Death at a Fixer Upper is the first in the Home Sweet Home mystery series. Sam Turner is a fledgling real estate agent with three offers on a decrepit mansion. One by one, the prospective buyers turn up dead. Can she solve the mystery before she turns up dead?
Fantastic book! It grabbed hold of me from the very first page. I made the mistake of starting this late one night, then spending all of the next day counting the minutes until I could get back to it.
I loved the main character, Sam Turner, who I thought was a Kinsey Millhone lives-by-her-wits kind of woman. A single mom juggling a teen-aged son, closing on the house she just bought, a potential romance with the chief of police and her career, Sam is like most women; lots to do and no time to do it. Who can't relate to that? I loved the home ec. story, it made me giggle, thinking of the teacher's face.
The plot spanned the book quite well, with many twists and turns and an ending that I didn't expect. Lots of action filled out the story, from the kinetic sculpture race to the murders and the investigations. At the beginning of the book, it was mentioned that the locals thought the house was haunted and various paranormal events occurred, but it disappeared from the story pretty early on in the book. I would've like to have seen that explored some more.
The other concern I had is that the first murder had a lot of detail, but the second murder really didn't. I was left confused wondering which person killed Ray. Didn't detract from the story, but I felt it was detail that shouldn't have been omitted.
Lastly, there were a few moments in the book where it seemed like it was recapping an earlier book in the series. I was surprised when I found out this was book 1. Again, it didn't detract from the story or confuse me, but I thought those elements could've been integrated into the story in a way that didn't lead the reader to believe there were other books in the series.
Laugh-out-loud funny, with a riveting plot, gorgeous locale and charming characters, Death at a Fixer Upper will appeal to any fan of cozy mysteries or chick lit.