by Juliet Blackwell
Series: Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #8
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
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 fiancé, 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.
One of the few remaining cozy writers and series I still find dependable. Juliet Blackwell is a good writer; I enjoy her characters, her imagination for the paranormal, and her plots … well I can’t think of any of her plots that failed to amuse, and I can’t think of one of her books where the mystery was transparent. Her diversity of characters feels natural (the San Francisco setting probably helps) and I’ve been reading her long enough to know that they existed to greater or lesser extent long before it was ‘on trend’ to do so.
This one made me ache to explore an old, abandoned theatre, although I’d prefer mine to be ghost free, thanks; especially the kind of ghosts who fill the theatre seats and follow you around with their blank, unseeing stares. The connection between the theatre Mel is renovating and the house she’s renovating for herself felt a bit too coincidental, but it bothered me so very little that it amounts to nit-picking.
A fun book, and a fun series that would be perfect for several Halloween Bingo squares.