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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review - Crowned and Moldering

This is the third in a new series.   I reviewed the debut book of the series, A High End Finish (click here), and the second book, This Old Homicide (click here), plus we were honored to have a guest post from the author (click here).  In the newest addition to the series, our lady renovation and construction owner gets to work on a historic lighthouse. 

Author: Kate Carlisle

Copyright: November 2015 (Signet) 336 pgs

Series: 3rd in Fixer-Upper Mystery series

Sensuality: kissing

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy Mystery

Main Character: Shannon Hammer, owner of restoration/renovation construction business

Setting: Modern day, Lighthouse Cove California (near San Francisco)

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

When Mac Sullivan—famous thriller writer and Shannon’s new beau—first moved to Lighthouse Cove, California, he bought the historic lighthouse mansion that the town is named after. Mac needs help cleaning up the place, and Shannon is more than happy to get her handywoman hands on the run-down Victorian.

But during demolition, a grisly discovery is made among the debris—the bones of a teenage girl who went missing fifteen years ago. Locals had always assumed Lily Brogan ran away from her difficult life, but it seems her troubles followed her to the grave. If Shannon has any chance of getting her renovation back on track, she’ll need to tackle the cold case. But with new suspects coming out of the woodwork every day, she’ll have to be careful to pry the right secrets and clues from the poor girl’s problematic past…

Shanon gets nostalgic with the discovery of a girl's body she knew in high school and she exhibits some strong protective tendencies towards Mac's visiting niece.  Chief of Police Eric Jensen's character consults with Shanon to provide background on the beautiful Lily Brogan and the high school dynamics from when she disappeared.  His character is warming up a bit.  Crime Writer MacKintyre Sullivan continues to be my favorite choice with Shannon's romantic interest.  Mac shows more interest in Shannon and takes a more active role in this case since it happened on his new property.  Whitney Reid has been Shannon's arch nemesis continues to be a thorn in Shannon's side.  Callie, Mac's sixteen year-old niece is a delight and I am hoping for her return soon.  Sean, Lily Brogan's brother and Shannon's employee is a gentle giant type character that your heart goes out to in his grief.

Lighthouse Cove sparkles with details.  The lighthouse location is vividly portrayed with it's own secrets to uncover and the gardens at the nursery had me wanting to visit.  The plot of the cold case of an apparent run-away that was murder is solid and the resulting digging up high school memories ads to the mix.  Some great misdirection and twists keep the pacing moving nicely.  The killer confrontation/reveal was suspenseful but a tad too quickly over (give me more!)  The wrap up left me with a big smile.

This series continues to deliver varied and interesting characters with a mystery that keeps you guessing, lovely setting, and exciting resolutions.  This cozy series in like visiting old friends with each book.  I look forward to each addition.

Rating: Near Perfect - Couldn't Put it down. Buy two copies, one for you and one for a friend.

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