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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Review - The Last Curtain Call

It has been since 2017 that the previous Haunted Home Renovation was published.  I’m so excited that Ms Blackwell is writing more to the series. I have reviewed each book in this series from the debut issue to the present. 

The Seventh, A Ghostly Light (click here), 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 2020 (Berkley) 336 pgs

Series: 8th in Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries

Sensuality: mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy Paranormal Mystery, Amateur Sleuth

Main Character: Mel Turner, Owner of Turner Construction company

Setting: Contemporary, San Francisco

Obtained Through: Library

Book Blurb: “Mel Turner can’t resist the chance to bring the Crockett Theatre, a decrepit San Francisco Art Deco movie palace, back to life. But there’s a catch for Turner Construction: Several artists are currently squatting in the building, and they aren’t the only ones haunting the once-grand halls of the historic theater.…

 When one of the squatters is found dead, the police department has a long list of suspects to investigate. Meanwhile, Mel and her fiancĂ©, Landon, are remodeling an old house for themselves, and Mel finds being on the other side of a home renovation project more challenging than she expected.

 When Mel discovers that the former owner of the Crockett Theatre died under mysterious circumstances, and that there just might be a connection to the ghost haunting her own attic, the case takes a new turn—one that could bring down the curtain for the last time.”

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, and she has developed a fear of heights from the book before last that is definitely tested in this story.  Landon Demetrius is a visiting mathematician professor at a local university and Mel's boyfriend.  Homicide Detective Annette Crawford is back again and she is warming up to Mel, kinda sorta.  Mel’s dad, Bill, their friend Stan, and her ex-stepson Caleb get a little page-time for the story which is always enjoyable.  The squatter-artists are unique and add to the story surprisingly well.

San Francisco is always lovingly recreated in these stories.  The Crockett Theatre is a delightful backdrop with the history and gothic atmosphere it provides.  Delicious.

The plot is deceptively simple and gets more complicated as you go.  The pacing kept my interest and I breezed through the book staying up to read.  

The killer reveal is great with atmosphere and danger.  Mel shines in her match with the killer, kudos!  The wrap-up was perfect and light hearted, full of promise.  

I loved this long awaited eighth entry in the series.  It provides some fun chills and light-hearted moments, good mystery to solve, characters to grow fond of, and a great finish written in a manner that effortlessly brings it all to life.  What more could you ask for? 

Rating: Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list

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sherry fundin said...

huge praise for an author. glad you like the book and author so much. it's fun to add must reads to our reading lists
sherry @ fundinmental

A.F. Heart said...

Yes indeed it is fun to anticipate a book and enjoy every moment of it. I wish everyone had that joy. What book series or author does that for you???


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