Spackled and spooked by Jennie Bentley

Cover Spackled and spooked by Jennie Bentley In a nutshell:

Short synopsis:

Renovating a haunted house can be dangerous.

Language I read the book in: English

Did I like it? Yes, quite.

For people who: like cozy mysteries, renovating, lovely settings

My thoughts: 

I don’t know what exactly is going on but in all the cozies I read lately there seem to be long lost kids involved. Kids given up for adoption or kids that lost their whole family in a killing disappear for 20 years and then turn up again incognito. Must be some sort of trend maybe?

Anyway, this mystery is pretty good. I liked the DIY theme and I learned a lot about US houses. Never knew what a ranch house was or a crawlspace. John tells me that a crawlspace is the perfect hiding spot for bodies (and in fact has been used by many serial killers). This book takes advantage of that comfortable disposal location.

The main characters are all quite interesting and/or likeable; there is the usual chief of police, the bitchy ex, the successful entrepreneur, the nerd, everyone you expect in a small town. On top of that there is a ghost haunting the house, always a plus.  Somehow that “spooked” part was rather small, as the ghost seemed to have disappeared after the discovery of the body (maybe scared of the dead?) and only re-appeared at the end in a rather weak explanation.

Speaking of the ghost, the book title as well as the synopsis on the cover totally exaggerated the whole haunting issue. It says for example that the ghost “is not happy with the alterations” implying it acts like some sort of poltergeist toppling over projects and what not, when in reality it does nothing of the sort.   I don’t know why publishers feel the necessity to make the books sound more dramatic than they are. I am not reading a cozy for the drama anyway.

All that being said, this is a nice and comfy cozy with a satisfying resolution; I would like to read more of that series.

Oh, one more thing: All those themed cozies  have an appendix with a few recipes, tips, patterns, whatever is related to the theme. OK, in the case of a coffeehouse mystery I see why a coffee recipe might be of interest for the reader to do next time s/he goes into the kitchen. I might even use a knitting pattern (if I am really desperate). However, nobody, really nobody would look for home renovating inspiration or instructions in a cozy mystery! So why bother? Sometimes those publishers take it a bit too far.

Product info and buy link :

Title Spackled and spooked
Author Jennie Bentley
Publisher Berkley
ISBN 9780425229132
I got this book from Birgit from The Book Garden
Buy link Buy Spackled and spooked

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, and here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

3 Comments Write a comment

  1. Hmmm, I haven’t really noticed the thing about lost kids in recent cozies, but then again, maybe that’s a Mom thing to observe these kind of details? As for the appendix I have to agree – in some cases it really doesn’t make sense to include certain tips, but oh well.
    Birgit’s last post ..Non-Fiction Discoveries


  2. Thanks for reading and reviewing Spackled and Spooked, Rikki. I just wanted to point out that this isn’t really a recent book. It’s the second book in the series. I wrote it in 2008 and it was published in 2009, so four years ago now. There are four more after it. There’ll be a missing baby angle in book 7, Home for the Homicide, coming in December, though, so I guess I’m part of the recent trend of kids in cozy mysteries. 🙂


    • Thank you, Jennie, for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I am aware that the book is not recent, but only learned later that there is already a number of sequels. I will definitely be reading more of your series. However, I might give no. 7 a miss as I dislike reading about stories with missing/kidnapped/etc. children. Must check the synopsis of that one, :).


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