Death at a Fixer Upper is a case study in support of the theory that, when one wants something to go quickly, smoothly, and well, anything and everything will happen to make circumstances confusing, complicated, and complex. Main character Sam Turner is a brand new real estate agent. One of the properties in her inventory is a rambling, falling-down estate that is rumored to be haunted. Sam hopes for a quick turn-around, but this property is anything but easy. After her first visit, she knows just how big of a battle selling this property may be, so Sam is quite surprised when three offers crop up almost overnight.
One potential purchaser looks to tear down the property and build a new development, but rules, regulations, and bequests may stop him in his tracks. And another potential purchaser looks to use the home for paranormal investigations. And the third, well, he drops dead on site.
The set up for the story and the plot seemed thrilling and intriguing. However, as I continued, I found it to be just OK. I got lost in the constantly growing character canvas and had trouble keeping everyone – and their angle of involvement – straight. The story also seemed to be chock full of sidelines – real estate education, green building lessons, a quirky race, family drama. I felt like the mystery got overshadowed and lost along the way.
That said, this is the first of a series, so we can perhaps look forward to tighter and more streamlined stories soon! Hope, indeed, springs eternal.
Death at a Fixer-Upper: A Home Sweet Home Mystery
Publisher: Alibi (May 17, 2016)
In Sarah T. Hobart’s wickedly funny and fast-paced Home Sweet Home mystery series, small-town real estate agent Sam Turner discovers it’s bad for business when her clients keep dropping dead.
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.
About The Author
Sarah Hobart is a real estate agent and former newspaper reporter in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two children in a majestic fixer-upper overlooking State Highway 101.
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