Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: If Walls Could Talk - 1st in the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series
Author: Juliet Blackwell
Release Date: December 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Paranormal Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, San Francisco Bay area
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate/Intense (mostly after the fact)
Juliet's Website/Blog: www.julietblackwell.net
She wants to live in Paris, again. Alone. Quietly. But circumstances brought Melanie (Mel) Turner back and keep rooted in the bosom of her family and its contracting business.
Though she’s waiting for the right break free moment, Mel is slowly, reluctantly learning she loves being a contractor, a restorer of historic homes.
What she can do without, though, is stupidity. Her friend Matt is flipping a house. Not so stupid, huh? Lots of people do it. But when they throw a do-it-yourself demo/remodel party, including endless amounts of alcohol, well, stupidity comes out to play.
Of course that’s just the tip of the berg…Mel finds Matt passed out among the debris (to put it mildly) of the party, and eventually, Matt’s gravely injured (and soon to be dead) house-flipping partner, Graham.
Mel is soon hired as the contractor of the site; no more do-it-yourself flipping for Matt. She also begins to see that this flip has more holes and jagged pieces to it than the house itself, thanks to Graham, whom she never really liked but wouldn’t have wished killed.
Seeing his ghost gives her hope…maybe he can fill in some of the missing pieces, what was really going on. Unfortunately seeing his ghost also causes some questioning of her sanity…maybe she needs to reserve a rubber room. Either way, she’s going to figure out why her signature was forged on the permits, and what the presumed century old gem scandal associated with the house has to do with break-ins and vandalism. And just as importantly, even though Graham would never have gotten any personality awards, who killed him and why?
Mel is unique. Her style and outlook her own. She’s smart yet open to learning more. For a woman who just learns that she has the ability to see and sense ghosts and their feelings, who held a bloody, dying, dislikeable man in her arms, Mel handles things, the investigation and threats to her person and family and friends, as well as can be expected.
Mel is tough, but knows when to let fear take hold and when to brazen through in spite of it. Her approach, new as it is, at ghost-communicating and solving a multi-layered mystery is unique and refreshing. What she’s not so great with are her instincts with men. Those she would admit are questionable.
I liked If Walls Could Talk. A lot! Kudos and high-fives to Ms. Blackwell for creating a new set of characters for readers to hang around with as well as a new twist on the ghostly paranormal mystery niche.
I can’t wait to see what other-worldly stories Juliet has in mind for us next!
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