Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Have You Heard? Juliet Blackwell's Give Up the Ghost

I may not be a listener of audio books, but I know some readers are. This week, as I'm working on deadline, you've had reviews of several audio books. Thank you, Sandie, for this review of Juliet Blackwell's book. Up the Ghost
Haunted Home Renovation series #6
Written by Juliet Blackwell, Narrated by Xe Sands
Unabridged audiobook
Listening Length: 7 hours and 51 minutes
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Release Date: December 1, 2015

There is a mansion in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California known as the Crosswinds for sale at $29 million.  During renovation, pieces of the home were carelessly taken off in favor of newer items.  At least one ghost in the house is very upset that familiar items are gone and is making the same noises the items did.  For instance, the ghost makes the sounds of the squeaky weathervane which is now missing.  

The only reason the owners care is because the noises and screaming the ghosts are making are scaring away possible buyers of the house.  They hire a psychic named Chantelle to do a reading on the mansion.  She tells them that the renovation has upset the ghosts since so much was removed; she suggests they find some of those items and put them back from whence they came in an attempt to calm the ghosts.

The family contacts an expert home renovator - Mel Turner of Turner Construction - to get facsimiles or actual items returned to the house. The first thing Mel does is to contact Chantelle to find out what she learned about Crosswinds.  Upon Mel’s arrival at Chantelle's apartment, she sees the woman exit the apartment appearing very calm and floating down the hallway.  Upon entering the apartment, Mel finds a man standing over a female body with a bloody knife next to it.  Mel and this man are the first on the scene, so the man calls 911 and Mel calls the inspector she has become friends with over the course of many murders.  As they await the arrival of the authorities, Mel gets to know Chantelle's brother Landon.  He hadn't been very close to his sister, and now he regrets this even more.  

Meanwhile, Mel has a friend call her desperate for her ghost whispering skills.  After Mel visits the Historical Society, she has a better idea of who the ghost is and how to treat her.  Mel just won't take her antics.  For example since the ghost kept her kitchen drawers in perfect order, when she gets nasty with Mel, Mel dumps the silverware on the floor!  What follows is hilarious.

Despite the fact that they have met over a murder, Mel and Landon are getting to know each other.  He is in town to do a lecture series but is locked out of his sublet at first, staying at a nearby hotel.  They keep bumping into each other at Chantelle's place, at the police department, but mostly at Crosswinds.  He was impressed to see that the ghosts were real!

Juliet Blackwell has brought a mystery full of paranormal elements as well as construction and renovation details, lots of humor, a family who grows closer through tough love, and growing fondness where never expected.  She ties it together beautifully so nothing is out of place nor sticks out like a sore thumb.  The story moves along at a great pace.  While this is an entry in an ongoing series, Juliet Blackwell does an excellent job at reminding us who everyone from previous books is as well as clearly introducing the new characters. It is advised to read a series in order, but with a well-written series such as this one, it is not necessary.  However, each subsequent book in this series is enhanced by knowledge of what came before.

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