dry rot and a dead body

Shannon Hammer is back, and for Hammer Construction, business is booming. With just weeks until the Lighthouse Cove Victorian Home and Garden Tour, lots of people around town are wanting work done on their homes pronto. Especially, and most vociferously, Petsy Jergensen, who lost last year to her neighbor Joan Derry. But Petsy is certain that restoring the ornately carved wood panels in her dining room and adding an orangery will move her to the top of the list this year. And Shannon is happy for her crew and herself to do the work. Petsy's constant nagging and critical comments do make her a killer client, so to speak, but Shannon is determined to be nice until the work is done, especially since Petsy's husband Matthew is so kind and an old friend of Shannon's father. 

Meanwhile, they have several other restoration jobs going, and if that wasn't enough work, Joan Derry called her to say that she thought she had dry rot in her basement. When Shannon goes to Joan's house to check, sure enough, she finds that Joan does have a moisture problem in her basement wood (not a huge surprise--Lighthouse Cove is right off the ocean), but Shannon and her crew can fix it for her and make some changes to help prevent any future damage. 

Things are busy for Hammer Construction, but Shannon keeps everything moving forward smoothly, especially with the help of new woodworker Amanda on staff. At least, it all seems smooth until Joe Scully starts poking around. As the town's building inspector, Scully has to sign off on all work that's done, so Shannon and her crew know him well. They know how little he really understands the work he's inspecting. They know how he's partial to bribery. They know how he's willing to slow down or even shut down a job if he's not happy.

So Shannon and her crews around town do everything they legally can to keep Joe Scully happy so that they can keep working. But they don't really like him. Shannon doesn't know anyone who really likes him. But when he shows up dead, stabbed with a chisel, Shannon can't help but wonder who would go so far to as to cancel his permit. When nobody likes a person, how do you hammer down who your suspects really are? 

Eaves of Destruction is the fifth in Kate Carlisle's charming Fixer-Upper Mystery series. With humor and nobility, these cozy mysteries nail down life in a small town while building a strong cast of characters who delight and inspire. If you're a fan of HGTV and cozy mysteries, then this is definitely the series for you. 

 

Galleys for Eaves of Destruction were provided by Berkley through Edelweiss, with many thanks.