Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Keeper of the Castle by Juliet Blackwell

Where in the world does Juliet Blackwell come up with her ghosts for her Haunted Home Renovation mysteries? Oh, I know the answer is Scotland for her latest book, Keeper of the Castle, but I mean how does she come up with these ghosts? Mel Turner, manager of Turner Construction Company, comes across the most unlikely ghosts on her projects. This time, when she agrees to supervise the reconstruction of a dismantled Scottish monastery, she encounters more than one ghost, and a murderer.

Mel reluctantly accepts a job supervising the work site where a monastery is being built, after it was brought stone by stone from Scotland. Two crews have fled the site, and Graham Donovan convinces her she needs to try to rid the site of ghosts. Before she even agrees to work on the job, Mel sees a crew of men run from the work site, claiming to have seen a kilted guard, a large man with a broadsword who runs screaming at them. And, she saw a lady in red, and felt famished and weepy after encountering her. All in a day for Mel Turner, now gaining a reputation in California for renovating haunted historical houses. And, nowadays, murder even seems all in a day for her. So, when a building inspector ends up dead on the site, she's drawn into the case.

Each of Blackwell's mysteries are different because each work site for Mel Turner is different. This time, Mel's site involves investigations of Scottish buildings and history, the Hearst Castle, Golden Gate Park, green construction and frescoes. But, every story also incorporates Mel's family, including her stepson, Caleb, and her interesting friends. Keeper of the Castle is a skillful blend of building, ghosts, history, and strong characters. In this case, some of those characters are family and staff of Ellis Elrich, the wealthy owner of the property. And, there's the fascinating storyline involving the ghosts.

Why do amateur sleuths get involved in criminal investigations. In Mel Turner's case, Juliet Blackwell has the perfect answer. "So perhaps I was becoming resigned to my fate. Apparently, I was meant to become embroiled in renovating historic houses, negotiating with their resident ghosts, doing my best to unmask murderers, and when my work was done, riding off into the sunset with a handsome man on my arm."

Looking for the perfect blend of winning characters, paranormal activity, and engrossing mystery? Add in a touch of humor. You won't go wrong with Keeper of the Castle, or any of Juliet Blackwell's Haunted Home Renovation mysteries.

Juliet Blackwell's website is

Keeper of the Castle by Juliet Blackwell. Obsidian. 2014. ISBN 9780451465801 (paperback), 324p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Rosemary said...

This sounds like fun Lesa. I'm not usually keen on ghosts, but if the story is well developed in other aspects, I think I could handle them! I'd be interested to read what the author says about Scotland too, though I appreciate that the story is set in the US.

Lesa said...

It is fun, Rosemary. I like the way Juliet Blackwell handles ghosts in both of her series.