Keeper of the Castle: Mel reconstructs an ancient Scottish Monastery

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsKeeper of the Castle by Juliet Blackwell paranormal romance book reviewsKeeper of the Castle by Juliet Blackwell

In Keeper of the Castle, the fifth book in Juliet Blackwell’s HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION series, a famous inspirational speaker has hired Mel Turner to oversee the reconstruction of a medieval Scottish monastery on his property outside San Francisco.

There are a couple of problems with this. One is that there are protestors outside the gates. One vocal protestor, a guy who wears a kilt, objects to the “theft” of a Scottish national landmark. Another problem is that the monastery seems haunted by two ghosts. One is a sad hungry woman who wears a red dress. The other is a sword-wielding Highlander who attacks any man who comes close. These ghosts are spooking Mel’s construction workers. The last problem is that there’s been an accident at the construction site, and it looks like it might be a homicide. Once again, Mel must appease the ghosts and solve the murder mystery, all while getting the renovation done.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsKeeper of the Castle follows the formula of the previous novels in this series. Readers know what to expect by now, and Blackwell obliges. Mel takes care of everything with her usual style and engages the help of her family, friends, and dog. Along the way readers will learn a few interesting things about San Francisco, green technology, and home renovation. I enjoy these parts of the story and I especially liked learning about ancient Scottish monasteries in this installment. I also found myself chuckling several times during this story, which is always a good thing.

Readers who are interested in the romance will see a bit of development in that area in Keeper of the Castle. Something scary happens which causes Mel to evaluate her love life. Blackwell is really dragging out the romantic tension, something that I usually like but that I find a little hard to believe in this case.

The Tantor audiobooks continue to be excellent, of course, because they’re narrated by Xe Sands. Keeper of the Castle is 8 hours long.

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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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  1. Good thing Ms. Sands is such an excellent narrator! I get the impression that you wouldn’t worry about keeping up with this series otherwise.

    • Yeah, like I said, I could listen to her read the phone book.
      But cozy mysteries aren’t my favorite genre, so I think fans of cozies will like these even more than I did.

  2. You answered one of my questions, which was how many historic SF buildings Mel can restore. She had to branch out to the greater Bay Area eventually.

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