This is the first book that I've read in this cozy mystery series that wasn't on audio. I miss Xe Sands, because she always provides a terrific performance. But I'm happy to report that I enjoyed this 4th book in the Haunted Home Renovation series just as much even without the audio.
The MC's "why would anyone find ugly old me attractive" shtick is still annoying, and I'm still unimpressed with the romance, but there is enough fun stuff for this book to rise above those irritants. We get to meet Mel's super-annoying, super-girly sister, we get some new friends and the return of some old friends, and I especially liked getting to know Mel's frenemy Inspector Crawford a little better. We get a couple of new homes from different styles and periods with plenty of loving description.
The mystery is well developed and I was teased with lots of clues and red herrings to sift through. Whodunnit was one of my suspects, but not my favorite, so the reveal worked for me. Oddly, this is the first book where we spend very little time with the dead. The ghosts give little more than a cameo appearance in this book, and I missed them a little.
eBook version, borrowed from my public library.
I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Amateur Sleuth: this mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement. The MC, Mel Turner, owns a construction company but somehow finds herself in the midst of a murder mystery, recent or ancient, at every job site. Naturally, she usually manages to solve it before the cops do.
I seem to be having trouble connecting with this series, and I honestly don't know if it's the length of the stories or if it's the narrator.
This is really too short to go in-depth with the material or the characters, and things and other characters keep getting introduced, on top of the mystery of sorts that Lee and Gideon are working on. I did love Gideon's mom, and it was nice to see Gideon going out on a limb relationship-wise, planning time off from his job when he knows that Lee will be home from his own job.
I didn't understand why Lee, a psychic, didn't believe in spirits off the bat. His job is going out, documenting monsters and such, and reading energies and people's minds and other random mojo to find things and people. But spirits? That's crazy talk! Atheism in paranormal settings just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. He doesn't have to be religious or anything, but he does have use basic common sense. It reminded me of those idiots in that godawful The Boys on the Mountain, going out to investigate a haunted house but none of them believe in ghosts. *headdesk* Thankfully, Lee does prove to be smarter than that lot. Not that that would've been a hard thing to do.
Tim Gilbert is a great narrator, and he's easy to follow, but he's got this gravelly, gruff voice that just doesn't really seem to fit. Well, that's not quite right. It fits Gideon perfectly, but everything else? Not so much. He is able to clear his voice up for Lee, but the variation in his voices for the various characters shows a limited range. And I still feel like he should be reading something much more serious, like one of those classic Russian authors with names I can't pronounce. :D
There is promise here, and I've loved nearly everything else I've read by Ms. Fox, so I'm going to try the next one eventually, but I I'll be reading it. This'll be it for me with the audiobooks.
They don’t get much better than this. It’s a wonderfully slow burn of a story that builds up to a gross-out creepfest. The characters were fun, some people get what they deserve (yay!), some wholly undeserving people get it (oh no!), and the scary stuff is left satisfyingly under-explained for a lingering aftertaste of mystery (ahhhh).
Audiobook, via Audible. I have mixed feelings on the performance by RC Bray. I liked his voices and infection, and his Southern accents were very plausible. But at times he was a little too deadpan, which flattened the story a bit. I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Southern Gothic : mystery, supernatural, suspense or horror set in the Southern part of the United States. This horror story is set in Alabama.