Juliet Blackwell continues her terrific Haunted Home Renovation mystery series with Dead Bolt. It’s not necessary to have read the first book, If Walls Could Talk, in order to appreciate this one. But, why would you want to miss any of the adventures of Mel Turner as she restores houses and tangles with ghosts?
Mel’s latest job is restoration of an 1890s Queen Ann Victorian, Cheshire House, in San Francisco. The project has had a few problems, handprints appearing on the ceiling, deadbolts locking and unlocking. A few workers walked off the job, claiming the house was haunted. Mel’s dealt with haunted houses before. This time, her problems are complicated because her clients are living in the house. And, Jim Daley might seem immune to the presence of spirits, but his Russian wife, Katenka, has sensed a black shadow trying to get into the baby’s room.
Mel always talks tough. When her marriage fell apart, she talked about divesting herself of everything and moving to Paris. Instead, she acquired her father’s construction company, her beloved stepson, Caleb, and a dog. And, now, when a man is murdered, and Mel feels there is a connection to Cheshire House, she feels obligated to investigate. After all, unlike the police, Mel can sense ghosts. And, if those ghosts are a threat to an innocent baby and Mel’s clients, she’s going to find out why they’re haunting Cheshire House.
Juliet Blackwell’s books are intriguing mysteries. In this series, the protagonist is still learning to accept her ability to sense the presence of ghosts, and deal with them. If readers enjoy paranormal mysteries, they should find this series fascinating. Blackwell combines a murder mystery and hauntings perfectly in the books.
Those of us who love series, though, will return not only for the mysteries, but also for Mel Turner. Mel is a compassionate woman who tries to hide her feelings. Time after time, she steps in to care for others. Her relationships with her father, his friend, Stan, and her stepson are wonderful to see. There’s humor and love in every interaction with them. Now, those men in her life would just like to see a romance in her life. It’s one more fun aspect of this series.
Once you start Dead Bolt, you’ll want to bolt yourself in your own house and finish it. Juliet Blackwell’s Dead Bolt is the paranormal mystery at its best.
Juliet Blackwell’s website is www.julietblackwell.net.
Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell. Obsidian. ©2011. ISBN 9780451235305 (paperback), 325p.
FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.