If Walls Could Talk ( A Haunted Home Renovation mystery) by Juliet Blackwell.*
In IF WALLS COULD TALK, the first in a new series by Juliet Blackwell we meet protagonist Melanie Turner. Melanie, who prefers to be called “Mel”, took over her father’s construction business when she decided the life of an academic was not for her. Turner Construction specializes in restoring historic homes, which Mel discovers she really enjoys.
But working on an investment home for former rock star Matt Addax turns out to be one problem after another, especially after Matt hosts a “remodeling party” involving sledgehammers and copious amounts of alcohol. After Matt’s son asks Mel to check on his dad, Mel discovers the house in a complete shambles. Even worse, Matt’s partner Kenneth was shot several times with a nail gun, with fatal results.
It is after Kenneth’s death that Mel realizes that she can see and communicate with ghosts. After seeing him several times, they finally manage to converse, and he tells her that he doesn’t know why he’s still around, but he thinks that they need to find out who killed him. Unfortunately, the ghost doesn’t remember any of the events leading up to Kenneth’s death, and he wants Mel to figure out exactly what happened.
At first, Mel is reluctant, but when Matt is arrested for Kenneth’s death she decides that she does need to investigate, especially because Matt’s son Dylan has no one else.
Blackwell has a deft hand with characterization; all the characters are well-constructed and believable. She also deals with supernatural entities well, and her historical research is thorough.
Fans of Blackwell’s Witchcraft series will love Mel and her cohorts. A second, as yet untitled, story in the Haunted Home Renovation series is due in December 2011.
*Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy.