Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Death at a Fixer Upper

Author:  Sarah T. Hobart
Series:  Home Sweet Home Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Random House
Publication Date:  May 17, 2016
Format:  ebook

Description:  Newly armed with her real estate license, Sam Turner loves Arlinda, her quirky seaside hometown in Northern California. But life by the beach isn’t exactly a breeze: She and her teenage son, Max, are being evicted from their apartment, her long absent ex-husband unexpectedly resurfaces, and her possibly romantic relationship with sexy Chief of Police Bernie Aguilar is, well . . . complicated. All Sam wants is a quick and easy sale. What she gets instead is a killer headache—or three.

Sam’s trying to drum up interest in 13 Aster Lane, a rambling Victorian fixer-upper that’s more than a little neglected—and possibly haunted—so when a trio of offers arrive out of the blue, she can’t help thinking it’s too good to be true. But after a new client drops dead on the property, she fears she’s lost more than a commission. Before Sam’s out of house and home, she must unmask a killer targeting her clients, or the only property she’ll be moving will be plots—at the local cemetery.

My Review

This is the first in a new series by this author and I found this book to be very enjoyable.  I really liked the main character Sam.  I thought she was written as a well developed, full character for a first in a series.  This may have to due with the fact that she is a single mother raising her son alone for most of his life.  She is very likable and someone that you could easily see as your next door neighbor.  She is smart in her sleuthing, when she discovers two dead bodies along the way.  I like the relationship between her and the chief of police, Bernie, who is her former brother in law.  The secondary characters in this book are also well done and provide a nicely rounded cast.

I thought the mystery was well plotted and strong for the first in a series as well.  There were plenty of twists, turns, red herrings and misdirection until a very satisfying ending.  I did not guess the identity of the killer, nor did I see the twist coming in relation to her former husband and the mystery surrounding 13 Aster Lane.  The plot moved along at a good pace and the story kept me engaged and turning pages until the end.

This was a very enjoyable read and I will be back for the next book to see what is in store for Sam and the town of Arlinda.

I received an ARC from the Random House through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.

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