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A Cutthroat Business (A Savannah Martin Mystery, #1)
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A Cutthroat Business (A Savannah Martin Mystery #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,036 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Everyone has warned new-minted realtor Savannah Martin that real estate is a cutthroat business. But Savannah doesn’t think she’s supposed to take the warning literally ... until an early morning phone call sends her to an empty house on the ‘bad’ side of town, where she finds herself standing over the butchered body of a competitor, face to face with the boy her mother al...more
Kindle Edition, 266 pages
Published May 1st 2011 (first published June 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Teresa Collins
The Amazon tag for this book said any fan of Stephanie Plum would be sure to enjoy Savannah Martin. Well, whoever wrote that has not read Stephanie Plum. She and Savannah are worlds apart. True, they are each trying to find their place in the world, have crazy family and friends,and a mysterious "is he a good guy, is he a bad guy?" man in their lives, but that's where the similarities end. The Stephanie Plum stories are humorous, tightly written, with unexpected twists and turns. This story mean...more
I gotta say I liked this one. Bente has that tongue-in-cheek humor that I love. While "A Cutthroat Business" is a murder mystery based around a real estate agent, I think we can all relate with the main character in some way. It always makes me happy when I read a story I can connect with. G.R.I.T.S. anyone? You Southerners know what I'm talking about, but for anyone who doesn't....Girls Raised In The South. Bente really got across that southern flair in this book.
I really liked the storyline it...more
Jeanie Jackson

In the well written first book of this cozy mystery series, Savannah has a lot to learn about the real world, but she is well on her way, and a sexy rebel from her past may be just the man to teach her.

The man of her mother's dream has divorced Savannah, and she is nearing the end of the money from the settlement. The real estate business is pretty cutthroat even within her office, but she needs the money and likes her boss well enough to hang on despite the jerks who work there. She has not sol...more
What an enjoyable little story!!! I loved the heroine – strong yet witty; she reminded me of someone I know. It has been over twenty years since I walked away from my addiction of romance series (I loved romantic trilogies), but I enjoyed this one so much, I am looking for “Hot Property” because I cant wait to see what happens with Savannah and Rafe.

Marianne Curtis
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I was conflicted on how to rate this. The mystery was good and kept me turning the pages. The writing was ok, but the editing left a bit to be desired. Choppy sentences and misused commas. But the characters...

I'm not from the south so maybe I don't understand, but the blatant racism and snobbery was a huge turn off for me. The main character's, Savannah, mother refers to someone as "colored". Savannah's friends from home are in her business and intrusive, and she is plain old snobby and spinele...more
In this brand new series by Bente Gallagher, we enter the world of real estate and how the business work. Savannah Martin, a newbie realtor in Tennessee, is our narrator. We learn how she's treated by experienced co-workers in the realty business. But nothing crushes her spirit. We follow her to her first showing on a listing with a client and what happens afterwards. We see how she struggles in the business, especially picking up clients, and how her life is turned around. Two people from her p...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
We have a new Sleuth in town who in turn, is a new real estate broker. She is learning her way in the business, anxious to show a house, and wham, she is shocked by the client, and the body laying in the house.

Off, Savannah goes and we go with her.

The dialog was amusing, and the mystery was a solid one. You quickly care about the characters and by the ending, you want to see where and what Savannah gets to go next.

A very good book.
I guess about a 2.5 would be right for this one. It was okay. The romantic elements were not as annoying in this book as they often are, but the wrongly placed commas just ruined it for me. Also sometimes the character was just a little too stupid. She is ordered to tell nobody about something but tells two people in very short time.
Denyse Loeb
I have to admit that I'm surprised I liked A Cutthroat Business as much as I did. The author has a few writing quirks that normally make it hard to draw me in, but in this case, the voice of the main character, Savannah, actually kept me reading. The mystery aspect of the story was passably done, though sometimes the pacing slowed a little too much, and the plot sometimes seemed as scattered as Savannah could be. I did suspect the actual perpetrator a bit before revealed, but I tend to do that i...more
Kathleen Kelly
This is a great mystery story mixed with the good guys and the bad guys and the people who are not detectives but try to figure out two murders anyway. Savannah Martin, a real estate agent who is not doing too well selling houses at the moment, gets a call from a prospective buyer that the agent that was supposed to show this particular house never showed up. Savanah reluctantly goes to show the house and between her and the prospective buyer, Rafe Collier, who was a classmate to Savannah in hig...more
It made my flight back from San Diego fly by. I fell in love with the protagonist, Savannah Martin, a southern belle who did everything right but ended up divorced and cash strapped. So she starts out in the real estate business.
The author does a great job here of giving just enough detail to make it realistic without inundating the reader with realtor lingo. She made me interested in real estate. I think that is the mark of a great author, when they make you curious about the career they give t...more
I discovered A CUTTHROAT BUSINESS after I found the short story THE BODDY IN THE SNOWBANK by Jenna Bennett, and I wanted to read more of her books.

A CUTTHROAT BUSINESS is a mystery involving Savannah Martin, a Southern Belle turned realtor, who gets mixed up with a bad boy, by the way of sexy Rafe Collier, and trips over a murdered colleague. What follows is fun and adventure as Savannah tries to solve the murder, before the murderer strikes again!

Before I start I have to tell my readers, that...more
Michelle List
Good manners, and a flattering lipstick, are indispensable assets to the new Southern woman...

Savannah Martin, her mother Margaret Anne Martin nee Dixon, her brother Dixon Calvert Martin, enigma Rafael Collier, Detective Tamara Grimaldi, Officers Spicer and Truman, teenager Alexandra Puckett, Rafe's friend Marquita, homeowner Tondalia Jenkins; these are some of the more interesting characters introduced in this first "Savannah Martin Mystery". I left out almost everyone who could realistically b...more
Elizabeth Noah Astle
Savannah Martin, a proper Southern Belle who has gone to finishing school, is divorced, and has all the proper manners so she thinks. I have to say that Savannah was annoying--I did not like her personality at all---I can deal with quirks that people have but, she was way over the top. Stating that she refuses to order desert while dining with a male suitor regardless of how much she wants to have one while stating that she is about through her savings. The prim and proper was getting to me.

Savannah Martin is trying to build a career as a realtor in Nashville, Tennessee. After two months without making any sales, she answered the phone at the office when a potential client called to say he was supposed to meet Brenda Puckett, one of her colleagues at a house The woman, who happened to be the top salesperson, had not shown up and he had been waiting for 45 minutes.
Savannah drove to the house, which was listed for almost $250,000, and discovered that she knew the client from high...more
3.5 stars. A Cutthroat Business is a great start to a new series by Jenna Bennett (or Bente Gallagher/Jennie Bentley) featuring a smart and refreshingly ladylike protagonist, Savannah Martin. The fact that Savannah is a real estate agent is an interesting change from the usual amateur detective sideline – I’ve probably read about everything from cooks to antique collectors, but this is the first time I’ve come across one to do with real estate. As someone who’s worked in that industry, it’s a lo...more
My Review:This is a lighthearted romantic murder mystery. I really enjoyed it. The main character manages to unravel the mystery before she gets killed herself, all while mainlining her southern finishing school manners. The romance is enough to keep you interested without getting graphic, a plus in my book. I would recommend this to anyone looking for that light summer read It is even free a the moment. I would pick up more in this series for a quick read. I give this book 5 stars.
I just couldn't get into the main character. I found her very unlikeable. She seemed to try to hide heavy racism and general snootiness behind a guise of southern upbringing.

Truthfully I live in the south and while most of us are good people the southern belles with their Mrs. degrees and 'bless his heart' criticisms just don't work for me in real life either.

The two stars, vs one is because of the other characters. I did like Rafe, his background story was interesting to me. Especially the fa...more
Christine Blachford
This was another book that I picked up in a bundle, otherwise I'm not sure I would have stumbled across it. A murder mystery with an estate agent as the protagonist, finding herself oddly drawn into a world filled with intrigue - both into the murder, and into the past life of the guy that she finds the body with.

I quite enjoyed the mystery unravelling, and it all felt quite natural. That's an achievement because often when you get main characters investigating despite being outside of the polic...more
Real Estate has never been so exciting

Real Estate has never been so exciting

This mystery had a nice, breezy feel to it in spite of the ugly murder. I liked the old mystery mixed in with Southern class issues and real estate. I used to work for a realtor, so the business details were familiar. Sexy Rafe from the wrong side of the tracks was a nice contrast to "finishing school" Savannah.

Sonia Root
This book was okay. Nothing spectacular about it. If felt alot like reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books of which I stopped at around #10.

The story was long winded and predictable, Rafe again reminded me a lot of Ranger from Janet's series. Mysterious, man of means but no one knows how he has those means.

Would not be interested in reading anymore of this series.


Sonia Root, Book Junkie
Jason Corfman
I don't read too many mysteries anymore, but this one disappointed me a little. The main character, Savannah Martin, took it upon herself to investigate a murder of one of her colleagues, despite the fact that she has absolutely no detective experience whatsoever. That could have been really interesting, except that I don't think she met a person in the book that she didn't suspect, at least on some level, of having committed the murder. That got really old after a while. However, I don't know i...more
Brilliant! This was an absolute pleasure to read. 100% “guilty pleasure” type of entertainment. This is what good character development is all about. There is a nice well rounded cast with plenty of different types of personalities. I love the mix of races and sexual orientations . Lets face it in the real world not everyone is a size zero beautiful blonde. I love a story where you have real people that you can relate too. It makes you invest in the storyline quickly.
The romantic angle was hot...more
I didn't care for this book because 1) I found the excessive naivete of the female protagonist very annoying and 2) the mystery was pretty juvenile with the cops failing to do extremely basic detective work. Overall, I guess juvenile is a pretty good word to describe this book. That's not necessarily bad, it's just that I haven't been an actual juvenile in quite a while. ;-)
Jenna Bennett's A Cutthroat Business is a fantastic mystery starring Nashville, Tennessee real estate agent and Southern Belle, Savannah Martin. A Cutthroat Business is a fun and sassy read filled with suspense and a touch of romance. When Savannah finds her co-worker, Brenda Puckett, one of the most successful real estate agents in Nashville, with her throat cut, Savannah sets out to find the killer. Along the way, Savannah develops a friendship with Brenda's daughter and reconnects with people...more
Although there was quite a lot of blood involved in the murders, the main character's good-breeding and sense of humor kept this a cozy mystery. My husband worked at real estate for a time, so I especially appreciated the author's expertise and viewpoint.

The story also reflected the southern charm of the area which as a midwesterner, I enjoyed experiencing. I liked the pace, the humor and just the touch of romance. And I liked the narrator, Savannah Martin, who was kind, generous and didn't tak...more
It's a pretty good mystery with a "bad boy" love interest. The writing is not bad but it could use some proof reading. It's first in a series so the romance aspect was left hanging for the next book. It's one I downloaded for free, and in that context it's definitely better than many other freebies.
Beth Wilson
Ugh, this was terrible. Annoying characters. Insulting representations of several groups on purpose, others by accident. Consistent and distracting misuse of commas and hyphens. The mystery itself was not bad but very conventional.
I gobbled this book up. I have a weakness for funny, quirky mysteries and this hit the spot. Savannah is adorable and Rafe is sexy and mysterious. The chemistry between them sizzles and leaves the reader wanting for more.
This is the first book I read of this autor. The plot is good and full of twists that makes you reading it all the time you have. Savannah is funny and is possible to see things just like her. A good book to entertain.
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Jenna Bennett writes the USA Today bestselling Cutthroat Business mysteries featuring Southern Belle and new-minted real estate agent Savannah Martin in Nashville, Tennessee.

As Jennie Bentley, she writes the New York Times bestselling Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, featuring designer and amateur sleuth Avery Baker and her boyfriend, handyman Derek Ellis, who ren...more
More about Jenna Bennett...
Before You (Sex on the Beach Anthology) Hot Property (A Savannah Martin Mystery, #2) Contract Pending (A Savannah Martin Mystery, #3) Close to Home (A Savannah Martin Mystery, #4) Same Time Next Year

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