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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • ABSENCE OF MALLETS by Kate Carlisle

    ABSENCE OF MALLETS by Kate Carlisle is the 9th book in the A Fixer-Upper Mystery series. It’s the well-crafted story of Shannon Hammer, MacKintyre “Mac” Sullivan, the construction of a tiny home community for veterans in need, mischief, thief and murder. Shannon Hammer is a contractor specializing in Victorian style construction and restoration. She landed the contract to build 50 tiny homes that would comprise the Homefront community designated for those who had served their country and that need a little help. MacKintyre “Mac” Sullivan, former Navy seal and author of the Jake Slater thriller series books, is one of the investors in Homefront and also Shannon’s boyfriend. After Mac moved in with Shannon 8 months ago, he decided to turn his home, the historical lighthouse mansion, into a writer’s retreat. Shannon did the renovation and they have started accepting guest. The newest guests to arrive at the retreat are a group of 6 writers and they’ve booked the whole week. Not only is this a large group, but they are staying longer than the usual. Shortly after their arrival it becomes apparent the group is made up of a very unusual and strange mixture of people. One of them in particular has an enormous ego and is very obnoxious to say the least. On the bright side – it’s only seven days. When Shannon’s new friend, Linda Rutledge – a veteran herself who recently joined the crew at Homefront to make some mosaic back splashes, is murdered with one of her own antique mallets that she used in her craft, Shannon and Mac are determined to find out who had done the horrible deed and to find justice for Linda. Seems someone is trying to throw them off tract by framing Travis, one of the tiny home residents and friend of Eric Jensen - Chief of Police, boyfriend to Shannon’s sister Chloe, and former Marine, by planting the murder weapon in his home. It’s time for the four of them – Shannon, Mac, Eric and Chloe – to work as a group piecing the facts together like a giant puzzle to solve this horrible crime. Although Shannon and Eric’s past started off on the wrong footing, Eric has come to appreciate Shannon’s ability to nose out the truth or to aim the official investigation in the right direction. Mac’s writing career also gives him the upper hand when it comes to dealing with certain aspects of this crime as well. Can they find all the pieces in order to solve this crime before others follow? Will this rowdy group of authors have Mac second guessing carrying forward with the writer’s retreat idea? Will finding out the dynamics of the individuals in the group of authors help work out some of the kinks in the case? How does a missing iPad play into the case? When another person is injured, will it accelerate the case or just drive the criminal to more desperate deeds? Kate Carlisle manages to keep this series fresh, interesting and has one turning pages all while bring the characters to life in a way that makes them seem like friends or neighbors in what could be our own home town. Love the way she weaves interesting details within the story like constructions tips, the art of making mosaics, and the need for communities like Homefront. ABSENCE OF MALLETS will have you quickly turning pages as you try to figure out the whodunit right alone side the good guys. ABSENCE OF MALLETS is a fabulous addition to this series, but it can most definitely be read as a standalone book. Highly recommend this book, this series and this author! Can’t wait for the next installment in Shannon Hammer’s story. FIVE STARS!

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  • Shannon Hammer is back!

    Shannon Hammer is back. Shannon and her crew are busy working on the veteran’s village project. They are near completion and then they will be moving on to renovate Mac’s lighthouse. Mac Sullivan has a writing retreat coming into town that day. The group will be staying for two weeks. At the end of the first day, it is obvious that this writing group is going to be a handful. Shannon and Mac are both busy with their various projects. It is a good thing they live together, or they might never see each other. Life takes a dark turn when a new acquaintance of Shannon’s is murdered near Mac’s lighthouse. Shannon and Mac dive into investigative mode to discover who committed this heinous act. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning. Shannon and Mac need to work quickly if they are to stop this unhinged killer. Absence of Mallets by Kate Carlisle is the 9th A Fixer-Upper Mystery. It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series, but I recommend reading all the books in this entertaining cozy mystery series. I always enjoy visiting Lighthouse Cove to spend time with Shannon Hammer, Mac, and the rest of the great characters in A Fixer-Upper Mystery. The characters are developed and relatable. I love Shannon and Mac together. They are a cute couple. They really get each other. Shannon’s sister, Chloe is back in town. I am glad the sister’s relationship is going well. The members of the writing retreat are unique. I can understand why Mac is rethinking having writer’s retreats after this bunch. The whodunit is well-plotted with several suspects, good clues, and misdirection. Shannon and Mac actively work the case. There is plenty of action which had me quickly turning the pages to get to the enjoyable reveal. I do wish, though, that the mystery had been more complex. I did not feel it was at the same level as the past A Fixer-Upper Mysteries. Absence of Mallets is a feel-good story that will leave you smiling. I liked the epilogue that gives us a hint of what will take place in the next book. Absence of Mallets takes us back to Lighthouse Cove where there are cute couples, a veteran’s village, a newcomer is nailed, a murderous mallet, a soothing staple gun, a lethal lighthouse, a wonky writer’s retreat, and killer clues.

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  • Another Winner!

    Shannon Hammer and her pals are helping out some local veterans as well as solving the murder of a close friend in Absence of Mallets by Kate Carlisle. In the latest installment of the Fixer Upper Mysteries, Mac is hosting a writers' group bringing a cast of interesting characters to Lighthouse Cove. Long buried secrets, personal intrigue and blackmail round out the plot. Readers will find themselves breathless as the mystery picks up speed and ends with a satisfying conclusion. Check out this fun-filled mystery with a cup of coffee by a cozy fire.

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  • Another Amazing Build

    The newest installment of A Fixer-Upper Mystery does not disappoint. It introduces a new host of characters to blend with the old crew. It kept me reading to the very end for the murderer and the motive.

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  • Another great Fixer-Upper!

    The latest installment of Kate Carlisle’s FIxer-Upper mysteries is as fun as always. Absence of Mallets brings us back to Lighthouse Cove with all your favorite likable characters along with some new less than likable ones. Shannon is busy building a village of tiny homes for Veterans while Mac is running a writing retreat at the Lighthouse Mansion. With visiting writers you will love to hate and a new tiny home village for veterans, the book will keep you guessing on who done it until the end.

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