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Mallets Aforethought by Sarah Graves

Mallets Aforethought (2004)

by Sarah Graves

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Ellie is pregnant, very pregnant. And surprises of surprises she and Jake find two bodies in a 'secret room' of an old house that the Eastport Historical Society is fixing up. Of course in addition to the dead body that has been there for many years they also find a body that hasn't been there for too long at all.

Then George, Elli's husband gets accused and arrested of the recent body's murder. That'd be fine if he'd have told everyone his alibi, but for some reason he won't, a secondary mystery to the big mystery of who done it. (Since as the reader I was 98% sure that he didn't do it.).

So, after George is arrested, Ellie and Jake do their thing, snooping and trying to figure out who else could have done the murder, and alternating in getting good information and bad information.

That was the part of the novel that wasn't as great, the mystery part of the mystery just seemed a bit too obvious to me from the very start. And in general I've found that the twists and turns in the mystery of this series aren't as surprising as they were at the beginning of the series.

Still, the characters were still all awesome and most of them were very well written. And the relationships that always seem to be changing and shifting seemed very real as well.

I also liked how the characters have grown during the series, not in a fast way, but in a very real way. ( )
  DanieXJ | Sep 3, 2015 |
ereader ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Very well done. I've not read any other books in this series, but I found the characters to be interesting and realistic, the setting very true-to-life, and the puzzle well thought out. The very small subplot concerning Jake's father never really made much sense, and I can't really figure out the dark Mafia and long-time fugitive hints at all. I suppose I have to read more in the series, but it all came off a bit like someone telling tall tales to make herself seem important. There's also a bit with the cliched character who has something important to say but dies before it can be said. Still, excellent overall, and I will read more. ( )
  benfulton | Jul 8, 2012 |
The mystery was pretty good, but one thing I've noticed about this series is that Ms. Graves seems to re-write her characters with every book. Ellie's dress eccentricities become more pronounced with every book (which is kind of annoying, frankly) and it seems like Jake's perception of Sam's drug problems as a young teen have become more extreme with each book. In the first couple, he wasn't described as so hard core. One reason I like series is to see the characters evolve, but it's almost like each book in this series re-invents the characters' past. Also, the resolution to the legal problems of Jake's father & Jemmy was too easy. ( )
1 vote tjsjohanna | Apr 14, 2010 |
Great stuff, great setting. Mystery without some of the horror and gore...wonderful! ( )
  campat53 | Mar 2, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553585770, Mass Market Paperback)

Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree left her high-powered career for a dilapidated fixer-upper and the dream of a quiet existence in the quaint town of Eastport, Maine. But she found that no matter how carefully you remodel your life, murder can take up residence anywhere.

It’s Eastport’s most notorious landmark: the old Harlequin House. Named for the disgraced physician Chester Harlequin, it was used as a hideout for gunshot gangsters and their molls during Prohibition’s heyday. Now fixer-upper enthusiast Jake Tiptree and Harlequin’s only living descendant, Ellie White, are refurbishing the mansard-roofed mansion to host the local Historical Society’s upcoming gala. But when stripping down old wallpaper reveals a secret door to a room containing not one but two corpses, Jake and Ellie once again find home repair leading to homicide.

One of the bodies is a skeleton dressed in 1920s flapper chic. But the other is that of
real-estate mogul Hector Gosling, and in his pocket is a paper bearing the single word “Guilty.” The less-than-scrupulous tycoon has been poisoned, and when it’s learned that the offending substance is the poison that Ellie’s husband George has been using to kill red ants, he is immediately taken into custody. Then it develops that George had recently accused Gosling of a scheme to scam George’s vulnerable old aunt out of her life savings—and George out of his inheritance.

With George held for murder, Jake and a pregnant Ellie swing into action. In between Ellie’s Lamaze sessions, baby showers, and CPR classes taught by Jake’s ex-husband
Victor, the two amateur sleuths must sift their way through a trail of seemingly contradictory clues. Then another corpse surfaces and suddenly Jake and Ellie realize they must find this killer fast. A clever culprit is not only building an airtight case against Ellie’s husband. He—or she—is planning to nail everyone who stands in the way.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Agreeing to help refurbish Harlequin House, a one-time hideout for wounded gangsters, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree uncovers the skeleton of a notorious 1920s flapper, a discovery that is complicated by a new corpse sitting next to the old one.

» see all 2 descriptions

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