If Walls Could Talk (Haunted Home Renovation Series #1)

If Walls Could Talk (Haunted Home Renovation Series #1)

by Juliet Blackwell

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Overview

Melanie Turner has made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But more than her reputation is on the line in the first novel in the New York Times bestselling Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series.

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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451231819
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/07/2010
Series: Haunted Home Renovation Series , #1
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 130,336
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Juliet Blackwell is the pseudonym for the New York Times bestselling author of the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series. She also writes the Witchcraft Mystery series and, together with her sister, wrote the Art Lover’s Mystery series as Hailey Lind. The first in the series, Feint of Art, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. She is also the author of the novels Letters from Paris and The Paris Key. 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.

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If Walls Could Talk 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
BookAdventurer More than 1 year ago
I'm a follower of Juliet Blackwell's Withcraft Mysteries, and sometimes after falling in love with one series by an author I find myself having a hard time getting into an author's new series, but NOT so with If Walls Could Talk. The mystery kept me guessing & Mel is a very likable character that the reader can easily identify with. The slight paranormal element of Keith (ghost) just added an extra layer of intriguiment. I was a little worried about another home restoration series coming out amidst numerous other series of the same, but Ms. Blackwell carved out her own niche! If you like this series you may also enjoy: Sarah Graves, Christy Evans, Jennie Bentley.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Since her mother died, Melanie Turner took over her depressed father's San Francisco Bay construction business; specializing in restoration of historical homes as her dad could no longer run the firm. Matt Addax hires Mel to restore a run-down mansion so he and his partner can flip it for a nice profit. After an all night party, Mel enters the house to see Matt's partner Kenneth dripping in blood. He was shot with a nail gun and someone cut off his hand with a motor saw. There is blood all over him and he dies shortly after arriving at the hospital. He told the nurses before he died that Matt didn't kill him, but he also said it was Matt's fault. Matt goes to jail leaving Mel to complete the renovations. She sees the ghost of Kenneth and he informs her he doesn't remember the time prior to his murder. Someone believes Mel found buried jewels and her house, car and storage room are ransacked. Someone is looking for them. To get rid of the ghost and to keep her family, friends and employees safe, Mel investigates only to be in the same perilous situation that Kenneth faced before he was killed. This is the start of a new paranormal amateur sleuth series filled with ghosts, unknown villains, a great heroine, and a man who warned her not marry her ex husband. Mel has "insider" information from the other side. Mel does not trusting the cops who have focused on Matt only so she risks her life to investigate. With a nod to the Ghost Whisperer in a murder mystery setting, Juliet Blackwell provides a fun entertaining opening act. Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked parts of this, disliked others. i really don't think nail guns work like that... I MIGHT reda the next in the series. I'll defintely read Blackwell's other series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
good light reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great, quick read. Really captures your attention and holds the reader all the way to the end. Can't wait until the next book comes out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little different twist. I'll read the next one
mistyJW More than 1 year ago
Good book for a cozy rainy day, of which we have had many lately. Fun read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great to get to know another interesting woman with a very interesting career. I've read some others by Juliet Blackwell and will look for more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love mystry books and I did enjoy this book. I will read the next one if there is a next one.
Tangen 6 months ago
murder-investigation, ghosts, greed, family-dynamics, friendship Really good cozy mystery with a mild bit of romantic moments, lots of suspense, and a really pesky ghost! Xe Sands is perfect for narrator!
debbieaheaton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Melanie Turner has made a name for herself since taking over the family business. She remodels historic houses in the San Francisco Bay area. At her newest renovation project, a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, her reputation may now be on the line. Mel finds herself receiving visits from a ghost, the ghost of a colleague who recently died following a mishap with power tools. Mel hopes that by tracking down the responsible party, she can rid herself of the ghost of the murdered man. Mel's only clue to work with is an old box she finds inside a wall of the job site. She works hard utilizing every resource available to make sense of the strange contents, hoping all along to nail a killer before she becomes his next construction accident.The story flows nicely, the characters are strong, and it has many unique twists and turns. I can't wait for the next installment.
suspensemag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After a difficult divorce, Mel Turner yearned to drop her stress and responsibilities and dreamed of living a solitary life in Paris. She figured if she didn¿t eat, she could live there happily for years. Plans never quite pan out the way we hope and Mel¿s were no different and she¿s now responsible for the management of Turner Construction¿her father¿s business.When contacted by the teenage son of aging rock star and friend, Matt Addax, with a plea for help she finds Matt passed out in the middle of his newest project, a Pacific Heights mansion in dire need of renovation. Matt has no idea what he¿s doing as he dabbles in flipping real estate, so when he begs her to take over, Mel can¿t refuse. It¿s not your typical mansion, however. Not only is it a mirror image of the one next door, it¿s haunted, and not by just any ordinary ghosts. Kenneth Kostow, Matt¿s obnoxious and unscrupulous business partner, has recently met a bad end¿injured at some point after the alcohol infused do-it-yourself demo party¿and is now the one clanging around. When his deathbed declaration seems to implicate Matt, it¿s not long before Matt¿s arrested, but he couldn¿t possibly have done it. Could he?Everyone is suspect when this renovation becomes a crime scene and when CAL-OSHA employee, Graham Donovan¿a man who sparks hot memories from the past¿becomes involved, Mel finds that she has someone she trusts enough to tell about a strange box she finds inside one of the walls. The old cigar box is filled with fake, historically-significant money and a diary. However, it¿s become the least of her worries, Mel¿s been seeing Kenneth¿s ghost, but can only hope that she¿s hallucinating.This heart of the gold rush residence has a past, which includes a possible hoax; field of jewels, family disgrace and suicide. But not everyone believes the jewels were a case of deception and several are hell-bent on finding them and who better to watch than the woman in charge. This book is filled with quick wit and chuckles throughout and one of the best cozy reads out there. If having ghosts in my house meant this many zany characters were involved, I¿d say, ¿Bring¿em on!¿Reviewed by Shannon Raab for Suspense Magazine
Marlyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In IF WALLS COULD TALK, the first in a new series by Juliet Blackwell we meet protagonist Melanie Turner. Melanie, who prefers to be called ¿Mel¿, took over her father¿s construction business when she decided the life of an academic was not for her. Turner Construction specializes in restoring historic homes, which Mel discovers she really enjoys.But working on an investment home for former rock star Matt Addax turns out to be one problem after another, especially after Matt hosts a ¿remodeling party¿ involving sledgehammers and copious amounts of alcohol. After Matt¿s son asks Mel to check on his dad, Mel discovers the house in a complete shambles. Even worse, Matt¿s partner Kenneth was shot several times with a nail gun, with fatal results.It is after Kenneth¿s death that Mel realizes that she can see and communicate with ghosts. After seeing him several times, they finally manage to converse, and he tells her that he doesn¿t know why he¿s still around, but he thinks that they need to find out who killed him. Unfortunately, the ghost doesn¿t remember any of the events leading up to Kenneth¿s death, and he wants Mel to figure out exactly what happened.At first, Mel is reluctant, but when Matt is arrested for Kenneth¿s death she decides that she does need to investigate, especially because Matt¿s son Dylan has no one else.Blackwell has a deft hand with characterization; all the characters are well-constructed and believable. She also deals with supernatural entities well, and her historical research is thorough.Fans of Blackwell¿s Witchcraft series will love Mel and her cohorts. A second, as yet untitled, story in the Haunted Home Renovation series is due in December 2011.*Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: This was one pitiful-looking mansion.Mel(anie) Turner may dress like a Madonna groupie, but she knows her stuff when it comes to renovating historic homes in the San Francisco Bay area.Her latest client wants her expertise in bringing a Pacific Heights mansion back to life, but when she visits the morning after a boozy "Do-It-Yourself" remodeling party, she discovers his partner-- who seems to have had a horrendous accident with power tools. The man dies as a result of his injuries, and as Mel begins to see that certain facts and figures just don't add up, she also gets a visit from the dead man's spirit. Murderous intent fills this particular down-at-heel mansion up to its eaves. To me, old houses might as well be ancient pyramids. They hold secrets and messages from the past; I feel them whispering to me as I walk the hallways. Walls, attics, basements... over the past five years I had found newspapers from the thirties, liquor bottles, old coins, address books, even the occasional stash of money or stocks. I once unearthed a button-up baby's shoe and a dress pattern book from 1916. I even liked the smell: the distinctive, musty aroma of history, reminding me of used bookstores...promising the serendipitous discovery of the perfect novel or family relic or beloved treasure.Once I read that paragraph, I knew that Mel and I were going to get along just fine. She and I have the same feeling for old houses, and as I turned the pages, my affinity for this character grew through her relationships to the other characters and to the way she conducted her business. If I had an old mansion to renovate, I'd hire her on the spot.Blackwell paced the story well, and although I had a hazy idea of whodunit, I was so drawn in by Mel's character, the action, and the bits of San Francisco history the author shared that I didn't focus on it. I was enjoying Blackwell's storytelling so much that I didn't particularly care whom the killer was.Yes, there is a ghost in the story, but for those of you who don't care for the paranormal, this element did not overwhelm the story at all. (I'm a reader who doesn't care for a great deal of "woo-woo" myself.)I am really looking forward to the next book in this series, and I hope that Mel never runs out of old mansions to renovate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story line was easy to follow. Main female character was refreshing and independant. Plot left something to be desired though, quite a few questions left unanswered. Maybe they will be answered in the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, wish I had started the series sooner! Oh well, now I can binge read them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looking for the 2nd book really enjoyed this one
osaka More than 1 year ago
Light reading with great main characters. This story turned out to be better than I thought it would be. Kept me guessing, kept my attention. Looking forward to the next one in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting fun read. Like learning about different professions and hobbies.
cjmaine More than 1 year ago
Fun book to read, I really enjoyed it.
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