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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

A High-End Finish (A Fixer-Upper Mystery, #1)

A High-End Finish - Kate Carlisle



Overall, I liked it a lot: great story, great setting, great characters, and a pretty good mystery (I was fairly certain about the murderer early on, but the author did a decent job of keeping the waters muddy and re-directing).


Shannon is a great MC: she's a successful building contractor specialising in restoring Victorian-era homes and building Victorian style new homes.  I like that the author doesn't make it sound like her success in this field is special: in fact, she is one of two female contractors in the area and she employs both men and women and it's all presented matter-of-factly.  She's surrounded by a posse of friends, only one of which is annoying and Shannon acknowledges the crazy in her friend. 


My problem - my only problem really - is the freaking damn love triangle.  Does anyone - ANYONE?!? - like love triangles?  Besides the editors, I mean.  Do these ridiculous love triangles ever actually happen in real life?  No man I know would actively compete, out in the open, for a woman.  One of them would walk away first.  I'm not expecting my cozy mysteries to absolutely reflect real life, but I ask because the only other explanation I can come up with is that there are women out there that like the idea of two men fighting openly for her affections.  Not a position I would ever want to be in.  To be the one that has to choose one person, knowing I'm going to be hurting the other?  No thanks!


The author is also a published romance writer, and there is some evidence of that here in how she writes her leading males.  Both strong, beautiful, hero-types.  One bears a striking resemblance to the love interest in her bibliophile series, the other one like Thor.  Let me be clear:  I'm not complaining about this; I would prefer my books' leading men be gorgeous: if I'm going to be asked to suspend disbelief, I'd just as soon suspend it for the ideal man than not.  But it might strike other readers differently.


I'm definitely going to read the second book, coming out in January, because I did enjoy this one, and frankly, I'm in it for Thor.  But if this stupid romantic device isn't resolved soon and to my satisfaction, I have to admit there are other, similar mystery series I'd just as soon read over this one.  And they don't have love triangles.