Retro Reading: FATAL fixer-upper by Jennie Bentley
This Mystery Needs it's Own Fixing Up
When Avery Baker receives a mysterious letter from a great aunt she doesn't know her life takes a turn in a new direction.
Thus begins FATAL fixer-upper the first in the there's always room to improve-and a mystery to solve series by Jennie Bentley. So far the series has two other mysteries and I'm hoping they're better than the debut.
Everything about this novel is predictable and the characters really aren't that interesting but I trudged on hoping the pace would pick up but it never does. It's pretty much plain and simple torture from the beginning.
The first thing Bentley does is set up the story with the letter from Avery's Aunt Inga. When she met the old woman she was five and doesn't really know too much about her. Aunt Inga summons her to her home in Waterfield, ME to "come clean" and put her affairs in order before she dies.
Of course when she gets there Aunt Inga is no longer alive since she had died a day or two before driving up there from her career as a designer in New York.
At Aunt Inga's house she meets Mr. Rodgers, her aunt's attorney and he finds an updated will which leaves everything to Avery. Avery's not thrilled with the Victorian home that's in dire need of repair and after talking to Kate, the owner of a quaint B&B, she finds out about how much money she can get if she renovates the place before putting it on the market.
Then there's hungry realtor, Melissa James, who says she already has a buyer for the place but Avery tells her there's no sale at the moment as she decides to spend the summer in Maine renovating it with the help of local handyman, Derek Ellis.There's also a subplot which involves the disappearance of a college professor around the time of Aunt Inga's death but it only comes up every now and again.
For the most part FATAL fixer-upper could have gone through a major re-haul itself before hitting the bookshelves.