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Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell
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Dead Bolt (edition 2011)

by Juliet Blackwell

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899135,585 (3.82)3
Member:lilkim714
Title:Dead Bolt
Authors:Juliet Blackwell
Info:Signet (2011), Edition: Original, Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Loved
Rating:*****
Tags:Haunted Home Renovation mystery, murder, ghosts, supernatural, cozy mystery, San Francisco, construction, library

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Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell

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This is the second in the Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries series.

Melanie Turner is restoring a Victorian for a young executive, his Russian born wife and their young child. The young wife relates some occurrences that have been happening in the house and Melanie strongly suggests they leave until the renovations are complete. Of course this unacceptable to the young husband.

One evening as Melanie is leaving, she has a nasty encounter with a neighbor across the street and the next morning he is found dead. As she arrives for work that morning she finds her father being interviewed by police. Now she really needs to look into the home and it's ghostly residents. She soon finds the eccentric "cat lady" that had previously lived there. Then she learns that there was something between the cat lady and the murdered man. The young wife disappears and it is learned that she also has dubious past, as related to the dead man.

The ghosts are two brothers, their mother and the wife of one the brothers. One of the brothers had set sail for South America and dies on the way and is placed in a barrel of rum and sent back home. How did he die and if not a natural death who might have killed him. This is what Melanie must find out so she can get the ghost to move on and for her to complete her renovation project.

I really enjoy reading this series and enjoy it more than Blackwell other series. ( )
  yoder | Sep 20, 2013 |
A good paranormal mystery.

By "paranormal", I mean that although it's otherwise a conventional mystery- maybe with a touch of "cozy"- the ghosts are real. No vamps, weres, etc., and only a few inklings of romance.

I love that Mel- our heroine- is a general contractor, and the author has done enough research so that the on-job problems she faces are pretty accurate, as nearly as I can judge (not being in that line of work myself). The one jarring note: I do not think a general contractor would wear frilly clothes to the job site, even if she also had an overall to wear over them if she needed to crawl through grime. There's kind of an emphasis on this, as if we could not admire and sympathize with her unless she has a very "femme" aspect. Weird.

This really isn't a "cozy" though it has cozy elements; Mel's to firm for that, and most modern cozies have protags that are essentially doormats. Mel isn't.

The ghostly aspects were well-handled and often very creepy indeed. The aspects that had to do with difficult clients were sympathetic and funny. The plot was nicely thought-out and well-paced. The other characters are- as we expect- quirky, but they're not horrible and mostly exist within bonds of affection.

This is the second book in an enjoyable series. ( )
  cissa | Aug 10, 2013 |
This was a quick post-finals read. I enjoyed the San Francisco setting, as well as the historic renovation and ghosty elements. I would definitely get a 3.5 rating if available here on GR, but not quite a 4 star. Still, an enjoyable read. ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
First Line: My father always used to say: There's nothing quite like a protracted remodel to test a person's sanity.

Mel Turner's father was right. The renovation of the historic Queen Anne Victorian house in San Francisco is taking much longer than it should primarily because the owners insist upon living on site throughout the entire process.

When strange things begin to happen and Mel begins to see ghosts out of the corners of her eyes, she knows she's got trouble. A grumpy old man across the street covets the house, and Mel wonders if he could be at the heart of some of the disturbances. He's found dead in his shop and things keep happening, so Mel knows the answers are going to be a bit more difficult to find. These are the first dangerous spirits that Mel has had to deal with, but deal with them she must if this renovation has a prayer of being completed.

If you like strong female characters surrounded by a loving if unconventional family and a handsome man or two... and if you like your mysteries housed in old Victorian homes being brought back to life... and if you like your old houses populated with a spirit or two... then you've come to the right book in the right series.

Mel Turner is a general contractor specializing in restoring historic homes. She's divorced, lives with her father, and dearly loves her stepson, Caleb. She didn't know she'd inherited her mother's ability to see ghosts until after she'd sustained a solid whack to the head. In this book, the spirits are decidedly unfriendly, and one of them (the "shadow ghost") made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

This isn't just a ghost-laced little mystery, though. There's the renovation to savor, and those homeowners who insist on living in the house while it's being torn apart are every bit as interesting as the ghosts with whom they're sharing space. If you're in the mood for a light, fun, well-written cozy that whets your appetite for old houses and ghosts, Dead Bolt will be just your cup of tea. ( )
  cathyskye | Apr 23, 2012 |
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The renovation of a Queen Anne Victorian in San Francisco is disrupted by ghosts who live on the property and a dead body found near the job site. General contractor Melanie Turner is accused of the crime and has to restore both the home and her reputation.… (more)

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