Dead Bolt: A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery by Juliet Blackwell
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Description: Turner Construction's latest restoration project is a historic Queen Anne Victorian in San Francisco. This time general contractor Mel Turner has to work around the owners who insist on sticking around - along with some ghosts that insist in their own way that the work stops.
The ghosts aren't the only ones standing in the way of the renovations. A crotchety neighbor, Emile Blunt, secretly wants the house, and could be behind some of the disturbances. But when Emile is found dead, it's Mel who appears guilty. Now she must restore the building - and her reputation - before it's too late. (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: I really like Blackwell's writing style and can't resist a book with home renovation. Plus, I really enjoyed the first book in the series.
My Impression: I love a home renovation story and if you throw ghosts in I'm even happier. This was a fast paced read. I really like Mel. She's a good contractor and a tough woman in a male dominated field but she still loves her sequins. I also like how positive her relationship with her former stepson is. It's nice to see a step-parent/step-child relationship portrayed in a positive light.
Mystery-wise I think it did suffer a little bit from 2nd Book Syndrome. Mel is willing to admit that ghosts are a thing but at this point has only had one experience (aka the first book in the series) so is kind of in a weird in between of belief/not belief and it takes her a long time to come up with a plan. This kind of makes the book feel disjointed and almost like it's a place holder. There are mysteries - one involving the living and the other not so much - but I felt like they need to be fleshed out a little more. By the end Mel seems to have found her stride and her focus so I have a feeling the 3rd book is going to be fantastic!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: I will. I'm looking forward to the 3rd book in this series and she has another series featuring a witch who owns a vintage clothing shop that I'd like to try.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Read the 1st book and then get this one. This is a fun read but the first one is better.