In THE BODY IN THE TRENCH, Jazzi, Ansel, and Jerod decide to buy the worst, most rundown house they’ve ever decided to flip. It sits on a corner, and an expensive, upscale subdivision sits behind it. They plan to gut the house, rip off the roof, and make it into a two-story instead of a ranch. They know it’s going to take serious work and money, but they think they’ll make a bigger profit flipping it than most of the ones they’ve done because of location, location, location.
The yard is overgrown and horrible, so they have to clear it. Once they do, Jazzi stares at the house in dismay. It’s uglier than she first thought.
The interior isn’t any better. Jerod has to hire Rob to rewire the entire house and Thane and his crew to replumb it and add heating and cooling. The three of them even have to add studs to the walls and ceilings because the original owner tried to cheap out on construction..
When HH and I bought our house, it wasn’t this bad. It was a good solid bungalow, but a minister and his wife had owned it and skimped on things, too. They had to. No money. When I scraped a wall in the living room to get it ready to paint, I punched through wallpaper they’d put up to connect the drywall to the ceiling. Our ceilings are over eight feet and the drywall didn’t reach them. The house was so dated, we had to redo every room and most of the plumbing. We had to add on to the kitchen and upstairs, too, and make the basement into a family room. That was a long time ago, and now we’re having to update some of the rooms we renovated back then.
Many of the neighbors who lived here when we moved in are now gone. But young people are buying their houses and new renovations have started. The young guy who bought the house next to ours tore off the bungalow’s roof to make the house a two-story. The young couple across the street gutted their house and redid the floor plan. The husband owns a construction company and knows his stuff. HH and I were rank amateurs who learned as we went. Our new neighbors are pros. They know what they’re doing.
So do Jazzi, Ansel, and Jerod. Since their flipper has to compete with such an upscale neighborhood, Ansel wants to decorate it in a sleek, trendier look than their usual cozy, comfortable style. You can find their ideas for the house on my Pinterest page for The Body in the Trench: (71) Pinterest
And as usual, in the middle of renovations, Jazzi and Ansel find themselves with a mystery to solve. Not one, this time, but two. A murder and vandalism. And as always, there’s some entertaining at their house thrown in for fun. George is in the mood for Cinco de Mayo. Ansel even buys him a sombrero. And Ansel’s brother, Radley, and his Elspeth, have some good news to share.
The Body in the Trench was fun to write. If you give it a try, I hope you like it.