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Transplanted to Miami, FL, from Iowa City, IA. Trying to find a balance between reading, knitting, playing mom taxi, and enjoying the sun and sand in Miami.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell

If Walls Could Talk is the first in a new series by Juliet Blackwell, the Haunted Home Renovation series. The main character is Mel Turner, former cultural anthropologist turned contractor for historic home reconstructions and remodels. Mel had temporarily stepped in for her dad after her mom passed away. Two years later, she is still standing in.
Mel is fairly recently divorced from her fellow anthropologist husband. She is also recently thrown together with a former flame, or maybe the one who got away. Mel is working on a house for an old friend, and former rock star, and nothing is going smoothly.
I really like Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mystery series, I think I will also like this one. I think this first book got off to a little bit of a rocky start, but the bone structure is good. I think I heard a little too much about how Mel really wanted to be in Paris, wallowing in self pity instead of running her family’s construction company. This book also suffered a little bit because there were a lot of characters to be introduced that will likely be recurring characters in later books, and that tended to slow things down.
This series is about Haunted Home Renovations, so of course the house that Mel is working on is haunted. I thought that this book started with a bang, almost literally, but it felt a bit like there were too many elements being squeezed in. Blackwell had to provide enough information to us lay people to follow the historic home business, plus establishing a bit of the mythology for the ghosts or spirits that hang around. Put all that together with establishing characters in a new series, and it felt a little rushed in some places and maybe long winded in others. 

        Maybe because I'm coming off of Victoria Laurie's Ghost Hunters series, I was a little disappointed by the actual haunting of the house that Mel was working on. However, Blackwell did establish that Mel is maybe just starting to recognize and come into her "powers" to see and communicate with spirits, so I would expect more spooky haunting stuff in future books. 
I will read the next book in this series because, based on Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mysteries, I think she will hit a groove with this series as well. 
For now, I’m going to give If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell, 3 bookmarks.