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Dead Level

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Dead Level

Home Repair is Homicide Mystery Series, Book 15
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In this new Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery, a killer with a screw loose sets his sights on Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree, whose latest renovation project becomes a dire matter of life and deck. Driving...
In this new Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery, a killer with a screw loose sets his sights on Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree, whose latest renovation project becomes a dire matter of life and deck. Driving...
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Description-
  • In this new Home Repair Is Homicide Mystery, a killer with a screw loose sets his sights on Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree, whose latest renovation project becomes a dire matter of life and deck.

    Driving to a cottage in the Maine woods with her best friend, Ellie White, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree has a challenging week ahead of her. She bet her husband that she could finish building the cottage porch in only a few days--a lofty goal for even the craftiest home renovator. But as Jake and Ellie set to work, they soon realize that they're not alone. Dewey Hooper, a recently escaped convict, is watching them. Jake's testimony got him sent away for murder years ago and here, in the remote wilderness, he can exact his revenge. Tough as nails and not afraid to defend themselves, Jake and Ellie are determined to keep their wits about them--to prevent the quaint little cottage from turning into the ultimate death trap.

    Praise for Sarah Graves and the Home Repair Is Homicide series

    "Readers won't be able to put this page-turner down--but it will certainly make them think twice about vacationing at that Maine lakeside cottage."--Leslie Meier, author of the Lucy Stone mysteries

    "Just hearing her list the ways you can kill yourself fixing up an old house . . . is a hoot."--The New York Times Book Review

    "Graves makes rehabbing shutters and other chores suspenseful."--The Boston Globe

    BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Sarah Graves's A Bat in the Belfry.

    Complete with Home Repair Is Homicide repair tips!

Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1

    To remove screws easily, use a screwdriver bit and the "reverse" setting on your electric drill. --Tiptree's Tips Harold had Facebook, and LiveJournal, and Twitter. He had a BlackBerry, an iPad, an iPod, and a third-generation Kindle.

    He had a pain, mild but constant, a fluttery twinge in the soft tissue just above his left eye, deep in the hollow where you'd put your thumb if you were going to try lifting him by his cranium. Sometimes late at night, in his tiny apartment in a grimly forgotten, perpetually unfashionable corner of Lower Manhattan, he would find himself Googling: twinge, eye, flutter. Or: thumb, skull.

    When it occurred to him what that last pair rhymed with-- numbskull--he stopped Googling it. But he couldn't forget.

    Each weekday, Harold took the subway to his job at a video store a few blocks from Ground Zero, a place with a sale bin out front and a sputtery neon sign in the grimy window. Once it had thrived, but the only videos people rented nowadays were ones they wouldn't dare view on the Internet for fear of prison time.

    The films didn't have brightly illustrated cardboard sleeves, or even titles. Furtive men--no women, in Harold's depressingly extensive experience--entered the store with money in hand, and asked without looking up at Harold for number 19, or number 204.

    Harold wondered if they were ashamed of themselves, or if maybe they just didn't like seeing his eye twitch. If maybe they were creeped out by him. What he didn't wonder was what kind of unspeakably sordid images the videos contained; he needed the job too much for that.

    But after three years in the store--the sputtering neon sign, the nagging eye pain, the worn black plastic cassettes or clear jewel cases that he wiped thoroughly with spray cleaner anytime one of them got returned--he also needed a vacation. So when the store's owner laid Harold off for two weeks due to cash-flow problems, he decided to go to Maine.

    He'd never been, just seen pictures of the place. Probably Maine colors weren't as bright as they looked in the pages of magazines, with lighthouses as red-and-white-striped as new candy canes, and water as blue as . . . well, nothing in this life was ever really that blue, Harold felt sure.

    But it didn't matter what it was like there. It was the idea of Maine that attracted him: clean air, not too many people. Forests you could walk into and not find your way out again, mineral-clear lakes, numbingly cold, where you could wade in and dissolve with a sigh, like a fizzy lozenge.

    Not that he meant to; wade into one of those lakes, that is, and never wade out. But the idea of such wilderness--of surfaces that hadn't been handled and breathed on, or even looked at, by millions of people--spoke deeply to him, somehow, even though he had never experienced any such place himself.

    So Harold left all his electronic gadgets at home and took a bus from Port Authority to Bangor, Maine, then a smaller one whose seats were made of hard plastic. As they wound out of Bangor, the driver drank Diet Coke and blared Top Forty on the radio propped up on the cluttered dashboard while the bus juddered along the twisty, crumbling two-lane blacktop.

    Hours passed while Harold stared out the window at a world growing steadily more rural and less like anything he'd ever seen before: small wooden houses with garishly colored plastic toys in their rough yards, lobster traps stacked along unpaved driveways, boats sagging on trailers. Next came lengthy stretches where it seemed no one at all lived, the unfenced fields high and boulder-studded and the forests appearing darkly impenetrable.

    At last they reached a small,...

About the Author-
  • Sarah Graves lives with her husband in an 1823 Federal-style house in Eastport, Maine, where her mystery novels are set. When she is not scraping, painting, glazing, sanding, hammering, or otherwise repairing (or failing to repair!) the old house, she is working on her next Home Repair Is Homicide novel.

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    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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Dead Level
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Home Repair is Homicide Mystery Series, Book 15
Sarah Graves
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Sarah Graves
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