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Crowned and Moldering by Kate Carlisle
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Crowned and Moldering

by Kate Carlisle

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This third book in Kate Carlisle's Fixer-Upper cozy series delves deep into Shannon Hammer's high school past. It's always interesting to learn about a favorite character's background. However, as much as I like Shannon, there is a lesson that I wish she would learn.... Every time she gets exasperated, flies off the handle, and tells someone, "I'll kill you!" she puts herself chin deep in hot water. Hopefully she won't have to stumble over too many more dead bodies before she erases that sentence from her vocabulary!

Carlisle's strong mysteries, sense of humor, and vivid casts of characters are always the major draws to any of her books, but I have a special place in my heart for her Fixer-Upper books. Shannon specializes in renovating old houses, and there's always the possibility of discovering secret nooks and crannies. I love that. I also love how Carlisle incorporates fascinating nuggets about different facets of architecture and renovation. In Crowned and Moldering, I learned a bit about green architecture as Shannon wins a contract to build solar canopies for the local high school parking lot.

Whether it's humor, mystery, characterization, architecture, or romance, I recommend Kate Carlisle's Fixer-Upper series. I have a feeling you're going to enjoy them as much as I do. ( )
  cathyskye | Mar 10, 2016 |
As one of Kate's raters, I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is the third in Carlisle's Fixer-Upper cozy mystery series. The writing style is very readable. The characters are well-developed and I enjoyed the humor throughout. Past events and back stories of the characters(most of which have known each other since high school, so they have a history) are interspersed smoothly. As expected given the title, there was a lot of detail and description relating to interiors and construction(some of which I found to be dry and technical).

Shannon Hammer, the narrator, is a building contractor, specializing in Victorian homes. Her current project is to renovate the home of Mac Sullivan, a hunky thriller writer, who also happens to be her new boyfriend. Mac purchased the historic Lighthouse mansion, the namesake of Lighthouse Cove. As Mac, Shannon, and her crew are doing a walk-thru of the house and making plans, human remains are discovered in the basement. The work comes to a standstill and an investigation, led by chief Eric Jensen, ensues.

Overall, I really liked this book. The plot kept me guessing until the very end. There were elements of drama, humor, and romance. The characters, especially the negative ones, were fun to read. Not only was it the first book by Carlisle, but it was my first in the cozy mystery genre. It definitely won't be my last. I really appreciated the cleanliness and lack of gratuitous violence, profanity, and sex. It is a book/genre I would feel comfortable recommending and/or passing on to my young daughter(in fact, she read parts of it and now wants it when I'm finished). ( )
  kulmona | Nov 27, 2015 |
Lighthouse Cove, California is a delightful place to revisit in a new mystery with contractor Shannon Hammer. Hired to renovate the newly purchased Lighthouse Mansion, Shannon and her team quickly make an unpleasant discovery in a dumbwaiter. It’s a cold case, one that wasn’t even investigated as a murder fifteen years earlier, because most in town thought Lily just ran away from an abusive family situation. I liked how Carlisle intertwined the old high school students and culture with today. And Shannon, although privy to some insider information from the new chief of police, isn’t so much of a busybody to take away the fun of figuring out motives and suspects on my own. This was a great read. Everything flowed together, making it easy to pick up with the series without a lot of knowledge of the first two books. ( )
  ethel55 | Nov 14, 2015 |
Crowned and Moldering by Kate Carlisle is the third book in A Fixer Upper Mystery series. Shannon Hammer lives in Lighthouse Cove, California and is a building contractor. Shannon specializes in Victorian home renovations and rehabs. Shannon took over the company five years previously after her father had a heart attack (just a mild one). Shannon is getting ready to start on MacKintyre Sullivan’s new home. He purchased a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian (though it does not have the beautiful gingerbread work) near the lighthouse. Shannon is doing a walk through with Mac and a few of her workers. They are investigating the dumb waiter when it collapses and falls into the basement. Shannon looks down and sees bones. Looks like Shannon has found another body!

Police Chief Eric Jensen (who is very handsome and single) is called to the scene. He knows it is useless to warn Shannon not to investigate (though he does try). The deceased turns out to be Lily Brogan. Lily is Sean Brogan’s older sister (Sean works for Shannon on her crew). Lily disappeared fifteen years ago and Sean has never stopped looking for her. Lily was in her senior year of high school (in the spring) when she disappeared. Who wanted to do away with this beautiful young woman? While investigating the murder of Lily, Shannon’s business rival, Cliff Hogarth, ends up dead (after she had a big blow out with him). Is Cliff’s murder related to Lily’s? The list of people who wanted Cliff death turns out to be quite lengthy (he had made a lot of enemies since he returned to Lighthouse Cover from Chicago). Will Shannon be able to solve the crimes before she becomes the next victim?

Crowned and Moldering was a great cozy mystery. The characters are enjoyable and easy to like (and relate to). The town of Lighthouse Cove sounds beautiful, and I like that Shannon is restoring a beautiful historic Victorian home (near a lighthouse). Something I was keen on was that the author portrayed Shannon as a smart and strong woman (to many books lately have portrayed women as ditzy and bumbling). I enjoyed that the mystery was complex and difficult to solve (though I did figure out who was the killer). Crowned and Moldering is the third book in A Fixer Upper Mystery series, but it can easily be read by itself (without having enjoyed the other two books in the series). I give Crowned and Moldering 5 out of 5 stars (because I just loved it). I cannot wait for the next book in A Fixer Upper Mystery series.

I received a complimentary copy of Crowned and Moldering from the author (I am a member of Kate’s Raters) in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Nov 13, 2015 |
Crowned And Moldering is the third book in the A Fixer-Upper Mystery series.

Shannon Hammer, love that name, is out at the lighthouse mansion with the owner, Mac Sullivan, and her crew for a walk thru before she gets started on the renovation project. As they are inspecting the kitchen Mac asks about the dumbwaiter and as Shannon begins to explain the workings she gets the dumbwaiter dislodged and it goes crashing into the basement. As Shannon is looking down the shaft, she sees what appears to be bones. They go to the basement to look at the remains and they find a medical bracelet that her foreman, Sean Brogan, believes had belonged to his sister, Lily, who disappeared some fifteen years ago. The question that needs to be answered, in addition to if she died of natural cause or was murdered, is why she was there and how did she get in the dumbwaiter.

Shannon begins to talk with friends of Lily to see if any had an idea as to why she might have been there. At the time of Lily's disappearance it was thought she was just a runaway and a lot of time and effort was put into the case. From tests that were made, it was determined that Lily had been pregnant at the time of her death, so her boyfriend and other male friends came under suspicion, too. Her boyfriend at the time has just returned to town and has been a thorn in Shannon's side since his arrival about two months before. He has gone out of his way to ruin Shannon business, from trying to hire away her best workers to spreading malicious rumors about the quality of her work and work ethics.

For Shannon's personal life, things are going well with the relationship with Mac until one day when a young teenager shows up and asks to see Mac. But the air is cleared in short order when Mac introduces the young lady as his niece, Callie. Callie's mother is on an extended business trip and Callie couldn't stand being with the housekeeper and chauffeur and she has decided to come stay with Mac.

Another exciting story from Ms, Carlisle with enjoyable and believable characters.

Definitely be watching for the next book in the series. ( )
  FredYoder | Nov 3, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451469216, Mass Market Paperback)

In the New York Times bestselling Fixer-Upper mysteries, contractor Shannon Hammer can repair even the most distressed building. But clearing out the cobwebs from her current project may distress her… to death.

When Mac Sullivan—famous thriller writer and Shannon’s new beau—first moved to Lighthouse Cove, California, he bought the historic lighthouse mansion that the town is named after. Mac needs help cleaning up the place, and Shannon is more than happy to get her handywoman hands on the run-down Victorian.

But during demolition, a grisly discovery is made among the debris—the bones of a teenage girl who went missing fifteen years ago. Locals had always assumed Lily Brogan ran away from her difficult life, but it seems her troubles followed her to the grave. If Shannon has any chance of getting her renovation back on track, she’ll need to tackle the cold case. But with new suspects coming out of the woodwork every day, she’ll have to be careful to pry the right secrets and clues from the poor girl’s problematic past…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:42 -0400)

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