Title: If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell
Scored a: A-
I recently reviewed another book by Juliet Blackwell, Secondhand Spirits, that I did not realize was by the same author when I picked this up. Couldn’t figure out why I was getting the wrong book results when I searched for this one because I was very very tired after a long plane trip.
Juliet Blackwell’s strength, to my eyes, is how well she writes side characters. They come right to life. And there were a lot in this book, but not to its detriment.
Okay, so the plot is thus: Mel Turner has taken over her father’s historical home renovation business, even though all she wants to do is go to Paris and be wan. Things aren’t going her way towards that goal, especially when someone dies at her friend’s home renovation/demolition party and his ghost starts appearing to her asking for help solving his murder.
It’s a fun story! Mel has neat friends, she’s fun to watch interact with people and solve clues, and her supporting family cast (including her step-son from her ex-marriage and her father and his live-in friend Stan) is fun to watch and not overpowering. The romance wasn’t half bad, either. Romances seem to be de rigeur in cozies I’ve noticed and a dickish one can ruin a book fast for me.
The final confrontation was, best of all, very satisfying after all the things that happened during the course of the story. And the solution was foreshadowed pretty well, I thought. However, some ways the mystery played out knocked this down to an A- from an A+, mostly regarding a subplot that seemed overly garbled.
I’ve already bought the sequel.