Review of Dead As A Door Knocker

Dead As A Door Knocker
House-Flipper Mystery, Book #1
Diane Kelly
5 Stars


The first in a brand-new cozy series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville—where the real estate market is to die for.

Meet Whitney Whitaker. A hopeless romantic when it comes to real estate, she knows what it takes to find—and flip—the home of one’s dreams. A fixer-upper is like catnip to Whitney: she can’t resist the challenge of turning an eyesore into a priceless work of art. So when one of her clients decides to liquidate a crumbling property, Whitney seizes the opportunity to purchase it for a song. But soon a curious incident of the cat in the night-time leads to a change in tune. . .

Sawdust is the name of Whitney’s cat—of course. Whitney’s passion for gut-renovation may be a mystery to him but one thing Sawdust knows for sure is this: Dead bodies don’t belong in flower beds. So why is there one in this new, albeit old, house? Now it’s up to Whitney, along with the help of hot-and-cold Nashville Police Detective Collin Flynn, to find the truth about what happened before the mortgage property forecloses and Whitney loses her investment. . .and maybe her own life. (Goodreads)



The characters are well rounded and well developed. Whitney is a strong smart woman and she is very talented in carpentry. So when the opportunity to buy a house and flip it presents itself, she jumps at the chance. Her cousin Buck helps her and together they go into the house-flipping business. There was a lot of action contained within the pages of the book. I would have been discouraged by the mishaps that befall the house, but Whitney did not give up. I enjoyed getting to know Whitney and Buck and I enjoyed their relationship, with its bickering and banter. I also enjoyed getting to know, Collette, Whitney’s friend. She may be a love interest for Buck, we will have to wait and see. And Whitney’s cat, Sawdust, is adorable and adds to the story.

The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a quick, easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through much of the book I felt like I was right there, watching the house come to life. I really enjoyed reading the chapters that were written from Sawdust’s point of view. I thought that was really clever and added humor to the book.

The mystery was well plotted and there were enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider. With twists and turns and a few red herrings thrown in, it was not an easy one to solve.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. I am looking forward to reading the next book, when it is published.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.


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