Give Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell
Fans of Juliet Blackwell’s HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION MYSTERIES will be happy to hear that Give Up the Ghost, the new sixth book in the series (released today) again delivers exactly what’s expected: a low-stress cozy paranormal murder mystery with a cute premise, a marvelous setting, and a great cast of characters.
For most of the novel there’s nothing unique or unexpected with Blackwell’s formula which, I assume, will please readers who’ve made it this far in the series. This time Mel Turner is renovating the historic mansion of Andrew Stirling, a millionaire living in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. Stirling, whose taste is rather tacky, has had the house modernized, but this has upset its resident ghost, so Mel has been called in to fix the problem. You’ll never believe what happens as she begins to track down the house’s original fixtures… Okay, I’ll tell you: a (surprise!) murder occurs! Now Mel must solve the murder mystery as she tries to restore the house to its former glory. Unhappily for Mel, this involves dealing with depressed ghosts and Andrew’s pompous, vapid and greedy family members. In an amusing side-plot, Mel is hoping to banish a pie-baking ghost from the apartment that some of Luz’s college students live in.
There isn’t much to say about Give Up the Ghost that I haven’t said when reviewing the previous novels in this series. Mel and her friends and family are more important than the murder mystery plot and they’re pleasant people who most readers will wish they knew personally. The characters’ personal stories don’t progress much during the series and there’s always quite a bit of repetitive backstory and dialogue, but fans who just like to be with these people may not require much more. However, in Give Up the Ghost we do finally learn why Luz is afraid of ghosts. Then, at the end, there is a bit of a twist in Mel’s personal life and I think most readers, especially those that are interested in Mel’s romantic relationship, will welcome the change, or at least will welcome the tingly romantic tension it brings.
If you’re reading the HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION MYSTERIES but haven’t tried the audiobook versions created by Tantor Audio, you’re missing out. These are great productions performed by the incomparable Xe Sands. I urge you to listen to a sample and give it a try. Give Up the Ghost is 8 hours long in audio format.
The pie-baking ghost can come stay at my house, if that’s the only thing it does. If it moans and rattles chains at night while we’re trying to sleep, then no.
Well….. that’s a nice thought Marion, and usually I’d agree with you, but you wouldn’t actually want to eat this ghost’s pies. I won’t tell you why. You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Ohhhh, *that* doesn’t sound good! :)
Okay, now I have to read this book, because I want to know why the pies are verboten!