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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-20 19:20
For me, it was meh. YMMV.
Home For the Haunting - Juliet Blackwell

I borrowed this from my public library's ecloud collection because . . . I did.  It has a lot of colors on the cover, so maybe I'll use it for that Festive Holiday square, whenever I get around to toting them up.

 

Mel Turner -- her first name is Melanie -- is in the process of taking over her father's construction company.  Mostly they do remodels and historic restoration, but she's currently involved with some volunteer group that rehabs older homes for low income people.

 

She also sees ghosts.

 

While she's working on this rehab job for Monty, a whiny guy who needs a wheelchair ramp added to his home and a new roof and a bunch of other stuff, she keeps seeing ghosts in the big, mansion-y vacant house next door.  Then a recently deceased body is discovered in a storage shed that serves both Monty's property and the vacant house.

 

The vacant house, she learns, was the site of a horrific murder-suicide.  Are the ghosts she keeps seeing related to that?  And what about the body in the shed?

 

For the uncritical reader who's looking for some light entertainment with a bit of a mystery, this might do fine.  For me, it was just blah on a whole lot of levels.  So, now there will be lots of little spoilers.

 

There was very little with the ghosts, for one thing.  Mel sees them in the house while she's working on the rehab project, but she doesn't show much reaction.  This isn't the first book in the series, so maybe there's more shock, surprise, disbelief, whatever in earlier volumes, but there sure wasn't much in this one.

 

The mystery to do with the two murders, both the body in the shed and the other one thirty years before, seemed a minor part of the book.  The information about the older crime was easily obtained from neighbors who had lived there at the time and from the lone survivor.

 

I'm not sure why I didn't buy the character of Hugh, the boy who escaped the murder scene and went on to an illustrious writing career.  He seemed too emotionally fragile.  Nor did I buy Simone, his wife.  Both of them lacked substance, though I'm not exactly sure why.  Maybe if I were giving this book a thorough analysis I would look at them more closely, but while I was reading it, I just didn't care about them.

 

There were a lot of secondary characters who never came alive for me either.  Mel's dad was a little better than cardboard, but not much.  Then there was Stan, and I didn't really know how he fit into the picture.  Mel's sister was just another cartoon character; there was so much room for development there that I could have wept when it all just went poof! in a happy smiley explosion of unicorn glitter.  The semi-sorta boyfriend Graham actually had more substance.

 

Two elements of the overall characterization rang sour notes for me.  Hugh and Simone were flat, but not sour.  Monty was just all wrong.

 

Supposedly he was in some kind of accident and that's why he's now unable to walk and in a wheelchair.  How long ago this was, I'm not sure, but he's been unable to leave his house unassisted ever since.  Now all of a sudden he's finally getting a ramp installed so he can come and go as he pleases.  There's no mention of any social services that come to his assistance -- shopping?  doctor visits? -- or what kind of income he has.  There's an assumption that he gets a disability income.

 

However, as soon as there are suspicions that Monty is in fact not disabled and is faking his reliance on the wheelchair, I saw lots of red flags.  Social Security doesn't just grant disability payments because you apply for them.  There has to be evidence, as in doctors' statements and so on, that the person really can't work.  He would have been found out a long time ago.

 

I also didn't quite understand how and where he originally found the body, but that may be due as much to my not paying attention because I had lost interest as anything else.  Nor was there ever a clear explanation of how that death tied in to the rest of them -- was the victim killed by the same killer, or was it an accident, or what?

 

Monty turned out to be kind of a slimeball, though he wasn't the killer -- ooops, sorry for that spoiler -- but the character who really wrinkled my nose was Mel herself. Her silly spangles-and-fringe dresses worn with steel-toed work boots just seemed . . . stupid.  Stupid as in gimmickry for the sake of gimmickry.  No reason was ever given, or at least not one that made any sense.  She's supposed to be running a contracting business; why dress like a phantom from the 1960s caught in a time warp?

 

This wasn't a particularly long book -- I read it comfortably in a day -- and maybe that was its problem.  With all the various threads going on, maybe it needed to be longer, more like the hefty books of Rendell and Grimes that allowed for the interweaving of personal and professional life along with the details and atmosphere of vocation and location.

 

The details of a single historic San Francisco home would have made wonderful atmosphere, but author Blackwell didn't dwell as much on that as she did on the two smaller homes in the neighborhood that weren't involved in the mystery or the ghosts.  The "Murder House" should have had star billing, and the appropriate weight in the text.  I felt it got shortchanged.

 

The writing was okay, other than that one horrible paragraph where everything sat, sat, sat, sat, sat on Hugh's desk, but it wasn't anything special either.

 

As I said, other readers may enjoy this.  It just wasn't all that great for me.

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text 2017-11-20 18:47
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 6 - Bodhi Day

Tasks for Bodhi Day: Post a picture of your pet, your garden, or your favourite, most peaceful place in the world.

 

 

Hello Mom -- why are you sitting at your desk?  Can't we please go play? 
There are all those treats that are calling for me to hunt them ...

 

And:

 

Our garden ... an oasis of peace for (and in) all seasons.

 

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text 2017-11-19 01:49
Reading progress update: I've read 67 out of 270 pages.
Home For the Haunting - Juliet Blackwell

I grabbed this off the pubic library's digital collection because . . . because.

 

It's okay.  Nothing great, but nothing terrible either.  Except that I'm not really crazy about the character's frequent defense of the 1%.  Sorry, that's just the way I am.  And I'm becoming more that way.

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text 2017-11-15 06:21
Why You Need a Home Insurance Delhi?

A typical home insurance Delhi can tell you that the policy will protect the entire house and its content from catastrophes such as fire, earthquake and flood. In times of loss due to the hazards listed in the document, the insurance company will pay for how much the house reconstruction will cost. The reinstatement value can be computed using the built-up area and the construction cost, which is generally initiated by the insurer.

The Coverage

Typically, homeowners have the structure of their house insured. What this implies is having every valuable content of the house such as jewelry, electronics and furniture covered by insurance. Finding an insurance can be easy especially if you have heard about the insurance company or probably had someone refer them to you.

Just like Royal Insurance Agency, they find your home and property your valuable assets as you have worked hard for it. You can find it a bit scary if you have to lose any of your belongings. That’s why the agency can advise you to get a comprehensive home insurance policy to protect you in times of disasters. They can offer you selected premiums which fit your needs, lifestyle and budget. They assure you that possible damages are reimbursed whenever a claim is requested from them.

When Under Construction

The property cannot be covered by home insurance Delhi when construction is ongoing. This is part of the building structure and is ideally covered under project insurance policy, which the builder should handle. If the structure has already been completed, this is the only time when the home insurance can be valid! The insurer though has the right to accept or decline a coverage depending on how the building or house was constructed.

Before You Buy Insurance

There may be a vast range of insurance companies offering home insurance. However, coverage and premium rates may slightly differ from the other. You can shop for an insurance company like Royal Insurance Agency, which you may have heard about. You can opt for an adequate sum of insurance, the tenure of the cover, and the services. Choose a customer friendly agency that can handle claims with comprehensive help in times of loss.

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text 2017-11-08 18:29
Sing Me Home By Lisa Ann Verge Free!
Sing Me Home - Lisa Ann Verge

Ireland, 1307

Blessed with an angel’s voice, Maura of Killeigh escapes from a convent determined to join a band of traveling players. They’ll be her protection on the roads while she searches for the parents who abandoned her at birth. But once face-to-face with the seductive, sinfully handsome vagabond who rules the troupe, Maura wonders if she wouldn’t be safer traveling alone....

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