Saturday 20 February 2021

Book ~ "Dead in the Doorway" (2020) Diane Kelly


Whitney Whitaker has scored the perfect piece of real estate: a ramshackle white Colonial at the top of a hill with views of downtown Nashville. What more could a self-taught home-improvement maven and occasional house-flipper ask for? Ideally, the property of Whitney’s dreams would not have come with a dead body blocking the entrance to the foyer. But Whitney, always quick to take heavy-duty matters into her own hands, also happens to be a skilled amateur sleuth. So that helps.


Who is this older woman - and how did her corpse end up at the bottom of the staircase of this locked, unoccupied house? That is what Whitney, along with the support of her wood-working cousin Buck, Detective Collin Flynn, and, of course, feline partner-in-crime Sawdust, intends to find out. Her friendly-neighbour investigation takes a sharp turn, however, when Whitney discovers that the house’s former owner was a gourmet baker whose secret recipe for peach pie was to die for - perhaps literally. Now it’s up to Whitney to learn the truth about what happened before she loses this killer real-estate deal ... and the killer comes knocking at her door. 

Whitney works part-time for a property manager so has connections in the building and repair world.  Her uncle is a carpenter so she's learned how to fix and build things over the years.  She and her cousin, Buck, want to buy fixer-uppers, repair them and then flip them for a profit.  

Whitney and Buck buy a house from the family of an elderly woman who had recently passed away to fix up and flip.  When she arrives one morning, Whitney can't open the door because something is blocking it.  So she goes in through another door and discovers an elderly woman dead, after apparently after falling down the stairs.  It turns out it she is a neighbour and friend of the former owner and she hadn't accidently fallen down the stairs.  Was it a random burglary gone wrong?  Or did one of the other elderly neighbours have enough of her nastiness and kill her?

I liked the writing style.  It is written in first person perspective from Whitney's point of view and third person perspective from Sawdust's point of view (which is funny since it's written from the perspective of Whitney's cat).

I've read many books by this author and I liked this one.  Though it's the second in the House-Flipper series, it works as a stand alone (I read the first one a couple years ago and the third one a couple weeks ago).  It was a quick light read and is a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity.

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