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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review - A Ghostly Light

I have reviewed each in this series from the debut issue.  The sixth, Give Up The Ghost (click here), The fifth, Keeper of the Castle (click here), fourth, Home for the Haunting (click here), the third, Murder on the House (click here), the second book, Deadbolt (click here), and the debut book, If Walls Could Talk (click here).  Plus we have several interviews and guest posts from Ms. Blackwell.  Today is a review of the newest addition to one of her series.

Author: Juliet Blackwell

Copyright: June 2017 (Berkley) 355 pgs

Series: 7th in Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Paranormal Cozy

Main Characters: Mel Turner, woman construction renovation Owner/Operator

Setting: Modern day, San Francisco

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

From the book cover:  "Dangerous tides ahead...

When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious—or so tall—before, she’s definitely up for the challenge.

But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit..."

Mel Turner, construction renovator extraordinaire, is very down to earth and works nearly all the time.  Her life is complicated and seeing ghosts adds to that, but she has developed a fear oh heights after the last book.  Landon Demetrius is a visiting mathematician professor at a local university and Mel's new boyfriend.  I have to say, personally he is more suited to Mel than Graham ever was.  Mel's close friend Luz, a professor and other friend Stephen are along to help.  Mel’s dad, Bill, their friend Stan, and her ex-stepson Caleb get a little page-time which are all enjoyable.  Alicia is a troubled representative of the man renovating the lighthouse and buildings for a B&B.  Ida Prescott Vigilance, the longtime ghost of the lighthouse is my pick for break-out character - you'll understand when you finish the book.

The island with a lighthouse and caretaker buildings is a great setting for a mystery, throw in the ghosts and it is sheer delight.  The writing accentuates the loneliness on the island for the caretakers with only a tiny bit of gothic atmosphere.

Finding the killer of a brutal wife beater isn't on most people's priority list, but his gentle-natured battered ex-wife is the police's prime suspect and nobody wants her to take the blame.  The plot presents a victim that nobody is mourning, thus dealing with his ghost isn't Mel's preference either.  The sub plot of the ghost of a woman lighthouse keeper who is distraught reveals a touching tale that you follow her story as eagerly, if not more so, than the main plot.

Yes, I really like a suspenseful killer reveal.  I have to admit, this wasn't the nail-biting climax, but it was so well done that I loved it all the same.  The wrap up is heartwarming and left me with a big smile.

I will remember this book and the emotions it evoked for a good while.  It has poignant moments sprinkled through the mystery and the characters are vibrant.  Ms. Blackwell continues to grow as a author, perfecting her craft, and it shows.

Ratings: Near Perfect - Couldn't Put it down. Buy two copies, one for you and one for a friend. 

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