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The Dead Cat Bounce by Sarah Graves

The Dead Cat Bounce (1998)

by Sarah Graves

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The first in the 'Home Repair is Homicide' cozy mystery series. I enoyed it and will read more of the series.

Back Cover Blurb:
Since she bought her rambling old fixer-upper of a house, Jacobia Tiptree has gotten used to finding things broken. But her latest problem isn't so easily repaired. Along with the rotting floor joists and sagging support beams, there's the little matter of the dead man in Jake's storeroom, an ice pick firmly planted in his cranium.
Not much happens in her tiny Maine town, but that's about to change. Jake's unknown guest turns out to be local boy turned millionaire Threnody McIlwaine. When Jake's best friend, quiet and dependable Ellie White, confesses to the murder, cops and journalists swarm into snowbound Eastport.
Jake smells a cover-up, and begins poking into past history between McIlwaine and Ellie's family. But someone doesn't like nosy neighbors.....and Jake's rustic refuge may become her final resting place..... ( )
  mazda502001 | Jul 18, 2016 |
This is a new cozy mystery series for me. I thought it was very well-written. The action began immediately to draw you into the story. I thought the author did an excellent job of balancing past with present so the reader could understand the background. The storyline kept flowing, without choppy blocks of time. The characters were fun and interesting. Plus the ending was quite amusing. I will definitely continue the series. ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
This was an okay mystery set in Maine on an island near Campobello. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 15, 2016 |
Jacobia, Jake for shore, is minding her own business. She goes to her store room and there's a dead body in it. It only gets worse when Jake's best friend Ellie confesses to the murder and gets hauled to jail. But not before asking (in a very oblique way) Jake to find out who actually killed the guy.

The story had tons of twists and turns (though I sorta had an inkling at the beginning who actually did it). SOme of the twists were interesting and different, and some of them weren't surprising to me at all.

I did like all the background stuff in the book. The house repair tips were interesting as well as a little depressing here and there (half destroyed walls make me sad). The small town Maine stuff was cool too. And I really liked how Graves reminded the reader that Mainers have quite an accent, but she didn't hit us readers over the head with that fact. It probably also helped that apparently the author lives there so that it wasn't just the accent, but the vernacular and rhythm of the speech that came through.

But really, what I liked best about the novel were the characters. They were all different and vibrant. Sam, Jake's son was wicked nuanced, and Graves made Jake's ex-husband quite the unique character. It's the character that made me want to read another book in the series, to see what other layers Graves adds to all the characters. ( )
  DanieXJ | Dec 9, 2014 |
would have been better without all of the typo's
  JanetArmentani | Jul 25, 2013 |
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My house is old, and rambling, and in some disrepair, and I think that it is faintly haunted: a cold spot forming inexplicably on the stairway, a scuttling in the hall.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 055357857X, Mass Market Paperback)

This Old House meets Murder, She Wrote in this Sarah Graves mystery set on the coast of Maine. Jacobia Triptree, onetime financial advisor to the Mob, finds her quiet retreat shattered by the unwelcome discovery of a dead man in the Victorian pile she is in the midst of restoring. That he has an ice pick in his forehead only confirms her suspicion that the death was brought about by something other than natural causes. When her closest friend, Ellie, confesses to having done the deed, Jacobia is convinced she is lying and determines to save Ellie from herself by finding the real killer.

The victim turns out to be a local boy who'd done well enough to be featured in the pages of Fortune magazine. Ellie's ostensible reason for her uncharacteristic violence is that he bankrupted her parents. Between bouts of waterproofing the basement and replacing floor joists, Jacobia sets out to find a more believable motive and murderer.

The mystery itself is not that complicated, and as Jacobia digs deeper under her house and into the past, the truth eventually surfaces. Graves sufficiently amuses, however, with delightful characterizations of Jacobia's former connections and the local heroes who assist her in her projects of rescuing Ellie and putting her house together. Jake's asides regarding the stock market, as well as the details of home restoration, also provoke the occasional smile. Graves is at her best delineating the tension between the small town's good guys and the federal investigators (and tourists) from far away. A gentle read, despite the shadow of the Mafia, and entertaining enough for bedtime diversion. --K.A. Crouch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:48 -0400)

Jacobia Tiptree decides to do some of her own investigating--and winds up risking her life--when she finds a young billionaire dead in her new home and doubts the truth of her best friend's confession of murder.

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