Home Improvement fiction
Jennie Bentley. Fatal fixer-upper
Avery Baker loses a boyfriend and then quits her job after inheriting her aunt's Victorian cottage on the Maine coast. She decides to work on the cottage so she can sell it and gets local hunky handyman Derek Ellis to help her. Soon she doesn't know whether the cottage or the man is more attractive, but when her house is broken into she wonders if he's one of the bad guys. A missing professor, disappearing antiques and old secrets all combine for a first-rate mystery and a frightening surprise ending.
Sarah Graves. Unhinged
Do-it-yourselfer Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree (Wreck the Halls), a former financial consultant-turned-Maine sleuth, worries about a missing elderly recluse with snooping proclivities. Coincidentally, the retired cop who purchases the old lady's cottage saved Jake's life long ago and has been searching for her father (presumed dead by everyone else) all these years. And the last murderer whom he pursued has apparently followed him to Maine, causing a wreck that injures Jake's son. No down time here, then, either for Jake or her fans, who will be vastly entertained by her sleuthing foibles, animals, fixer-upper accidents, and eccentric friends.
Liz Rosenberg. Home repair
This is the story of a middle-aged woman whose journey to independence begins at a garage sale. Forty-six-year-old Eve's garage sale takes an unexpected turn when her husband, Chuck, goes on an errand and never comes back, leaving Eve to raise teenage son Marcus and nine-year-old daughter Noni. Drawing support from her sometimes helpful mother, old friends at the university where she works and new friends—such as the man she meets in the park and a Korean graduate student and his non–English-speaking wife—Eve discovers the locals offer all she needs in her life. Rosenberg achieves remarkable emotional range—comic to tragic, dysfunction to triumph, irony to wisdom—for an engaging, often touching story of survival on a heartbreak diet.