Shot Through the Hearth

Fixer-Upper Mystery 7

By Kate Carlisle


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Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


Shannon’s good friend and retired tech billionaire, Raphael Nash, is loving his new retired life but he can’t stay unoccupied for too long. He’s started the Marigold Foundation that helps fund small companies and individuals who do humanitarian work around the world. It’s an exciting time in Lighthouse Cove as Raphael hosts the first ever global conference inviting big thinkers from every area of industry to give presentations on eco-living.

Raphael’s old business partner arrives in town with a grudge and a plan to steal him away from his important new passion project. Shannon knows her friend has no intention of giving up Marigold and is proud of Raphael for sticking to his guns. But when his former associate winds up dead, all signs point to Raphael.

It’s up to Shannon to hammer out the details of the murder before her friend gets pinned for the crime.


Shot Through the Hearth is another entertaining entry in the solidly executed Fixer-Upper Mystery Series by Kate Carlisle.  Protagonist Shannon Hammer is as unique as her job as a construction contractor, and dead bodies seem to follow her wherever she goes.  Here is no exception.  When her friend and client Rafe’s ex-business partner is killed and interrupts Shannon’s much anticipated barn raising, and is followed by more death and other glitches that are too much to be coincidences, Shannon does all she can to find the truth and protect her friends.

The Fixer-Upper series is always captivating reading, finding a good balance between humor, construction tidbits, romance, and murder.  Shannon is an intelligent, brave protagonist who never loses her head no matter the danger she faces.  I particularly savor her relationship with her bestselling thriller author boyfriend Mac.  Their banter is fun, and their relationship is wonderful and highlighted without taking away from the murder mystery.  I like her coworkers and tight knit group of friends and feel like I could hang out with them anytime and thoroughly enjoy myself.

This story focuses on Shannon’s friend Marigold’s newcomer fiancé, tech and green living guru Rafe.  He is immensely interesting and appealing, but at times I found him to good to be true.  Thankfully, He proves himself to be genuine time and again.  He is a worthy match to the former Amish Marigold.  His remodeled home and acreage sound amazing.  The victim Dillon is just terrible.  Greedy, conniving, opportunistic, and underhanded, I found his demise impossible to sympathize with, thus making it hard to care who had it out for him.  Rafe puts on a conference at his new home, and some of the exhibits and panels sound fascinating, but most of the attendees highlighted (mostly because they are suspects) are not particularly likable. Their eccentricities are taken to the point of unpleasantness, and I found it difficult to connect to them.

The murder mystery is well thought out and executed.  I guessed who the bad guy was relatively early but did not put all of the pieces together ahead of time.  The story dragged for me at times, but the ending moved along quickly and ended satisfactorily.  I enjoyed Shot Through the Hearth and recommend it to fans of the series and readers looking for a more unusual protagonist.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*