Batten Down the Belfry: A House-Flipper Mystery

· A House-Flipper Mystery Book 4 · Sold by St. Martin's Paperbacks
5 reviews

About this ebook

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?
5 reviews
Kristina Anderson
March 3, 2022
Batten Down the Belfry by Diane Kelly has Whitney Whitaker and her cousin, Buck purchasing an old church and parsonage. After finalizing the purchase, Whitney and Buck go out to admire their acquisition and decide how they are going to transform it. Shortly after they arrive, their neighbor, Nolan Sibley shows up with a cattle prod in his hand. He claims to own the property through adverse possession and wants them to skedaddle. The only way to settle this land dispute is through the courts. While waiting for their hearing, Whitney and Buck begin the remodel. They are going to turn the old church into performance venue. The old parsonage will become a café where Colette, Whitney’s roommate and Buck’s girlfriend, will serve her epicurean delights. There project goes south when a man is found at the bottom of the stairs leading to the belfry. He is pronounced DOA on the way to the hospital. Before long, a second body turns up nearby. Are the two deaths tied together? Whitney sets out to get answers with help from her sidekick Sawdust. Batten Down the Belfry is the fourth A House-Flipper Mystery. It can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading all the books in this engaging series. I thought Batten Down the Belfry was well-written with developed, relatable characters. I like Whitney Whitaker who is down to earth. She is friendly and works hard flipping buildings. Buck Whitaker, Whitney’s cousin and business partner, is a nice guy who is dating Whitney’s roommate and friend, Collette. Sawdust, Whitney’s cat, steals the show with the chapters from his point of view. He is a cutie. Sawdust’s chapters will have you laughing and going “ahhhhh.” I enjoy the author’s descriptions of Nashville and how she incorporates history of the city (an example is details about the Belle Meade Plantation). The mystery was well thought it. I like how everything tied together into one fun whodunit. The mystery has unusual elements which I enjoyed. There are twists and unexpected revelations that I found delightful (I just love a challenging whodunit). There is a great reveal, and all the details are provided at the end, so I did not have any lingering questions. I just love how one character met his maker. It was very fitting. Whitney and Buck transformed a church into a performance venue. I liked reading about the various details and the work they did to accomplish the task. They also turn the parsonage into a café with Collette as the chef. I like the name Collette came up with for the café. I cannot wait to read the next A House Flipper Mystery. Batten Down the Belfry is an entertaining cozy with a land clash, a thoroughbred tyrant, a clever kitty, a bonging bell, a converted church, a disordered delivery, a messy murder, and a curious carpenter.
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Third-party review
law-enforcement, murder, murder-investigation, relatives, relationships, amateur-sleuth, renovation, cozy-mystery, friendship, small-business, Tennessee, artist, restaurant, rural***** Great story ...
Third-party review
Whitney Whitaker and her cousin Buck have acquired an old church and parsonage for their next project. However, when they arrive to start, they find a herd of horses and piles of manure and are ...

About the author

DIANE KELLY is a former state assistant attorney general and tax advisor who spent much of her career fighting, or inadvertently working for, white-collar criminals. She is also a proud graduate of the Mansfield, Texas Citizens Police Academy. Diane combines her fascination with crime and her love of animals in her stories. Diane now lives in North Carolina, where she spends her days catering to her demanding cats or walking her dogs in the region’s beautiful woods. She is the author of the Tara Holloway series, the Paw Enforcement series, and the House Flipper series. Getaway With Murder is the first in the Mountain Lodge series.

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