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Mallets Aforethought (Home Repair is Homicide Mystery, Book 7)
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Mallets Aforethought (Home Repair is Homicide #7)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  891 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree left her high-powered career for a dilapidated fixer-upper and the dream of a quiet existence in the quaint town of Eastport, Maine. But she found that no matter how carefully you remodel your life, murder can take up residence anywhere.

It’s Eastport’s most notorious landmark: the old Harlequin House. Named for the disgraced physician Chester Harlequ
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2004)
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bella Sandberg
A single continuity error popped up, tempting me to list two stars, but it's not a problem in this novel, only the series. The book itself is easy to read, enjoyable, and very human in the blunders of our amateur sleuth and heroine.
Mallets Aforethought by Sarah Graves is #7 in Graves' "Home Repair is Homicide" series.

It takes place in a small town in Maine and the protagonist are pair of women home repair experts: Jacobia (known as "Jake") and Ellie, friends and partners in fixing homes and solving crimes.

I had a tough time rating this one-it really is a half-star case for me: better than a 2 star "ok" but not quite a whole-hearted 3-star "I liked it." I enjoyed the location and the characters were comfortable to spend tim
I'm several chapters into this book and am enjoying it VERY much, in spite of the author's unfortunate overuse of certain literary devices. The story is excellent and the characters are fun and compelling. This is better than the average cozy, for sure.

The series is set in a small town in maine, which is interesting in itself, but the author doesn't make a big deal out of it; the setting runs, as it should, in the background, and the characters interact with it seamlessly. The slang and casual e
Disappointing. This is the 7th in the "Home Repair is Homicide" series, and based on this book, I won't be reading the others. The setting is neat (Maine), but the characters and plot are only semi-interesting, and I am very annoyed with the author's writing style; she interrupts herself (and her characters) a LOT and it makes her writing very stilted and awkward to read. An example: "'So Cory,' George went on, 'has to eliminate the ants.'" Not annoying if it were once in awhile written like tha ...more
I really enjoy this series and am re-reading the earlier books on and off as I come across them.

I like the protagonist, Jake Tiptree and her partner in crime solving, Ellie White. The two have a supportive relationship where they balance one another well.

This book in the series was another good one. It had an interesting premise and conclusion.

(view spoiler)
recently decided to try to read this series in order – even the ones I know I’ve read before. The Sarah Grave books became a favorite of mine once I read the first book I bought. I lost touch somewhere along the way, but came across a new release recently and decided to catch up on the series.

You really don’t need to read the books in order to enjoy the series. While there is progression in the characters and their situations, the author explains enough in each book that you won’t be lost
msjones Jones
The problem with writing a very long series about murder in a very small town is that you quickly run out of characters to be killers or victims. By this book in the series, the pattern is clear--if a new character is introduced at the beginning, guess what? He/she is the killer. The mystery here was so patently obvious that it almost took the pleasure out of the read. The only thing that keeps me going is my connection to the main characters--the 10 or so central folks that appear in each book. ...more
I have enjoyed Jennie Bentley’s “Do it Yourself” mysteries and Donna Andrews Meg Langslow mysteries.
I thought I would give this series a try.
I struggled with the writing style – almost from the beginning. The writing style did not flow. I wanted to give up reading several times- but ALL of the reviews said this book was good.
One of my particularly low points was when I came across a paragraph – it went something like this---
“people stay here or leave and come back or don’t come back”
And I
Jan C
I like this series. I don't much about Maine, passed through there once when I was about 12 and my brother had a friend who had a summer job there, We were on our way to Canada.

Jacobia Tiptree is a repairing fool. Her usual partner in crime, Ellie White was extremely pregnant so on this investigation Jake had to take the lead. And the problem is the person who needed clearing is Ellie's husband who won't say where he was at the time of the murder.

And this is complicated somewhat by Jake's forme
After ordering the books from my library, I am now reading them as I am receiving them. This one is good although again I must say for a town of 2,000 there are an awful lot of murders. Ellie is pregnant and her husband George is accused of murder so Jake (Jacobia) has to do most of the leg work because Ellie is due any minute.
Pretty good book. Since I live in Maine and am from "away" I can identify with a lot of the idiosyncrasies spoken of. I never attributed the long Maine winters to the hobbies everyone has that are so unexpected. Food for thought.
7th book in this series - and luckily it was available at the library. The rest of the series is also at the library, so I will continue, but I hope she's got some tricks up her sleeve moving forward. The murderer was telegraphed pretty early - as another reviewer said, once a new character is introduced early it's a pretty good bet said character is the murderer. And this one was telegraphed with flashing red lights, and the story thinned out considerably from there.

Graves does a great job wit
Helped ease the long drive from Albuquerque NM to Tonopah NV. Decent piece of mystery fiction. I would probably read a few more by the same author.
Didn't force myself to continue this author. Trying new authors once again.
One of the reasons I enjoy these books so much is the fabulous narration. The reader does such a wonderful job on the voices and just the overall telling of the tale, it's very engaging. It helps that she has solid material to work with. Another good mystery from Ms. Graves - though it didn't take me as long this time to figure out "whodunit" - she's pretty good a masking the "bad guy" until the last few chapters, but I am starting to be able to pick out the clues better, the longer I'm with thi ...more
Donated to DPL July 2015
Not everyone can be Agatha Christie, but this particular sleuth - well, I had to finish it because I started reading it, not because it was well-written. Not everything connects, too many sentences split in awkward places, and too much "how did she know that?" I dislike know-it-alls. That's my job. :) I picked it up because it said home improvement junkies would enjoy the DIY details as much as the mystery. Eh. Not worth it. Took me nearly a week to finish it, so it definitely wasn't a page-turn ...more
Saneetha Satterwhite
Home repair

I loved this story. I am going to read another soon. I am restoring a one hundred thirty year old Victorian so the theme is special to me.
Bodies stack up early in this mystery when Jake & Ellie find the body of a woman who died many years ago along with the body of the most hated person in Eastport. All of these and others were not of native Eastporters. Otherwise, the population of the town would be significantly lower. Jake stumbles on some of the reasons for the murders and bumbles her way through the rest of it. A few house repair hints round out this latest adventure.
Fast and entertaining read.
Another Sarah Graves Home Repair is Homicide mystery. This book was definitely one of the more suspenseful ones in the series and did a great job of using the home repair background, expanded a little bit, to explore what appeared to be one of the classics of mystery--the locked room with a dead body puzzle. It is a suspenseful and entertaining read.
I got just under halfway before throwing in the towel. I couldn't bring myself to care enough about the characters or the story. To paraphrase the author {If you focus your eyes just right and kept turning pages determinedly, the book was perfectly readable}, but there are so many other books I'd rather be reading.
International Cat Lady
Meh. This is only the second Sarah Graves book I've read (the other being Dead Cat Bounce, which - despite its appalling name - was quite good). This one just didn't quite do it for me. I have nothing particularly negative to say, but nothing particularly good either; disappointing.
Another interesting murder set in small town Eastport, Maine. Jake and Ellie are involved in a volunteer effort to renovate Harlequin House when they discover two dead bodies in a seemingly locked room. Again I completely missed the clues to the murderer but a good read.
I really do enjoy Jacobia Tiptree and her Home Repair is Homicide Series. Excellent writing and a pleasure to read. Or, as I like to do, to listen to them. The Reader, Lindsay Ellison's voice does the character so well!
This was a great read, and I loved Jake and her friend finding a secret room with a dead body! They had to discover then who the person was and what had happened. One of the better Jacobia Tiptree stories!
Lis Carey
Yes, the murderer was fairly obvious early on. Murder mystery series set in a small town in Maine, eventually that happens. (Just ask Jessica Fletcher/Angela Lansbury.) Still quite well done.
Another very good Sarah Graves mystery. Can't imagine how a real live person could sustain all the injuries she receives in every book, but then that is what makes it fiction. Good plot once again.
I enjoy the familiar surroundings and towns and the author catches the different personalities of these communities very well. I loved the ending on this and action filled.
I usually like the books in this series, but not this one. I finished it, but only to be sure that I know I had the right person as the killer. Weak entry.
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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)
  • 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)
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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