Set among artists and fishermen, this is a gentle read loaded with humor. T ...more
Nov 18, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Less is More

If you are looking for a quick read this might not be the best book.

Jacobia and her son Sam move from New York where she was a high powered money manager and move to Eastport, Maine to get away from her overbearing ex-husband.
She buys a hundred year old fixer-upper and finds a body in her store room.
Her best friend Ellie confesses to the murder, and then wants Jake to expose the true killer because Ellie has made a promise.

The characters are so well developed that they jump off th
Apr 12, 2009 Elaine rated it it was ok
According to the book, "dead cat bounce" is stock trade jargon. Who would have thunk it? This book does talk stock. There was some definite inside trading going on.

I wouldn't say "Wow" about this book. In fact, I could put it down and not pick it up, wishing I were reading something else.

A man is found with an ice pick in his head; the pick disappears and then turns up under the body. Someone confesses to the murder but was it her that really did it? If so, how did she move the body from one hou
Sep 04, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
I listened to this one in audio and so I didn't notice that it was book #1 in a series. Now that I see that I am very surprised because we jump into the middle of a lot of things that felt like they might have been in a previous book. But I guess not!

I thought the book was decent, particularly if you like cozy mysteries or mysteries with the detective being a middle-aged-woman (lol, I recall being in a writing class when they talked about why so many cozy mysteries feature middle-aged-women as t
Nov 28, 2013 Cat. rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Set in a small town on an island on the northeastern coast of Maine, practically in Canada, this is formula mystery fiction at its....well, not best, but at its formulaic-ist. The mystery portion was pretty obvious, but again getting to "how" was the issue.

The main character is Jacobia Tiptree, former money manager for big-time movers and shakers in NYC, and also former wife of a jerk of a neurosurgeon. She and her teenaged son moved to Maine mostly to escape her husband, but also her job which
Linda C
Dec 03, 2015 Linda C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It is about 18 months after Jacobia (Jake) Tiptree and her son, Sam, moved to Eastport, ME from NYC that Jake finds a dead man in her storage room. The man has an ice pick in his head. He turns out to be a local rich businessman who made good internationally and returned to build a mansion in Eastport. He is not well liked and has many enemies. Then Jake's best friend, Ellie, confesses to the murder but makes Jake promise to find out what happened. It is obvious she is covering for someone but w ...more
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Sarah Graves lives with her husband John, a musician and luthier, and their black Labrador Retriever in a house very much like the one Jacobia Tiptree is remodeling in Eastport, Maine. When she's not writing Jake's adventures, Sarah works with her husband on the house and she plays the 5-string banjo.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

More about Sarah Graves...

Other Books in the Series

Home Repair is Homicide (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Triple Witch (Home Repair is Homicide, #2)
  • Wicked Fix (Home Repair is Homicide, #3)
  • Repair to Her Grave (Home Repair is Homicide, #4)
  • Wreck the Halls (Home Repair is Homicide, #5)
  • Unhinged (Home Repair is Homicide, #6)
  • Mallets Aforethought (Home Repair is Homicide, #7)
  • Tool and Die (Home Repair is Homicide, #8)
  • Nail Biter (Home Repair is Homicide, #9)
  • Trap Door (Home Repair is Homicide, #10)
  • The Book of Old Houses (Home Repair is Homicide, #11)

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