Sunday, November 4, 2012

Book Review - Wall-To-Wall Dead

Wall-To-Wall Dead: A Do-It-Yourself Mystery

By: Jennie Bentley
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 2012
ISBN: 978-0425255568
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 5, 2012

Avery Baker and her partner Derek Ellis had barely survived their stint on the show “Flipped out,” especially after the owner of the house was murdered. They were willing to try another flip, but this time as an engaged couple. Avery, otherwise known as ‘Tink,’ and Derek were going to check out a condo that fell in their laps. It wasn’t going to be anything like renovating the Victorian cottage Tink had inherited from her Aunt Inga, but it could be a money maker. Waterfield had a quaint small-town flavor and the residents of the condo association were unfortunately blessed with what every other small town had ... a snoop. “There are no secrets in this place,” claimed Shannon, “because Miss Shaw knows them all.”

Hilda Shaw probably held her ear to a glass on the wall too, but Tink and Derek were just going to have to put up with her poppycock if they wanted to flip that condo. Hilda obviously thought her lace curtains made her invisible, but when no one spotted her peering out from behind them for a while, they became concerned. Barnham professor Amelia Easton noticed it as well and discussed her isolation with Derek. “I’ve lived here over a year, and I’ve never seen her leave the building.” After drilling into the lock on Hilda’s door, the odor of death wafting into the hallway gave them their answer. It wouldn’t be long before Wayne Rasmussen, Waterfield’s chief of police, would be on the scene.

Seriously, nobody even liked Hilda, but when Gregg Brewer started whistling “Ding dong! The witch is dead,” Tink and Derek did feel a modicum of sympathy for her. After Brendon Thomas did his “CSI thing” and the medical examiner did his, there were still a lot of unanswered questions. Amelia had claimed the woman had severe allergies, but where was that EpiPen? Things began to look even more suspicious when someone rifled through her apartment. Tink and Derek would have to take an even closer look when yet another resident inexplicably died. Were some of Hilda’s little secrets actually worth killing for? Would Tink’s predilection for her own brand of snooping earn her a pair of concrete shoes?

This Do-It-Yourself mystery series is definitely proving to be wall-to-wall fun. Jennie Bentley certainly has the small-town characterization of Maine down pat. Of course Waterfield could be any other town U.S. of A, but there was just something about it that rang a bell. Tink and Derek were a charming couple and the situation they found themselves in, save one extra corpse, was quite believable. I liked the interplay between the couple as they worked together to solve the mystery. Hilda might have been a nosy busybody, but somehow she simply became annoying rather than marginalized. The flow of this cozy mystery was perfect and had just the right amount of punch to make it a page turner!

Quill says: If you like your cozy mysteries with a dash of romance and a big dollop of intrigue, you'll love the Do-It-Yourself mystery series!

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