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Nail Biter by Sarah Graves (2006)

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Another book in the Home Repair series. This one starts slightly different than previous ones in the series. From a different point of view. After that it's much like the previous tomes.

Ellie and Jake bought a house along the coast line to be a rental property. They then got a group of tenants who the town thinks are witches. Then Jake, on one of her many trips to the house to fix stuff that seems to break daily finds a dead body.

Soon after that one of the tenants goes missing. A young girl who has a way with animals and doesn't speak at all. Jake and Ellie get involved in that of course, trying to find her since the state guys are busy with the murder, etc.

Needless to say it goes along in the way it usually does for the two women. Although this book was a bit more intense than the previous ones.

There was also a subplot that was quite intense. And this time in addition to some doosies of home repairs (one with a whole ton of water) there was also a ton of stuff that happened on the water and on boats.

I also loved the Tall Isle stuff, only because I know of a couple of islands that you can walk to at low tide and get seriously stuck on them when it becomes high tide (although usually you don't get shot at on them of course).

A solid three star book and the end is quite the cliffhanger. ( )
  DanieXJ | Jun 19, 2016 |
didn't grab me at first, but I love a woman who can do her own home repairs; this is my first Sarah Graves mystery and I plan to go back and start with book 1 before deciding if I want to continue ( )
  Claudia.Anderson | Feb 7, 2016 |
ereader ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Set in Eastport, Maine, this is the latest (at the time) in a series about a former financial wizard who restores an old house and solves crimes in a struggling small town Down East. Always enjoyable with good characters, plots and setting. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Nail Biter is one of the best books in this series, at least so far. Jacobia (Jake), husband Wade, son Sam, and ex-husband Victor all live in a small town in Maine. Jake is busy restoring her 1800's home, Sam is going to school and living on his own. Victor is, well, Victor. Fans of the series know what that means.

When Jake and best friend Ellie purchase an old fixer-upper home to eventually rent they are shocked when someone wants to rent it before they even get started on repairs. The people who are renting are rumored to be witches and that sets the locals to gossiping. Then one of the locals is found dead in the shed beside the rental, sending Jake and Ellie on the hunt for the killer.

There are some terrific sub-stories here. Child abuse, mutism, and a shocker twist at the end that still have me mulling over the next in the series. No spoilers here but if you've been reading this series and like me are behind, you need to read this one. ( )
  bookswoman | Apr 2, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553585797, Mass Market Paperback)

Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree took the dangerous plunge from Wall Street power broker–to homeowner! Now the do-it-yourself enthusiast is about to discover that her own dream house is built on a foundation of murder.

Buying a beachfront fixer-upper to lease out to Eastport, Maine’s, burgeoning tourist crowd seems like a good idea to Jake Tiptree and her best friend, Ellie White. But working double-time as landladies to a coven of wannabe witches isn’t what they had in mind. And it only gets worse when Jake is called out one stormy night to make a repair–and stumbles on a dead body in the utility shed.

A small-time thief and street preacher with a particularly violent message, the deceased was no favorite of Jake’s–nor of anyone else in Eastport. But what’s he doing shot to death on Jake’s property? Jake’s bewitching tenants–including an ex-cop, a con man, and a mute teenage girl–claim to have been too busy conjuring spells to have heard or seen a thing. Then a member of the coven disappears without a trace and Jake doesn’t think it’s a case of witchcraft–but a kidnapping...or worse.

Scandal, secrets, and a mysterious box buried deep in the foundation of her own home are just the beginning of a mystery that threatens to bring Jake’s house–and life–crashing down. Now she and Ellie are racing to find a missing girl who may be the key to it all...or lead them to a killer holding the final nails to their coffins.


Praise for the Home Repair Is Homicide Mysteries of Sarah Graves:

“Anyone who can mix slaughter and screwdrivers is a genius. Plus, anyone who has bought a home that needs even a new toilet seat is probably consumed with murderous thoughts.”—Boston Herald

“Like the old Victorian homes she describes...Graves’ stories seem to grow better with the passing of time....Readers who enjoy solving mysteries and fixing up older homes will appreciate Jake’s do-it-yourself expertise in both areas.”—Booklist

“A sleuth as tough as the nails she drives into the walls of her 1823 Federal home enhances a clever plot, which comes to an unexpected and explosive conclusion. Many will relish the vividly described Down East setting, but for anyone who’s ever enjoyed making a home repair it’s the accurate details of the restoration of Jake’s old house that will appeal.”—Publishers Weekly

“Think Diane Mott Davidson with a tool belt instead of recipes!”—Denver Post



From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree faces trouble when a coven of self-styled witches takes over her Eastport, Maine, rental property for Halloween, fundamentalist preacher Eugene Dibble turns up dead, and she must do everything to find the culprit.

(summary from another edition)

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