Dead as a Door Knocker (House-Flipper Mystery #1) by Diane Kelly

source: free copy via NetGalley / St.Martin’s Press
title: Dead as a Door Knocker: A House-Flipper Mysteryauthor: Diane Kelly / Twitter
pages: 368
genre: cozy mystery
published: January 29th 2019
first line: I grabbed my purse, my tool belt, and the bright yellow hard hat I’d adorned with a chain of daisy decals.
rated: 3 out of 5

The first in a brand-new cozy series from Diane Kelly set in Nashville–where the real estate market is to die for.

Meet Whitney Whitaker. A hopeless romantic when it comes to real estate, she knows what it takes to find–and flip–the home of one’s dreams. A fixer-upper is like catnip to Whitney: she can’t resist the challenge of turning an eyesore into a priceless work of art. So when one of her clients decides to liquidate a crumbling property, Whitney seizes the opportunity to purchase it for a song. But soon a curious incident of the cat in the night-time leads to a change in tune. . .

Sawdust is the name of Whitney’s cat–of course. Whitney’s passion for gut-renovation may be a mystery to him but one thing Sawdust knows for sure is this: Dead bodies don’t belong in flower beds. So why is there one in this new, albeit old, house? Now it’s up to Whitney, along with the help of hot-and-cold Nashville Police Detective Collin Flynn, to find the truth about what happened before the mortgage property forecloses and Whitney loses her investment. . .and maybe her own life.

my thoughts:
Dead as a Door Knocker: A House-Flipper Mystery is book 1 in Diane Kelly’s House Flipper Mystery series. The book centers around property manager and carpenter Whitney Whitaker. She lives at home with her parents and her cat Sawdust. Whitney’s dream is to become a successful real estate agent and she is in the process of taking the real estate test to become licensed. In the meantime she has to evict 3 young guys from a property rental who have trashed the place. When the house’s owner who is also a client of hers offers Whitney the house at a really good deal, she takes the offer planning on flipping the house then selling it for a large profit. She goes half and half with her cousin Buck and they buy the house but little do they know that is where the nightmare begins.

When the house’s original owner is found murdered, Whitney is the prime suspect and the murder weapon belongs to her. On paper she’s got a motive, there is evidence that leads to her and she realizes she needs to find who the real killer is before she winds up behind bars.
We get the story through Whitney’s POV and her cat Sawdust as well. The storyline takes a few twists and turns and there’s a list of other suspects all with motives so I didn’t figure out who did it until the end. The books wraps up nicely but also sets it up for the next installment in the series.

While I enjoyed Dead as a Door Knocker: A House-Flipper Mystery  and I read it in two sittings it didn’t wow me like I wanted it to. This was more of a quiet, slow paced, cozy mystery without too much cozy in it. I would have liked a little more descriptive writing in terms of setting especially. The story set in Nashville but I wouldn’t know that without reading the blurb. There is also the possibility of a love interest between Whitney and the detective on the case and I would have liked to see more of a wrap up with that at the end but maybe he will be in book 2. I liked that Sawdust gave us his POV in some of the chapters, that was a cute touch.

Look how cute the cover is for book 2 in the series, due out in 2020.


“Still, I loved the part of the job that involved fixing up properties, turning eyesores into dream homes. After working with owners to set a budget and choose the paint and materials, I’d oversee the contractors, make sure the projects were completed correctly and quickly. As a skilled carpenter, I often did the work myself, earning extra bucks to add to my savings and keep my spoiled cat in tuna treats.”-4%-Dead as a Door Knocker: A House-Flipper Mystery Kindle version.

about the author:
A former tax adviser, Diane Kelly inadvertently worked with white-collar criminals on multiple occasions. Not surprisingly, Diane decided self-employment would be a good idea. Her fingers hit the keyboard and thus began her Death and Taxes romantic mystery series. A graduate of her hometown’s Citizen Police Academy, Diane Kelly also writes the hilarious K-9 cop Paw Enforcement series and the new House Flipper cozy mystery series. – quoted from

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My free review copy of Dead as a Door Knocker (House-Flipper Mystery #1) by Diane Kelly was courtesy of NetGalley / St.Martin’s Press. Some of these links are affiliate links.

14 thoughts on “Dead as a Door Knocker (House-Flipper Mystery #1) by Diane Kelly

  1. Its wonderful to see cats featuring on so many of these cozy mystery covers. Feeling in need of just such a read, I’ll be sure to make a note of this one despite the fact there wasn’t a lot of cozy content.

    On a slightly different note I notice you are using Akismet. In the future I shall be posting under my now name of Felicity Grace Terry (I legally changed it a few weeks ago) rather than as Tracy Terry. If you could keep an eye out for this name as I know some bloggers are having problems with Akismet not recognising the name and thus assigning my comments as spam. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such an adorable cover! I do want to read this one. That’s too bad the setting didn’t stand out more. I do tend to like it when it does in the books I read.

    Liked by 1 person

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