Review of Batten Down The Belfry

Batten Down The Belfry

House-Flipper Mystery, Book #4

Diane Kelly

5 Stars


Batten Down the Belfry is the fourth in the delightful cozy mystery series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville, Tennessee—where the real estate market is to die for.

Here is the church, here is the steeple…

Carpenter Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck have successfully flipped houses, but this is the first time they’ve attempted to renovate a house of worship. Still, the colorful stained glass in the country church has caught Whitney’s eye, and she’d love to breathe new life into the abandoned building. What’s more, the place has perfect acoustics. Could the worship hall be reborn as an entertainment venue with its parsonage repurposed as a pre-show bistro?

Open the doors, and see all the trouble.

The owner of the horse farm next door has asserted a legal claim to the church property, rendering their title uncertain. If that’s not bad enough, while rehabbing the church, Whitney’s cat Sawdust discovers a bombshell in the bell tower—the body of the man who’d delivered their beautiful new replacement windows. What transpired in the spire? Who rang the man’s bell and why?

The steeple is keeping its secrets and, when a second body turns up, things become even less clear. Can Whitney help Detective Collin Flynn solve the crimes before someone else is sent to meet their maker?  (Goodreads)


The characters are well rounded and well developed.  I really enjoyed getting to spend time with Whitney and Buck and seeing what renovations they have in store this time.  They plan to renovate an old church into an entertainment venue.  But before they get very far into the project two people are killed.  Now Whitney will have to figure out who the killer is before their project gets derailed.

The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and it helped get me into the mood for the sleuthing that would be needed to solve the mystery.  The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read.  The mystery was well plotted and not easily solved.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well plotted cozy mystery.  Come and visit with Whitney and her family and friends, you will be glad you did.

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