Kate Carlisle – Deck The Hallways – A Fixer Upper Mystery

Kate Carlisle

General Information

Kate Carlisle has written several books in her fixer-upper series. This one is called Deck The Hallways. It’s about a charity fixing up a mansion to house those down on their luck, trying to get back on their feet. What an inspiring story in the first place. This is the 4th in the series, but the first one I’ve read. If you want any of my other reviews by other others, check here. FYI, a couple of these have been made into Hallmark movies!


There was a lot of different personalities in this story. And there were descriptions on the majority of the characters, so you could get a feel for them. Nothing cookie cutter here. But there was a LOT of characters. I did have a bit of trouble keeping track of all of them.


Most of the story took place in one building and the grounds, and we got a good idea of what it was like. Even though it was going through a renovation throughout the book. And there was lots of setting descriptions, which I thought was key to this kind of story, a fixer upper.

The Dialogue

There was a lot of dialogue in the story, but it wasn’t too overwhelming. You didn’t have a lot of problems understanding who was saying what. But since there was a lot of people in the story, the dialogue was predominant in the story. But like I said, it wasn’t overwhelming, because it wasn’t monologues, it was chatting.

The Plot

It did take 9 chapters to get to the murder, which seemed a little long to me. But at least the author kept showing scenes to add potential suspects before the actual murder happened.

And the indications in the books seemed to point this was an amateur sleuth, but I didn’t see too much of that going on in the story. Maybe I was reading it wrong?

The subplots were interesting, but I felt I should have started at the beginning of the series here. Some series you can jump in wherever, but I didn’t feel I could with this one.

The Pace

But, that being said, Kate Carlisle did a good ratio of dialogue, setting, exposition, and action.

Even though this didn’t seem like the typical cozy, the pace was pretty good. It didn’t drag at any one point in the story.

The one think I thought was neat was there was no normal hints like in other cozies. No lists at the end of tips on how search for antiques in those cozies. No fake ‘newsletters’ thrown at the end of some chapters like in fashion cozies. This was done totally different. The fixer upper tips were listed right in the story. When Shannon was discussing with Blake about drywall, they discussed the reason why it was hung horizontal instead of vertical. When she patched cracks with putty, Kate Carlisle (or the character) explained the process. How cool is that!

Kate Carlisle Author Information

You can find out more information about Kate Carlisle here.

Here is a list of the mysteries in her fixer-upper series:

  • A High End Finish – November 2014 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • This Old Homicide – January 2015 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • Crowned and Moldering – November 2015 (have, but haven’t read yet)
  • Deck the Hallways – November 2016
  • Eaves of Destruction – November 2017
  • A Wrench in the Works – Coming November 2018

She also has a bibliophile series that I haven’t reviewed yet.

The Verdict

All in all, not a bad one, and I do have other ones in the series I will be reading.

4 Stars

Do you have any of her books? What did you think?




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