book cover of The House of Seven Mabels
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The House of Seven Mabels

(2002)
(Book 13 in the Jane Jeffry series)
A novel by

 
 
Homemaking is about to take on a whole new meaning for Jane Jeffry now that she's agreed to help restore and redecorate a decrepit old neighborhood mansion. The home's owner, the prosperously divorced Bitsy Burnside, considers herself to be a feminist to the max and wants an almost all-female crew to do the dirty work - prompting the quick-witted Shelley Nowack to dub the project "the House of Seven Mabels".

With her best friend and decorating whiz Shelley on the estrogen-heavy team, Jane thinks this exhausting, plaster-dusty job may not be as unpleasant as it initially appeared to be.

Until, of course, things start to get very messy. It begins with a series of mean-spirited "pranks" - strange odors, mysterious electrical shorts, a myriad of petty annoyances designed to impede the progress of the fixer-uppers. And then the pranks turn deadly, leaving one of the workers lying lifeless at the foot of a staircase.

Tragic, yes, but an accident? Jane thinks not. And with the able assistance of Shelley, not to mention a little help from her best beau, Chicago detective Mel VanDyne, Jane's hoping she can construct a solid case and nail the assassin. Suspects are certainly in abundant supply. The surviving members of Bitsy's building brigade all had the opportunity. Joe Budley - the contractor originally hired, then fired when Bitsy had her "no men allowed" epiphany - had a motive. But the more Jane saws away at the truth, the more complicated the criminal blueprint appears. And she may be painting herself into a corner, leaving no exit if a crafty killer decides to make Jane Jeffry the next demolition project.

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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