fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsGive Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell fantasy book reviewsGive 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.

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Try the audio version!

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.

Published on December 1, 2015. From the New York Times bestselling author of Keeper of the Castle, San Francisco contractor and ghost whisperer Mel Turner must solve a murder mystery at a haunted mansion in the Pacific Heights… 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 keep running off potential buyers. After a famous psychic is called in, she informs the Flynts that their multi-million-dollar renovations to “update” 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. But when the beautiful psychic is found stabbed, it appears someone had a very human motive for murder. Now Mel must use her ghost whispering gift to uncover the secrets of the haunted house on the hill, and her sleuthing skills to catch a killer.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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