This Old Homicide

A Fixer-Upper Mystery #2

By Kate Carlisle

ISBN# 9780451469205

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jeanie


Contractor and part-time sleuth Shannon Hammer specializes in improving the quirks and flaws

of the Victorian homes in Lighthouse Cove, California. The quirks and flaws of their residents

are another story….


Valentine’s Day is approaching, and while Shannon is delighted to be friends with not one but

two handsome men, not everyone in town is feeling the love. After her elderly neighbor Jesse

Hennessey fails to make his daily appearance at the local diner, Shannon swings by his place

to check on him. Not only does she find Jesse dead—of an apparent heart attack—but she also

realizes that his home has been ransacked.


Someone suggests that a thief was searching for a priceless necklace Jesse claimed to have

retrieved from a capsized sailing ship, but Shannon doesn’t believe it. Everyone knows Jesse

had a penchant for constructing tall tales—like the one about him having a hot new girlfriend.

But his death is soon ruled a homicide, and shady suspects begin popping out of the woodwork.

When another victim turns up dead, Shannon is convinced she must find the killer before

someone else gets nailed…



It has been SO fun to read Kate Carlisle’s This Old Homicide, which is even better than

the first book in the Fixer-Upper Mystery series, A High-End Finish. Shannon Hammer is

the owner of Hammer Construction, the company that her father had begun and where she

worked for years before he decided to spend time enjoying life. She can plan a Victorian home

renovation or a new Victorian with style and excellence, and if necessary, could do most of the

work from beginning to end. Shannon even has a flair for solving mysteries, but prefers to stick

to construction. Until mystery hits too close to home.


Jesse Hennessey, long-time neighbor and the uncle of her best friend Jane, hadn’t been seen

by anyone for a few days, so Shannon stopped by after work to see if he was okay. Shannon’s

father and uncle said that Jesse had a girlfriend, but it must have been a well-kept secret since

none of the neighbors or his niece were aware of anyone. Jesse didn’t answer the door no

matter how loudly she knocked; so she picked up the house key she had for emergencies and went in to find a huge, non-typical mess. It was a disaster, as if he had misplaced something of

value and literally began to tear the house apart. Finally finding Jesse asleep on his sofa, she

tried to awaken him – but discovered he was dead.


Thus begins grieving, rumors, and planning that only a death under questionable circumstances

could inflict on friends and loved ones. It was determined that the house had been ransacked,

especially when someone continued to search Jesse’s house at night. More than once Shannon

went over to see who might be there, backed up by her gorgeous renter, Mac, but they were

unable to catch the snoopers in the act. It was rumored that Jesse had found a priceless

antique necklace in a sunken ship he explored with friends a couple years before, but if he had

something that valuable, why wouldn’t he at least have told Jane? Maybe have a safe deposit

box? Jesse’s death was determined a homicide, so maybe there was more to the rumor than

they thought. He really did, however, have a lady friend, one who wanted to share memories

with and befriend Jane, so anything was possible.


Shannon’s company was doing a great business, but when Jane wanted Jesse’s house repaired

to put on the market, she couldn’t say no. In construction, one had to be prepared for anything,

and tight scheduling was just part of the job. One of her friends had purchased a Victorian

home and a crew was there, and Jane’s renter Mac was waiting on some things to come

together – including the local historical committee – so they could begin to work on his amazing

purchase. Mac, a well-known mystery writer, was the proud owner of the lighthouse mansion –

as pictured on the book’s beautiful cover art. All this, and find a killer, too? The young really do

seem to multitask so much better these days…


This is a delightful series, with witty, intelligent ladies – except for the old high school bullies who

show up at the most inopportune times. It is so much fun to see a woman-owned construction

company in which the woman can do anything her employees can, and not just be relegated to

a desk in the office where the little women belong! The characters overall are well-developed

and believable, people one could meet anywhere in small town America and feel comfortable

with. They have the right combination of charm, common sense, and work ethic to be worthy

additions to any small hometown, USA.


Kate Carlisle has a talent for excellent writing, plotting, and executing the perfect mystery with

enough twists to keep one guessing. There was enough challenge to keep one guessing.

When this reader was ready to convict a character, it couldn’t be done with the lack of evidence

or motive shown at the time. After discarding and considering someone else…needless to say,

there was a surprise or two kept until the very end. This Old Homicide is the perfect read,

whether with snow piled up to the windows or on a sunny beach. I highly recommend this

to adults and young adults of any age who have enjoyed Ms. Carlisle’s writing in the past, to

anyone who enjoys a well-crafted cozy mystery, or construction delivered with humor and a hint

of romance, and an eye for details and descriptions. Lighthouse Cove, California, will be in this

reader’s wish lists for years to come!

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review as part of their ongoing blog tour*