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Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1)
Fatal Fixer-Upper - Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1
Author: Jennie Bentley
Avery Baker was once a New York designer, but inheriting her aunt's old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path -- home renovation. Now, with help from hunky handyman Derek Ellis, Avery starts learning the ABCs of DIY. But when the designer-turned-renovator finds clues that lead to a missing professor, she wonders if she can finish the ...  more »
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780425224571
ISBN-10: 0425224570
Publication Date: 11/4/2008
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 175 ratings
Publisher: Berkley
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1) on + 270 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
I absoutely LOVED this book! I loved all the detail they put into redoing the house she inherited, how some of it relates to Marie Antoinette (i'm a history buff on royalty) and I second guessed myself on who did it. Very enjoyable read and a quick read at that...I finished it in a few hours as I couldn't put it down. I will look forward to the 2nd in the series!!
reviewed Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1) on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
I really liked this debut, primarily because of the historical tidbits scattered throughout. Any time a book has just enough info to send me off on a research tangent, it has truly drawn me in.

This is a cozy and the characters are drawn well. Even though I picked out one of the possible bad guys fairly early on, there were enough plot twists to be fully satisfying all the way to the end. I also found myself deciding to keep this series for the home renovation tips.
reviewed Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 10
This was a great, feel-good mystery! All of the characters are easy to like, you want the good-guys to win, and you want to find out who the bad guys are. It's easy to get entangled in this book and feel like you're in a historic house in Maine curled up with a few cats! It's an easy ready that leaves you wondering when you'll be able to get out and get the next one in the series!
reviewed Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1) on + 100 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were colorful and believable. I loved that there was a bit of history interspersed within the book, and done in a way as not to lecture. I'm a big history buff and the idea of restoring a Victorian makes me itch to get my hands dirty. Her descriptions of Aunt Inga's home allowed me to pictured the entire house in my head. (Of course, it being my dream home made it that much easier :)

I loved Avery's character. Sometimes books written in the first person get a little wordy, and while we always knew what she was thinking, there wasn't a lot of extraneous information going on in her head as can sometimes be the case. She is real, down to earth and doesn't take herself too seriously.

I am looking forward to hearing more about her funky sense of design style, too.

I enjoyed her relationships in this book and the chemistry she shares with each character.

I'm looking forward to reading the next in this series.
reviewed Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1) on + 449 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
In Fatal fixer-upper, Avery Baker is a Manhattan interior designer whose life is turned upside down when she receives a letter from an aunt she has seen since she was 5 years old. Aunt Inga summons Avery to Waterfield, Maine to help her get her affairs in order. Sadly the letter did not have enough postage and by the time Avery gets to Maine her aunt has passed away and left Avery her house and her cats. She receives an offer for the house, but learns the house would be worth much more if she just fixes it up a little. Enter handyman, Derek Ellis,to help her restore the house, but during the renovation all kinds of clues are uncovered that may lead to missing college professor who was working with Avery's aunt on some Wakefield history. Unfortunately Avery's life may be endangered if she continues to follow the clues.

A faced paced story that will hook you from the start. A perfect blend of cozy mystery with a little romance filled in.
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reviewed Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1) on + 138 more book reviews
I loved the characters and the lovely historic small town Maine setting! I also enjoyed the DIY how-tos in the back of the book. They explained step by step the same process that Avery used in the book. Very cool!
reviewed Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1) on + 1795 more book reviews
First Line: The letter from Aunt Inga arrived, as the saying goes, a day late and a dollar short.

If Aunt Inga had put the correct amount of postage on the letter, Avery Baker might have arrived at the elderly lady's old house in Maine in time to find out what she needed help with. As it is, when Avery arrived, her aunt was dead and Avery found herself the heir to her aunt's estate-- including one very neglected Victorian house. What at first seemed like a huge inconvenience turns out to be a blessing in disguise. Avery sublets her New York City apartment, quits her job as a textile designer, and moves to Waterfield, Maine-- intent on renovating the old house in order to sell it for as much money as she possibly can so she can move back to New York.

Hiring handyman Derek Ellis to help her with the renovations, Avery soon realizes that some of the facts just don't add up, and that her aunt's fall down the staircase was not a case of an old lady losing her balance. She has to find out what's going on before she's the next one to have "an accident."

Mysteries that have the renovation of an old house at their centers are one of my reading weaknesses. It was good to see that Bentley didn't merely use the renovation as a springboard for the plot and then ignore the work done on the house. Avery is a complete novice. Her skills lie with textiles-- textures, colors and patterns. She's never tried to bring an old house back to life. The man she hires, Derek Ellis, has, and it's hilarious to see his burgeoning sense of horror as Avery talks about bringing Manhattan industrial loft-style chic to the old Victorian home. It's also fun to watch their attraction to each other grow.

Although I knew the identity of the killer as soon as I saw his shoes, the why of the crime totally escaped me even though the author put the reason right out in plain sight. My only defense is that I was enjoying the story and the characters too much to pay close attention.

The good news is that Avery plans to keep on renovating in future books, so I'll get to enjoy the chemistry between the former textile designer and the handyman, the do-it-yourself tips, more wonderful old houses, and a solid cast of secondary characters in this fun series.
reviewed Fatal Fixer-Upper (Do-It-Yourself Mystery, Bk 1) on
I really enjoyed this book. The DIY aspect and how it came about was realistic and suited the character's likes and abilities. Also, her relationship with the handyman developed naturally. This is also the first book in a long time where I didn't guess the conclusion until close to the end. I'm really looking forward to reading more and seeing how the series develops.

Book Wiki

Avery Baker (Primary Character)
Derek Ellis (Major Character)