I was recently introduced to this series and I love it! This is my favorite (so far) because Jake's husband gets humbled (and boy does he need it!). This mystery really kept me hopping, trying to keep my suspect list up-to-date.
For ex-wall streeter Jacobia Tiptree and her teenaed son, Sam, September promises tranquil days winter-proofing their rambling handyman's special of a home in Eastport Maine. But there's nothing idyllic about this down East autumn. For starters, the return of truly vicious native son Reuben Tate stirs up the town. And when somebody slits Reuben's throat and hangs his corpse on the cemetery gate, the police trace a bloodied scapel to surgeon Victor Tiptree--Jacobia's former husband. Yet Jake knows her troublesome, trouble prone ex is capable of just about anything......except murder.
Proving that, though, is another matter. Eastport is packed with tourists and former residents for the annual Salmon Festival--and Jake soon realizes any Eastporter, past or present, has motive for Tate's murder. To nail the real killer, Jake and her best friend, Ellie White, must probe a past as rotten as crubling clapboard, while a secret hatred builds toward a series of murders, even more brutal than Reuben Tate himself.....
Jacobia gets involved in old secrets within Eastport with riveting results. I have enjoyed the previous mysteries, but halfway into this one I found it impossible to put down. I did not figure this one out, there were too many choices and too many possible suspects. And there were some evil goings on with a hint of ghosts. I usually read these for the small Maine town atmosphere which is very much in evidence here, but the mystery part was very good too. One question that has nagged at me from the beginning is why these are called Home Repair is Homicide mysteries, there is very little home repair going on. Sure her house is old and falling down, but that aspect is so small compared to the overall story, it isn't even worth mentioning. Don't read it for home repair tips, read it as a good old fashioned mystery with lots of red herrings.
Another good mystery in this series, although I consider this one a bit dark and graphic to be considered a "cozy," as other reviewers have called it. Well thought out plot with quite the cast of characters, but I don't remember the first two being this dark.
Another fine Jacobia Triptree story! From Publishers Weekly
Everyone in the island town of Eastport, Maine, is cursing the return of Reuben Tate, a bad boy who terrorized half the town in his youth. So no one is too upset when Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree, a transplant from Manhattan, and her friend Ellie White discover Reuben's dead body hanging from the cemetery gate. Jake had been busy getting her rambling old house ready for winter and working with her ex-husband, Victor, to open a trauma center, but their plans are jeopardized when Victor's scalpel turns out to be the murder weapon, and he's arrested. Victor and Jake have had their trouble in the past, but she knows he's no murderer. Jake and Ellie's investigation turns up no shortage of suspects; the list of those who might have wished Reuben harm is a mile long, and the annual Salmon Festival has brought many old residents back to the small town. Graves (Triple Witch) skillfully uses these suspicious folk to draw out the suspense. Though the psychological motive for the crime is a bit far-fetched, the oddball characters--especially a preacher and son who form a musical group called the Bible Belters--make for good entertainment. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.