Mortar and Murder by Jennie Bentley is the fourth book in the “Do-It-Yourself” cozy mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, January 2011

Avery and her boyfriend, Derek are renovating a magnificent 225-year-old Colonial on Rowanberry Island, just off the coast of Maine. The DIY is going great even if the neighbor, a reclusive thriller writer, seems as strange and mysterious as his fiction. But his reputation seems in perfect keeping with what Derek and Avery discover next.

The body of an unidentified woman with a piece of paper in her pocket bearing the address of Derek and Avery’s Realtor is found floating in the sea near the island. Then a second woman is retrieved like jetsam from the harbor. But it’s not until Avery discovers a secret room in the house and learns about Rowanberry Island’s long tradition of smuggling, that a bizarre link is made between the dead women—and if it foretells anything, it’s that things on the island are only going to get deadlier.

What a great story. When bodies turn up dead in the water, Avery can’t just leave it to the police. The inquisitive nature of Avery has her searching for reasons as to why. When a secret is discovered, Avery nudges her way into the investigation, but she better hurry because secrets exposed can be dangerous. I found myself devouring this book as I wanted to see what happens next. A brilliant plot, amusing dialogue and an island locale creates an intriguing mystery where fixing up can be risky business. My rating: 5 stars

Jennie Bentley is the pseudonym of Bente Gallagher.

FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

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