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Sarah Graves is the pseudonym of American bestselling author Mary Squibb.

She uses the pen name when writing mystery, thriller and cozy mystery novels.

A native of Wisconsin, Sarah currently lives with her husband in their home in Eastport, Maine; one that resembles the one that Jacobia Tiptree is refurbishing in her books.

In fact, their ramshackle sea captain's house that she and her husband bought after moving to Eastport, Maine was the inspiration behind her Home Repair is Homicide Mystery series.

Passionate about books, Sarah has so far published three series, namely: Death by Chocolate Mystery, Home Repair is Homicide Mystery, and Lizzie Snow Mystery.

Whenever she isn't writing, Sarah enjoys working with her husband on the house, and playing the 5-string banjo.

More about Sarah Graves

Genres: Cozy Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1951

United States

Pseudonym: Sarah Graves

Death by Chocolate Mystery

  1. Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake (2018)
  2. Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake (2019)
  3. Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut (2020)
  4. Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle (2021)
  5. Death by Chocolate Chip Cupcake (2022)

Home Repair is Homicide Mystery

  1. The Dead Cat Bounce (1997)
  2. Triple Witch (1999)
  3. Wicked Fix (2000)
  4. Repair to Her Grave (2001)
  5. Wreck the Halls (2001)
  6. Unhinged (2003)
  7. Mallets Aforethought (2004)
  8. Tool and Die (2004)
  9. Nail Biter (2005)
  10. Trap Door (2006)
  11. The Book of Old Houses (2007)
  12. A Face at the Window (2008)
  13. Crawlspace (2009)
  14. Knockdown (2011)
  15. Dead Level (2012)
  16. A Bat in the Belfry (2013)

Lizzie Snow Mystery

  1. Winter at the Door (2015)
  2. The Girls She Left Behind (2016)

Detailed book overview

Death by Chocolate Mystery

Death by Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Life just got a little sweeter in the island fishing village of Eastport, Maine. Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and her best friend Ellie are opening a waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose, where their tasty treats pair perfectly with the salty ocean breeze—and the scent of murder...

When Jake and Ellie, who’ve been through a lot together, decide to open a chocolate-themed bakery, they figure it’ll be a piece of cake. With Ellie’s old family recipes luring in customers, they expect to make plenty of dough this Fourth of July weekend. Having family home for the holiday only sweetens the deal for Jake—until an early-season hurricane scuttles her plans. Worse, with her family scattered and stranded, health inspector Matt Muldoon is found murdered in the kitchen of The Chocolate Moose.

Ellie never made a secret of her distaste for Matt, who had been raining on their parade with bogus talk of health code violations. Now, with no alibi for the night of the murder, she’s in a sticky situation—and it’s up to Jake to catch the real killer and keep Ellie living in the land of the free. 

Includes a Recipe!

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1496711298
Publisher: Kensington
Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake

Eastport, Maine, has plenty of salty local character. It also has a sweet side, thanks to Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree, her best friend Ellie, and their waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose. But when island life is disrupted by the occasional killer, Jake and Ellie put their chocolate treats aside to make sure justice is served. 

This summer, Eastport’s favorite lovebirds, kindergarten teacher Sharon Sweetwater and Coast Guard Captain Andy Devine, are getting married. The gala reception is sure to be the fête of the season, especially with a wedding-cake-sized whoopie pie courtesy of The Chocolate Moose.

For Jake and Ellie, the custom-ordered confection will finally reel in some much-needed profits. But the celebratory air, and sweet smell of success, are ruined when Sharon’s bitter ex-boyfriend Toby is murdered with a poisoned milkshake.

With Andy jailed as the prime suspect and the wedding cancelled, it’s up to Jake and Ellie to catch a poisonous predator before someone else sips their last dessert. 

Includes a Recipe!

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1496711328
Publisher: Kensington
Death by Chocolate Frosted Doughnut

In the quirky town of Eastport, Maine, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree and her best friend, candy chef Ellie White, are busy running The Chocolate Moose, their waterfront shop specializing in all things chocolate. But when a pirate festival blows into their small town and a well-known food writer and TV personality turns up dead, Jake and Ellie find themselves marooned in a new murder investigation.

Everything is shipshape at Jake and Ellie's new waterfront bakery, The Chocolate Moose, especially now that the annual Pirate Festival is dropping anchor in their quaint island village of Eastport, Maine. Jake and Ellie are ready for the bounty of tourists sure to flood their shop. But their plans quickly sink when the body of celebrity foodie, Henry Hadlyme, is discovered in the Moose's basement.

Jake and Ellie are horrified, but their shock turns to dismay when Jake is pegged for the murder. Now, to clear Jake's name and save the shop, Jake and Ellie must swashbuckle down and figure out who among Henry's numerous enemies scuttled him in the cellar. Was it a long-ago jilted sweetheart's vengeful relative? His long-suffering personal assistant? Or perhaps some bitter-as-dark-chocolate unknown enemy, now aboard the mysterious ship lurking in Eastport's harbor?

Alas, dead men tell no tales, so Jake and Ellie will have to get to the bottom of the case on their own and find the real killer before anyone else is forced to walk the plank...

Includes a Recipe!

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1496711359
Publisher: Kensington
Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle

Jake Tiptree and Ellie White are fired up for Eastport, Maine’s Maine’s annual cookie-baking contest, but when a cunning killer and a devastating fire threaten to ravage the quaint island town, Jake and Ellie must dip into another homemade homicide investigation before all they love goes up in smoke...

As co-owners of Eastport’s beloved waterfront bakery, the Chocolate Moose, Jake and Ellie know their customers expect them to cream the competition. But they’re really just in it for fun, hoping to get Jake’s daughter-in-law baking again. Those plans collapse when fearsome local curmudgeon Alvin Carter is murdered, and every crumb of evidence points to Tiptree family friend—and all-around sweet guy—Billy Breyer.

Billy’s sisters beg Jake and Ellie to prove his innocence. After all, lots of folks had gone sour on Alvin, whose popularity ranked somewhere between a toothache and the plague. But just as the ladies begin sifting through the suspects, a series of grass fires blaze across the island, threatening catastrophe. Could someone be trying to hide the truth about Alvin’s murder?

Now, Jake and Ellie will need all their courage—and an extra dash of that downeast Maine stubbornness—to sniff out the real killer before anyone else gets burned...

Includes a Recipe!

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1496729200
Publisher: Kensington
Death by Chocolate Chip Cupcake

In the quaint island village of Eastport, Maine, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree and Ellie White run the Chocolate Moose bakery, where delicious treats take the spotlight—but murder sometimes gets a walk-on role...

Jake and Ellie are taking a break from perfecting their chocolate pizza recipe to cater a housewarming party hosted by movie icon Ingrid Merryfield. Miss Merryfield is famous for her old-Hollywood glamour. Her new home, Cliff House, has a reputation too—for being haunted. But she isn’t concerned, and some of her guests even try to summon a spirit during the party, using a Ouija board. What arrives instead is a freak autumn storm that downs an ancient tree, trapping everyone on the property and setting the stage for a killer’s planned spree.

Though Jake and Ellie don’t intend to get stirred into the mix, there’s no avoiding it—especially when they witness one of the guests being shoved over the very precipice that gave Cliff House its forbidding name.

Jake and Ellie begin sifting through suspects and motives, a search that takes them from a long-lost family graveyard to a wise old herbalist’s deceptively-sweet cottage and finally to Cliff House’s overgrown gardens. Is there some ghostly presence involved—or a flesh-and-blood villain? And either way, can they ensure that they avoid meeting their very own, very permanent Hollywood ending?

Includes a Recipe!

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2022
ISBN: B098KPSC5N
Publisher: Kensington Cozies

Home Repair is Homicide Mystery

The Dead Cat Bounce

dead cat bouncen. Stock market jargon for a small, temporary rise in a stock's trading price after a sharp drop.

Since she bought her rambling old fixer-upper of a house, Jacobia Tiptree has gotten used to finding things broken. But her latest problem isn't so easily repaired. Along with the rotting floor joists and sagging support beams, there's the little matter of the dead man in Jake's storeroom, an ice pick firmly planted in his cranium.

Not much happens in her tiny Maine town, but that's about to change. Jake's unknown guest turns out to be a world-famous corporate raider, local boy turned billionaire Threnody McIlwaine. When Jake's best friend, quiet and dependable Ellie White, readily confesses to the murder, cops and journalists swarm into snowbound Eastport.

Jake smells a cover-up, and begins poking into past history between McIlwaine and Ellie's family. But someone doesn't like nosy neighbors...and Jake's rustic refuge may become her final resting place.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 1997
Ebook: B002RLBKSG
Publisher: Bantam
Triple Witch

Jacobia Tiptree saved her sanity—and her son, Sam—the day she abandoned Wall Street for the seacoast village of Eastport, Maine. In her new home, a charmingly dialpidated fixer-upper, she looks forward to repairing old radiators and restoring antique shutter for years to come. But Jake's hopes of serenity are dashed when tiny Eastport erupts in a crime wave.

Hometown bad boy Kenny Mumford—old flame of Jake's best fiend and fellow sleuth, Ellie White—is the first victim. When his corpse washes up on the beach at Prince's Cove, all evidence points to a drowning...except the bullet hole in his forehead.

When bodies begin littering the Maine scenery, Jake and Ellie learn that the ante on Kenny's small-town antics has been upped. Add a pair of unwelcome arrivlas—Jake's ex-husband, and an unscrupulous New York ex-money mogul—and you've got a blueprint for more deadly danger than one house can hold.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 1999
Ebook: B002PXFY8I
Publisher: Bantam
Wicked Fix

Do-it-yourself killer fixes small-town thug...

For ex-Wall Streeter Jacobia Tiptree and her teenaged son, Sam, September promises tranquil days winter-proofing their rambling handyman's special of a home in Eastport, Maine. But there's nothing idyllic about this Down East autumn.

For starters, the return of truly vicious native son Reuben Tate stirs up the town. And when somebody slits Reuben's throat and hangs his corpse on the cemetery gate, the police trace a bloodied scalpel to surgeon Victor Tiptree—Jacobia's former husband. Yet Jake knows her troublesome, trouble-prone ex is capable of just about anything except murder. Proving that, though, is another matter.

Eastport is packed with tourists and former residents for the annual Salmon Festival—and Jake soon realizes any Eastporter, past or present, has motive for Tate's murder. To nail the real killer, Jake and her best friend, Ellie White, must probe a past as rotten as crumbling clapboard, while a secret hatred builds toward a series of murders even more brutal than Reuben Tate himself...

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2000
Ebook: B002NXORBA
Publisher: Bantam
Repair to Her Grave

Home repair can be murder...

Jacobia Tiptree and her teenage son are used to their Eastport, Maine, home attracting more than its share of houseguests. This year Jake is hoping the plaster dust will keep them away while she finally gets her gem of a fixer-upper into shape — from doorknobs and chandeliers to leaky pipes to ghostly phenomena.

But when the charming and mysterious Jonathan Raines appears on her doorstep — and then just as suddenly disappears — remodeling the house becomes the least of Jake’s problems. Could Jonathan’s disappearance have something to do with his quest for a cursed violin — the one that local legend says was hidden by a long-ago owner of Jake’s house before he too vanished without a trace?

Soon Jonathan’s grief-stricken girlfriend arrives downeast, and Jake needs to strip Eastport’s past of its idyllic veneer — before a killer paints her very dead indeed!

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2001
Ebook: B001NJUP34
Publisher: Bantam
Wreck the Halls

People hardly ever lock their doors in Eastport. So when Jake and her best pal, Ellie, arrive at Faye Anne Carmody’s kitchen door, they knock and walk right in. But though Christmas is just two weeks away, what they find is far from festive: a dazed Faye Anne covered with blood, and her no-good husband — the town butcher, Merle — nowhere in sight. Nowhere, that is, until Jake discovers his body — tidily wrapped in his own butcher paper....

It doesn’t take long for news of the murder to race through the small town, and just about everyone has a theory about the grisly crime that has robbed Eastport of its least-liked citizen. But while police chief Bob Arnold considers it an open-and-shut case, Jake and Ellie aren’t convinced of Faye Anne’s guilt.

Jake has enough going on in her life without trying to investigate a murder. After all, she’s just married her longtime love, Wade, and the pair plan to spend the winter rehabilitating the paint-encrusted windows in Jake’s old house.

But Jake has to admit that there are a lot of details that don’t add up: for example, Faye Anne’s complaint that she was being stalked, and blood-splattered evidence at the crime scene that just doesn’t make sense. Then there is the diary that Faye Anne’s secret, sometime boyfriend claims is hidden somewhere in her house. Could Faye Anne’s own journal be the key to unlocking an even more fiendish murder plot, or is her double-crossing lover trying to frame her?

When yet another Eastport citizen turns up dead, Jake realizes the murderer’s trail began long before the night Merle Carmody died. But what keeps eluding her and Ellie is the motive behind the mystery. The truth is so close, they can almost taste it — but can they stop the shrewd killer before he chisels another victim’s name onto a tombstone?

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2001
ISBN: 978-0553582260
Publisher: Bantam
Unhinged

Once a Wall Street hotshot, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree chucked it all for a charmingly dilapidated fixer-upper in the tiny town of Eastport, Maine. She was certain she’d left the dangers of city life behind—until she discovered that no place, no matter how idyllic and peaceful it may appear, is safe from murder.

It began with the mysterious disappearance of Harriet Hollingsworth—Eastport’s snoopiest resident. Everyone is convinced the old busybody bolted out of town to escape her creditor—everyone except Jake and her best friend Ellie who know Harriet would never leave home without her most prized possession. But before Jake and Ellie can persuade police chief Bob Arnold to open an investigation, they’ll need to come up with proof more sinister than a pair of abandoned binoculars.

Just as Jake starts poking around for clues, things suddenly take a troubling turn for the worse. A suspicious accident nearly kills her teenaged son, Sam, and her husband, Wade, just misses getting his head blown off. Jake is prepared to attribute these incidents to a spate of bad luck—until another “accident” leaves a visitor to Eastport unmistakably dead.

Most perplexing, all this mayhem coincides with the unexpected arrival of a man from Jake’s past: a former New York City cop. Harry Markle claims he has unintentionally brought an unwelcome guest into Eastport: a crook determined to knock off everyone with ties to Harry.

Twenty-four hours ago, Jake’s only worry was fixing her broken-down gutters and downspouts before the big storm swept into town. Now, everything seems to be falling apart all around her. Jake knows from experience that the truth is usually as messy and complicated as do-it-yourself remodeling.

As it becomes chillingly clear that appearances in this quaint community are more misleading than ever, she’ll have to find a way to lure a homicidal maniac into the light--before he nails another victim.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2003
Ebook: B000FC1KSO
Publisher: Bantam
Mallets Aforethought

Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree left her high-powered career for a dilapidated fixer-upper and the dream of a quiet existence in the quaint town of Eastport, Maine. But she found that no matter how carefully you remodel your life, murder can take up residence anywhere.

It’s Eastport’s most notorious landmark: the old Harlequin House. Named for the disgraced physician Chester Harlequin, it was used as a hideout for gunshot gangsters and their molls during Prohibition’s heyday. Now fixer-upper enthusiast Jake Tiptree and Harlequin’s only living descendant, Ellie White, are refurbishing the mansard-roofed mansion to host the local Historical Society’s upcoming gala. But when stripping down old wallpaper reveals a secret door to a room containing not one but two corpses, Jake and Ellie once again find home repair leading to homicide.

One of the bodies is a skeleton dressed in 1920s flapper chic. But the other is that of

real-estate mogul Hector Gosling, and in his pocket is a paper bearing the single word “Guilty.” The less-than-scrupulous tycoon has been poisoned, and when it’s learned that the offending substance is the poison that Ellie’s husband George has been using to kill red ants, he is immediately taken into custody. Then it develops that George had recently accused Gosling of a scheme to scam George’s vulnerable old aunt out of her life savings—and George out of his inheritance.

With George held for murder, Jake and a pregnant Ellie swing into action. In between Ellie’s Lamaze sessions, baby showers, and CPR classes taught by Jake’s ex-husband

Victor, the two amateur sleuths must sift their way through a trail of seemingly contradictory clues. Then another corpse surfaces and suddenly Jake and Ellie realize they must find this killer fast. A clever culprit is not only building an airtight case against Ellie’s husband. He—or she—is planning to nail everyone who stands in the way.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2004
Ebook: B000FC0ZDK
Publisher: Bantam
Tool and Die

Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree traded her power-broker life for a run-down dream house in peaceful Eastport, Maine. But the do-it-yourself enthusiast is learning that no matter how carefully you build your home, murder has a way of slipping in through the cracks….

It’s a bright June afternoon and old-house-fixer-upper Jake Tiptree is driving through downeast Maine on an unusual errand. She’s getting ready to interview a large, angry man with a criminal history. Jim Diamond may or may not be harassing his ex-wife with life-threatening letters, but Jake promised her new housekeeper, Bella Diamond, she’d look into the matter. An ex-con and a deadbeat, Jim Diamond doesn’t have a history of violence…that is, not until Jake arrives at his apartment and discovers that a killer has been there first.

Suddenly Jake and her best friend, Ellie White, find themselves at the center of a murder with too many suspects and too few clues. And as if that’s not enough, Jake is now saddled with the manic Bella, whose certainty that she’ll be the next victim is fueling a supercompulsive neatness–one that threatens to clean Jake and her long-suffering husband, Wade, out of house and home.

Add to that a moose in her kitchen, a rebellious son with a habit of dumping Miss Right for Miss Wrong, and a troublesome ex of her own, and Jake is already at wit’s end. Then she gets word that a horde of her dad’s long-lost relatives mean to descend on Eastport, intending to be put up at her far-from-fixed-up fixer-upper.

When the killer does strike again, it’s not where Jake expects…and the victim couldn’t be more of a surprise. For this is a case bigger than the usual angry—ex-spouse variety, and now that Jake and Ellie have gotten themselves involved, they’ve each won a special place in a ruthless murderer’s master plan of greed, deception, and death. And the prize? A pair of eternally private rooms–six feet under!

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2004
Ebook: B000FC2O5C
Publisher: Bantam
Nail Biter

Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree took the dangerous plunge from Wall Street power broker–to homeowner! Now the do-it-yourself enthusiast is about to discover that her own dream house is built on a foundation of murder.

Buying a beachfront fixer-upper to lease out to Eastport, Maine’s, burgeoning tourist crowd seems like a good idea to Jake Tiptree and her best friend, Ellie White. But working double-time as landladies to a coven of wannabe witches isn’t what they had in mind. And it only gets worse when Jake is called out one stormy night to make a repair–and stumbles on a dead body in the utility shed.

A small-time thief and street preacher with a particularly violent message, the deceased was no favorite of Jake’s–nor of anyone else in Eastport. But what’s he doing shot to death on Jake’s property? Jake’s bewitching tenants–including an ex-cop, a con man, and a mute teenage girl–claim to have been too busy conjuring spells to have heard or seen a thing. Then a member of the coven disappears without a trace and Jake doesn’t think it’s a case of witchcraft–but a kidnapping...or worse.

Scandal, secrets, and a mysterious box buried deep in the foundation of her own home are just the beginning of a mystery that threatens to bring Jake’s house–and life–crashing down. Now she and Ellie are racing to find a missing girl who may be the key to it all...or lead them to a killer holding the final nails to their coffins.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2005
Ebook: B000FCKKPS
Publisher: Bantam
Trap Door

When Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree left behind her high-powered, high-risk career on Wall Street for the charming town of Eastport, Maine, she expected a quiet life spent fixing up her 1823 Federal-style house. But there are skeletons in her closet that may prove beyond repair...Suddenly the perils of the stock market pale in comparison to the murder, mayhem, and mystery of remodeling.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2006
Ebook: B000MAHBWS
Publisher: Bantam
The Book of Old Houses

Once upon a time, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree was a hotshot money manager to Manhattan’s rich and dreadful—until she left city life behind for a centuries-old fixer-upper in the quaint seaside town of Eastport, Maine. But even this tiny haven has its hazards—and they can be astonishingly deadly….

What would you do if a long-buried book was unearthed from beneath your 1823 fixer-upper—a book containing your name written in blood? That’s the mystery Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree faces in the midst of her latest old-house renovations. But it’s only the first in a town better known for its scenic views and historic homes than its body count. Now Jake is putting aside her hammer and fixing to find someone who’s got the blueprint for a perfect murder.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2007
Ebook: B000W9683M
Publisher: Bantam
A Face at the Window

Back in the day, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree turned profits managing the fortunes of Manhattan’s most fortunate. Then she fled the rat race for a stately old fixer-upper in easygoing Eastport, Maine. But now a rat from an even darker corner of Jake’s past has turned up…a killer with a blueprint for demolishing her new life.

As a home repair enthusiast, Jake knows that nothing lasts forever—not windows or doors, not plaster or plumbing. And not good fortune.

After more than three decades eluding justice, the man who murdered her mother is finally about to stand trial—until he vanishes into thin air. Jake has a terrible foreboding of where Ozzie Campbell will turn up next. And while the local police chief is sure she’s overreacting, the truth is far worse than even Jake’s worst fears.

With her normally full house empty for at least another week, Jake has been looking forward to the unaccustomed peace and quiet. Now her cozy, well-loved home feels more like a big empty death trap ready to snap shut. First a pair of out-of-towners clearly not in Eastport for vacation turn up asking questions about her. And if she has any doubt they’re connected to Campbell, those doubts are erased when he calls her with a grim warning.

But exactly what Campbell wants from her isn’t clear, only that he’ll stop at nothing to hurt those closest to Jake. And his first victims are the most defenseless of all. Suddenly Jake can’t help but feel that her house—and her life—has far too many windows. And in any one of them she might see the face of her killer.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2008
Ebook: B001FA0JJG
Publisher: Bantam
Crawlspace

When a bestselling true-crime author arrives in Eastport, Maine, to research the infamous Dodd murders for a new book, she finds herself about as welcome as a spoiled clam. But surely no one in the quaint seaside town would harm the crime writer—or would they?

Suddenly the unsolved and not-quite-forgotten slayings of the wealthy Dodd women go from cold case to hot topic, while just as quickly, onetime Wall Streeter Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree turns from probing the mysteries of old-house insulation to an investigation that’s reopened old wounds and unearthed a string of deadly secrets.

Jake would have preferred to insulate herself and her family from danger, but someone with a taste for terror has already crept closer than she dares to imagine.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2009
Ebook: B002WA4O94
Publisher: Bantam
Knockdown

Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree is deep in her latest home improvement project—repainting the porch of her lovingly restored house in Eastport, Maine—when she notices the man repeatedly biking past her house. His face is unsettlingly familiar, but his chilling message seems inexplicable: Blood shows up again. Murder will out. Then there’s the anonymous email warning her to beware the Fourth of July—just two days away.

Jake remembers some shady characters from her days as a hotshot financial manager, but she’s baffled as to the identity of her nemesis—until she receives a photo of a murdered man. From home invasion to kidnapping, this twisted killer is slowly but surely plotting a knockdown, not just for Jake but for the entire town of Eastport.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2011
Ebook: B004J4WK1K
Publisher: Bantam
Dead Level

A killer with a screw loose sets his sights on Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree, whose latest renovation project becomes a dire matter of life and deck.

Driving to a cottage in the Maine woods with her best friend, Ellie White, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree has a challenging week ahead of her. She bet her husband that she could finish building the cottage porch in only a few days—a lofty goal for even the craftiest home renovator. But as Jake and Ellie set to work, they soon realize that they’re not alone.

Dewey Hooper, a recently escaped convict, is watching them. Jake’s testimony got him sent away for murder years ago and here, in the remote wilderness, he can exact his revenge. Tough as nails and not afraid to defend themselves, Jake and Ellie are determined to keep their wits about them—to prevent the quaint little cottage from turning into the ultimate death trap.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B005OCYRQM
Publisher: Bantam
A Bat in the Belfry

When it comes to home repair, Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree is a fervent wielder of power drills and paint brushes. And when catching criminals, she’s been known to really bring down the hammer. But when a shocking murder rocks the small town of Eastport, Maine, Jake may be the next victim for whom the bell tolls.

It is nearly midnight when the enormous bell in the belfry of All Faith Chapel—silent for decades—booms forth, startling awake the entire town of Eastport. Upon inspection of the steeple, the police uncover the body of local teenager Karen Hansen, who had climbed the belfry’s dark, rickety stairs for a midnight rendezvous. But instead of the promise of an exciting new life, Karen meets her death.

Meanwhile, as an epic nor’easter bears down on the idyllic island town, Jake Tiptree hurries to shore up her ramshackle old house against the big blow. An amateur detective, she has sworn off chasing criminals. But when the news of Karen’s murder spreads and much of the evidence points to Jake’s likable houseguest, she and her sleuthing partner, Ellie White, get to work. 

They discover an unexpected ally in newcomer Lizzie Snow, a woman from “away” who seemed to have blown into town with the nor’easter, and who also seems to know a lot about the mind of a killer. Can Jake and Ellie trust her?

As a killer roams free and the townsfolk struggle against the pounding, screaming storm, the resulting tempest of gossip and suspicion rivals anything the Atlantic could brew up—and threatens to keep Jake and Ellie from putting the final nail in this cold-blooded case.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2013
Ebook: B00A1O24YK
Publisher: Bantam

Lizzie Snow Mystery

Winter at the Door

Moving from Boston to remote Bearkill, Maine, isn’t homicide cop Lizzie Snow’s idea of a step up. But breaking away from tragedy and personal betrayal is at least a step in the right direction. Her dead sister’s fate still torments her, as does her long-missing niece’s disappearance. Lizzie hopes to find the mysteriously vanished child here, amid the coming ice and snow. But in the Great North Woods, something darker and more dangerous than punishing winter is also bound for Bearkill.

The town is a world apart in more than distance—full of people who see everything, say little, and know more than they’ll share with an outsider. The only exceptions are the handsome state cop who once badly broke Lizzie’s heart and desperately wants another chance—and Lizzie’s new boss, sheriff Cody Chevrier, who’s counting on her years of homicide experience to help him solve his most troubling case, before it’s too late.

A rash of freak accidents and suicides has left a string of dead men—all former local cops. Now the same cruel eyes that watched them die are on Lizzie—and so is the pressure to find out what sort of monster has his hooks in this town, what his ruthless game is, and just how brutally he’ll play to win. Whatever the truth is, its twisted roots lie in the desolate backwoods of Aroostook County: where the desperate disappear, the corrupt find shelter, and the innocent lose everything.

It’s there that a cunning and utterly cold-blooded killer plans the fate of the helpless lives at his mercy—one of whom may be the lost child Lizzie will do anything to save. As a blizzard bears down, and Bearkill’s dark secrets claw their way to the surface, Lizzie gears up for a showdown that could leave the deep, driven snow stained blood red.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2015
Ebook: B00LRIRBDI
Publisher: Bantam
The Girls She Left Behind

For Lizzie Snow, the ice and snow of her first punishing North Woods winter are dreadful enough. But near the small town of Bearkill a stubborn forest fire now rages out of control, and as embers swirl dangerously in the smoke-filled air, a teenage girl with a history of running away has dropped out of sight again. The locals and the law both think Tara Wylie is up to her old tricks—until her mother receives a terrifying text message.

Equally disturbing: Henry Gemerle—a kidnapper and rapist who once held three girls prisoner for fifteen years—has escaped, and may be lurking in Bearkill. As the fire closes in, Lizzie teams up with her boss, Sheriff Cody Chevrier, and state cop Dylan Hudson to search for the missing girl and the wily fugitive. But they’re blocked by Tara’s mother, a frustrating teller of needless lies and keeper of dark, incomprehensible secrets.

Following a trail of grisly clues—a bloodstained motel room, a makeshift coffin in a shallow grave—Lizzie is drawn ever closer to the flames in her race to save an innocent and corner a monster. Someone else also wants to find Tara Wylie and Henry Gemerle, though, for reasons that have nothing to do with mercy or justice. And when they all meet, the inferno threatening Bearkill will pale in comparison to the hell that’s about to break loose.

Author: Sarah Graves
First Release: 2016
Ebook: B00VZZ07UC
Publisher: Bantam