Absence of Mallets by Kate Carlisle

Absence of Mallets (Fixer-Upper Mystery #9)Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Fixer-Upper Mystery #9
Publication Date: 12/7/21
Period: Contemporary Lighthouse Cove, California, USA
Number of Pages: 304

I love it when the authors I follow on social media post about their writer’s retreats, so it was great fun to see that this book featured writer’s retreats. As always, the writing is excellent and while the mystery isn’t terribly mysterious, it is interesting to see it unfold.

Between the last book and this one, Mac has moved in with Shannon and has turned his home, known as the lighthouse mansion, into a retreat for writers. Shannon and Mac are loving their lives and couldn’t be happier, especially with Mac’s writer retreats going so well. This latest batch of writers, however, seems very different from all of the others. There is an odd dynamic within the group and they are disrespectful of Mac and others within Lighthouse Cove. There is something – off – about them and they are definitely proving to be a handful.

Shannon and her crew are almost through with Homefront, the set of fifty tiny homes and service center dedicated to veterans. All of the completed homes are occupied and there is a waiting list for those on which the crew is still working. Shannon’s crew includes both her normal work crew and some of the veterans with building skills and they’ve really meshed into a finely tuned machine. With the homes going up at a rapid pace, Shannon adds a mosaic artist to the crew so the backsplashes in the last few houses will be something really special. Sadly, that artist is murdered before she’s hardly begun her work.

With a large work crew, a village full of veterans, the writers from the retreat, and the entire town of Lighthouse Cove available as suspects, it isn’t going to be an easy case to solve. Except, in her heart, Shannon is almost sure of who it is, but confirming that suspicion and finding proof that would satisfy a court will take the combined skills of Shannon, Mac, Eric (the police chief), and Chloe (Shannon’s sister).

BTW – I loved the new group of writers who come to the retreat at the end of the book. It is a group of successful, multi-published, Romance Writers known as the No Drama Queens.

I hope you’ll give Shannon and Mac’s adventures in Lighthouse Cove a read and that you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. Happy reading!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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