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A Face at the Window (Home Repair is Homicide #12)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  907 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
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 l
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2008)
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The Poacher's Son by Paul DoironClammed Up by Barbara  RossBoiled Over by Barbara  RossThe Dead Cat Bounce by Sarah GravesShadows of a Down East Summer by Lea Wait
Maine Mysteries
65th out of 82 books — 18 voters
The Cider House Rules by John IrvingEmpire Falls by Richard RussoThe Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne JewettThe Beans of Egypt, Maine by Carolyn ChuteCarrie by Stephen King
Books Set in Maine
211th out of 229 books — 92 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 907)
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Jan 16, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
Jake Tiptree is babysitting best friend Ellie's young daughter Lee in Eastport, ME when the child is kidnapped, along with Helen, the woman who provides her with day care, under instructions from the man who will soon be on trial for killing Jake's mother decades ago. Obviously, he wants something from her, but what? To make things worse, all of Jake's family and friends seem to be out of town, except for the local policeman, who thinks that the crime is local and doesn't involve Jake. Since it ...more
Jan 22, 2009 Jammies rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
While I was aware of exactly what I was getting myself into with this book, I still have a great many objections to the "child in jeopardy" plotline. The lengths the author goes to in imperiling the child in question just to demonstrate the madness and evil of the villain are much too far over the top.

In addition, I am not fond of the switch from first person narration in the first ten books of the series to the third person limited Graves is now using. Ideally, as a series continues, the reade
Feb 12, 2009 Christy rated it it was amazing
This 12th book in A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery series is a real nail biter! I've been a big fan of Ms. Graves since the beginning with Jacobia "Jake" and her adventures in Eastport, Maine. Although I was anticipating another entertaining mystery, I wasn't quite prepared to be so thoroughly sucked in from the very beginning with this suspenseful thriller. A fast-paced read that has left me eagerly awaiting the 13th episode!

Feb 22, 2009 Grey853 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
I've read several of the Home Repair is Homicide series and this is the latest. Most are very enjoyable, easy-to-read cozies with interesting plots. This one was very jarring for several reasons. The most obvious is the switch to the third person point of view. All the other books in the series are first person and it gave us a lot insight into Jake and how she relates to her family and friends. We lost that in this book. Not only is it third person, but it's shifting from chapter to chapter. I ...more
Mar 12, 2009 Kayeb rated it liked it
light little tidbits about home repair, etc. would read more

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
Nov 18, 2009 Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: maine, mysteries, fiction
I'm not being totally fair in giving this book only three stars. It certainly held my interest, and the change from Graves' previous practice of telling the story in the first person, which she experimented with in the last book, was refreshing. A Face at the Window was more of a thriller than a whodunnit, another departure for Graves. But...(if you are really allergic to any possibility of a spoiler, stop here!)

I had two problems with the story, one minor and one (for me) major. The minor one w
Jul 18, 2010 Dacia rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan C
Oct 09, 2010 Jan C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I found this one a page turner.

It was slightly different from her usual. Usually Jake is the narrator. But in a story like this, where the author has multiple story threads going where there is no one witness, she kind of has to use the third person. And, at least, she has stopped with the snide hints like "oh, boy, if only I hadn't done this then such and such wouldn't have happene" and that was beginning to bug me.

It was pretty adventurous although I can understand people objecting to the lit
Oct 28, 2010 Sue rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I found it difficult to understand why the main character, with the man who killed her mother sending threatening calls and messages to her, chooses not to have protection for her and the little one she was taking care of. Then she charges off into dangerous situations without letting anyone know - surprise!!! she gets trapped in a car, lured out onto a cliff, etc. For such, usually, smart main character, she really was dumb in this book.
Jul 03, 2011 Estella rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
I am SO disappointed in the direction this author seems to be going with her cozy mystery series. I became a fan of her quirky, home repair-themed mystery books fairly recently, and read them one after the other because they were fun and captivating. Unfortunately, when I got to this one, I came to a dead stop. I didn't even read it--I skimmed it, and had no desire to go back and read it in detail. Ms Graves seems to be moving into the "thriller" genre. I had noticed a dark trend happening in he ...more
Mar 29, 2011 Carrie rated it did not like it
I was attracted to this book because 1) it takes place in Maine, 2) it involves and old house, and 3) it is a murder mystery.

Odd #1. What does the title have to do with the story? Ehm, I'm not sure. Odd #2 "A Home Repair is Homicide Mystery". Each chapter starts with a home repair tip. How that ties in to murder is a mystery.
Makes for a disjointed plot. So the main character (Jake, a woman, Odd #3) is supposedly taking care of a 3 year old whilst her parents are on vacation in Italy. The toddler
Feb 18, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it
Number Twelve in the Home Repair is Homicide series, gulp, twelve! The writing gets better and better with each book in the series. Jacobia's past once again is threatening to catch up to her. And this time, as fate would have it, she is alone in her large rambling fixer-upper house in Maine. Her son, husband, and father are all out of town, and this means that the man who is after her is able to get a little too close. Of course, the murderer doesnt approach her directly, he has Ellie's toddler ...more
Mar 12, 2012 Roberta rated it it was ok
I am disappointed in the direction this series has taken. The cover says that this is a book in the "Home Repair is Homicide Mystery" series but it isn't really. This is exactly the kind of book that happens when an author is expected to produce another book in a popular series but either doesn't want to or can't. So the author writes an entirely different book and then uses a crow bar to force it into the series. So the son goes off to college and the husband goes out to sea, Dad goes on his ho ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Nancy rated it it was ok
Up until this novel, I have devoured the 'Home Repair is Homicide" series. I loved the quirky characters, the gorgeous Maine setting and the 1st person narrative of Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree, that made me feel as though I were sitting in the kitchen of the constantly need of repair old Federal style house eating some of Bella's yummy treats or roaring down one of the many narrow pine & salt air scented roads in the backseat of Jake's car, trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of the myst ...more
May 02, 2012 Julia rated it really liked it
This was an exciting read. We learn more about Jake's childhood and what happened to her mother. There are some very bad guys in the book. They are after Jake, and are willing to hurt her friends in order to get to her. The book held my interest throughout. The home repair covered in this one is sidewalk repair.

This series seems to get better the more it goes on. I can't wait to read the next one.
Jan 28, 2015 Wanda rated it liked it
Took a long time to figure out exactly why the guy wanted Jake. Didn't really like this one as well as previous books in the series. The two flunkies that kidnapped the girls were really irritating with their bickering. The girl dealing with being left in the woods was interesting. Even though she hated learning all the stuff with her stepfather it came in handy and she was able to use it. Was sorry Ellie and her husband had their vacation interrupted.
Sara Barton
Sep 12, 2012 Sara Barton rated it really liked it
I admit it. I didn't want to like this book. For one thing, I've done my share of home renovations and I'm pretty handy with power tools. My first thought was that Ms. Graves was using the home improvement tips as a gimmick. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the main character, Jake Tiptree, actually was adept at repairs. Even more satisfying, she didn't mind admitting she didn't know it all -- she was willing to learn.

The rugged setting of Eastport, Maine was a great backdrop for all the
Sep 23, 2012 Pat rated it it was amazing
Very good story. More suspense than the other books of hers I have read in this series.I am not reading them in order because they are at the library and come as they are returned. Some of the things I find out, are out of sequence. This had several. But the story is just as good. Kept me on pins and needles!
Jan 08, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed A Face in the Window as an audiobook. The reader in this version did a good job of using different voices for the various characters in the story. A very suspenseful read involving Jacobia (Jake), who is left home alone by her friends and family, and who must deal with her niece and the babysitter being kidnapped. The book is set in Maine, which must be a beautiful place, at least according to this book and several others I've read with a Maine location. Even though this was part of a ...more
Apr 11, 2013 Quillracer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Prior books in Graves’s ‘Home Repair Is Homicide’ mysteries have been written from Jacobia ‘Jake’ Tiptree’s point of view with an occasional chapter from a different character’s perspective. The change to a totally third-person point of view here turned me off because it distanced me from Jake. I no longer felt I was seeing what she was seeing, doing what she was doing. I felt instead as if I was watching everything happen from off to the side.

Graves here, too, cuts Jake off from her support – h
Jul 22, 2013 Marcia rated it it was amazing
This is not just another story in the series. The passages dealing with Helen's abduction & escape are extraordinary. Also, the thugs who are the minor characters are very well done. Anthony is a sympathetic character even though he follows most of Marky's orders. The characters, even little Lee, are all consistent and believable. The author produced a well thought-out plot and credible character development. A few household repairs also gave the book consistency with the series.
Jan 23, 2014 Michele rated it really liked it
I love this series..and almost gave this book 3 stars instead of 4. It was a little much for me...I mean, this is supposed to be a cozy mystery...but there was beatings and shootings and kidnapping..the main character stepped a little too far out of her parameters for me. I understand taking chances and coming up with fresh plots, but I think this one went too far for the genre and the series. Hoping the next book is more in keeping with the rest of the series.
Rogue Reader
A Home Repair is Homicide mystery featuring Jake Tiptree, Eastport, Maine. Jake's got amazing skills fixing up old homes, replacing any number of parts and demolishing those too broke to do any good. She's unusually vulnerable and naïve in this work, A Face at the Window, choosing to stay in and alone in her isolated, ramshackle home when her mother's killer comes up for parole. The killer's buddies are on the prowl, looking for Jake.

Progressively suspenseful mystery, nice local color and a grea
Apr 23, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it
Interesting mystery in the home repair series. No bad language or graphic sex. Narrated well and, unlike some female narrators, clearly by Lindsey Ellison.
Jan 11, 2015 George rated it really liked it
#12 in the home repair is homicide mystery series set in the coastal town of Eastport, Maine near the Canadian boarder featuring Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree. Jake has chucked her high finance life in New York City for a more relaxed life style in northern Maine in which she is perpetually fixing up the 200 plus year old home she has bought. Jake is faced with a figure from her distant past who has an elaborate plan involving Jake to prevent his prosecution.

This mystery is heavier and more threatenin
Jean Brandenburg
Sep 02, 2015 Jean Brandenburg rated it really liked it
I've read a couple other of these fix it books, and liked them. This was quite a bit darker than the others A good story, but not as much home-body type stuff as the others. I missed it. It was more like an episode of Criminal Minds. Still a good story and well written and researched. Not many grins in this one though.
Kimberly Ann
Feb 10, 2016 Kimberly Ann rated it did not like it
I Absolutely HATED this book!

I have read the rest of the series and have purchased it for the library. But I'll tell you, after reading this book, I'll never read nor purchase another one again.

These use to be a "nice" sort of "homey" mystery with a good story line about family, friends, and good neighbors. However, this is a nightmare turned bad.

There was little if any story line, it was all about kidnapping, terror, violence, hatred, maliciousness, just bad stuff and the worse part, it was
Sylvia Hixson
Face at the Window

This book started out well but there were a lot of characters involved and was a little hard keeping everyone straight at first. Time frames were also hard to be sure of. The thing I really disliked about the book was Jake constantly putting herself in harm's way. Maybe that's supposed to be bravery but I found it just plain stupid to go places without telling anyone where she was. Biggest examples -- almost getting buried alive and then going to meet the guys that told her to
Elizabeth Noah Astle
Jul 22, 2016 Elizabeth Noah Astle rated it really liked it
I found this home repair is homicide mystery at my public library. This is the first book that I have read that was written by Sarah Graves. Overall I liked the book. The beginning was a bit slow for me to get into. The police chief seems like he doesn't care and not take Jake claims seriously.

Years ago Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree saw her mother murder. Jake recently wrote her victim impact statement as the killer was going to trial. Ozzie Campbell will do what he can to stay out of prison. He makes
This was readable enough, but as some previous reviewers have noted, it's a cozy that ends up as a thriller. The clash between the two subgenres is palpable. I'm not saying there couldn't be a successful cozy thriller (although the mind boggles--surely it would have to be both avant-garde and satirical), but this book does not exactly do the trick. And, while cozies can get too cozy for my taste, thrillers usually end up annoying me. In this book we have a protagonist who is pathologically incap ...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)
  • 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)

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