Book Review: FLIPPED OUT by Jennie Bentley

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Series: A Do-It-Yourself Mystery, #5
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: October 4, 2011
Source: Review copy from publisher

Avery and her hunky handyman boyfriend Derek Ellis are renovating another house in Waterfield, Maine. But it’s not just any house. It belongs to local news anchor Tony “the Tiger” Micelli—and it’s a quaint cottage with limitless possibilities. Even more exciting is that the makeover is going to be filmed as part of a home renovation TV show.

Unfortunately the road to cable TV fame is a bumpy one: this DIY spins into a DOA when Tony’s corpse is found at the cottage, flat on his back and not from natural causes. Turns out there were a few people who wanted Tony dead, and that the murderer might have his sights set on a few more Waterfield residents. That means it’s up to Avery to nail the killer. Before someone yells “Cut!” and it’s all over.

———

FLIPPED OUT is the fifth book in Jennie Bentley’s popular Do-It-Yourself mystery series. I really enjoyed this one. In fact, I’d put it in my top three favorite cozy mysteries I’ve read this year.

For someone new to the series like me, Ms. Bentley did an excellent job of weaving in the series backstory with this book’s mystery. Avery Baker has lived in Waterfield, Maine, for about a year, ever since she inherited her aunt’s old house. She’s a former Manhattan textile designer, and her boyfriend, Derek, is a doctor-turned-contractor. Together, they take on home renovation projects around Waterfield, and usually a dead body turns up along the way.

Avery and Derek’s latest fixer upper is being showcased on Flipped Out!, a home renovation TV show. Not long after the crew comes to town to begin filming, the owner of the cottage being revamped is found murdered. Fingers point to the fiancee of the deceased, Melissa, who also happens to be Derek’s unpleasant ex-wife. As Avery and Derek investigate further, they discover that the murder victim is connected to more than one member of the Flipped Out! TV crew. So, along with trying to complete the renovation project on schedule (the show must go on!), Avery and Derek work to catch the killer before there’s another victim.

FLIPPED OUT had an intricate plot, likable characters and a charming setting. This was not an easy mystery to solve. There were several twists and turns to the story, and in the end, the killer could have been one of many possible suspects. FLIPPED OUT was filled with several funny moments. I particularly loved Avery’s attack cat, Mischa, and how he launched himself at Derek’s shins every time he came in her house. LOL. I thought the home renovation and all the “shop talk” was very interesting and blended nicely into the story. Also included at the back of the book are renovation and design tips. Fans of cozy mysteries shouldn’t miss this one!

Rating: 4½ Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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