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Deck The Hallways
Fixer-Upper Mystery #4
Kate Carlisle

Berkley Prime Crime
November 1, 2016/ ISBN 978-0-451-48822-0
Mystery/Cozy/Amateur Sleuth / Note: Christmas season theme

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Building contractor Shannon Hammer is in charge of a charitable project at Christmastime. She is to oversee the renovation of a Victorian mansion into apartments for homeless families. Many of Lighthouse Cove’s residents volunteer to help with the work so that it can be done in time for Christmas. The volunteers include a team of Santa Claus impersonators, some teenagers and even Shannon’s father, Jack Hammer.

The nasty senior vice president of the Lighthouse Cove Bank and Trust has it in for just about everyone he encounters, and he and Jack have a loud altercation on the job site. When banker Peter Potter is murdered in the room Jack was working on, and worse yet, Jack’s new ax is the murder weapon, Shannon’s dad becomes the number one suspect. Shannon discovered the body, and it isn’t the first time this has happened to her. Having once been a murder suspect herself, and worrying about her dad’s health (he’s already had one heart attack), leads to Shannon decide to unmask the real killer before her father is arrested.

To further complicate Shannon’s life, the man she has fallen for has been away and out of contact for forty-two days. She’s heartbroken and confused and not in the Christmas spirit at all. Then, someone abandons a newborn baby in her truck and she feels that perhaps someone is out to destroy her family by framing her father for murder and setting her up as a kidnapper! How in the world is Shannon going to untangle this mess?

Author Kate Carlisle has nailed it again with another well-written mystery that is current, seasonal and hits all the marks of a true cozy. I love that Shannon is a strong woman, working as a leader in what is typically a male- dominated industry. She has a strong support system of friends and is a mentor to young women. Shannon’s got a heart of gold and shows it with her love for her father, her friends and her cat, Tiger, and dog, Robbie.

I didn’t expect the outcome of several threads in the book, including who the murderer was and why, and the resolution of the mystery of the baby girl, Angel. This is a perfect winter read and would make a great Christmas gift for the mystery lover in your life. Ho-Ho-Ho- enjoy!!

Reviews of other titles in this series

Deck the Hallways #4
A Wrench in the Works #6

Reviewed 2016