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Keeper of the Castle (Haunted Home Renovation) Mass Market Paperback – December 2, 2014
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Praise for the New York Times Bestselling Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries:
“A winning combination of cozy mystery, architectural history, and DIY with a ghost story thrown in.”—The Mystery Reader
“Melanie Turner may well be one of the most exciting, smart, and funny heroines currently in any book series.”—Fresh Fiction
“Blackwell's writing is like that of a master painter, placing a perfect splash of detail, drama, color, and whimsy in all the right places!”—New York Times bestselling author Victoria Laurie
About the Author
Juliet Blackwell is the pseudonym for the New York Times bestselling mystery author who also writes the Witchcraft Mystery series and, together with her sister, wrote the Art Lover’s Mystery series as Hailey Lind. The first in that series, Feint of Art, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. As owner of her own faux-finish and design studio, the author has spent many days and nights on construction sites renovating beautiful historic homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently resides in a happily haunted house in Oakland, California.
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The location is Marin County, California. This is a well-known beautiful coastal (Pacific) ocean area. Perfect for relocation of a fourteenth-century ruin of a Scottish Monastery. The construction proves to be tricky, as there are considerations of California's strict earthquake needs etc. There is also the slightly nerve-wracking attacks on the construction crew by a Knight with a broadsword! There also appears to be a woman in distress who is quite active.
Enter our favorite historic renovation contractor, Mel Turner. No. Not a man, but a clever, and talented former anthropologist woman. Mel's resume includes solving murders and ghost encounters on previous projects. Which is why her boyfriend, Graham called her in. There has been issues keeping the construction crews on site.
Mel who is tired of finding bodies and ghosts truly wants to refuse the offer, however, jobs are slow in her field and she needs to meet payroll and keep her crews working. As she checks over the job site, a cranky county building inspector dies and the main contractor is accused. Mel is suspicious of the circumstances and after some deliberations, joins the team.
I often find it difficult to write a review without 'spoiling' the tale for you. This was a gem of a story and a solid mystery. Please treat yourself as we glimpse into history.
Shortly, after arriving at the site Mel encountered a building inspector who is refusing to certify the work and threatened to shut the site down. Mel checked out the tower and see the inspector's ghost and then find his body in the next room. There are many twists and turns to hold your attention as Mel tried to talk with the Scottish ghost and learns of the presence of a lady in red. Will Mel succeed to vanished the ghosts so the construction can be finished? I highly recommend this book and series.
"Keeper of the Castle" is a particularly good mystery surrounding the removal of an ancient monastery from Scotland to California to be reconstructed as authentically as possible. Mel Turner, a San Francisco contractor and sometimes ghost buster, was worrying about not having enough work when her boyfriend, Graham, is the one to work on the reconstruction of the monastery. Work crews don't seem that interested in sticking around because a ghost with a broadsword keeps chasing them out of the building and a ghostly lady in red roams the halls crying. Graham brings in Mel to check out the place for paranormal activity, and sure enough the Scottish ghost with the sword is there, but so is a dead body. Mel brings in her team to help get the building ready by its deadline which is not far away.
This is a very good mystery along with construction information and ghostly hauntings. Whether they are friendly or not when Mel confronts them is one thing you'll have to find out by reading the book. There are several suspects in the murder, but is the ghost one of them? Mel and Graham are likable characters who are responsible and dedicated to their work. Finding out if the stones from the monastery are cursed and what the ghosts have in mind is all part of the fun in this mystery.
I did not guess the murderer and it was too short. I wanted to read how the ghosts got along.