Sep 11, 2013

Review--Murder on the House by Juliet Blackwell

Since word has spread that contractor Mel Turner can communicate with the spirits of the dead, it's been difficult to maintain a low profile. She embraces her new reputation, however, for the chance to restore an historic house in San Francisco's Castro District. The new owners, who hope to run a haunted B&B, want Mel to encourage the ghosts that supposedly roam the halls to enhance the paranormal charm.

The catch: Mel has to spend one night in the house to win the project. But during the spine-chilling sleepover, the estate gains another spectral inhabitant—when someone doesn't survive the night. And as Mel tries to coax the resident spirits into revealing the identity of the killer, she risks becoming the next casualty of this dangerous renovation.

I loooove a good paranormal mystery! Juliet Blackwell and Victoria Laurie are definitely my top favorites in that category! Although, Darynda Jones's books do get shelved there too, so hell yeah, she needs to be included there as well! But moving on...Juliet Blackwell writes two amazing paranormal mystery series; Witchcraft Mysteries & Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries. Murder on the House is her third installment in the latter.

Mel Turner is definitely not your average heroine. In fact, it's because she's your average woman, that makes her so different. Although in these paranormal mystery series, your heroine isn't a leather clad vampire would can kick ass with a katana! (As my last read had!) Mel is your thirty-something-year-old divorcee, running her father's home renovation business that truly is a family business. But lately, the places she goes to renovate and restore to their historical glory have been otherwise occupied by ghosts! And if that weren't enough, a murder usually happens soon after.

It's like Murder She Wrote all over again, no matter what house or building Mel is determined to restore, a murder happens. It's even mentioned by the leading investigator in this one! Kind of funny, but nice that it's acknowledged, even with Mel herself.

In this one, a couple is determined to turn a house into a haunted B&B. Although, there are many complications. Past construction workers have run out on the job because the house is haunted, ghostly children frightening them off. Yup, children ghosts, freaky, right? And it's the playroom in particular that gets the most ghostly occurrences--come and play with us. (Hee-hee, couldn't resist!)

The soon-to-be owners, for it's not quite official yet, have a stipulation, Mel and the competition from another renovators company have to spend one night in the haunted house. Whoever lasts the longest gets to be the company to restore the house--although it makes you wonder what would happen if they both lasted? Unfortunately, there's no need for that question, because the legal owner of the house, a little old lady, is found dead at the bottom of a well that same night.

Now Mel is determined to figure out who done it. There are too many questions that she can't quite answer. Could it be the ghosts? Can ghosts kill people? She's not quite sure of that herself, but it's clear that somebody was there that night and did the poor old woman harm.

To make matters even more difficult, it seems Mrs. Bernini, the woman who was the true owner of the house, promised the house and all its property to quite a few people. Which means, there are quite a few possible suspects to the murder. And honestly, it was quite the challenge to figure out who-done-it. I had an inkly of a suspicion, but didn't really consider him to be the murderer in truth. Turns out I was right on that matter, but I still never pegged the real murderer down.

This was a highly enjoyable read! What one calls a "cozy mystery" and it's definitely a fun read! There's still some romance going on as well, for Mel has caught the eye of Graham, the "green" construction consultant. And then there's Zach, a man who is definitely her junior in years, but there's not a real spark between them. Just flirty moments. Plus, Zach did kidnap her...and then there's Graham. A man who is quite more like Mel herself than she realizes. I like that the romance just happens in spurts and doesn't take central focus of Mel's life, but Graham is definitely integrating himself into her life now, whether she's ready or not!

If you're a paranormal fan and are looking for a good mystery with just a hint of romance, then this is definitely a series for you! I'd recommend this really to any paranormal mystery fan!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars


  1. Thank you for the good review. Cute idea for a cozy. Thanks for sharing a new to me title.

  2. Oh this looks very good! I also love paranormal mysteries.


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