Wicked Fix by Sarah Graves
Book Three in what used to be called the Mainely Murder series and is not the Home Repair is Homicide (much better, in my opinion) opens with...not a murder. A bar fight. It happens off-screen, as it were, and requires the attention of Jacobia’s Love-To-Hate-Him ex-husband Victor.
The next morning there is the discovery of not one, but two murders in the quiet town of Eastport, Maine, and inconveniently right before their annual Salmon Festival. Also inconvenient is that Victor appears to be the murderer. So condemning is the evidence that the state police lock him up and proceed to build their case, which leaves Jacobia and her trusty crew to prove Victor’s innocence and get him out of jail. Even more inconvenient is that Jacobia has put up almost her entire fortune as seed money into a trauma-center venture that Victor is planning to build in Eastport.
As much as we love to hate Victor, we all realize that his presence in Eastport is good for Sam. Also we don’t want Jacobia to suddenly become very, very poor. So in this particular instance we’re rooting for her and Ellie a little more than usual.
The proximity of the Salmon Festival means that the town is packed with tourists - both of the Never- Been- To- Eastport- Before and the Grew- Up- And- Moved- Away- But- Came- Back- For- This- variety. When considering that the “big” murder victim as a known sociopath who grew up with Ellie and Wade (oh, don’t you just love Wade?) the door is wide-open for likely suspects.
So Jacobia is more determined than usual to track down the actual culprit...in between attempting to winterize her possibly haunted Handyman’s Special Historic House. (Don’t you just love the house?) Then Ellie gets sucked into Salmon Festival preparations and Sam and his best friend Tommy Daigle decide to learn Morse Code and use it - via a Ouija Board - to communicate with the dead who may or may not be inhabiting Jacobia and Sam’s house and who may or may not know who the real murderer is.
Which leaves Jacobia to her own devices, and the help of the local police force, which is great except that Bob Arnold is at the mercy of the State People (who are still building their case against Victor) and his wife is going to give birth at any minute. Just as we know she’s getting close (because there are deterrents) and we think we know (ok really we don’t, but maybe we have a clue) more people start dying and then it’s all just a bit much. And Jacobia is still about to lose her money.
I won’t tell you how it wraps up because that would be giving things away, and we all know how loathe I am to do that. But I am glad that I chose this for my summer series to read through. I’m already looking forward to the next installment. (I still don’t want to move to Maine though...and it’s not even winter, yet!)