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review 2017-07-16 16:22
Dead Bolt ★★★☆☆
Dead Bolt - Juliet Blackwell,Xe Sands

This second book in the Haunted Renovation mystery series was a fun enough, but distressingly heavy on Romance and light on Mystery. There were still some interesting tidbits on historical homes, though. I’m going to try the third book, but if it continues to emphasize goofy love triangles and sexual “tension”, then I’m outta here.

 

Audiobook via Audible subscription; Xe Sands’ performance is excellent as usual.

 

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review 2017-07-16 01:41
A Ghostly Light (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, #7)
A Ghostly Light - Juliet Blackwell

Not sure what it was, but something was missing from this one.  I still enjoyed it, still found it a fun read, but, I don't know, it just wasn't as good as so many others in the series.

 

I'd sort of forgotten about the romantic shakeup that happened in the last book, so I had some catching up to do, but overall, I think the change is for the better; it added a tiny bit of zest to the character development, and it needed it.

 

This book brings back a couple of characters from Keeper of the Castle (coincidentally the book in the series I found to be the weakest), but this time Mel's working on restoring a lighthouse off the coast of San Francisco, and before she can even get started she finds the client's ex-husband dead at the bottom of the lighthouse stairs, and a ghost whose hobbies include pushing men down stairs.

 

A big theme in this book is Mel's acquired acrophobia and how she's struggling to deal with it.  This didn't interest me all that much, to be honest, and maybe it was a contributing factor to my slight ennui about the book overall.  There were too many scattered themes that just didn't weave together very tightly.  The book, taken as a whole, felt unfocused.

 

But the mystery was pretty good; I enjoyed the story about the light keepers and the tie-in to Treasure Island was the highlight of the whole thing.  The murder mystery was...not bad, but given the lack of focus, I'm not sure I can recall any actual investigating that Mel did, so that the big reveal at the end depended on last second deductions and the cooperation of the killer.  It worked, but it failed to have much of an impact.

 

I'm far from being soured on the series, but this isn't the strongest of the lot.

 

 

 

 

 

Total pages:  314

$$:  $9.00  (location multiplier)

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review 2017-06-23 02:48
If Walls Could Talk ★★★★☆
If Walls Could Talk - Juliet Blackwell

The only other cozy mystery series I’ve tried was not very satisfying, so I had low expectations coming into this one. But what a pleasant surprise! The author introduces each character with descriptions that drew a clear picture in my mind and also gave some hint of what was to come. I learned a little history and felt some of the MC’s enthusiasm for her work in restoring historic homes. The whodunnit was not especially difficult to figure out before it was revealed, but the journey to get there was plenty of fun.

 

Audio version, purchased via Audible. Although there’s not a lot of differentiation between her male characters’ voices, Xe Sands’ performance is very good in terms of pacing and emotion.

 

Previous Updates:

 

6/20/17 6%  http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1573004/if-walls-could-talk-6

 

6/20/17 15% http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1573053/if-walls-could-talk-15

 

6/21/17 43%  http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1573208/if-walls-could-talk-43

 

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text 2017-06-21 14:35
If Walls Could Talk: 43%
If Walls Could Talk - Juliet Blackwell

I'm really enjoying this. If the author is leaving clues about the murderer, I'm really not able to put them together. 

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text 2017-06-21 00:46
If Walls Could Talk: 15%
If Walls Could Talk - Juliet Blackwell

Well. This is unexpectedly gory for a cozy mystery. I like it. 

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