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Dead Level (Home Repair is Homicide #15)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  606 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Driving deep into the woods to her husband's cottage with her best friend 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. But as they set to work, they soon realize that they're not alone. Recently escaped from ...more
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Published May 1st 2012 by Dreamscape Media (first published January 1st 2012)
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I've long been a big fan of this series, and was a bit disappointed in the last two; however, Dead Level did redeem the series in my eyes. I'm not sure why, but starting with Crawlspace I feel like the series began to lose the light-heartedness, and was taken out of the "cozy" reading genre, and while Dead Level does not change my position on this, I did enjoy it a lot more than the last two books (Crawlspace & Knockdown).

In Dead Level every character that the reader has come to know and lo
Sarah Graves has redeemed herself in my eyes.

After six weak entries in her Home Repair is Homicide series, she delivers a strong one here. This is the first book since Tool And Die that had me turning pages to find out what happened next.

While Graves tells this story from multiple points of view, she returns to first person narration for scenes in Jake’s point of view, instead of the third person she’d used in the last few books, which had distanced me from the character, making me feel as if I
I returned to an old mystery series I read for years...but not so much. I remember reading her first books, and really enjoying them, and I don't know if the books have changed, or I have, but Graves' books have gone to the "Murder She Wrote" side...what I mean is, EVERYTIME the protagonist or her family go somewhere, someone dies, or their lives are at risk, or in this one, everyone was in danger through different circumstances. I understand, for a murder mystery series, people around the lead ...more
Kate Lewis
I absolutely love Sarah Graves and her novels! I have read many others in this series and this one was just as good! I love the small town feel and I can connect to these books especially well, because I have been to Eastport numerous times!
The Home Repair is Homicide series with Jacobia "Jake" Triptree started out so interesting with the Maine setting, the strong female character, and the plots. Unfortunately, the last few in the series have left me very disappointed. A wife beater/murderer that Jake helped put in prison, escapes. The guy was raised in the backwoods of Maine and knows how to survive there with little or nothing. Knowing that this murderer is loose, everyone decides he is heading for the big city where he never liv ...more
I really wavered on what rating I should give this latest entry in the home repair is homicide books. 3 seems not quite right, 2 not high enough. It was gripping and had a good story. However it was not a mystery and the supernatural elements that were introduced seemed out of place. I'm not sure where the author is going with it. In any case I ended up giving it three stars just because I did enjoy the read it was just a little unexpected.
I think that if I ever move to Maine, it won't be to Eastport, because it seems like every time you turn around there, someone is being murdered. Dewey Hooper, former resident of Eastport, Maine, escapes from the state prison where he has been serving time for beating his wife to death. He heads to Eastport to exact revenge on Jacobia Tiptree, whose testimony helped convict him, and her friend Ellie White, who has a startling resemblance to his dead wife. Jake, her son Sam, and her step-mother-i ...more
Although I did like this book, I didn't like it as much as some of the other books in this series mostly due to all the "sightings" of Jake's ex. A little more improbable than the other. I also wasn't all that enthused with the negative storyline for Sam – it wasn't needed for the full story and took away from it for me.
Gloria Mccracken
I waited a few weeks to read this one. I had just read two in the series rather close together and had been disappointed in both of them -- and they were way too similar. On the surface, this one looked like more of the same. And on the surface it is: criminal from Jacobia Tiptree's past on the loose and out to get her. However. Very little mystery again, unfortunately, but as a thriller it was...well, thrilling. Friends and relatives dropping like flies, a (perhaps) ghostly visitation or severa ...more
Thought for sure I had read this before; but this is the latest in the series and relatively recently released. I wasn't sure what I was thinking and what I should feel about this book. Once I realized this was a new book to me, I settled in for the ride.

Lately, I've been a bit dissatisfied with the series. Jake was not a typical cozy heroine in the early books. She was an intelligent and successful career woman, when she decided to move to Maine, not only to save her own sanity, but help her t
The blurb: 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
So, I'm thinking Ms. Graves has pretty much done it again: written a good book.

When I picked this one up from the library, I wondered if the book could possibly hold my interest (yeah, I know that thing about judging a book by it's cover) - it seemed such a slim volume. But then I shrugged and thought, well, my stack is getting high so I should be able to knock this one off quickly. And I did. Read last night for about half and hour and then finished the book this afternoon.

I enjoyed all the t
Edward Barrett
This 15th edition of a mystery series set in Eastport Maine continues its theme of home repair. Jacobia Tiptree, the featured character, ended up in Eastport after a career in New York as financier to the mob and to relocate her son from the pernicious influences of the big city. Much of the series revolves in one way or another around her efforts to restore and repair a several hundred year old house.

In this edition, however, she's off into the Maine woods to add a deck to her families camp, as
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Redfern
Sarah Graves pens book 15 in her “Home Repair is Homicide” series. Jacobia (Jake) Tiptree is in the Maine woods to repair the deck on her husband’s remote cabin, bringing along her best friend, Ellie. Unfortunately for them, Dewey Hooper, an escaped murderer, is also in the woods and he has revenge on his mind for Jake. Ellie is a double for Maryann, the wife Dewey killed. Dewey believes Maryann is back and he means to see that she stays dead this time. Back home, Jake’s son Sam and other family ...more
In this 15th installment of the Home Repair series, we find Jake Tiptree involved in murder in a much different way than she has been in the past. Rather than attempting to solve a murder, she finds herself attempting to survive the murderous intent of a character she helped convict of murdering his wife.

I found this change in direction refreshing. While I question how someone like Jake could constantly be involved in so many homicides, I throughly enjoy each installment of her story. Dead Leve
A; not sure where this falls in the series but it was easy to follow. A few home repair tidbits thrown into the story. Not so much a mystery since the bad guy was front and center throughout but a fun listen. Interested to read more in the series to see where if Jake's dead ex-husband's ghost is a recurring character.
Julie H.
Hmmm...I really only want to award two and a half stars here but am "rounding up." Why? Mostly because pretty nearly all the action in Dead Level was telegraphed within the book's first chapter so that as it finally unfolded it was somewhat anticlimactic.

That said, it was still a nice opportunity to check in on Jake, Wade, Sam and the assorted Tiptrees/Sorenson as well as Ellie and the other good folks of Eastport, Maine. Most important, we got a bit more character development regarding local p
Haunting plays a big part in this book. The story is very interesting, especially the scenes where Dewey Hooper is trying to figure out how his ex-wife has come back from the dead just to make his life miserable again. Victor's ghost is seen by Jake, Wade, Same, and Bella as the date of his death approaches. This time, however, Victor has a benevolent motive as he/his ghost gets their attention at critical moments. Bob Arnold continues to think about the fact that he actually killed someone. Mos ...more
Beth Yeary
It's a bit different from the others in the series that I read. But, then again, it's been several years since I read the last one. This story in the Jacok Tipton series includes a mentally deranged stalker, some paranormal activity, a boat sinking, and a pair of con artists.
Alice Liu
I loved this 15th installment of Sarah Graves' Home Repair is Homicide series. Yes, there were certain repeated dramatic devices (ignored threats, misplaced cell phones, where did I put that gun?), but there are enough surprises with lots of action and several separate story lines converging. While there is less actual home repair as compared to some of the other books in this series, Sam appears more often as his loneliness takes him down interesting and dangerous roads. Even Victor returns, ad ...more
Lots of different stories going on within the main story. Jake and Ellie go to work on the cabin they end up fighting for their lives because an escaped killer tries to kill them. He thinks Ellie looks like the wife he killed and Jake testified against him. Meanwhile Jake's son, Sam, gets involved with some con artists and has a close call both with breaking his sobriety and getting whacked on the head. Jake's husband gets shot and her dad and stepmom get in a car accident. It seems like everyon ...more
Thank you Sarah Graves for helping pass the time with your books. They are entertaining, quick reads.
Cheryl Cooper
Good, easy read. First one I've read in this series and I enjoyed it. Will have to find more by this author.
Christine Wahl
I like the little tips for around the house at the start of each chapter. Nice, easy read and fast paced. Nothing boring about the book. No long drawn out character descriptions etc. just a nice read to listen to when lights go out. Enjoyed.
Shirley Worley
I have read several of the Home Repair series and thoroughly enjoy them. I always enjoy reading about Jake and Ellie, and their families. This one was different in that Jake was not solving a crime, she and Ellie were the targets of a crime. The beginning of the book was a bit rough for me, maybe because the chapters bounced back and forth between the convict, her son Sam, then Jake and Ellie, etc. I had a little trouble connecting things early in the book, but once I got a little further into t ...more
Nancy H
This entry in the Home Repair Is Homicide series is top-notch mystery entertainment at its best. One of the things I like about Sarah Graves' series is that the quality of her entries is consistent, as well as the fact that her characters and sense of place add depth to a plot that is already quite good. This entry is definitely one of her best and has the reader turning pages and reading as fast as possible to find out what is going to happen to Jake, Ellie, Wade, Sam, Bella, and Jacob. This is ...more
Wow. Loved it. Lots of Jake and Ellie kind of trouble, and plenty of peril for everyone. I really liked who came to the rescue here. It was an excellent addition to the series. I think it might even be the best one in the series, which is saying a lot because I think it's a solid series.

The one think I was unsure of was how much time had passed in between Knockdown and this one. It's obvious, from comments made by the characters that there has been at least a couple of years. I think I need to
This is one of the better books in the series. Jake and Ellie are marooned at Wade's cabin and are being hunted by an escaped convict who thinks Ellie is the reincarnation of his dead wife.It is quite suspenseful and the characters are true to character in this chapter in the ongoing series set in Eastport, Maine. It was particularly nice to see the interaction between Jake's son Sam and her husband Wade and especially good to find Sam finally maturing and overcoming his previous difficulties wi ...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.

* Home Repair is Homicide
More about Sarah Graves...

Other Books in the Series

Home Repair is Homicide (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Dead Cat Bounce (Home Repair is Homicide, #1)
  • 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 Dead Cat Bounce (Home Repair is Homicide, #1) Triple Witch (Home Repair is Homicide, #2) Wicked Fix (Home Repair is Homicide, #3) Unhinged (Home Repair is Homicide, #6) Wreck the Halls (Home Repair is Homicide, #5)

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