Thursday, May 19, 2016

Death at a Fixer-Upper

Today is a day that celebrates the various boys and girls clubs around the country (like Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts--we all know about the cookies).  These groups can be good for children and the community.  In addition to my regular housework, I have this very long "to do" list (the equivalent to a man's "honey do" list).  I am trying to get at least one item on the list done a day. Today it was to put a new toilet seat on my mother's toilet. She wanted to include cute Ohio State University decals. First I had to figure out how to take off the hold one and then find the socket set. Mission accomplished and one happy Mother (next is a new faucet on her sink).  On May 19 in 1568 Queen Elizabeth I ordered the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots. In 1962 their is a birthday salute to President John F. Kennedy in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The highlight of the event is Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Happy Birthday" (we have all heard it--at least those of us over the age of 30).  

Death at a Fixer-Upper by Sarah T. Hobart is A Home Sweet Home Mystery.  Sam Turner is a single mother with a new real estate license in Arlinda, California.  The real estate agency Sam works for, Home Sweet Home, has a new listing at 13 Aster Lane.  An old Victorian that needs quite a bit of work, but has great bones.  After touring the property, Sam gets three people who are interested in purchasing the house (all called on the same day).  Sam hopes that one of them will purchase the property because she can really use the commission check.  Sam and her son, Max are being evicted from their apartment by their sleazy landlord (the pet clause).  Sam is purchasing a home and the commission check would be a big help.  Unfortunately, one of the prospective buyers turns up dead on the property and this is just the first.  This does not bode well for a good sale.  Sam is also dealing with the return of her ex-husband who disappeared fourteen years ago.  He now wants to see Max, and Sam is not sure how to handle it.  Max is busy with the Annual Kinetic Sculpture Race.  He is working on an entry sponsored by an eco-friendly building company (this leads to paragraphs on eco-friendly building practices).   Sam has a chance a little romance.  Chief of Police Bernie Aguilar is interested in Sam, but he is divorced from her sister, Stacy.  Sam is attracted to Bernie, but she is not sure the relationship is a good idea (do you think).  Life in never dull in Arlinda.  Join us in Arlinda, California for fun, sun, and murder!

Death at a Fixer-Upper did not feel like a finished book.  It needed more development especially with the characters.  Sam was supposed to come across as quirky and independent, but I just found her plain annoying.  I found more of the book was devoted to the Annual Kinetic Sculpture Race (which sounded interesting), friends, the son, the ex-husband, the sleazy apartment landlord, the boss and his relationship with his ex-wife than the mystery (just too much going on in this book).  There was no real investigation (you will discover that the killer is easy to pick out).  We also have the requisite complicated romance thrown in.  The book was too inane for my taste.  There is one thing that was mentioned a couple of times that just made me gag.  Peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich!  Doesn’t that sound gross (and why did the author feel the need to include it in the book)?  The pace of the book was slow which made it hard to read (and finish).   I give Death at a Fixer-Upper 2.5 out of 5 stars.   I will not be reading the next book in the series.  This book was just not for me.

The next book in A Home Sweet Home Mystery series A Killer Location which will be out in November.  You can follow Sarah T. Hobart on Amazon to get updates on her books. I received a complimentary copy of Death at a Fixer-Upper from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my latest review.  I really do appreciate it.  Make sure to take time for yourself today (I know I need to get away by myself). It is important to take a moment and relax (get away from every one and every thing).  I am currently reading Murder in Moringside by Sandra Bretting (its awful).  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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