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A High-End Finish: A Fixer-Upper Mystery    by Kate Carlisle order for
High-End Finish
by Kate Carlisle
Order:  USA  Can
Signet, 2014 (2014)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The first in a new series, A High-End Finish takes place in the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove in Northern California. The protagonist is contractor Shannon Hammer. Shannon not only owns the business but is a hands-on boss who is not afraid to break a nail or have a smudge of paint on her nose. She concentrates on refurbishing and restoring the lovely old Victorian homes in Lighthouse Cove.

She is very busy with her life's work and has not dated for some time. Against her better judgment, she goes on a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton. While they are strolling on the beach, Jerry attacks her, demanding payment for their dinner. She holds him off with a pair of pliers found in her purse (she has her own set of tools in pink). Shannon threatens Jerry in the hearing of other people at the beach, who, by the way, applaud her defense.

When Jerry is found dead in a Victorian that Shannon has been hired to restore, the new police chief in town, naturally, suspects her of foul play. She decides the only way to clear her name is to investigate. She has the help of four best friends, who all have ideas of their own, plus her eccentric father and a nosy neighbor or two.

Shannon must have gotten too close to solving the mystery because she is attacked. Does that dissuade her from pursuing the real culprit? No! This girl is gutsy as well as well versed in the technique of restoring homes to their former glory. A High-End Finish is a good first of a new series. Delightful.

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