Sunday, December 23, 2012

Review: If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell

Description (from cover):

'Since she took over her father's construction business, Mel Turner's made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now her reputation may be on the line.

At her newest renovation project, a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, Mel is visited by the ghost of a colleague who recently met a bad end with power tools. Mel hopes that by tracking down the killer, she can rid herself of the ghostly presence of the murdered man.

Mel's only clue is an odd box she discovers inside a wall at the job site. If she can make sense of its mysterious contents, she might be able to nail a killer--before she herself becomes the next construction casualty...'

My thoughts:

This one started off a little slow for me. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but the second half of the novel seemed to fly by with little ease. I think it just took some warming up and some getting used to before I could really get into this book.

Mel Turner has taken over her dad's construction company for the time being and has agreed to be the contractor on a historical remodel for Matt Addax, a famous musician. Matt has a 'demolition party' one night and invites a lot of his friends to help with the project. Mel turns up to the construction site the morning after this party and is shocked to find Matt's business partner, Kenneth injured with what appears to be a nail gun. Quickly, she calls 911 and Kenneth is on his way to the hospital. Kenneth dies at the hospital, but not before naming Matt as his murderer. Matt soon finds himself in jail being accused for the murder of his business partner and Mel is left to clear up exactly who wanted Kenneth dead and why. She has a little help with some friends along the way and even from Kenneth's ghost, who seems to pop up at the most inopportune instances. Thinking that she is losing her mind, Mel must keep her sharp intellect straight in order to search for a killer.

Like I said earlier, this one started out a little slow for me. The first half of the book felt like it was just trudging along and I wasn't much impressed. However, about the middle part of the book everything came together and I got very interested. I really like the supernatural element of this book with the ghosts popping up and even assisting somewhat with the murder mystery. I think it is a clever idea used by the author and it does add a lot of dimension to the story. I normally don't like to read a lot about ghosts and the supernatural, but this was cozy-like and very enjoyable to read. I am going to be starting the next book in the series, Dead Bolt, next and I hope that the series improves with each book. I've learned a lot with reading cozy mysteries, that the first book usually doesn't do the series much justice and that with the newer additions to the series, it really seems to take off. Of course, this isn't true for every series, but for some. That's what I am hoping is the case with this series. If the next book is anything slow like this one at the beginning, it might be a series I can't get into. We shall have to see. A good read for cozy mystery lovers who like some supernatural elements to their story. Very interesting to read about a subject I don't know a lot about, historic home renovation!

Overall Rating: 3.5

Title:  If Walls Could Talk
Author:  Juliet Blackwell
Series:  Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #1
Publisher:  Obsidian
Publication Date:  December 7, 2010
Pages:  326
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.


  1. This one sounds kind of cute. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and I love when books are set there.

    1. The author does a really good job of portraying the city and I have come to love it through reading these books.



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