Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flipping Out

By Avery Baker, from Jennie Bentley's Do It Yourself Home renovation mysteries. Book 5, Flipped Out, will be released October 4th, 2011

I'm not sure about this.

I mean, when my stepfather Noel asked Derek and me to be on an episode of one of his TV shows, it sounded like a great opportunity. We haven't been able to sell that white elephant on Rowanberry Island that Derek insisted on buying - turns out people who want to buy half million dollar, 225-year-old houses on the outer edge of the back beyond don't grow on trees, even when the house has been renovated to within an inch of its life, the way only Derek can do it.

So yeah, I figured doing an episode of one of Noel's shows might help boost business. If nothing else, we might end up with a slightly more interesting class of clientele while we waited for the house on the island to sell. Painting other people's walls and tiling other people's bathrooms can get tedious. Maybe, with a television appearance on the resume, we might at least end up with a few stained glass windows that needed restoring, or something else halfway interesting to do.

That was until Noel told me we'd be filming an episode of Flipped Out. You know what I'm talking about: that insane show where people go in and renovate a house in five days flat, starting on Monday morning bright and early, and finishing Friday evening when the sun goes down.

Good thing the days are extra long here in Maine in the summer!

Anyway, that isn't what's giving me pause. We can work fast if we have to, and it's not like everything that needs doing has to be done during that one week. Just the stuff that shows. Paint, tile, finishes. The TV camera doesn't care if the plumbing really works or whether the light actually comes on when you flip the switch. All that can come later. I figured, with a strict schedule worked out in advance, and with a little help from our friends, we could find a cute little house somewhere in Waterfield, one that didn't need extensive renovation, and slap some lipstick on it for the camera.

And that's when Melissa James came along and suggested that we could renovate Tony Micelli's little rental house on Cabot Street. The renters just moved out, and Tony's eager to have someone give the house a facelift before his new girlfriend puts it on the market and sells it. So now, not only do I have to deal with Derek's ex-wife, but I also have to stomach Tony 'the Tiger' Micelli, ace reporter for Portland's Channel 8 News, and his lust for headlines. Tony's just going to love the chance to hang over Derek's shoulder giving him orders, while Melissa never lets an opportunity go by to remind me that she was married to my boyfriend for five years, while I've only known him for one. And while the two of them are annoying separately, together they're absolutely nauseating.

Derek says it's not going to be a problem. Good for him. It might not bother him to have Tony breathing down his neck or Melissa hanging on his arm. But it bothers me. And when you look at our track record, with dead bodies and long-buried secrets and skeletons in the closet, I fear we're in for the week from hell. And I wonder if it might not have been better to tell Noel thanks, but no thanks.

What do you think? 


  1. Sorry, but I think you're right...but there's always a good side to this, perhaps after all is said and done, you'll sell that house on Rowanberry Island.

  2. I think I'd buy a half million dollar island house--if I had a half million dollars. Pesky details.

    Hang in there with the flipping!

  3. Lots of adventure wherever you two are. Hang in there for the week ad hope for a homicide-free outcome to your TV adventure. Just in case, make sure you have alibis.

  4. Uh-oh. The tiniest glitch could throw you off schedule. Not that glitches are ever tiny . . .

  5. As you have an in with the author, perhaps she could arrange to eliminate some of those problem people--er, that is, glitches. Otherwise, a sit-down strike sounds tempting.

  6. Oh, no... sounds daunting! But I'd watch that show! I'm addicted to home reno shows.

    I kinda have a bad feeling about it, though...

  7. A home reno show is bound to be the scene of some accidents. And with all those previous bodies...just saying. Better keep your head down...and, good luck!