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The Dead Cat Bounce

(Home Repair is Homicide #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  3,512 ratings  ·  299 reviews
dead cat bounce n. Stock market jargon for a small, temporary rise in a stock's trading price after a sharp drop.

Since she bought her rambling old fixer-upper of a house, Jacobia Tiptree has gotten used to finding things broken. But her latest problem isn't so easily repaired. Along with the rotting floor joists and sagging support beams, there's the little matter of the d
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Bantam (first published 1997)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  3,512 ratings  ·  299 reviews

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Start your review of The Dead Cat Bounce (Home Repair is Homicide, #1)
"It's pretty good. But," she said, "the author uses this device all the time."

"What," he asked, "device do you mean?"

"The device," she replied, "of splitting dialogue around stage directions."

"Oh, that," he remarked, "is so annoying."

"Yes, it," she answered, "is."


On reread:

"Wow, I," she said, "still notice that device."

"I got tired of you reading examples," he replied, "to me."

"But I didn't read even," she said, "the worst ones. Out of," she added, "love for you."

"I thank," he said, "you for t
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I liked the rich descriptions of the rural Maine setting. The author does a terrific job with fleshing (no pun intended) out the cast of characters. The MC's restoration of the old house is interesting. All and all, an entertaining read.
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: maine-writer
"I think," this reader says, "that breaking up sentences," she notes especially in dialogue,"is extremely irksome and distracting." "Could this be," she muses, "an editorial issue?" "Although this is a wonderfully fun," she exclaims, "and enjoyable and nicely written tale," she continues, "is it really necessary to use employ this style," this writer moans, "on every single page?"

Despite this aspect, I intend to read every single Sarah Graves novels.

Diane ~Firefly~
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, kids
I started off giving it 3 stars but as the could have been better section kept growing and the enjoyed didn't, I had to go back to 2 stars.

What I enjoyed:
* The town has an interesting personality, as does its residents.
* Sam, wow could there be a more perfect son?

What could have been better:
* The killer was obvious, I don't know why Jacobia and the town had such a difficult time figuring it out. (view spoiler)
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series
I really liked this who done it/ home repair mystery. I loved the humor and the way out there east coast setting. The characters were definitely "characters", even the terrible little girl that was always underfoot.
This one will definitely go on my continue-to-read-series list.
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, cozy-mystery
Not bad, just okay. I liked that the setting is a small town in Maine (I have a soft spot for Maine and any small harbor town) but for the most part, I found this mystery to be kind of boring. Since the main character, Jacobia, used to be a financial advisor, there is quite a bit of financial mumbo jumbo throughout the book that was very uninteresting to have to read through. Overall, it started off extremely slow but it did get better and more exciting towards the end so I'll check out another ...more
Aaron Pogue
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
The setting is vivid, the characters are strongly portrayed, and the story of murder is fascinating. Unfortunately, Graves refuses to tell the story. She constantly interrupts the narrative, and that makes it a chore to ferret out the scattered bits of real story along the way.
Nov 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Note that this review refers to the audio version, which I couldn't find listed anywhere!

#1 Home Repair is Homicide mystery featuring Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree in Eastport, Maine. Jacobia is a former financial adviser who lived in New York and had some pretty high-flying clients--including some unsavory 'connected' folks. A year ago, she decided to abandon the rat race and bought a 200-year-old house in Eastport, Maine and moved in with her teenage son Sam. Since then, her life has been one big ins
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm hoping to start some remodel work on my house this fall. With that in mind I picked up this book, it's qualifications being - it's a mystery and although it's fiction it deals with home repair (the first in the Home Repair is Homicide series) and it was sitting on my library's bookshelf. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it's a pretty good book. A 'cozy' set in Eastport Maine. I looked it up and the town is real. Apparently NPR did an interview with some of the locals back in 20 ...more
☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎

Not sure Jaocbia was expecting all this when she moved to get a fresh start from the New York fast lane but also what went on with her husband. This was a good start for series. It gave me a bit of information of everyone of the neighbors and Jacobia was well. I can't wait to see how this will progress throughout this neighborhood. I can see many secrets coming out and it being a small town I'm sure it'll be juicy.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This covers an area I don’t know about: Down East Maine. Interesting twisted plot with lots of suspects. Ms. Graves creates a great sense of place.
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Great setting in Maine with quirky characters. Completely improbable plot of blackmail,adopted baby, the mob, a Melania type wife, and on and on. Not much home improvement either and I thought it was the series hook.
May 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Without merit

This will probably be my last "cozy mystery," so I will indulge myself with a lengthy diatribe on the topic.

I grew up with Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun, so I thought the cozy mystery genre would be a great fit. Unfortunately, this book, and similar series that I've tried, uses a lazy "write by numbers" formula that leads to material that is not just unremarkable, but substandard. In the books written to fit this niche, the heroine is a mature woman who is still attractiv
Melissa Morley
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: who-dunnit-s
I like this author for light mystery tales. She adds home do it yourself projects and financial planning to her suspense. Her characters are not predictable in nature, and relationships in this series have some interesting elements. I like her descriptive word pictures, as well as her sense of humor. I listen to these on audio.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, cozy
I realize that the first entry in a cozy mystery series isn't always showcasing the author's best work, but Dead Cat Bounce seems a little iffy at best. It follows the stereotype: a woman in the middle of her life fresh from divorce moves to a secluded little town where everyone knows everyone, and takes up a challenge- a business or otherwise, and finds herself solving murder mysteries. For such a worldly woman- being on her own since the age of 16 and scraping enough money together to go to co ...more
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jacobia bought an old fixer-uuper of a hourse and when she has a water leak she finds a man dead in the basement along with the rotting floor joinsts. It turns out to be a local man who became a billionaire. Jacobia's best friend confesses to the murder and Jacobia knows she didn't do it. Jacobia knows she didn't do it and figures out there is a coverup. She begins investingating past history and puts herself in danger. There isnt as much home repair as I thought there would be. The conflict bet ...more
Caryn Zdan
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m not really sure what to say about this book. It was a little hard to get into at first but then it got better. Her way of telling the book was a little off. It mostly was in present tense but then would switch to talking about the past so it was weird. I will probably listen to the next one to see if i can get into it more.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was lovely brain fluff-- easy, no issues with writing/characters/plot to annoy me, light and feel-good and satisfying. I could definitely read and enjoy more books in this series.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
good Maine cozy.
Elaine Cook
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Got this in a library sale. I thought I'd read it but was unable to find a record so read it again.
Print, took months of reading on and off.
Sep 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is the first book in Sarah Graves Repair is Homicide mystery series. I first read it many years ago (1998?), along with the next two or three, then lost track of the series. I love this series! I made a concerted effort recently to read my way through once again and get caught up to date.

This first book is perhaps the weakest of the series, but Ms. Graves is only getting better and better. The protagonist is Jacobia Tiptree (Jake to her friends),a high powered stockbrocker who moves to Eas
Nadine Jones
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A perfectly charming murder mystery set in Eastport, Maine. I have no idea if the Maine descriptions are accurate or not, but I assume they are since the author lives in Eastport. :-)

Jacobia is a formerly poor child, turned Wall Street wiz kid, turned Maine ... something. It wasn't clear to me how she was supporting herself once she moved to Maine - I guess she had made so much money on Wall Street that she was all set. One day she happens upon a dead body in her unheated storage room (where sh
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed
Where have I been? This delightful mystery author has been around for a long time and I just found her. If you love mystery and if you love the Northeast coast of the US, run to get this book - the first of a series, A Home Repair is Homicide. This author is a poet; her descriptions of the physical area, the people, and her thoughts are so compelling that I found I was dwelling on them, rather than racing through to grab the clues and solve the mystery. So many characters - the weird neurosurgeo ...more
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Another new series for me. Dead cat bounce is the beginning of an interesting cozy series set in Maine about a divorced mother named Jacobia known as Jake. In her previous life she was a financial consultant. As in all series beginnings, a lot of time is spent setting up the scene and major characters. There was a little too much financial data for me but hopefully that was limited tgo this book. Jake's friend Ellie has confessed to murdering a local man whose body was found in Jake's home. Jake ...more
Nov 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit, own-copy
Jacobia (Jake) Triptee is a "retired" commodities broker who moved with her son to an island off the coast of Maine to escape life in the city as well as her controlling ex-husband. Jake falls in love with a 200 year old house and spends her time either repairing her "money hole" residence or solving a mystery or two. I'm still trying to figure out how someone so well versed in the financial world found time to learn how to properly glaze a window or repair lath, or to acquire all the knowledge ...more
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
It's a mystery set in Maine about a single mom who finds a dead body in her storeroom. It's not the most difficult mystery. Even I, who normally cannot figure ANYTHING out, found myself screaming "What are you stupid?!? The answer is right there!!". But it was well written and having lived in Maine I enjoyed the descriptions of the people and state. If you like trying to solve mysteries I'd say skip this one, but if you're looking for a quick, easy read go for it.
Carla H.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-my-shelf
I have enjoyed mystery novels since I was in 3rd grade, reading the books my mom brought home: Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Mary Stewart. So, I enjoyed this novel, even though I'd figured it out early on. Some of the writing devices were a bit tiring, but most of the characters were relatable. What really bothered me was that there were some really heinous actions that were just kind of waved off because the character was likable. That really bothers me!
Jul 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Terrible. The writing is very disjointed, and floats back and forth between past and present without warning. I tried to give this a chance, and went past my 50 page rule, but half way through I closed up the book, and put it away. It wasn't worth my time.
Oct 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
I hate this book. I hate all of the characters. I actually hate the author. It could have been enjoyable and maybe the other books in the series are better, but I'll never know because I won't go near this series again.
Pam Marcola Duff
Dec 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Totally boring book. I read it because I have a need to find out what happened but you can read this book in 30 min. Read the first chapter then the last chapter and guess what you did not miss much. This book took me forever to read
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 4 16 Mar 12, 2020 08:42AM  

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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.

Other books in the series

Home Repair is Homicide (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • 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 Book of Old Houses (Home Repair is Homicide, #11)

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“I do not think money is the root of all evil, but I know it makes an effective fertilizer.” 1 likes
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