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Spackled and Spooked

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A mystery surfaces behind the walls in the new Do-It-Yourself series. Avery Baker and her boyfriend, Derek Ellis, are flipping a seriously stigmatized house rumored to have ghosts. Soon they'll have even bigger problems-and this renovation project might haunt them forever.


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A mystery surfaces behind the walls in the new Do-It-Yourself series. Avery Baker and her boyfriend, Derek Ellis, are flipping a seriously stigmatized house rumored to have ghosts. Soon they'll have even bigger problems-and this renovation project might haunt them forever.

30 review for Spackled and Spooked

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This was a fun read! Avery and Derek are finally working together. They have purchased a house that has had three murders done by the man who owned the house. It has been said that the house is haunted, but Derek does not think that will be a problem, since the murders happened 19 years ago. But they did not know that there were other things happening on the street. They did find out when they started working on the house. They heard screams when they opened the front door and footsteps in the hallw This was a fun read! Avery and Derek are finally working together. They have purchased a house that has had three murders done by the man who owned the house. It has been said that the house is haunted, but Derek does not think that will be a problem, since the murders happened 19 years ago. But they did not know that there were other things happening on the street. They did find out when they started working on the house. They heard screams when they opened the front door and footsteps in the hallways. Also, the noisy neighbor next door was killed while they were working. They had the chief of police at the house several times investigating the strange happenings. You need to read this book to understand what they had to endure to get the house ready to sell.

  2. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    This was a fun afternoon read. I really like the characters and the plot was nicely paced. Although I did guess early on who was behind the murders, it didn't distract from my enjoyment of the story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Second book in the series, though characters seemed shallower, and the author seemed to be trying too hard. I really liked the first one just as fluff and an interesting home improvement fun story. This one seemed a bit flighty, too many characters- most non essential- it made for a scattered story. Not sure I will continue with the series. Disappointing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    It was okay, until the main character fell out of the stupid tree and hit [Pete Puma] a whoooooole lotta branches [/Pete Puma] on the way down.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Knight

    Fun read. There were moments when I thought the main characters were a little slow to come to the right conclusions. But overall, interesting and enjoyable. Looking forward to the next one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shalor T.

    There have been a whole slew of themed mysteries coming out- especially those themed around things like house renovating or crafts. Some of them just can't seem to stand out when held next to their competitors & then there are some that are just fantastic to read. The `Do-It-Yourself' mystery series manages to hold it's own in a genre that is becoming increasingly competitive. This particular entry to the series finds everyone's favorite fabric specialist working with her boyfriend Derek as they There have been a whole slew of themed mysteries coming out- especially those themed around things like house renovating or crafts. Some of them just can't seem to stand out when held next to their competitors & then there are some that are just fantastic to read. The `Do-It-Yourself' mystery series manages to hold it's own in a genre that is becoming increasingly competitive. This particular entry to the series finds everyone's favorite fabric specialist working with her boyfriend Derek as they attempt to renovate a home with a past- a murderous one. Years ago the home's owner murdered his wife & two other family members in cold blood, with only his son escaping with his life. It's rumored that the house has been haunted ever since- and finding a body in the crawlspace underneath the house isn't helping Avery & Derek dispel those rumors! This book was an incredibly quick read & I was pretty much glued to it from the first page. It's a very addicting read- literary crack. I like the romance between Avery & Derek, plus I like that Avery hasn't made her mind up about living in Maine just yet. (She's there, but she's still somewhat waffling about it.) There's also the rivalry going on between Melissa & Avery, which I enjoy greatly because it's not a dominating theme of the series, yet you can tell that there's eventually going to be a huge showdown between the two of them. (Maybe Melissa will make a play for Derek if the business takes off?) There were one or two new characters introduced in the series & I'm hoping that they come back in future books. They show a lot of promise. There were one or two points that were relatively easy to guess at & the savvy should be able to predict the killer, but the journey is just pure fun. (And besides, isn't part of the fun of reading a mystery predicting whodunit?) There's not a huge amount of character growth though, but hopefully that will change in the next book. If you liked the first one, you'll love this book. If you haven't, I recommend reading the first one prior to this, even though it isn't all that necessary. The book can stand alone for the most part. I have to admit, I'm already looking forward to not only the next one in the series, but also the first book in Bentley's new series as well. (She writes as Bente Gallagher.)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I'd have given this one 4 stars except that I again figured out who'd done it, why, and how, pretty much from the very beginning. Ditto with the other "big secret" in the story. I'm not usually that great at figuring out mystery novels, and I like it that way, so knowing all along was annoying. However, I still really enjoyed the characters and the story--watching them figure it out, that is. This time, Avery Baker and her boyfriend Derek Ellis have purchased a vacant house to renovate and sell. I'd have given this one 4 stars except that I again figured out who'd done it, why, and how, pretty much from the very beginning. Ditto with the other "big secret" in the story. I'm not usually that great at figuring out mystery novels, and I like it that way, so knowing all along was annoying. However, I still really enjoyed the characters and the story--watching them figure it out, that is. This time, Avery Baker and her boyfriend Derek Ellis have purchased a vacant house to renovate and sell. It's been empty for about seventeen years, since Brian Murphy killed his wife and in-laws and then himself. Gossip says it's haunted, which Avery & Derek think is nonsense until they hear footsteps walking down the hallway with no one in sight. Then Derek discovers a human bone in the crawlspace, and suddenly there is a whole new murder for Chief Wayne to investigate, this one more recent. When the cadaver dog makes for the next door neighbor's house, the situation goes from bad to worse. Engaging, believable characters make up for the lack of suspense, I think. It's a perfect cozy mystery: light and fun. A good beach read. Or couch read, in the event that your beach-going plans fall through. Bring on #3! (This was #2 in the Do-It-Yourself Mystery series.) For readers' advisors: character and story doorways, no sex, and very little swearing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    Avery and Derek just bought their first house together and are busy doing the repairs and renovations needed to get it ready for resale. The house has a few problems, not the least of which is the gruesome murders/suicide that happened there around 20 years ago. Still, that is the least of their problems after a body is found in the crawlspace/basement of the house. I am enjoying this series, the characters are a lot of fun, there are home repair tips at the back of the books, and the mystery is Avery and Derek just bought their first house together and are busy doing the repairs and renovations needed to get it ready for resale. The house has a few problems, not the least of which is the gruesome murders/suicide that happened there around 20 years ago. Still, that is the least of their problems after a body is found in the crawlspace/basement of the house. I am enjoying this series, the characters are a lot of fun, there are home repair tips at the back of the books, and the mystery is pretty good too! I did guess the killer in this one fairly quickly but there were enough twists and turns to make me second guess that choice, which makes it all the more fun. Looking forward to number three in the series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

    I liked the first of this series, but in this book, the main character worked my nerves! It's hard to believe that she was born and raised in Manhattan! As naive and just plain dumb as she is, how could she survive NYC? Won't continue this series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Janis

    Love these simple cozy mysteries...fast read

  11. 5 out of 5

    AJ Preiss

    Spackled and Spooked takes place shortly after the first book. Avery, a former New York furniture designer has put that job in the past and is now the designer side of a joint renovation business with her now boyfriend, Derek Ellis. In this book Derek purchases their first house to renovate together. The only hitch is that the house was the site of a grisly family murder ten years ago and there is rumors that the house is haunted. Will they be able to renovate or will the ghosts that supposedly Spackled and Spooked takes place shortly after the first book. Avery, a former New York furniture designer has put that job in the past and is now the designer side of a joint renovation business with her now boyfriend, Derek Ellis. In this book Derek purchases their first house to renovate together. The only hitch is that the house was the site of a grisly family murder ten years ago and there is rumors that the house is haunted. Will they be able to renovate or will the ghosts that supposedly haunt the house get them? My Thoughts: The cover of the book is adorable! It gives me the mystery vibe as well as the fixer upper vibes. I think that it suites the book well. Since this is the second book in the series I am safe to say that the authors mystery style is slow burn. She is really good at it though. The main character, Avery Baker is fluid from the previous book in being relatable. Although Derek is her boyfriend, Avery really is the star of the show. The book is good with great character development,  world building, and plot. Avery goes through some insecurities in the book regarding her relationship with Derek because of Melissa, his former wife. She handles with grace and to my complete happiness she actually talks about it with Derek. I like it when authors write their female leads better than whining stereotypical teens. Derek shows reveals his own insecurities when he finds out that Avery's mother is coming for a visit. Along with their development we also get a few more characters added to the mix and I can't wait to see if there are any scenes with Irina and Melissa.  In this book we are introduced to a few more locations which gives you a bit more insight for the town. We got a new age pizzeria named Guido's and Nickerson's antique shop. Both places I think will be regular hot spots for Avery in future books. The plot was really good for this book. Avery and Derek get their first house together and it has some baggage. That baggage is a ten year old family murder that was committed in the house. Plus to boot there is a skeleton of a newer body discovered day one of renovating. Avery and Derek work together along with the chief of police to discover what had happened. To make everything just a bit scarier for her she is starting to believe the rumors that the house is haunted because she can hear screams and footsteps in house when no one else is there.  Good news though! No ghosts just some really good theatrics and wiring from the murderer of the skeleton to keep people from entering and buying the house. Sad part is the reason that the person was killed for. I liked that it made sense though. A lot of books will have where the reasoning behind something is basically "nothing". This was a crime of passion and it was done well. The only downside though is that there was a plot bunny released where Avery is involved in an accident to possibly kill Derek or her? It was strange because it was kind of like the bunny released and it ran away never coming back to the plot burrow. But I would say that was the only downside to this book! It's a great book. It has great DIY instructions at the end so that you can copy what Derek and her did in the renovations. I give it a 4.5 stars out of five stars and I do recommend you check out this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sue Buck

    Spackled and Spooked is the 2nd Do-it-Yourself Mystery by Jennie Bentley and I feel it was a great story. The characters were well written and I love Jennie Betley's writing with all her twists am]nd turns that keep you guessing almost until the end of the book. Avery and Derek of the Waterfield R & R bought the old Murphy house in which Brian, the husband killed his wife, Peggy, and his in-laws but was unable to kill his son, Patrick who ran when he saw the gun in his father's hand. Lionel Kene Spackled and Spooked is the 2nd Do-it-Yourself Mystery by Jennie Bentley and I feel it was a great story. The characters were well written and I love Jennie Betley's writing with all her twists am]nd turns that keep you guessing almost until the end of the book. Avery and Derek of the Waterfield R & R bought the old Murphy house in which Brian, the husband killed his wife, Peggy, and his in-laws but was unable to kill his son, Patrick who ran when he saw the gun in his father's hand. Lionel Kenefick, who was friends with Patrick Murphy told Avery and Derek that the house was haunted and he heard screaming coming from the house. This completely contradicts what the next-door neighbor, Venetia Rudolph said while talking with Avery. While in the house working one day Avery heard footsteps and thought it was Derek but he wasn't back from the hardware store yet. Kate thought maybe it was a ghost but Avery doesn't believe in ghosts. While under the house to fix the kitchen floor Derek finds a human bone in the crawl space, so they have to call Wayne Rasmussen, Chief of Police. This house may never sell! Brandon Thomas, the CSI Officer starts digging up the bones so they can identify who the person is. The bones belong to an old girlfriend of Brandon's, Holly White. Daphne the K-9 Trooper and her canine partner were looking to see if there were any more bones and the dog found something at Venetia Rudolph house. Poor Ms. Rudolph is dead and looks like some killed her. While investigating the murder of Venetia, Wayne gets an anonymous tip telling him to look in Brandon's shed for Holly's book bag. With Brandon off the case, Avery, Derek, and Kate try to help with the investigation. Can they help prove that Brandon had nothing to do with the killing of Holly or Venetia?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I have really mixed feelings about this book, while I enjoyed it there were several things that just annoyed me. One was the lack of diversity of characters, except for one older woman who is murdered and a baby who was in a woman's arms, everyone in the story was college or middle aged. There is no diversity in anything including economic status, race, just white middle class, middle aged people. The second is inaccuracies in small details and in time lines. Events often took far less time then I have really mixed feelings about this book, while I enjoyed it there were several things that just annoyed me. One was the lack of diversity of characters, except for one older woman who is murdered and a baby who was in a woman's arms, everyone in the story was college or middle aged. There is no diversity in anything including economic status, race, just white middle class, middle aged people. The second is inaccuracies in small details and in time lines. Events often took far less time then they would have in real life, while I would have just skipped over some of that when it happened repeatedly it just made the book feel unrealistic. And finally there were the plain stupid comments, "You mean its colder here in Maine than in NYC!" In summary Jennie Bentley knows how to pace a story, create an interesting story line and viable characters, but she needs to better edit the small details.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Linda C

    Avery Baker and Derek Ellis, partners in a home renovation and restoration business, get a good price on a home where a murder occurred 20 years ago. Soon after starting demolition they hear footsteps and screams but no physical beings are there. Then when they start digging in the crawl space to shore up the foundation they come across human bones. The regular cast of secondary characters help the local police chief. A solid mystery.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    I really like this series! This is book #2. This has everything I love in a cozy mystery- an awesome intriguing mystery, interesting likeable characters, romance & friendship. Avery & Derek buy a house to renovate but people died in it years ago. There are noises while they are working on it, and then they find bones in the crawl space. Someone is unhappy they found the bones but who? Avery & Derek & friends need to find out who is trying to scare them off. I really like this series! This is book #2. This has everything I love in a cozy mystery- an awesome intriguing mystery, interesting likeable characters, romance & friendship. Avery & Derek buy a house to renovate but people died in it years ago. There are noises while they are working on it, and then they find bones in the crawl space. Someone is unhappy they found the bones but who? Avery & Derek & friends need to find out who is trying to scare them off.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Avery Baker is new to the small town of Waterfield, Maine. She lives comfortably in the house she inherited and restored while beginning a new renovation business with her boyfriend, Derek Ellis. The two begin to renovate a house that has been empty nearly two decades after the previous owners died under unfortunate circumstances. Though the house may be haunted, the pair jump in feet first. They aren’t on the job long before trouble pops up, beginning with unlevel floors. This is the second boo Avery Baker is new to the small town of Waterfield, Maine. She lives comfortably in the house she inherited and restored while beginning a new renovation business with her boyfriend, Derek Ellis. The two begin to renovate a house that has been empty nearly two decades after the previous owners died under unfortunate circumstances. Though the house may be haunted, the pair jump in feet first. They aren’t on the job long before trouble pops up, beginning with unlevel floors. This is the second book in A Do-It-Yourself mystery series. I enjoyed the first book in the series and the second book did not disappoint. This book could stand alone, but I can’t read a series out of order and I recommend you begin with the first book. The new characters in this story were interesting. I quickly had suspects, even before the victim was identified. The story moved at a steady pace until we learned the identity of the victim. After that, things seemed to move quickly. I recommend this book and look forward to the next in the series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Holladay

    Not as interesting as the first book in the series, but still a good read. I did guess the killer and the other major plot development, as well as whose body it was early on, which is unusual for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie Harper

    What a great new series. Also has DIY PROJECTS in the back of the book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    A good, quick cozy with a fairly standard and predictable plot.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Good cozy mystery series to read in the winter when you want to stay in bed all day.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pianogirl1126

    Great 2nd book to the series. I am really enjoying these

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Loved the first book.....the second one is just as good!! Cannot wait for the next one...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathie

    Excellent story line. I could not figure out who did it although i had ideas of how I hoped it would work out. This is a great series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    These are fun reads with a main character that always seems to find herself in the middle of the drama. A solid 3.5⭐️!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Loved it. Love the characters. Looking forward to the next in the series.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Cohen

    Cute enough, besides an easy murderer to predict and the repeated derogatory use of “illegal alien”.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Burklin

    Great niche read Better than the first novel in the series, I believe. Author is good at developing the plot and storyline. Great job!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Decker

    Very enjoyable. Fun continuation of the series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    This is taking forever to read because life keeps getting in the way. Flooded basement, cleaning up that, making list of damaged items. Blech. Then daughter getting her Driver's license. Dec. 11: Finally finished this one, the story was just ok for me. The first one in the series was a lot better. I'm not sure if I will look for more books in this series or not.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Drebbles

    Avery Baker and her boyfriend/business partner, Derek Ellis, know they are taking a big risk when they buy a house to flip and resell: a horrific murder/suicide happened there years ago, and the place is rumored to be haunted. Avery doesn't think she believes in ghosts, but she starts to wonder when she hears footsteps and there is no one there. However, Avery and Derek soon have even bigger problems when evidence of a more recent murder is uncovered. Avery wonders if they'll ever get the house Avery Baker and her boyfriend/business partner, Derek Ellis, know they are taking a big risk when they buy a house to flip and resell: a horrific murder/suicide happened there years ago, and the place is rumored to be haunted. Avery doesn't think she believes in ghosts, but she starts to wonder when she hears footsteps and there is no one there. However, Avery and Derek soon have even bigger problems when evidence of a more recent murder is uncovered. Avery wonders if they'll ever get the house fixed and sold or if the house will forever be associated with murder. "Spackled and Spooked" is a nicely done mystery - the second in Jenny Bentley's cozy mystery series. Although I haven't yet read the first one (Fatal Fixer-Upper (A Do-It-Yourself Mystery)), I never felt lost and quickly came to know and like the characters involved. While the idea behind the murders/suicide is a horrible one the book is mostly a cozy and it is never too gruesome. The premise of fixing up and flipping a house is a nice one, and author Bentley does a good job of showing how much work goes into such a project. I love Avery as a character, and I enjoyed Bentley's description of the clothes Avery was wearing (Avery was once a New York textile designer who likes funky clothes), and more than once I wished the book had illustrations. As for the mystery elements, there are several mysteries in this book - the solutions to some are easy to figure out; some are much harder. There is no surprise in the murder/suicide case but there are plenty of surprises in the more current case. Readers should easily figure out who the murder victim was but the identity of the killer is less evident until towards the end of the book (the scene where the killer is finally caught is particularly well done and did not go into cliché direction it first seemed to be heading). Readers will quickly figure out that one character isn't quite who they say they are but that adds some poignancy to the book. As for the ghostly footprints - the explanation makes a lot of sense but the ending of that storyline seems a bit rushed. All in all, while the mystery had some flaws it is generally a good one that will keep readers hooked. "Spackled and Spooked" is a good cozy mystery.

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