Release Date: Dec 1, 2020
Series: A Fixer Upper Mystery
Publisher: Penguin Group
Contractor Shannon Hammer is working with a good friend on a huge project that would convert part of a former mental hospital into a beautiful hotel, spa, and restaurant. Rachel Powers, a local developer, wants Shannon’s boyfriend, a successful crime novelist, to invest in the overall retail project. Mac is intrigued by the project, but others in town are not so enthusiastic. Protests against the development start and quickly get out of hand. When a murderer strikes, Shannon and Mac search for clues to catch a killer and prevent another death.
This book is the eight book in the “Fixer-Upper Series”. Although I’ve seen some of the Hallmark movies based on these characters, this is the first book in the series I’ve read. I found the book to be fast-paced fun and it didn’t matter that I hadn’t read any of the prior books. Shannon is smart, hard-working, and a loving daughter, sister, and friend. I love the chemistry between her and her boyfriend, Mac, and their banter is fun to read. I really like the fact they work together to investigate the crime and actually report the clues they find to the local police chief who is their friend and is a competent investigator.
The setting adds to the mood of the book. It’s creepy and described so well, I could picture the mental institution the way it would have been years before. The scary backdrop adds to the suspense of what the killer might do next. One of the villains is very over-the-top, but most of the book is realistic which adds to the tension. I had some ideas about the solution but wasn’t able to guess the whole story behind the crimes. Likable main characters who all get along, a unique setting, and an interesting plot all come together to make Premeditated Mortar an excellent mystery. I hope the series continues and in the meantime, I plan to go back and read some of the earlier books I missed in this series.