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Deck the Hallways: 02/02/23
Deck the Hallways by Kate Carlisle (2016) is the fourth book in the Fixer-Upper mystery series. Shannon Hammer and her crew are heading the remodel of a local mansion. The goal is to convert it into low rent apartments for Lighthouse Coves's most vulnerable residents.
After run ins with nearly everyone on the remodel project, a corrupt bank president is found murdered, locked in one of the mansion's rooms. Shannon's own father is one of the suspects, so she must be on the case!
Kate Carlisle doesn't do subtlety. I've commented on that before, more than one. This particular mystery suffers from this problem. The opening scenes of a mystery must set up the situation that will lead to the murder and introduce the reader to the murder victim, along with a few reasons why they will probably end up dead. Multiple, shouted fights between the victim and various potential murderers is overkill.
Holiday themed mysteries, like wedding themed ones, often get too focused on the special event to the detriment of the mystery. For this novel, there's also the hard deadline to fix up the mansion in ten days. There's no reason given as to why they are starting this late in the year when Christmas eve is the deadline.
The short number of days really highlights how little mystery or plot there is here. It's really a novella with some padding to get it up to a more standard length for a mystery.
The fifth book is Eves of Destruction (2017).