This 16th installment in the “Home Repair is Homicide” series is a pretty standard cozy mystery. Here is the synopsis from Goodreads: “As an epic nor’easter bears down on the idyllic island town of Eastport, Maine, Jacobia Tiptree hurries to prepare her antique house for the big blow, while the town battles to evacuate tourists and save the beloved 200-year-old Seaman’s Church steeple, threatened by the storm. But when a local teen beauty-pageant winner from a troubled family is found murdered in the steeple’s bell tower and Jake’s son Sam’s visiting childhood friend comes under scrutiny as a suspect, the resulting storm of gossip and suspicion rivals anything the Atlantic could brew up.”
Slight spoilers ahead:
There isn’t anything inherently wrong with the writing or the story in A Bat in the Belfry. My issue is that it was just kind of tired. Everything seemed predictable and there was no wow factor. The secret that Sam’s friend, Chip, was hiding was no surprise. I knew almost immediately what he had done (and with whom). Sam’s love life was also very annoying. He has a girl that loves him and that he loves but he breaks up with her because of the ‘pressure’ and starts sleeping with the town hottie. Then his true love acts like a doormat and stays in touch with him and continues to give him chance after chance. Maggie, you should kick him to the curb! Lizzie, a new character, was almost okay but she is drinking and driving in her first scene. There is very little Jake in this installment and in prior books in this series, she has been the driving force of the story.
I do understand that things are bound to get a little old after 16 books with the same characters in the same locale. But, it was disappointing. I may give the series one more shot but need more action! 2.5/5 stars.
Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.