Saturday, July 9, 2011
Publisher Format: Bantam Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages;
. . . . .also BBC Audiobooks America - 9 hrs, 24 mine
Narrator: Lindsay Ellison
Year of publication: 2001
Subject: lost treasure; restoring old houses
Setting: Eastport Maine
Series: Home Repair is Homicide
Genre: cozy mystery- amateur detective
Source: public library
Rating: 3.5 of 5
Back in 1999, I read the first in this series "Dead Cat Bounce" and made a note to read more about financial counselor turned innkeeper Jacobia Tiptree and the much-in-need-of-repair Bed and Breakfast Inn she purchased in Eastport Maine. This one is #4, and I'm definitely going to read several more of these as years go by. It was one of the first I read for my summer cozy-thon, and I picked a good one for kick-off week.
Notice I said "Good" not "Great". It was lots of fun, but there were times when the author left the reader dangling trying to figure out where she was going with her story; there were minutes of head-scratching while I tried to fit who went with whom. Motivation of characters was a bit light at times. In addition, one of the main characters really demanded I check my need to believe literally at the door.
In this one, the searches for missing persons, buried treasure maps, and secret compartments all loosely hinge on finding a "missing" Stradivarius violin that may or may not exist. When no one else seems interested, Jacobia, as all good amateur sleuths are supposed to, leaps into the void to find that which was/is lost. A tad mixed up, but still a pleasant enough read for a lazy summer afternoon.
The home repair parts were actually the most interesting - finding out how the layers of plaster were deployed in old homes was, to me anyway, really fascinating. Who knew the true meaning of the phrase "lathe and plaster?" If you read this one, you definitely will. I'm looking forward to reading at least one more of these to see if Sarah Graves can develop into a more coherent author, but I also look forward to being entertained by the dry DownEast humor. Ayuh.