Bantam, March 2004, 21.95, 298 pp.
When she realized her teenage son was moving deeper into the NYC hardcore drug culture, financial planner Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree left her six-figure job and moved to Eastport, located on a barrier island off the coast of Maine. She moved into a fixer-upper that even years later still needs repair, had to make accommodations with her ex-husband who left a thriving medical practice to be near his son, and married a man who gave her the love and security her first spouse couldn't provide.
Now an integral part of the small seaport community, Jake and her best friend Ellie are just two of the volunteers fixing up Harlequin House for a fundraising gala. When the two women uncover a secret room, they open it and find two bodies inside. One is a woman who disappeared eighty years ago while the other corpse is the enemy of Ellie's husband. Jake knows that the police will have to arrest George since he told everyone in town he wanted to kill Hector and he will not give the cops an alibi. Jake starts investigating and her search leads to a suspect that plans to kill her so he can go on living in Eastport.
Sprinkled throughout the storyline are house repair tips that are very helpful and easy to follow, but also provide a sense of normalcy that augments the who-done-it. The heroine goes the extra mile for her friends in MALLETS AFORETHOUGHT, risking her own life to save the life of her spouse whom she knows is innocent. Sarah Graves is a very descriptive writer so the reader can visualize each scene in their head.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner