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A Bat in the Belfry

A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery

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Hardcover published by Bantam (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
When it comes to home repair, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree  is a fervent wielder of power drills and paint brushes. And when catching criminals, she’s been known to really bring down the hammer. But when a shocking murder rocks the small town of Eastport, Maine, Jake may be the next victim for whom the bell tolls.
 
It is nearly midnight when the enormous bell in the belfry of All Faith Chapel—silent for decades—booms forth, startling awake the entire town of Eastport. Upon inspection of the steeple, the police uncover the body of local teenager Karen Hansen, who had climbed the belfry’s dark, rickety stairs for a midnight rendezvous. But instead of the promise of an exciting new life, Karen meets her death.
 
Meanwhile, as an epic nor’easter bears down on the idyllic island town, Jake Tiptree hurries to shore up her ramshackle old house against the big blow. An amateur detective, she has sworn off chasing criminals. But when the news of Karen’s murder spreads and much of the evidence points to Jake’s likable houseguest, she and her sleuthing partner, Ellie White, get to work.
 
They discover an unexpected ally in newcomer Lizzie Snow, a woman from “away” who seemed to have blown into town with the nor’easter, and who also seems to know a lot about the mind of a killer. Can Jake and Ellie trust her? As a killer roams free and the townsfolk struggle against the pounding, screaming storm, the resulting tempest of gossip and suspicion rivals anything the Atlantic could brew up—and threatens to keep Jake and Ellie from putting the final nail in this cold-blooded case.
 
Complete with Home Repair Is Homicide repair tips!

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Sarah Graves's Winter at the Door.

Praise for A Bat in the Belfry
 
“Stylishly suspenseful.”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Nobody else can take a home repair project and turn it into a first-class mystery the way Graves can. It’s a top-of-the-line story.”RT Book Reviews
 
“Graves does the Down East region justice, nailing not only the scents, sounds, sights, and people, but the culture. . . . It doesn’t hurt that she’s a damn good storyteller, to boot. [Her] prose is sharp, smart, and witty.”Crimespree Magazine

Praise for Sarah Graves and the Home Repair Is Homicide series
 
“Graves’s trademarks are edgy, traditional mysteries peppered liberally with humor, and sprinkled with layered, well-written characters.”—Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier
 
“Just hearing her list the ways you can kill yourself fixing up an old house . . . is a hoot.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“What distinguishes the novel are its likable, no-nonsense protagonist-narrator, her references to home repair that the author cleverly fits tongue-and-groove into the story and, especially, the detailed descriptions of the town.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Graves makes rehabbing shutters and other chores suspenseful.”The Boston Globe
Show less
When it comes to home repair, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree  is a fervent wielder of power drills and paint brushes. And when catching criminals, she’s been known to really bring down the hammer. But when a shocking murder rocks the small town of Eastport, Maine, Jake may be the next victim for whom the bell tolls.
 
It is nearly midnight when the enormous bell in the belfry of All Faith Chapel—silent for decades—booms forth, startling awake the entire town of Eastport. Upon inspection of the steeple, the police uncover the body of local teenager Karen Hansen, who had climbed the belfry’s dark, rickety stairs for a midnight rendezvous. But instead of the promise of an exciting new life, Karen meets her death.
 
Meanwhile, as an epic nor’easter bears down on the idyllic island town, Jake Tiptree hurries to shore up her ramshackle old house against the big blow. An amateur detective, she has sworn off chasing criminals. But when the news of Karen’s murder spreads and much of the evidence points to Jake’s likable houseguest, she and her sleuthing partner, Ellie White, get to work.
 
They discover an unexpected ally in newcomer Lizzie Snow, a woman from “away” who seemed to have blown into town with the nor’easter, and who also seems to know a lot about the mind of a killer. Can Jake and Ellie trust her? As a killer roams free and the townsfolk struggle against the pounding, screaming storm, the resulting tempest of gossip and suspicion rivals anything the Atlantic could brew up—and threatens to keep Jake and Ellie from putting the final nail in this cold-blooded case.
 
Complete with Home Repair Is Homicide repair tips!

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Sarah Graves's Winter at the Door.

Praise for A Bat in the Belfry
 
“Stylishly suspenseful.”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Nobody else can take a home repair project and turn it into a first-class mystery the way Graves can. It’s a top-of-the-line story.”RT Book Reviews
 
“Graves does the Down East region justice, nailing not only the scents, sounds, sights, and people, but the culture. . . . It doesn’t hurt that she’s a damn good storyteller, to boot. [Her] prose is sharp, smart, and witty.”Crimespree Magazine

Praise for Sarah Graves and the Home Repair Is Homicide series
 
“Graves’s trademarks are edgy, traditional mysteries peppered liberally with humor, and sprinkled with layered, well-written characters.”—Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier
 
“Just hearing her list the ways you can kill yourself fixing up an old house . . . is a hoot.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“What distinguishes the novel are its likable, no-nonsense protagonist-narrator, her references to home repair that the author cleverly fits tongue-and-groove into the story and, especially, the detailed descriptions of the town.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Graves makes rehabbing shutters and other chores suspenseful.”The Boston Globe
Product Details
Hardcover (304 pages)
Published: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Bantam
ISBN: 9780345534996
Other books bySarah Graves
  • Nail Biter

    Nail Biter
    A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery
    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.

    Crawlspace

    Crawlspace
    A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery
    When a bestselling true-crime author arrives in Eastport, Maine, to research the infamous Dodd murders for a new book, she finds herself about as welcome as a spoiled clam. But surely no one in the quaint seaside town would harm the crime writer—or would they? Suddenly the unsolved and not-quite-forgotten slayings of the wealthy Dodd women go from cold case to hot topic, while just as quickly, onetime Wall Streeter Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree turns from probing the mysteries of old-house insulation to an investigation that’s reopened old wounds and unearthed a string of deadly secrets. Jake would have preferred to insulate herself and her family from danger, but someone with a taste for terror has already crept closer than she dares to imagine.

    Unhinged

    Unhinged
    A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery
    Once a Wall Street hotshot, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree chucked it all for a charmingly dilapidated fixer-upper in the tiny town of Eastport, Maine. She was certain she’d left the dangers of city life behind—until she discovered that no place, no matter how idyllic and peaceful it may appear, is safe from murder. It began with the mysterious disappearance of Harriet Hollingsworth—Eastport’s snoopiest resident. Everyone is convinced the old busybody bolted out of town to escape her creditor—everyone except Jake and her best friend Ellie who know Harriet would never leave home without her most prized possession. But before Jake and Ellie can persuade police chief Bob Arnold to open an investigation, they’ll need to come up with proof more sinister than a pair of abandoned binoculars. Just as Jake starts poking around for clues, things suddenly take a troubling turn for the worse. A suspicious accident nearly kills her teenaged son, Sam, and her husband, Wade, just misses getting his head blown off. Jake is prepared to attribute these incidents to a spate of bad luck—until another “accident” leaves a visitor to Eastport unmistakably dead. Most perplexing, all this mayhem coincides with the unexpected arrival of a man from Jake’s past: a former New York City cop. Harry Markle claims he has unintentionally brought an unwelcome guest into Eastport: a crook determined to knock off everyone with ties to Harry. Twenty-four hours ago, Jake’s only worry was fixing her broken-down gutters and downspouts before the big storm swept into town. Now, everything seems to be falling apart all around her. Jake knows from experience that the truth is usually as messy and complicated as do-it-yourself remodeling. As it becomes chillingly clear that appearances in this quaint community are more misleading than ever, she’ll have to find a way to lure a homicidal maniac into the light--before he nails another victim.

    Trap Door

    Trap Door
    A Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery
    When Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree left behind her high-powered, high-risk career on Wall Street for the charming town of Eastport, Maine, she expected a quiet life spent fixing up her 1823 Federal-style house. But there are skeletons in her closet that may prove beyond repair...Suddenly the perils of the stock market pale in comparison to the murder, mayhem, and mystery of remodeling. From the Hardcover edition.

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