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13 September 2013

Bantam paperback. Published January 2012. 15th in the Home Repair is Homicide series.

I started reading this series back in 2001 when I was staying with Andre Norton and she recommended it very strongly. I went right to the nearest bookstore and bought the first three that were out in the series, read them, and agreed. They were good, they were fun, (loved the titles) they had an interesting background and I’ve been buying them ever since. In this one Jacobia Tiptree is starting work on the big porch of her home. The porch needs the old paint stripped, then it requires repainting, and there are other things that may improve it as well. Jacobia has started on that work, and then too, she needs to make concrete anchors for Sam’s (her son) for-sale boats, and, as she’s just discovered the presence of a stalker in her small town, that isn’t helping her concentrate on painting and anchors. And being only a stalker isn’t all he is – or plans. Not when Jacobia finds graphic photos appearing. The first on her laptop shows a gruesome murder, the second, found in an abandoned building, shows her son with a target circle drawn around him. And between those pictures, Jacobias has remembered where she saw her stalker, and identifies him as someone with what he thinks is good reason to punish her. Friends and family gather to help, but in the showdown, it will be Jacobia against her stalker, and only her ability to talk fast and speak the truth may save her. I have really loved this series,. But –

I’ve also just read the next in the series and it made me nervous. Many years ago I read Patricia Cornwall’s series and loved it for the first few books. Then she got into the habit some mystery writers fall into, of making her main character the constant target all of the time, with the events and attacks on Kay Scarpetta in each book being more and more horrendous. I don’t read mystery/crime/detective books for that. I read them for the main character solving crimes against others. I don’t mind one now and again that focuses on attacks on them, but not over and over again. (Thanks be that J.D. Robb has never fallen into that trap because I grab every book of the Dallas series as it appears and she uses that plot only around once every 10-12 books.) On the ‘Kay Scarpetta’ series, after two books of that sort and the next indicating clearly that it was similar, I took the entire armful down to the library, donated them, and never bought or read any further books by Patricia Cornwall. She had turned me off her her writing permanently. And to my worry I find that this book is of that type, and the next (Dead Level) is too. However happily, it looks as if A Bat in the Belfrey, latest in the series may not be. Looking forward to it while hoping that it’s another dozen books before Jacobia has a stalker again. That’s if the author wants to keep selling to me, because I’d like to keep buying.

 

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