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Nail Biter (Home Repair is Homicide #9)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  834 ratings  ·  60 reviews
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. Bu
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Bantam (first published 2005)
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I really liked this series in the beginning. Jake (Jacobia) Tiptree was not a stupid woman – is not a stupid woman. In her past, she was a very successful investment advisor, making money for her clients and herself.

However, as the series goes on, she is doing more and more stupid things in the course of her amateur investigations. At least, she is not getting her best friend, Ellie, involved in some of these ill-advised capers. Ellie has a 1 year old daughter that needs her; Ellie doesn’t need
This was a trashy mystery read as a relief from the last one. It is from a series called Home Repair is Homicide Mysteries. It had an ending I didn't expect because a connection wasn't revealed until the end of the book.

I liked the main character and wouldn't mind reading the other books in the series. A funny thing about the character is that unattended home repairs bother her and she just has to fix them. For example, she was trying to get evidence from a drug dealer in an old house. She was
I'm giving this two stars for the fact that Ms. Graves at least attempted to write a good read. I found the characters disjointed. It was as if the characters were formed as the plot went on - not characters formed and then the plot unfolded. The plot had many gaps too. Facts were a bit off and there was some copy/paste too.

The first bell for me was feeling as though she was treating her 20 year old like a ten year old. Drugs or not - you gotta let him fly. I had to reread the paragraph that st
Ashland Mystery Oregon
Hapless characters milling about the Maine coast flipping houses. In Nail Biter, Jake's still pulling up concrete from the front walk and is progressing to the stairs. Her dad hammers out the foundation and floods the place and Jake and Ellie rent out a WWII bungalow before they've rehabbed it. Ellie's stronger and more capable in Nail Biter, bringing a refreshing change. Love the local scene, local history and unique sleuthing of the series.

--Ashland Mystery

Jan C
I am still enjoying this series. But at least in this one she didn’t include any questionable historical details. They are light with occasional household rehabbing hints. Jake Tiptree has been, through this series, rehabbing her old house in Eastport, Maine. Here, she and her friend, Ellie, have bought an old cottage with the intention of rehabbing and then renting. However, some folks come along who want to rent before the rehab. I guess the ladies made it livable and there are 5-6 unrelated p ...more
So I started reading this book a couple of days ago, and realized that I had read it before. But since I don't really remember it, I am going to finish reading it and then post a review.

I enjoyed reading this book again. I did feel a little mislead by the back cover, stating that she rents her cottage to a group of witches. They weren't really witches and I thought that could have been an interesting plot development. I did like the teen Wanda. Her character seemed a little more thought out. The
Anna Bayerl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Another novel where the cover blurb didn't line up with the story.

The biggest one is in the opening line: 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. Guess what? Nowhere does this happen at all.

The dead man Jake discovers is known throughout the town as a street preacher of the fire-and-brimstone school, yet none investigating his d
Nail Biter
Sarah Graves
Audio Book
copyright: 2006
isbn: 1-57270-503-5

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
Starting with book #9 in a series is never really a good idea…you always feel as if you are missing something. And that is kind of where I found myself with this. All the back stories were brought up to date, like most good series, in just a few short sentences. I enjoyed this--will probably check out more of the series, but overall it was jut fair. Would have liked more dialog and a bit more humor here and there to lighten the mood.
These are good stories. The home repair parts are true and most of the Maine people are fairly true to form. But, having lived almost half my life in Maine, I can assure you crime is not this rampant. Also, Ms. Graves has an irritating habit of sometimes using too much location exposition breaks inside of dialogue. You almost forget which character was speaking and what they were saying when she gets back to their sentence.
Nov 13, 2007 Melissa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mystery lovers looking for some lightness included in their otherwise serious mysteries
Shelves: mysteries
#9 in the Home Repair is Homicide series starring Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree and takes place in an ocean-side town in Maine. It was funny, yet mysterious, and I even cried a little (but I've been very emotional lately so...) plus there were some home repair tips. Oh and it ended with a fresh mystery, so that when the audiobook ended, I started shouting at my radio, demanding to know what happens next. (I've already requested some of the earlier books in the series from the library.)

And though there
More problems than a mystery, November 18, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: Nail Biter (Home Repair Is Homicide Mysteries) (Mass Market Paperback)
I have been trying to get into this series and have thur far failed miserably. The characters have so many problems that I find myself questioning whether I am listening (on CD) to a mystery at all.

The ending came up fast and hard which would have been ok except that the rest of the book lacked the attention getter plot I have b
Carl Alves
To start with, the premise is preposterous that these two women who have no background in police or detective work, no intelligence background or anything that would suit them for this line of work would be recruited to find a missing person. Besides being woefully underqualified to do this work, the way they went about it made little sense and was very unrealistic. I found the constant home repair interludes to be horribly annoying. The characters, both the protagonists and antagonists were poo ...more
This series is getting more intriguing as they go along. It is also very interesting about the Maine coasts especially the upper east with the bays that on the other side is the Canadian border of New Brunswick, I believe. Anyway these mysteries are pretty good.
I have loved this series and space myself through them so I don'T finish them all to quickly. We lose a main character in this book and sometimes the main character can be a bit stupid but still love them.
Dec 06, 2013 Kristen added it
Shelves: audiobook, 2013
This wasn't my favorite of this series, but it did introduce a few new plot lines, all of which are quite interesting! The Victor stuff, the hidden book stuff, Jake's past... I'm interested to see what happens in the next one.

I should caveat that this book, like all of the books prior, suffers from the same things that make me a little crazy about Graves' writing. There are also plenty of parts which are just completely unbelievable, and parts which the author obviously did not do enough researc
Holly Booms Walsh
This is the first book that I have read in this series, and the theme gets a bit jarring with all the home repair tips obviously interspersed in the story. I liked the main character but it's very light and a bit cardboard in the character development. The narrator did a great job with the Maine accents but I just cannot allow the time it takes to listen to this book. If I had it in paperback, I could skim-read it in a few hours and enjoy it for what it is. This is very much like Diane Mott Davi ...more
Diane Meyer
I was hoping for something as delightful as Dead Level. Not nearly as witty.
Better than the last one and good riddance Victor!
This was an okay book - I think I was a little bothered by her writing style because (a) she used stupid a's and b's to make lists, and (b) it was very distracting. It got to the point where I was just waiting for her a's and b's to show up. And the plot was a little confusing. It's a mystery, so it's supposed to be confusing, but she purposefully held back info, and it was so obvious that she was just trying to drag out the story. And the home repair tips were few and far between, and too basic ...more
There's a reveal in this book that caught me totally by surprise, and equally surprising, made me quite sad.
This book has lots of changes for Jake Tiptree. While working on the house's foundation, her dad finds a mysterious box. The rental property that Jake & Ellie own becomes a murder scene. Jake faces her own abuse memories. At the end, her ex-husband exits. Jake & Ellie both grow as characters. Sam also matures markedly. Finally, the old house gets new steps to adhere to the formula of home repair.
I really enjoyed the fast pace of NAIL BITER. Jake rents a house to people who turn out to be witches, aka scam artist. A man is killed a 15 year old goes missing. Jake takes it upon herself to find the girl. There are a few times when Jake takes too many risk, but I've found that to be a running problem with all the books I've read. Still, it's worth the read.
Story was OK, but rather like "Wreck the Halls", the solution of the mystery drops out of the blue at the end of the book. It also has suggestions of supernatural events occuring. While I might read others in this series if I stumble across them, I probably won't seek them out. I like stories of detection and I like them to be based in the real world.
Another strong entry into the Jacobia Tiptree series. This one had a couple of wicked curves, which I won’t go into here for fear of spoiling it for anyone, one of which came completely out of left field. I think this is my favorite book in the series so far. I really liked Mac Rickert; sort of a modern-day Robin Hood, as Ellie calls him.
Jacobia puts herself amd eventually Ellie in more danger than ever before. While searching for a missing mute teenage girl, the readers learn more about Jacobia's childhood and gain insight into her behavior. An unexpected development concerning her ex-husband Victor provides even more insight into Jacobia's chracter and past life.
This series is just a lot of fun and entirely unpredictable. No risk of figuring out whodunit before the conclusion here. And a slightly snarky, yet practical female sleuth who fixes broken down houses in Eastport, Maine is a very appealing character. I'm not too much of a series girl, but I'll continue listening to these.
I always enjoy the mix of goofy snooping done and deeper psychological insights. This was the case also with Nail Biter, but what stood out most for me was how the author recognized that it was time to get rid of a character that had been very useful to set up the main character but that was becoming flat and stale.
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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)
  • Trap Door (Home Repair is Homicide, #10)
  • The Book of Old Houses (Home Repair is Homicide, #11)
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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