Review: Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell

Description (from cover):

‘There’s no room at the inn when it’s full of ghosts…

General contractor Melanie Turner’s latest restoration is a historic Queen Anne Victorian in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood. Trouble is, she’ll have to work around the owners, the Daley family, who refuse to leave during the construction. But when eerie things start happening around the site, the Daleys threaten to call off the renovation for fear that the work is disrupting ghosts who live on the property.

But the ghosts aren’t the only ones getting in the way of the renovation. The Daleys’ neighbors aren’t thrilled by the muss and fuss of the construction project. When Mel’s father finds a dead body near the job site, Mel must add one more task to her growing to-do list. She has to finish the job, bring the house back from the brink, and complete her greatest renovation project yet: restoring her reputation…’

My thoughts:

While my thoughts of the first book in this series, If Walls Could Talk, were a little less than enthusiastic, this book is a winner. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from page one until the very end. The plot is well developed, the characters are fantastic and likeable, and the ghosts, well let’s just say they’re very intriguing. I could not put this book down! For some reason the first book in this series wasn’t all that great for me and I’m not sure if the main character has grown on me or what, but this one was a fabulous addition to this series. It restores my faith in reading quaint cozy mysteries, even if the first book in the series is less than expected. I can see why author, Juliet Blackwell, has an abundance of fans and readers. Her stories feature home renovation with an element of the supernatural that is almost addictive. I cannot say enough good things about this book!

Mel Turner has another historical house to renovate and strange things keep happening at the construction site. Weird things. Mel has a sensitivity to otherworldly spirits and can sense that something in this beautiful house is off. Mrs. Daley, one of the owners of the house, can sense it too and she is afraid for her family and her small child and asks Mel to see what she can do to rid the house of its ghosts. Mel has just learned about her sensitivity to ghosts and isn’t really sure what she can do to help the ghosts move on and stop haunting this family’s house. She feels that there is a lot of anger and aggression in the house and is less than enthusiastic to go against hostile spirits. Mel must use her sixth sense in order to put a house’s history exactly where it belongs, in the past, and to make sure that her workers and the Daleys are safe from danger.

Mel’s dad stumbles across a dead body one morning near the construction site and immediately Mel is interested in the murder of this not-so-nice neighbor. Who had motive to kill this neighbor and do the spirits lingering in the house have something to do with it? Once again, Mel must save the day before the owners call it quits on this renovation.

I really enjoy Mel’s character. She is tough as nails and doesn’t let the fact that she is a woman in the construction business get in her way. She is most definitely the boss when it comes to work and her personal life. There is a hint of romance in this novel, as in its predecessor, but it’s not overwhelming and is quite captivating. I think that that element of the plot is tastefully done and I cannot wait to see what is going to happen next with Mel, with the ghosts and her love life. I am reading the third book now, Murder on the House, and I hope it is as awesome as this book was. I highly encourage readers of cozy mysteries to read this one and stress the importance of sticking with a series even if the first book is a little disappointing. Sometimes the authors get into a niche and find their ‘mojo’ and a series takes off. I really think that’s what happened with this series. I can’t get enough!

Overall Rating: 5

Title:  Dead Bolt
Author:  Juliet Blackwell
Series:  Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #2
Publisher:  Signet
Publication Date:  December 6, 2011
Pages:  336
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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