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Renovated to Death

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Real-life domestic partners and stars and producers of the new hit reality home renovation show Domestic Partners, bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are enjoying work and life in their sleepy Detroit suburb of Pleasant Woods—until a suspicious death makes an unscripted appearance . . . After a successful first season of Domestic Partners ch Real-life domestic partners and stars and producers of the new hit reality home renovation show Domestic Partners, bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are enjoying work and life in their sleepy Detroit suburb of Pleasant Woods—until a suspicious death makes an unscripted appearance . . . After a successful first season of Domestic Partners chronicling the renovation of their historic Craftsman Colonial, Peter and JP are taking on a renovation of a local Tudor Revival inherited by identical twin brothers Terry and Tom Cash. But linoleum floors and a pink-tiled bathroom aren’t the only unwelcome surprises awaiting inside the house . . . Just as the show is set to start filming, Peter and JP discover Tom Cash dead at the foot of the house’s staircase. And when the police ruling changes from accidental death to homicide, the list of suspects grows fast. Could the killer be the crabby next-door-neighbor, the Realtor ex-boyfriend, the bartender ex-boyfriend, the other, much younger, ex-boyfriend, or even renovation-reluctant brother, Terry? And what’s that awful smell coming from the basement? Now Peter’s mystery writer skills, and JP’s experience as the former star of a cop show, will be put to the test—as will their relationship while they uncover the secrets of the house and its owners. With a killer on the loose, this is one fixer upper that may prove deadly . . .


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Real-life domestic partners and stars and producers of the new hit reality home renovation show Domestic Partners, bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are enjoying work and life in their sleepy Detroit suburb of Pleasant Woods—until a suspicious death makes an unscripted appearance . . . After a successful first season of Domestic Partners ch Real-life domestic partners and stars and producers of the new hit reality home renovation show Domestic Partners, bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are enjoying work and life in their sleepy Detroit suburb of Pleasant Woods—until a suspicious death makes an unscripted appearance . . . After a successful first season of Domestic Partners chronicling the renovation of their historic Craftsman Colonial, Peter and JP are taking on a renovation of a local Tudor Revival inherited by identical twin brothers Terry and Tom Cash. But linoleum floors and a pink-tiled bathroom aren’t the only unwelcome surprises awaiting inside the house . . . Just as the show is set to start filming, Peter and JP discover Tom Cash dead at the foot of the house’s staircase. And when the police ruling changes from accidental death to homicide, the list of suspects grows fast. Could the killer be the crabby next-door-neighbor, the Realtor ex-boyfriend, the bartender ex-boyfriend, the other, much younger, ex-boyfriend, or even renovation-reluctant brother, Terry? And what’s that awful smell coming from the basement? Now Peter’s mystery writer skills, and JP’s experience as the former star of a cop show, will be put to the test—as will their relationship while they uncover the secrets of the house and its owners. With a killer on the loose, this is one fixer upper that may prove deadly . . .

30 review for Renovated to Death

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carole (Carole's Random Life)

    This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/ I enjoyed this book! I decided to give this book a try because I was in the mood for a cozy and I really liked that this book features LGBT+ characters. I found this book to be a super quick read that was hard to put down and I ended up reading most of it in a single day. I thought that this was an excellent first installment in a series that I am looking forward to following. PJ and JP are almost ready to film the second season of th This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/ I enjoyed this book! I decided to give this book a try because I was in the mood for a cozy and I really liked that this book features LGBT+ characters. I found this book to be a super quick read that was hard to put down and I ended up reading most of it in a single day. I thought that this was an excellent first installment in a series that I am looking forward to following. PJ and JP are almost ready to film the second season of their home renovation show but in order to get things started, they need a house to feature. Luck would have it that there is a house in their neighborhood that was recently inherited by identical twins, Tom and Terry, that needs a lot of updating. Things take an unfortunate turn when Tom is found dead inside the house and it may not have been an accident. I liked all of the characters and was incredibly pleased to see LGBT+ representation in a cozy mystery. This really was a fun little mystery. I did figure out the mystery pretty early on but I had a good time watching the characters put the pieces of the puzzle together. I had hoped to see a little more home renovation in the story but everything in this book takes place just prior to the start of the actual renovation. I really enjoyed the fact that on top of filming a show and solving a murder, PJ and JP also worked to adopt a dog. I would definitely recommend this book to others. I had a great time reading this book and couldn’t wait to see how things would work out for all of the characters. I look forward to reading more of this author’s work in the future. I received a digital review copy of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Initial Thoughts I enjoyed this book! I did figure out the mystery pretty early on but I had a good time watching the characters put the pieces of the puzzle together. I liked all of the characters and was pleased to see LGBT+ representation in a cozy mystery. I had hoped to see a little more home renovation in the story but everything in this book takes place just prior to the start of the actual renovation. I found this to be a super quick read that was hard to put down.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito is the debut of A Domestic Partners in Crime Mysteries. I thought Renovated to Death had a unique premise with a predominately gay cast of characters. We met JP and PJ who are domestic partners and the stars of Domestic Partners, a renovation show. They are going to renovate the home twins, Tom and Terry inherited from their parents. The home has been neglected for twenty-five years. On the day filming is to begin, they find Tom Cash dead at the base of Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito is the debut of A Domestic Partners in Crime Mysteries. I thought Renovated to Death had a unique premise with a predominately gay cast of characters. We met JP and PJ who are domestic partners and the stars of Domestic Partners, a renovation show. They are going to renovate the home twins, Tom and Terry inherited from their parents. The home has been neglected for twenty-five years. On the day filming is to begin, they find Tom Cash dead at the base of the stairs. The police initially rule the death accidental, but then the case is ruled a homicide. PJ uses his skills as a mystery writer and JP his experience as a cop on a television show to solve the crime. The list of suspects is quite lengthy and includes some of the partner’s friends. The pair work to uncover the truth about the crime. I struggled to read Renovated to Death. The POV switches around which makes it confusing along with the large cast of characters. With so many names sounding familiar, I kept getting the people confused (JP, PJ, Tom, Terry, Cam, Bob, Hank). I did feel the main characters needed to be more fleshed out. The pacing varied throughout the book. Sometimes it zipped along and other times it dragged. There are some chapters that seemed to lag on forever. While I found the chapter about the noxious smell in the basement amusing, I felt like it went on too long. There are several chapters like this. There were also repeated phrases and descriptions especially about people. A couple of examples are the baseball hats the twins wore, a man’s smoking, one man’s muscles, and the gap between one man’s teeth. We only need to be told once. The mystery did not begin until I was a third of way into the book. The clues begin to appear in the second half of the book. There are plenty of them to help readers solve the crime before the reveal. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the various homes. I could visualize the beautiful homes from the author’s word imagery. I can tell the author likes the Detroit area. It really came through in the writing. I enjoyed the side storyline about PJ and JP adopting a puppy. The adoption scene had me smiling. I was put off by the frequent mentions of intimacy as well as how appealing a person is to someone (describing their body in detail for example). There are no explicit scenes, but the connotations are prevalent. I did feel the gay men were portrayed in a stereotypical way (the 80s version of gay men). Renovated to Death was a mixed bag for me. When I end up skimming, I know I am not enjoying the book. If you are on the fence, download a sample to check it out for yourself. Renovated to Death is a campy cozy mystery with troublesome twins, a stinky smell, renovation realities, a stair skirmish, mishap or murder, and snooping partners.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stacie Lauren

    2.5/5 This was a cute novel. I loved having a predominately gay cast of characters for a cozy mystery. In my mind I wanted to picture Nate and Jeremiah from Hgtv the whole time I read this book. However, PJ and JP seemed underdeveloped so I never grew a strong connection to them. The writing felt a little forced to me. There were lots of cliche phrases used and slang that just felt out of place and maybe childish? This was a quick, easy to read book that I feel people would enjoy, but I’m not sure 2.5/5 This was a cute novel. I loved having a predominately gay cast of characters for a cozy mystery. In my mind I wanted to picture Nate and Jeremiah from Hgtv the whole time I read this book. However, PJ and JP seemed underdeveloped so I never grew a strong connection to them. The writing felt a little forced to me. There were lots of cliche phrases used and slang that just felt out of place and maybe childish? This was a quick, easy to read book that I feel people would enjoy, but I’m not sure I connected enough to read more books in the series. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

  4. 5 out of 5

    charlotte,

    On my blog. Rep: gay mc, gay cast Galley provided by publisher Renovated to Death was a perfectly fine mystery story. I know this sounds odd to say, given my rating, but it was. The issue was, in fact, that I’ve read way too many of them, seen too many TV shows that rely on the same trope as here, and so I could see it coming a mile off. And since I was reading it primarily for the mystery aspect, that made it a little disappointing. Let me split this into two sections: reason you may want to ign On my blog. Rep: gay mc, gay cast Galley provided by publisher Renovated to Death was a perfectly fine mystery story. I know this sounds odd to say, given my rating, but it was. The issue was, in fact, that I’ve read way too many of them, seen too many TV shows that rely on the same trope as here, and so I could see it coming a mile off. And since I was reading it primarily for the mystery aspect, that made it a little disappointing. Let me split this into two sections: reason you may want to ignore my review and read it anyway, and reasons I was less than enamoured of it. The Good — It’s always great to see gay main characters in mystery novels. I feel like, at least in traditional publishing, that’s an area where LGBT rep is only slowly growing, but this series adds to that area. — For all that I’ve rated it how I have, it wasn’t a bad read. It was fun, at times even funny, and definitely memorable. — It has characters who leap off the page, but not in a way that makes them seem caricateurish. They feel very real and are, for the most part, very sympathetic. The Less Good — Like I said, I saw the plot twist that revealed the answers to the mystery coming from a ways off. This one is very likely just a me problem, though, as I said. There’s only so many plot twists that can happen, given the set up, and I’ve probably seen most of them done some way or another. — The mystery didn’t really start until the last 60 pages or so, which felt quite slow to build up to, and then meant it felt a little rushed through to the conclusion. There wasn’t space to do much investigating, and in the end, the answer seemed to come to the mc in a flash of inspiration. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it was almost as if the author couldn’t think of another way for it to be revealed. However, as I said, I don’t mean for this review to put you off reading the book! It’s, as ever, always entirely likely that you’ll enjoy it more than I did. And, in fact, I hope you do, should you pick it up.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nur

    It’s a good book but not make me curious whatsoever. It’s definitely felt like watching renovations home and solving mystery at the same time! It’s funny at the certain parts and I’ll say this was fun mystery thriller! Never read this kind of mystery thriller before!

  6. 5 out of 5

    LORI CASWELL

    Dollycas’s Thoughts Bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are real-life partners who have come together to star in and produce Domestic Partners, a hot reality home renovation show. They are getting ready for their second season and have plans to renovate another house in Pleasant Woods, Michigan. Twin brothers Terry and Tom Cash inherited the family home and have let it fall to disrepair. PJ and JP have plans to breathe some life into the home so it can be sold for Dollycas’s Thoughts Bestselling mystery author Peter “PJ” Penwell and actor JP Broadway are real-life partners who have come together to star in and produce Domestic Partners, a hot reality home renovation show. They are getting ready for their second season and have plans to renovate another house in Pleasant Woods, Michigan. Twin brothers Terry and Tom Cash inherited the family home and have let it fall to disrepair. PJ and JP have plans to breathe some life into the home so it can be sold for a pretty penny in this elite Detroit suburb. Everything is in place to start filming in a few days when JP and PJ discover Tom Cash dead at the foot of the stairs of their project. The staircase is pretty rickety and that leads the police to rule the death accidental. Later when more information comes to light they declare the event a homicide. Tom ruffled plenty of feathers over the years so there are plenty of suspects including his twin brother Terry. The mystery writer skills in PJ start to kick in as do things actor JP learned playing a cop. They know the killer needs to be found quickly or their new reno project could hit the skids and more people could end up dead. I was excited to review this book because I love that cozies are getting more diverse and this one is truly testing the waters with the cast almost entirely made up of gay men. The author took a lot of time to introduce the characters which I really appreciate for the first book in a new series but I felt I really didn’t get to know enough. They just felt a little flat. It may be just me but I started out getting really confused between the two main characters PJ and JP. I finally got it in my head to translate the initials with the characters’ last names, Penwell – Author, Broadway – Actor. When I did that the story flowed much better. I did like the characters and that is what kept me reading and not throwing the book at the wall. We did meet several other characters that were all connected to Tom and Terry. I deal with a set of twins in our family and understand it can be hard to tell them apart which is why I really focused on the differences between Tom and Terry. Who wore what hat? Who had a space between their teeth? Who was more outgoing and who was more passive? Who was enthusiastic about renovating their parent’s home and who wanted it left as is? I really tuned in to how each brother reacted to the people around them too. They may have been identical in looks but different in every other way. It made them very interesting to me and felt they were very well developed. Mr. Polito penned a very good mystery but I think because I was ultra-focused on the twins I cataloged each clue dropped in a way that had me solving the mystery almost as soon as the death occurred. There were some great twists but they just firmed up my theories. Something that really struck my heart was PJ and JP trying to adopt a dog. We were disappointed by the pet adoption process ourselves a few years ago and went through some of the same feelings the characters had. Things worked out for us in the long run. You will have to read the book to find out what happens with the Domestic Partners. I really enjoyed all the descriptions of the homes in Pleasant Woods and that one was turned into a wonderful restaurant. I had hoped for more renovations in this book but the house the stars had previously renovated was mentioned a lot as to what they had done there. I am sure there will be more in the next book. Renovated to Death lays a good foundation for this series. I am looking forward to more character development of Penwell and Broadway and them getting involved in a more complicated mystery. I am also looking forward to more about their television show including the filming and them actually doing some renovations.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I was really torn on how many stars to give Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito. I thought it was really well written and enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the various house’s architecture. The brunch scenes had me wanting to join the guys for a bite to eat, and you could feel so much emotion in the dog adoption scenes. But I found myself skimming a lot with this book. While I did enjoy the detailed descriptions of the houses, some of the scenes just seemed to drag on and on. The chapte I was really torn on how many stars to give Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito. I thought it was really well written and enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the various house’s architecture. The brunch scenes had me wanting to join the guys for a bite to eat, and you could feel so much emotion in the dog adoption scenes. But I found myself skimming a lot with this book. While I did enjoy the detailed descriptions of the houses, some of the scenes just seemed to drag on and on. The chapter with the horrible smell did make me chuckle, it also seemed to be never ending, and unfortunately that wasn’t the only one. I also found myself skimming some of the conversations because physical descriptions were repeated so much; gap in teeth, type of baseball hat, and smoking are just a few that instantly come to mind. I requested to read an ARC via Netgalley for Renovated to Death because I was happy to see a cozy mystery include gay men as the main characters. While diversity in cozies is happening, I feel like there could be a lot more. I can see some of the more traditional cozy readers not enjoying this book because of the heavier use of sexuality in it. While there is no graphic sex, it does seem to be a more central theme in the book. The campiness and overtly stereotypical way that the gay men were protrayed did get to be a bit much for me after awhile. As for the whodunnit, which didn’t start until 30% into the story, which made the beginning drag a bit, I found it very easy to figure out because of all the repetition. But since I read a lot of mysteries, other readers may not have such an easy time figuring out what happened. I would give book two in A Domestic Partners in Crime series a read, especially since this is Polito’s first book and there are always growing pains, but if I found myself skimming again, I probably wouldn’t continue reading the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stacie Lauren

    This was a cute novel. I loved having a predominately gay cast of characters for a cozy mystery. In my mind I wanted to picture Nate and Jeremiah from Hgtv the whole time I read this book. However, PJ and JP seemed underdeveloped so I never grew a strong connection to them. The writing felt a little forced to me. There were lots of cliche phrases used and slang that just felt out of place and maybe childish? This was a quick, easy to read book that I feel people would enjoy, but I’m not sure I co This was a cute novel. I loved having a predominately gay cast of characters for a cozy mystery. In my mind I wanted to picture Nate and Jeremiah from Hgtv the whole time I read this book. However, PJ and JP seemed underdeveloped so I never grew a strong connection to them. The writing felt a little forced to me. There were lots of cliche phrases used and slang that just felt out of place and maybe childish? This was a quick, easy to read book that I feel people would enjoy, but I’m not sure I connected enough to read more books in the series. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

  9. 4 out of 5

    M. Reads Often

    I was so excited to see a queer cozy mystery. PJ and JP are partners with a hit tv show, but then there’s a body and the case has to be solved. I think this is a great mystery because it has queer characters and the home renovation shows a lot of people love. It’s fun to see how the writer created a bts look. I found it to be a fun mystery, but there were a lot of stereotypes as well. Thank you NetGalley and Kensington for the digital review copy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito is an excellent cozy mystery that is the first in what I expect will be an awesome new series. I loved it! Peter and JP are just awesome characters. Their chemistry and interactions really made the day. The concept, the location, the character cast, the sleuthing double-duo, the whip smart sass/dialogue/banter, and the murder/mystery were all spot on. The idea of incorporating all of these themes into a rehab show of o.d homes, Domestic Partners, is jus Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito is an excellent cozy mystery that is the first in what I expect will be an awesome new series. I loved it! Peter and JP are just awesome characters. Their chemistry and interactions really made the day. The concept, the location, the character cast, the sleuthing double-duo, the whip smart sass/dialogue/banter, and the murder/mystery were all spot on. The idea of incorporating all of these themes into a rehab show of o.d homes, Domestic Partners, is just so creative, funny, and fresh. Plenty of suspects, and the path to the conclusion was just joyful. I had so much fun with this book and highly recommend it. I can’t wait for the next one. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Kensington for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 5/31/22.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    I was happy to find a cozy mystery series featuring gay main characters. In this book, the main characters are two domestic partners, PJ and JP (I’m not kidding), the stars of a renovation TV series focusing on restoring historic homes in the Detroit area. PJ has a background as a writer of YA mysteries and is the main narrator of the book, and JP is an actor, who is often cast as a police officer. So they have a general background that helps them become amateur sleuths. There are also several m I was happy to find a cozy mystery series featuring gay main characters. In this book, the main characters are two domestic partners, PJ and JP (I’m not kidding), the stars of a renovation TV series focusing on restoring historic homes in the Detroit area. PJ has a background as a writer of YA mysteries and is the main narrator of the book, and JP is an actor, who is often cast as a police officer. So they have a general background that helps them become amateur sleuths. There are also several minor characters who are also gay. So far, so good. One of the biggest problems I had with the writing was the repetitive descriptions of everyone and everything. I got tired of reading the same phrases over and over again. I got it the first time: the cop is hunky, the older man is handsome, the house is a Tudor style, and so forth. (I read an ARC, so some of this may have been eliminated in the final published version. I hope so.) In addition to the mystery, there was a funny episode that involved trying to figure out what was causing a putrid smell in the house they were preparing to renovate, and a sweet side plot involving their attempt to adopt a puppy. The author has an obvious fondness for the Detroit area, which lent an air of authenticity to his descriptions. There’s a lot of potential here for the series to continue and for the main characters to become more filled out. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    REMEMBER UKRAINE NOW ReadingReindeer

    Lighthearted, but impactful. Cozy, but underlaid by a foundation of seriousness. A lot of fun to be had by both characters and readers, yet with an awareness of the potential dark side. RENOVATED TO DEATH is a strongly Gay cosy mystery, Book 1 in the Domestic Partners in Crime Series. PJ and JP are life partners, and hard-working stars of the Domestic Partners home renovation reality show, heading into its second season. Homeowners in a beautiful historic suburb of Detroit, life is rocking until Lighthearted, but impactful. Cozy, but underlaid by a foundation of seriousness. A lot of fun to be had by both characters and readers, yet with an awareness of the potential dark side. RENOVATED TO DEATH is a strongly Gay cosy mystery, Book 1 in the Domestic Partners in Crime Series. PJ and JP are life partners, and hard-working stars of the Domestic Partners home renovation reality show, heading into its second season. Homeowners in a beautiful historic suburb of Detroit, life is rocking until the newest renovation client dies in a fall on the Stairs of the house they are to renovate. Seems simple: a weak step, an accidental fall with tragic consequences. But writer of high school mysteries PJ and former tv cop Series actor JP view it differently, and they intend to uncover the truth.

  13. 5 out of 5

    The Cozy Review

    Renovated To Death is the debut novel in the “A Domestic Partners In Crime Mystery” series by Frank Polito. Having renovated a home for their TV show, PJ and JP need a new house to work on for season two. Along comes the twins, Tom and Terry, to fulfill their needs. But not all is right in the world with the brothers or the house. I will say straight up that I did not care for this book. I am sure for some people, it is a hit. It just didn't work fo click with me. Not that there aren’t some good Renovated To Death is the debut novel in the “A Domestic Partners In Crime Mystery” series by Frank Polito. Having renovated a home for their TV show, PJ and JP need a new house to work on for season two. Along comes the twins, Tom and Terry, to fulfill their needs. But not all is right in the world with the brothers or the house. I will say straight up that I did not care for this book. I am sure for some people, it is a hit. It just didn't work fo click with me. Not that there aren’t some good parts to this book. When PJ and JP agree to use a set of twins' family home as a renovation project for their TV show, they never dreamed they would find a body. But the next day, they find one of the twins at the bottom of the stairs of the soon-to-be renovated house. At first, it is believed to be a tragic accident, but was it, or was it murder? There are quite a few suspects and plenty of red herrings, but nothing adds up and before long, the main characters are involved in finding a killer. Although some characters are likable, they aren’t well written. The location is wonderful, and Frank does a great job describing the area and the homes they are or have renovated. The relationship between PJ and JP is sweet, and their desire to adopt a puppy is heartwarming. The other characters, such as the twin brothers, are described nicely, but all the characters lack depth. There is little mystery in the story, and it doesn’t take long for readers to figure out what is going on and who is to blame. There is too much modern slang and repeated terms to make the dialogue believable, and the names of the characters are far too common and easy to mix up. The body at the bottom of the stairs has been used so many times in a home renovation-based cozy, that it's almost an everyday means of murder. In general, I would have liked to know more about PJ and JP’s backgrounds and more about the twins and their friends. I would love to see more about the renovated homes and the TV series, and less about who is sleeping with, or was sleeping with, whom. I think this series has potential but Renovated To Death wasn’t what I had hoped it would be, or what it could have been.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    A lovely return from author Frank Anthony Polito, this time in a new genre: the cozy mystery. As a fan of his young adult novels (Band Fags; Drama Queers; Spirit of Detroit), I was disappointed when he put aside his writing for a time. I was tickled to hear that he was returning to writing, and after reading this newest novel, it is the perfect return! Peter “PJ” Penwell and his husband, actor JP Broadway, have returned to PJ's home state of Michigan after years spent in NYC and they have found A lovely return from author Frank Anthony Polito, this time in a new genre: the cozy mystery. As a fan of his young adult novels (Band Fags; Drama Queers; Spirit of Detroit), I was disappointed when he put aside his writing for a time. I was tickled to hear that he was returning to writing, and after reading this newest novel, it is the perfect return! Peter “PJ” Penwell and his husband, actor JP Broadway, have returned to PJ's home state of Michigan after years spent in NYC and they have found fame as the hosts of a home renovation show "Domestic Partners". In the first season, they had restored their new home in the small suburb of Pleasant Woods. Now, they need a new project for their second season. Enter twins Tom and Terry Cash. Their family home has sat vacant for over 25 years, left exactly the way it was when their parents died in a skiing accident. Tom is ready to let it go and turn it over to PJ and JP to restore and place on the market, but his brother Terry vehemently disagrees! A few days after giving PJ and JP a tour, Tom Cash is found dead at the bottom of the staircase. Ruled an accident by the local police, PJ and JP find it more than a little suspicious and start working together to get to the bottom of it! The book is full of colorful characters, including Tom's boytoy Kyle, his ex-boyfriend Danny the bartender, PJ's best friend Cam who is a realtor, the neighbors who own a brunch spot, and many more. It's also chock-full of Michigan references that are nice little easter eggs for those from the state! I really enjoyed the novel, and while I did figure out the killer (mostly) about halfway through, I enjoyed reading as the tale unraveled and the murderer came to light. I got a smug satisfaction from being correct when the big reveal came - it made me feel smart! I also loved how "gay" the novel was - it gave the LGBTQ+ community representation within this genre that does not have a lot of gay main characters, much less a whole gay neighborhood! I'm glad to see this now! I am looking forward to the next story in the Domestic Partner cozy mystery series and seeing what comes next for PJ and JP!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tanja ~ KT Book Reviews

    To know me is to know that I love a good whodunit. I like the hunt, the Chase, and figuring out what happened. This is my first time reading anything by Frank Anthony Polito. I'm always excited to find new voices in this genre. I enjoyed the back-and-forth chatter, the antics of their friends, and all the interpersonal relationships. Having said that, the constant change of POV could be at times confusing. I did find the constant razing and amplified drama of mundane issues to be a bit taxing bu To know me is to know that I love a good whodunit. I like the hunt, the Chase, and figuring out what happened. This is my first time reading anything by Frank Anthony Polito. I'm always excited to find new voices in this genre. I enjoyed the back-and-forth chatter, the antics of their friends, and all the interpersonal relationships. Having said that, the constant change of POV could be at times confusing. I did find the constant razing and amplified drama of mundane issues to be a bit taxing but overall I enjoyed the feel and premise of this book. Will I be picking up the next book in the series? Absolutely! I feel like its gonna keep getting better the further the series (hopefully) moves along. ~Tanja *Thank you to KensingtonPublishing via Netgalley for the ARC Follow me on Instagram✿Twitter✿Facebook✿Pinterest✿TikTok

  16. 5 out of 5

    maddie (thenmaddieread)

    Ooof. This was... not good. From a plot standpoint, it takes 30% of the book to get any murder mystery - at one point, we get a whole rehash of a previous chapter at the beginning of the next, as though the character whose POV we were in wasn't there for everything happened. That was weird! And the murder is pretty easy to solve, even if the motivation is shoved in there at 97%. But the writing... good lord the writing. Everyone is either a "handsome older man" or a " cute young boy" - like, the Ooof. This was... not good. From a plot standpoint, it takes 30% of the book to get any murder mystery - at one point, we get a whole rehash of a previous chapter at the beginning of the next, as though the character whose POV we were in wasn't there for everything happened. That was weird! And the murder is pretty easy to solve, even if the motivation is shoved in there at 97%. But the writing... good lord the writing. Everyone is either a "handsome older man" or a " cute young boy" - like, the former phrase occurs 26 times in the book. That's too many! If you did a shot every time someone was described as "handsome," you'd be hospitalized after the first chapter. And in three consecutive paragraphs, the latter phrase shows up four times. I had an ARC, but if this made it into the final book, someone needs to have a sit down with the copy editor. There are a million weird asides through the book, too, and so very few of them are relevant. How JP's parents died, the name of the place they got their seat cushions from, PJ's dad's commitment to car culture (and PJ's implied superiority for rejecting it), the marital status (confirmed or assumed) of various characters we see once in the whole book, the flavor profile of a Bell's Two-Hearted... what is the point? Why do we need all this? Why couldn't we do more murder mysterying? And, of course, we can't forget the names of a few side characters, specifically the real estate agent Cheri Maison and local Detective Nick Paczki. Yes, the real estate agent's name is essentially house and the detective is essentially Detective Donut. I almost put the book down for that second reveal. Anyways, I think this was poorly plotted and even more poorly written, but if neither of those things bother you, it's not NOT a decently fun read. Thank you Kensington and NetGalley for the ARC.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    RENOVATED TO DEATH is the first in a new series of cozy mysteries from Frank Anthony Polito. I have been friends with Frank for many years. We met on MySpace outraged about the Mysteries of Pittsburgh movie based on the Michael Chabon novel we both loved. I loved his young adult novels and I’m so excited that this gay cozy mystery is in the world. After their first successful season renovating their home for a TV reality show, real-life partners Peter and JP are looking for their next house to re RENOVATED TO DEATH is the first in a new series of cozy mysteries from Frank Anthony Polito. I have been friends with Frank for many years. We met on MySpace outraged about the Mysteries of Pittsburgh movie based on the Michael Chabon novel we both loved. I loved his young adult novels and I’m so excited that this gay cozy mystery is in the world. After their first successful season renovating their home for a TV reality show, real-life partners Peter and JP are looking for their next house to renovate. The writer and actor meet with Tom and Terry Cash, gay twins who own a Tudor Revival in the thriving suburb just north of Detroit, with the hopes that it will be the perfect setting for season 2 of Domestic Partners. When one of the twins is found dead, the duo try to figure out what happened by talking to a cast of gay neighbors and friends, all while trying to adopt the rescue dog of their dreams. I don’t know if this book could be any cozier since this book has a home renovation show, an adorable dog for adoption, a Craftsman house in a sleepy suburb. It’s like Murder, She Wrote meets Property Brothers meets a Gay Utopia. I loved that the book features so many queer characters in a gay enclave in the suburbs of Detroit. The cast of characters is fun. The mystery drives a really fun plot exploring the world of these two men and their community. If you’re looking for a gentle, charming book full of warmth and humor, make sure you add this to your Pride month selections.▪️

  18. 5 out of 5

    Judith von Kirchbach

    I enjoyed this book! I was in the mood for a cozy mystery when I discovered this book and everything that I learned about it - a Michigan setting, a house renovation show as a backdrop and a modern take on the cozy - all made me jump right in. And it was even better, the fictional Michigan setting is under 5 miles from where we used to live in Michigan, it was a super quick read that was hard to put down. Dog rescue and HGTV (HDTV?) renovation show can it get any better …   PJ and JP, the gay fia I enjoyed this book! I was in the mood for a cozy mystery when I discovered this book and everything that I learned about it - a Michigan setting, a house renovation show as a backdrop and a modern take on the cozy - all made me jump right in. And it was even better, the fictional Michigan setting is under 5 miles from where we used to live in Michigan, it was a super quick read that was hard to put down. Dog rescue and HGTV (HDTV?) renovation show can it get any better …   PJ and JP, the gay fiancés and main characters, are almost ready to film the second season of their home renovation show but in order to get things started, they need a house to feature. There is a house in their neighborhood but identical twins, Tom and Terry, have not touched their deceased parents’ house in the past 20+ years will they now ? Things take an unfortunate turn when Tom is found dead inside the house and it may not have been an accident…   I liked all of the characters and was incredibly pleased to see diverse representation in a cozy mystery, the genre has been slow in that regard. I was quite excited to discover that the lines of reality and fiction were a little blurred. The author, a Michigan native who lived in New York for 18 years, moved back home with his partner, just like the main characters and also just like the main characters they are an author and an actor respectively. Polito and his partner actually found their home while appearing on the HGTV series “House Hunters“, of course I had to watch that 2013/2014 episode after I finished reading and I loved the 1924 Craftsman Colonial they chose… now let‘s hope they didn’t happen on an accident/murder right across the street … It was an excellent first installment in a series that I am looking forward to following.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Renovated to Death is the first book in a new cozy house renovator series by Frank Anthony Polito. Due out 31st May 2022 from Kensington, it's 288 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. This is a house/decorating cozy buil Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Renovated to Death is the first book in a new cozy house renovator series by Frank Anthony Polito. Due out 31st May 2022 from Kensington, it's 288 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. This is a house/decorating cozy built around the premise of a HGTV type renovation team who are also partners in real life as well as on their house renovation TV series. It's an ensemble cast and made up of the gay couple (PJ and JP) who are the stars and creative duo behind the TV show called Domestic Partners. Their season project for the show is a craftsman built bungalow in their immediate neighborhood, unoccupied for decades, and owned by twin brothers who disagree about almost everything, including the house makover. It's a new series, and I am looking forward to see what comes next, with some codicils and warnings. The book, the characters, the settings, the ancillary characters, in short everything is quite often almost caricature campy and overdone, nearly (but not quite) breaking the fourth wall. There are a number of super precious details which only served to confuse me. I am still not 100% sure I know which one of the main characters is PJ and which one's JP and don't really care a lot since it doesn't affect the outcome of the story. The secondary characters are largely over-the-top stereotypes: drama queen, gay twin brothers who are constantly at each other's throats, lots of unflatteringly rendered himbo-hook-up-app young men looking for sugar-daddies, sleek token straight couple (bonus points for them being interracial), etc. I'm not slamming the stereotypes, but they did make me feel slightly old and straight and melancholy (and tired) from all of the machinations and anger and angst pouring out of the secondary characters. Of the main characters, they're sweetly stable, if a bit precious, and I liked reading about them. One thing which threw me, and I'm not sure it really served the book from a technical standpoint, is that the PoV changes from first person to third person omniscient several places and there was no chapter heading or notation which signaled the change in PoV. The book is absolutely full of fulsome descriptions of house construction and detail terms as well as references to period furniture and decorating. This will likely be a plus for folks who love decorating and house-flipper type mysteries. It's also filled with angsty dramatic scenes around the relationships between the characters - who is secretly seeing who, who's being dumped for a younger replacement, and so forth. I didn't engage much with the confrontations and drama, but they are a significant component of the plot. It made me smile that the puppy the MCs hope to adopt they want to name Mr. Clyde Barker. It's maybe a little cutesy precious, but it fits very well with the vibe of the book. The language is very clean and although there's a fair bit of talk about who is sleeping with who, there's no explicit content on-page written into the narrative. (No racy bits). Four stars, with the understanding that readers who object to LGBTQIA+ representation aren't going to find much to like here. It's a very gay positive book, in a sort of lighthearted and campy way. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito is a cozy whodunnit mystery about two reality tv cohost partners, Pete & JP, with a house renovation HGTV show called Domestic Partners, who are also in real life partners. I’ve never requested an arc so fast. I love cozy whodunnits, reality TV & love & this perfectly combined all three! I was ecstatic when I was approved! Drag Queen Queeraoke sounds incredible & I would love to go! & I have no idea how Terry doesn’t know & love Waterfalls by TLC but I Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito is a cozy whodunnit mystery about two reality tv cohost partners, Pete & JP, with a house renovation HGTV show called Domestic Partners, who are also in real life partners. I’ve never requested an arc so fast. I love cozy whodunnits, reality TV & love & this perfectly combined all three! I was ecstatic when I was approved! Drag Queen Queeraoke sounds incredible & I would love to go! & I have no idea how Terry doesn’t know & love Waterfalls by TLC but I digress. I found it a bit odd upon discovering the body that the PJ & JP didn’t check for a pulse. I know they didn’t want to contaminate the crime scene but still weird to me. & then the officer arriving on scene didn’t seem to have any urgency at checking on the victim. Maybe that’s just me though & as I’ve never been in said situation, I shall move on. I also love the Murder She Baked series & I think this book would be a perfect TV movie mystery series…Hallnark/Lifetime (or anybody else), option this please & thank you!! I will say I found some of the mystery parts predictable but after reading/watching lots of mysteries, that’s not unusual. The ending was a tad underwhelming for me but I don’t think that matters much because what makes this book sparkle is how different it is. This book is unique in that for a cozy mystery, there is a very interesting cast of characters with some much-needed representation in this genre. That’s what makes it special & that, in turn, makes it a great book. I loved PJ & JP along with all their friends. I think cozy mysteries need more drag queens in general. I feel like this cast of characters in this idyllic little area combined with their reality TV show is the perfect foundation for a great mystery series Renovated to Death is renovating the genre of cozy mystery with some much needed representation & I cannot wait for the next in the series. Renovated to Death comes out May 31, 2022. Massive thanks to NetGalley & Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. Trigger warnings: This book mentions &/or contains death, gore, dog death (old age), other animal decay & violence.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Swetha

    "Renovated to Death" is Frank Anthony Polito's debut, which narrates the story of JP and PJ, and hosts of a renovation show. They are recruited to renovate a 25 year old neglected inheritance of twins - Tom and Terry. But things begin to go on the downward slope when Tom is murdered. This book also predominantly features gay people in central and support roles, so, yay for representation. Frank Anthony Polito builds a solid premise with certifiable intrigue, and his architecture nuances are top n "Renovated to Death" is Frank Anthony Polito's debut, which narrates the story of JP and PJ, and hosts of a renovation show. They are recruited to renovate a 25 year old neglected inheritance of twins - Tom and Terry. But things begin to go on the downward slope when Tom is murdered. This book also predominantly features gay people in central and support roles, so, yay for representation. Frank Anthony Polito builds a solid premise with certifiable intrigue, and his architecture nuances are top notch, but "Renovated to Death" is not devoid of any problems. My main problem are the characters - especially Terry and Tom. Both of their characters display character variations that are completely confuse the plot, and the final reveal, despite the solid potential, only adds to the ambiguity. It is predictable, which is not the problem, because clues to that effect are established with repeated insistence at various areas throughout the story. The main characters JP and PJ take themselves too seriously for me to actually hold stock in their investigation. PJ is a frustrating protagonist. I cannot understand the leaps his mind makes, because they come out too suddenly, without pre-determined evidence. He is juvenile in his curiosity, and lacklustre in his investigation. Despite the progressive representation of the LGBTQIA+ community, the representation is not proper. The characters are stereotypical in their behaviour and do not display any depth or maturity. The whole sequence with the Pet Adoption has actual merit and is real. I would have liked it if it did not contain a link to the mystery via the woman Tom dated. It would have depicted real struggle, and would have been more meaningful. I cannot promise to pick up the next book, but if the premise is interesting enough, I may choose to.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emily Christopher

    Renovated To Death ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Genre: Cozy Mystery Format: Kindle eBook Date Published: 5/31/22 Author: Frank Anthony Polito Publisher: Kensington Cozies Pages: 291 Goodreads Rating: 3.40 Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Cozies for providing a digital copy of the book for me to read in exchange for my honest opinion. Synopsis: Just as the show is set to start filming, Peter and JP discover Tom Cash dead at the foot of the house’s staircase. And when the police ruling changes from accidental death to Renovated To Death ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Genre: Cozy Mystery Format: Kindle eBook Date Published: 5/31/22 Author: Frank Anthony Polito Publisher: Kensington Cozies Pages: 291 Goodreads Rating: 3.40 Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Cozies for providing a digital copy of the book for me to read in exchange for my honest opinion. Synopsis: Just as the show is set to start filming, Peter and JP discover Tom Cash dead at the foot of the house’s staircase. And when the police ruling changes from accidental death to homicide, the list of suspects grows fast. Now Peter’s mystery writer skills, and JP’s experience as the former star of a cop show, will be put to the test—as will their relationship while they uncover the secrets of the house and its owners. With a killer on the loose, this is one fixer upper that may prove deadly . . . My Thoughts: I requested this book because you don’t see too many that have the LGBTQ representations, renovation / home projects, and a cozy mystery all wrapped into one novel. It was a pretty quick read for me and moved at a good pace. The book was narrated by several characters, which sometimes made it a bit confusing on who was POV. I loved Peter and JP, they had chemistry, armature sleuths, they were intriguing, they were witty, and just all around great characters that I liked in this book. The author did a great job at describing some of the architecture of the house(s) and I could envision them clearly, but then some other descriptions were repeated that would not make or break the story, not bad, just repetitive. One of my favorite scenes was the animal adoption scene, but I love animals, I thought is was cute and endearing. Overall, I good read. I would absolutely read the next book in the series or by the author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lena H.

    PJ and JP are partners in life and on their new hit TV show "Domestic Partners." When they find themselves scrambling to come up with a house to renovate for their second season, the perfect opportunity falls in their laps... but opportunity isn't the only thing falling. I loved this book! It had everything I like most in cozies, a loving couple (with minimal relationship drama), a tight-knit community (despite being new in town they know everyone on their block and they're within walking distanc PJ and JP are partners in life and on their new hit TV show "Domestic Partners." When they find themselves scrambling to come up with a house to renovate for their second season, the perfect opportunity falls in their laps... but opportunity isn't the only thing falling. I loved this book! It had everything I like most in cozies, a loving couple (with minimal relationship drama), a tight-knit community (despite being new in town they know everyone on their block and they're within walking distance of a restaurant where everyone hangs out as well as a nice park), and lots of interesting suspects (two ex-boyfriends, a bitter brother, and a cranky neighbor). There were the perfect number of characters, enough to keep the main characters busy through their investigation but not so many that I couldn't keep track of who they were. I also loved that PJ and JP were focused on renovation, rather than remodeling, and did their best to retain the original character and features of the homes they work on. I hate the smash and crash and rebuild from scratch methods of most home improvement shows that are on TV, where the sole intent is to completely obliterate any hint of the homes original layout and style and replace it with shiplap and open kitchen shelving. Yuck! This book checked all the boxes for me. Book 2 in the series is scheduled to be released in June 2023 and I will be eagerly awaiting it! Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lori Leaf

    In short: Our main sleuths Peter and JP are stars of the hit home renovation show Domestic Partners. They are looking for a home to renovate for season 2 when an opportunity comes in the form of twin brothers Tom & Terry. Their parents Tudor style home has sat untouched since the day they died 25 years ago. When one of the twins is found dead the duo try to solve the murder all while prepping for filming to start. What I liked: 🛠 Quick read mixing small town fiction with a little mystery 🛠The inc In short: Our main sleuths Peter and JP are stars of the hit home renovation show Domestic Partners. They are looking for a home to renovate for season 2 when an opportunity comes in the form of twin brothers Tom & Terry. Their parents Tudor style home has sat untouched since the day they died 25 years ago. When one of the twins is found dead the duo try to solve the murder all while prepping for filming to start. What I liked: 🛠 Quick read mixing small town fiction with a little mystery 🛠The incredible cast of fun characters! 🛠The contrast of Peter & JP’s lives, careers and adopting a dog with the mystery surrounding Tom’s death. Great mix of both! 🛠Lots of suspects and clues to follow in the mystery. Got to say I didn’t expect that final twist. Final thoughts: This was an excellent 1st in a series cozy mystery. I loved that while it followed many of the typical characteristics of a cozy mystery that it also was totally different in a good way. The community of characters really made this book from childhood best friends to the main couple to the drag queen queeraoke to the various other side characters. And, while there was a murder being solved, this book was filled with so much love, warmth, humor and a sense of community. I cannot wait for more in the series, especially to get more of Clyde!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Myarn

    Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito 3 stars This is a first in a series featuring a gay married couple living in the Detroit suburb of Pleasant Woods. P.J Penwell and JP Broadway are the stars and producers of Domestic Partners, a home renovation show. This is second act for both of them since their main careers have stalled – JP was an actor in a long running cop show and PJ is a YA mystery writer. The first season of Domestic Partners featured the renovation of their own home and now the Renovated to Death by Frank Anthony Polito 3 stars This is a first in a series featuring a gay married couple living in the Detroit suburb of Pleasant Woods. P.J Penwell and JP Broadway are the stars and producers of Domestic Partners, a home renovation show. This is second act for both of them since their main careers have stalled – JP was an actor in a long running cop show and PJ is a YA mystery writer. The first season of Domestic Partners featured the renovation of their own home and now they need a new project for their second season. They agree to renovate a local Tudor revival owned by identical twin brothers, but the project takes an unexpected turn when they find the body of one of the brothers in home. When a local realtor and P.J.’s childhood friend is the number one suspect, PJ and JP will have to break out their sleuthing caps to find the killer. I thought the mystery was slow at times. Some of the comedic elements of the plot did distract from the mystery. The clues on who the real culprit was apparent about 60% into the book; after that the clues about whodunit started to pile up. I didn’t love the book, but it was a pleasant diversion and light reading. Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for this ARC.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ali's In Literature

    I haven't read a murder mystery for a long time, and predominantly read contemporary romance now, but when I saw this title on NetGalley I was immediately intrigued. The home renovation TV show setting, along with a predominantly gay group of characters sounded like a lot of fun.  PJ and JP are partners both on and off screen. Their home renovation show, Domestic Partners, is a huge success. But when they find a dead body at the bottom of the stairs of their latest property at the start of filmin I haven't read a murder mystery for a long time, and predominantly read contemporary romance now, but when I saw this title on NetGalley I was immediately intrigued. The home renovation TV show setting, along with a predominantly gay group of characters sounded like a lot of fun.  PJ and JP are partners both on and off screen. Their home renovation show, Domestic Partners, is a huge success. But when they find a dead body at the bottom of the stairs of their latest property at the start of filming, PJ and JP turn amateur sleuths to seek out the killer.  I found some of the chapters overly wordy with no real purpose, and I also found a lot of PJs internal thoughts a bit juvenile in language. I don't know if that was a deliberate choice by the author, but I found it annoying at times. There are also a lot of characters, which have obviously been added to try to make the investigation more tense, but even for me, who hasn't read one in a while, it was pretty obvious whodunit. I did like the renovation aspects, the reality of which is always more complex than the TV will have us believe. But I was ultimately left a bit underwhelmed at the end.  Overall Rating: ❤️❤️ Heat Rating: 🔥 Emotional Rating: 😂🙈🥰🙄 *Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to leave an honest review*

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    PJ Penwell and JP Broadway found fame starring in their own reality home renovation show, Domestic Partners. After leaving NYC for Detroit, they were really beginning to enjoy their much calmer life, even with the new found fame. For their second season of the show, they are teaming up with twins, Terry and Tom Cash to renovate their local Tudor Revival, which hasn’t been touched in 25 years. Unfortunately as they begin to uncover what lies beneath the dust and deck boards, they might bitten off PJ Penwell and JP Broadway found fame starring in their own reality home renovation show, Domestic Partners. After leaving NYC for Detroit, they were really beginning to enjoy their much calmer life, even with the new found fame. For their second season of the show, they are teaming up with twins, Terry and Tom Cash to renovate their local Tudor Revival, which hasn’t been touched in 25 years. Unfortunately as they begin to uncover what lies beneath the dust and deck boards, they might bitten off more than they can chew, which Tom Cash is found dead at the bottom of the Tudor’s stairwell. JP and PJ now become intertwined in the suspicious death which comes with a side of dramatic friends, lovers and lots of Tom’s ex-boyfriends. What a fun cozy! Perhaps the Pittsburgh references lured me in more, but this book had a lot going for it. The cast of characters was often just a hoot. So much drama. The author is very descriptive, to the point where one scene I actually gagged and let out a yelp, feeling the pain that the guys were through. (IYKYK) I am really there is more to this series. Thank you @netgalley, @kensingtonbooks and the author for the early review on NetGalley. This one is out today, so run, don't stumble to grab yourself a copy. On the Cat Scale: 😸😸😸😸

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Decker

    I’ve had a hard time deciding what to write in my review. When I first read about this book, I was very excited. I’ve come to really enjoy the sub genre of home improvement cozies. Growing up I also enjoyed watching shows about fixing old houses and redoing houses. Plus, I was happy that finally in the genre of cozy we are starting to see more diverse characters, particularly more main LGBTQ+ main characters. So I started reading and was initially excited. Then some of the chapters were a bit to I’ve had a hard time deciding what to write in my review. When I first read about this book, I was very excited. I’ve come to really enjoy the sub genre of home improvement cozies. Growing up I also enjoyed watching shows about fixing old houses and redoing houses. Plus, I was happy that finally in the genre of cozy we are starting to see more diverse characters, particularly more main LGBTQ+ main characters. So I started reading and was initially excited. Then some of the chapters were a bit too drawn out and they contained a fair amount of stereotypes which soon became a bit much. However, there were some very entertaining chapters and for the most part I liked the characters. The mystery aspect was also quite good. Sometimes it jumped viewpoints a bit too quickly making it a bit confusing, but the jumping of times to some degree made up for that. Then I was highly impressed by the last third. Overall it was a pretty enjoyable read and it’s my hope that a series can develop that will not only be entertaining, but also see characters develop to make additional books more enjoyable and keep a smile on my face from beginning to end.

  29. 5 out of 5

    LittleRead

    Peter and PJ are partners in all things and as they arrive to film the renovation a house, they find the owner dead at the bottom of the staircase. Who would want to kill Tom? There’s quite a list of suspects and Peter and PJ put their prior skills to use, as a PI writer and an actor in a police series. With their sleuthing skills alight, these two are in it to find a murderer, even if that means everything comes crashing down around them. what I love most about this series is the witty banter, s Peter and PJ are partners in all things and as they arrive to film the renovation a house, they find the owner dead at the bottom of the staircase. Who would want to kill Tom? There’s quite a list of suspects and Peter and PJ put their prior skills to use, as a PI writer and an actor in a police series. With their sleuthing skills alight, these two are in it to find a murderer, even if that means everything comes crashing down around them. what I love most about this series is the witty banter, sassy dialog and a sleuthing duo that works really well together! I just wish the author didn’t remind us of their sexual orientation quite so often. Not because they are gay, but because no author does this with straight couples and it feels a bit like tip toeing around that part of the characters…which is who they are, so let them be normal. I’ll be back for more in this series and I hope the author feels more comfortable in his sophomore installment and let’s the dialog be normally witty and sassy without repeating things over and over.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine Piepmeier

    I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Renovated to Death is the first in a new cozy mystery series. The protagonist, PJ, is an author turned home renovation TV star with his partner, both in life and on the show. Having moved from New York to his native Detroit, PJ soon finds himself involved with a suspicious death. The owner of a home they were about to start renovating is found dead at the bottom of the stairs of his house. With many ex-boyfriends, a resentful twi I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Renovated to Death is the first in a new cozy mystery series. The protagonist, PJ, is an author turned home renovation TV star with his partner, both in life and on the show. Having moved from New York to his native Detroit, PJ soon finds himself involved with a suspicious death. The owner of a home they were about to start renovating is found dead at the bottom of the stairs of his house. With many ex-boyfriends, a resentful twin brother, and restaurant owners looking to expands, there are many suspects. This book was a great LGBTQ+ mystery and had a lot of lovable and interesting characters! I did find the "twist" a bit predictable, but I also read a lot of mysteries. I was surprised this was the first in the series because this was to be the second house being renovated. But this also makes me hopeful for more in this series! I will definitely read any future mysteries in this delightful cozy series.

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