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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Review - Give Up the Ghost

I have reviewed each in this series from the debut issue.  The fifth, Keeper of the Castle (click here), fourth, Home for the Haunting (click here), the third, Murder on the House (click here), the second book, Deadbolt (click here), and the debut book, If Walls Could Talk (click here).  Today is the newest addition to the series.

Author:  Juliet Blackwell

Copyright: Dec 2015 (Berkley) 336 pgs

Series: 6th in Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series

Sensuality: n/a

Mystery Sub-genre: Paranormal Cozy

Main Characters:  Mel Turner, woman construction renovation Owner/Operator

Setting: Modern day, San Francisco

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

San Francisco millionaire Andrew Flynt wants to sell his Victorian mansion, but ghostly music, the squeaking of a long-disappeared weathervane, and an angry ghost of the original owner Peregrine Summerton, keep running off potential buyers. He spent $29 million on the very modern renovations but can't sell it.  After a famous psychic Chantelle is called in, she informs the Flynts that their updates to the home have left its resident ghost extremely agitated. So contractor Mel Turner is engaged to track down and replace some of the original features of the house so it can sell. 

But when the beautiful psychic is found stabbed, it appears someone had a very human motive for murder. Could the motive have anything to do with the haunted mansion?  Mel must use her gift to uncover the secrets of the haunted house and maybe catch a killer too.  Subplots are Mel also helping a group of college students displaced from their apartment by a ghost.  Plus, Chantelle happens to have a good looking brother, Landon Demetrius, who is keeping Mel company while Graham is out of town.

Mel Turner is competent and hard working.  She deals with directing construction crews and solving ghostly problems with spunk.  But when it comes to Graham, she isn't as self-assured.  Graham is absent for most of this since he is traveling...but he drops a bombshell on Mel towards the end.  Landon, the new guy on the block who turns Mel's head definitely peaked my interest.  Mel's close friend Luz, a professor, plays more of a role in this book and that is a great addition.  Homicide Detective Annette Crawford is getting more time in the story too and I have come to look forward to her scenes.  Mel’s dad, Bill, their friend Stan, and her ex-stepson Caleb get a little page-time which are all enjoyable. 

The Crosswinds, a historical house in Pacific Heights San Francisco has it's own secrets that add to the fun.  This mansion and grumpy ghost add a great element. Several trips through junk yards further contribute to the setting with a grungy tinge to great effect.

The story line kept my interest and had some humorous twists that made the pages fly by.  The killer reveal surprised me and provided some gulps.  Great stuff.  The wrap-up had a surprise that I didn't see coming.  

This sixth outing in the Haunted Home Renovation mystery series is a stellar addition and not to be missed.

Rating:  Near Perfect - Couldn't Put it down. Buy two copies, one for you and one for a friend. 

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