Thursday, December 03, 2020

Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle

First Line: MacKintyre Sullivan, world-famous crime novelist and former Navy SEAL, had the dark good looks of a movie star, with deep blue eyes, an awesome body, and a sexy smile.
Contractor Shannon Hammer is about to set out on a year-long project, one of the biggest of her career. Her best friend Jane Hennessey has purchased one wing of the Gables, formerly the old state insane asylum, located in a beautiful area just outside Lighthouse Cove. Jane plans to turn her section into a luxury hotel, and Shannon is eager to help her realize her dream.
Protesters show up at the groundbreaking ceremony and wreak havoc, and Shannon is shocked when someone pushes her into a pit of bricks in a closed-off room in the asylum. It was a close call, but Shannon wants to get back to work-- until she finds a body not far from where she was pushed. With the help of boyfriend Mac Sullivan and others, Shannon is determined to find out what's going on. She's got a hotel to finish. 


Whenever I need a well-written cozy to take my mind off things, Kate Carlisle's Fixer-Upper series always does the trick. In Premeditated Mortar, she's got the perfect setting for a mystery-- an old rundown former insane asylum. There's just got to be strange goings-on in a place like that, right? This is an engaging story with excellent pacing, and I had to laugh at Shannon's reaction when she learns just how far her reputation for stumbling over dead bodies has spread. 
Like all good cozy series, the reason why readers keep coming back for more is the cast of characters. Shannon is smart, funny, and I love the work she does. I also love how she keeps her tools from disappearing-- they're all pink-- and let me tell you, it works. Carlisle gives out pink measuring tapes from time to time at her book signings. I took mine home, and I still have it, which is more than I can say about other measuring tapes I used to have. My husband has borrowed my pink one twice, but he always gives it back. I wonder why...
Carlisle recently said in an interview that her favorite characters are her men, like Shannon's boyfriend, Mac Sullivan, a drop-dead gorgeous hunk who has a great sense of humor, who's smart and funny and brave. Oh. And he also happens to be a best-selling thriller writer and former Navy SEAL. It just occurred to me what Carlisle's male characters remind me of. Remember the Bond Girls in all those James Bond movies? Carlisle has her own Bond Boys, and they are certainly tasty.
A spooky setting, an engaging mystery, and a fun cast of characters. Premeditated Mortar is good for what ails you, and I can't wait for Shannon's next adventure.
Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle
eISBN: 9781984804426
Berkley Prime Crime © 2020
eBook, 304 pages
Cozy Mystery, #8 Fixer-Upper mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Net Galley


  1. This does sound like a fun, engaging series, Cathy. And I do like strong female lead characters (but who also aren't superheroes). I think that's a delicate balance. Glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. When I need to read something lighthearted and fun, this is one of my go-to series.

  2. Thanks for the review. The series is new to me.

  3. I can understand the need to read this type of book.
    I love the pun in the title and the picture on the cover.

    1. I think cozies have some of the best cover art in the business, and Kate Carlisle has a knack for coming up with good titles.


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