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Trap Door by Sarah Graves
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This was my least favorite (so far) in the Home Repair series.

It starts out simply enough. Ellie and Jake are gonna make a dock for the beach house that they rent to people. Of course, they run into an old friend of Jake's, Jemmy Wechsler, before they even get to the house. He was the one who saved Jake's life in New York City and helped her get her start in the money business. And so he asks for help and a place to crash for awhile. Of course, it gets infinitely more complicated than that as the story progresses.

I think that the reason that I didn't like this story as much as most of the previous ones was because of the main plot. I never felt like Graves made me care how it turned out since all the major players in the story weren't great people. Even the character of Jake seemed to become someone she wasn't in the other books.

I did like some of the subplots. Jake's son Sams' battle with his alcohol dependence has been an interesting story line through this book and the others. And the Home repairs in this particular book were quite impressive (and scary and depressing_.

Jake also seemed to take quite a bit more of a beating in this novel than in the past ones. I won't spoil it, but, yikes.

And then there's the correspondence about the book Jake found in Nail Biter that had her name in it even though when the book had been written Jake was no where near being alive or born yet. It was an interesting way to provide a cliffhanger that was pretty much the entire book. Hopefully 'The Book of Old Houses' the next in the series, will answer the questions from the previous two books... finally... ( )
  DanieXJ | Jun 19, 2016 |
Jake is busy working on her house when an unexpected "old friend" comes to town, so that Jake can hide him from a professional hit man. After that, things get complicated. The hit man lives on the island that Jake lives on, a young man is killed, and Jake's son, Sam, has fallen of the wagon -- again.

As usual there are some great household repair tips, and the mystery is very well done, so I didn't come close to guessing the actual killer.

I pulled the next in the series because there are some "hints" in this one for that story. Will try to get to it this week. ( )
  bookswoman | Apr 4, 2015 |
In Trap Door there really is a trap door that is part of the mystery of a teen's death. It looks as if it's suicide, but Jacobia Tiptree is sure it was murdered. After all, Jake and Ellie found the body at the home of a retired hitman who didn't care for the way the lad was interested in his pretty and spoiled rotten daughter. (Early on we are treated to the methods said hitman has used to make his large and well-furnished house very difficult to break in or attack. Have to admit I hadn't thought about that particular property of gravel.) Sam is boozing again and it's breaking his mother's heart even as she's losing patience with him. The ghost of her ex-husband, Sam's father, makes several appearances. Victor says something he was not known to say when he was alive.

A subplot that becomes the main plot of The Book of Old Houses winds through this book. Because I'm an old fan of H. P. Lovecraft's tales of horror, I'm quite pleased that the gentlemen attended Miskatonic University, and one of them now teaches there.

We learn something about Eastport's town nutcase that he's been keeping under his tinfoil hat. Jake learns something about her old mentor that Ellie had already figured out.

Jake suffers another injury that's hardly minor. If Ms. Graves doesn't ease up on hurting her heroine, well, in real life I'd be worried about what shape Jake would be in by old age.

The audio version is easy to listen to. This was my third or fourth time with this Home Repair is Homicide mystery and it's still enjoyable. ( )
  JalenV | Feb 7, 2014 |
ereader ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Cozies are, well, cozy. An ordinary person, just like you and me, finds crime in her community, sometimes right at her door. Unlike you and me, she just has to solve it, every time, even when she knows from experience how likely things are to go wrong in such an equation. What I love about cozies, besides the just like you and me part, is the gimmicky aspect of the genre. This one is a caterer, that one is a librarian. Oh, there's a rich gal who solves crime with the help of a ghost. Some knit, some bake cookies, some are young and callow and some have age and experience.

Jacobia--Jake--Tiptree fixes things. More specifically, she continuously fixes the aged house in Maine to which she repaired when she divorced her husband (who has since died, and may be haunting said house) and left her job as a money launderer for the mob. Surprisingly, crime just seems to find Jake, no matter where she is.

In Trap Door, the tenth Home Repair is Homicide mystery, Jake and her sidekick Ellie are trying to find the connection between the apparent suicide by hanging of a young local man, the former mob hitman whose barn he was found in, and the appearance in Eastport of Jake's former mentor, the amoral Jemmy. And, not only does the house need a new roof, but the roofbeams turn out to be infested with carpenter ants. What's a girl to do but throw up her hands, roll up her sleeves, and get to sleuthing?

This is an adequate, middle-of-the-road series made more appealing by three things. First, there are the helpful home repair hints that appear at the beginning of each chapter. Second, the ongoing litany of the repairs themselves, which are terrifying (and hilarious) in their own right. And finally, there is the mysterious book. It popped up in a previous installment of the series and was sent off to some rare book experts for analysis (a very old book, it had been found squirreled away in the house and contained the names of all the owners of the house...including Jake's); the reader is tantalized by occasional e-mail communications between the men analyzing the book, and by a chilling announcement that comes at the very end. One hopes this means the book will be taking center stage in a subsequent volume of this series. ( )
1 vote BeckyJG | May 3, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553588028, Mass Market Paperback)

When Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree left behind her high-powered, high-risk career on Wall Street for the charming town of Eastport, Maine, she expected a quiet life spent fixing up her 1823 Federal-style house. But there are skeletons in her closet that may prove beyond repair...Suddenly the perils of the stock market pale in comparison to the murder, mayhem, and mystery of remodeling.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Working hard to restore her Federal-style fixer-upper in Eastport, Maine, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree stumbles into a trio of mysteries involving an old book hidden in her cellar, the appearance of her ex-husband's ghost, and the suicide of a local bad boy.… (more)

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