Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Mortar and Murder - 4th in the Do-It-Yourself Mystery series
Author: Jennie Bentley
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Release Date: January 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Romantic/Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Maine
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: None (Off scene)
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Jennie's Website: www.jenniebentley.com
Significant others and business partners, Avery Baker and Derek Ellis, are eager to renovate and restore their newly purchased "flip" on Rowanberry Island. A Colonial a couple of centuries old, itís a "twin" to a house on the other side of the island. Fascinatingly enough, the original builder was a smuggler during revolutionary times.
Interesting stuff to say the least and Avery is curious to know more. But the moment Derek spots a body floating in the water the winds change. Discovering tidbits about the house takes a back burner, for now.
No one seems to be able to identify the woman, but a piece of paper written in Cyrillic connects her to Irina, the realtor who sold Avery and Derek the property. Unfortunately, Irina isnít able to help Chief Wayne Rasmussen or answer Averyís questions. Yes, she wiggled her way into the investigation.
Yet it seems that Irina may know more than sheís revealed as many of the pieces to the puzzle appear to lead back to her in one way or another. The questions mount and scenarios are batted about, but they donít do them much good when another body is found in the harbor. What they need are answers. But is Avery on the right track? Is she asking the right questions and trusting the right people? The only way to find out is to jump in and do some digging. As Avery digs, several things come to light about their property and she thinks she may be on the right track. But as usual with Avery, danger isnít too far behind.
I like Avery and Derek as a couple; they work well together, play well together, and Derek is the calm and level-headed one to Averyís jump-in-and-investigate-that-clue attitude. But to be fair, she has had a few close calls in the past and does realize (most of the time) the need for a bit of caution.
This series gets better and better. Ms. Bentley has me hooked. She weaves each thread of the story with care and seeming ease, which in turn makes the story very enjoyable and intriguing to read.
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