Dressed to Drill By Kate Carlisle: Review/Giveaway/Father’s Day Guest Post

Jun 17, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow & Kate Carlisle

This week we have a review of the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery by Kate Carlisle along with a Father’s Day guest post from Kate! Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase the book from Amazon.

Dressed to Drill: A Fixer-Upper Mystery By Kate Carlisle
Review by Cynthia Chow

Contractor Shannon Hammer can’t deny that attending a Hollywood movie premiere is exciting, especially when the blockbuster action movie is based on a book written by her boyfriend MacKintyre Sullivan. But Shannon is anxious to return home to Lighthouse Cove and resume her construction company’s latest project: renovating the Northern California Lighthouse Church into an art museum. It’s a big project, and she welcomes the help of the film crew’s lighting director Buck Buckner who just happens to have family living in the town. They’ve barely begun to explore the unique passages and narthex before they stumble over the body of a young woman, lying in a puddle of blood on the marble floor. Not only was Sarah Spindler the assistant to the art museum’s artistic director, she was someone well-known to most of Shannon’s old high school friends.

Considering Shannon’s track record of becoming involved in local murders and having her projects vandalized, no one expects her to just sit on the sidelines and let the police take over. That includes Lighthouse Cove Police Chief Eric Jensen, who happens to also be the boyfriend of Shannon’s sister Chloe. For once, though, Shannon is intent on completing the fascinating project and clearing out the belongings of the former residents Reverend Roy Patterson and his wife Lavinia, the former who may have had somewhat hoarding, packrat tendencies. As it turns out there are secrets hidden within the church, and their reveal will lead to tears and even another murder.

This tenth in the series rewards longtime fans with satisfying resolutions and hilarious dialogue. Shannon’s eternal nemesis Whitney Reid Gallagher continues to wage a one-sided Mean-Girl war against the contractor, but it looks as though Whitney may have competition as the chief aggravator when a tabloid reporter enters the mix. Mac’s life of a celebrity author who mingles with the gorgeous stars populating his films could jeopardize his happy relationship with Shannon, but fortunately they have built enough trust between them that it’s never truly an issue. Construction details and the architectural history of churches is made fascinating even to those who have never once spackled or had the urge to pick up a drill. Shannon’s girl-squad of friends and her fond relationship with her sister create a warm community both for them and for readers, who will enjoy their banter and supportive bonds. The natural growth of Shannon as a character continues to be one of the greatest aspects of this series, and readers will welcome the opportunity to spend more time with their favorite contractor in the enviable coastal town of Lighthouse cove.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

(Fictional) Father of the Year Awards
By Kate Carlisle, author of Dressed to Drill

Father’s Day is upon us, so I thought this would be the perfect time for me to put forth the name of Jack Hammer of my Fixer-Upper Mysteries for the (Fictional) Father of the Year Awards.


1. He believes his daughters can do anything! As a single-dad widower, Jack took his daughters to construction sites and taught them everything he knew. Now, Shannon runs the family business, and Chloe has her own home improvement television show. Girl power!

2. He gave Shannon the family home. After Jack retired, he no longer wanted to be tied down to a house, so he gave Shannon the family home and moved into an RV (which is frequently parked in the driveway of the family home!)

3. He knows the way to his daughters’ heart. Hammer Construction has the snazziest piece of equipment in Lighthouse Cove: an articulated boom lift that Jack Hammer won in a poker game. All the better to reach into the rafters of the mysterious church they’re renovating in Dressed to Drill.


Contractor Shannon Hammer’s new project renovating an old church reveals some old sins when a body is found on the premises in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle.

While Shannon Hammer is thrilled to attend the premiere of the movie based on the latest book by her boyfriend, Mac, she can’t wait to trade her killer heels for work boots and start her next renovation project in Lighthouse Cove: a quaint Victorian church that has seen better days. And it will see them again, as an art museum, if Shannon, her talented crew, and her sister, Chloe, have anything to say about it.

However, on the first day of demolition, work comes to a screeching halt when they stumble upon the body of a beautiful young woman in one of the chapels. Who killed the assistant artistic director? Suspects crawl out of the woodwork as fast as Shannon can restore it. The church is hiding a century of secrets dating back to the days when smugglers wreaked havoc on the California coast. But it’s a more recent secret that leads to murder. Shannon and Mac will use every tool in their toolbox to nail down the truth before any more lives are sacrificed.

To enter to win a copy of Dressed to Drill, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “drill” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 24, 2023. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you enter via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode goes up next week.

One of Kate’s Fixer-Upper Mysteries was featured on a past episode of Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast. You can find the episode by clicking here or on the player below:

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Kate Carlisle is the New York Times bestselling author of two ongoing series: the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, whose rare book restoration skills uncover old secrets, treachery and murder; and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries (as seen on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries in a series starring Jewel and Colin Ferguson), featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors’ closets, but murder victims, too. Her latest book, Dressed to Drill, is out now.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. It sounds really good!

    • Great series. On my TBR list, can’t wait to read.

      • Thank you for adding DRESSED TO DRILL to your TBR, Dianne! I hope you’ll enjoy the mystery.

        • Really great series! Fun to read.

  2. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  3. Dressed to Drill by Kate Carlisle sounds like a riveting cozy that I would love to read!

    • Glad you’re looking forward to it, Nancy! 🙂 If you’d like to get a jumpstart on it, you can read a free excerpt of DRESSED TO DRILL on my website, katecarlisle.com.

  4. Haven’t tried this series. Sounds
    like a good read. thanks

    • I hope you’ll give the Fixer-Upper Mysteries a try, Mary! 🙂

  5. A new series for me, sounds good!

  6. We have a winner!


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