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If Walls Could Talk

If Walls Could Talk

Написано Juliet Blackwell

Озвучено Xe Sands


If Walls Could Talk

Написано Juliet Blackwell

Озвучено Xe Sands

оценки:
4.5/5 (23 оценки)
Длина:
7 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Aug 19, 2013
ISBN:
9781452685625
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

Melanie Turner has made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now her reputation may be on the line.



At her newest 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 nailing the killer, she can rid herself of the ghostly presence of the murdered man-and not end up a construction casualty herself . . .
Издатель:
Издано:
Aug 19, 2013
ISBN:
9781452685625
Формат:
Аудиокнига


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  • (2/5)
    Mel Turner is a 38-year-old divorcee who has taken over her father's contracting business. She's decided to help a friend renovate an old Victorian home, showing up the night after he has a wild party. While there, another man she dislikes intensely shows up, severely injured. Kenneth has been attacked, and while Mel tries to keep him alive, it's apparent he didn't make it. Yet later on that same day she sees him, and eventually figures out he's a ghost.When her friend Matt is suspected of killing Kenneth, she decides to find out who murdered the man, once she reconciles herself with the ability of being able to see ghosts. But it seems the killer is not only still on the loose, they're on the lookout for something special, and if Mel gets in the way, she might have to go, too...This is the first in the series and I liked the premise so wanted to read it. Unfortunately, it couldn't hold up right from the beginning. We're supposed to believe that Mel is a contractor who, because she wears work boots, shows up to work in clothing that looks as if she's going to a nightclub. Right. Because every woman who works on job sites dresses like that. Because people will see you as a professional and want to hire you if you look terrific. Sorry, but I've worked on job sites and I not only wouldn't take a person seriously who dressed like that, I'd wonder which one of the workers she spent the night with after he picked her up in a bar. I certainly wouldn't want to hire her. Face it: Would you hire an attorney if you showed up to their office and they were wearing a low cut sparkly dress? You'd think they spent the night out on the town and just got to work...and probably go to another attorney. Attire does count in professional jobs. So strike one.Strike two: the murder of Kenneth is particularly gruesome and I don't think it needed to be so. (A saw?) I couldn't get the picture out of my mind and since I read this late at night, it probably wasn't a good idea to do so. I'm strong on mental visuals, so it stuck with me - unfortunately - and I have no desire to read future books if this was the way it was depicted. If I'm reading a thriller, I have no problem with it, since I pretty much expect it, but not in what is termed a 'cozy'. Some things can still get the point across without reading about a 'bloody stump'.Strike three: If she and her ex were both anthropologists, why was he the one with the cushy job? Why couldn't both of them have great jobs? Is the author telling us that women are less than men when it comes to getting positions at universities? She also states how she wanted to be a martyr in a Paris apartment. News flash: she is; just not in Paris. She's a martyr through the entire book. Gee, Mel, many women have marriages that fail but they don't go through life lamenting what they could have had.After these things, I completely lost interest in the book. Mel grated on me; she wanted a different life but took over her father's business out of obligation? All she had to do was sit her father down and tell him she didn't want to be a contractor, and he could either go back to work or close the business. He wasn't much better than her, just giving up everything in his life and turning it over to his daughter instead of pulling himself together. For a man who's an ex-marine, he sure didn't have any discipline regarding his business, not seeing that other people were dependent on him. Anyway, I'm pretty much done with this series, and since this is the first book, that says a lot.
  • (5/5)
    ***** 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!
  • (3/5)
    Actually 3.5 Stars

    This is the first book in Juliet Blackwell's Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series.

    In this book we meet Mel(anie) Turner of owner of Turner Construction. Mel has taken over the company from her family; when her sisters became of age they fled the business and when her mother passed her father lost interest & turned the business over to her. Mel's mother always had a keen "sense" of which houses would be best to renovate & "flip" and it seem that Mel has inherited her gift.

    Mel has just come into the business and is asked to look at a historic house that was built as a twin and is now being renovated in order to be "flipped"....

    When Mel arrives she finds that there had been a "demolition" party the previous night and one of the principles, Matt, is passed out on the sofa. Upon going upstairs with Matt to inspect the damage done at the party the idea man behind the flip, Kenneth (whom Mel detests), staggers in with a nail gun in his hand & begins to shoot at them. Kenneth then falls and Mel & Matt discover that Kenneth's hand has not only been severed off but he has been shot full of nails.... Mel holds Kenneth, comforting him until the EMTs come and take him to the hospital.

    Driving home Kenneth appears to Mel and continues to appear....slightly bewildered but clearly in need of help. There are other ghosts in the house but they refuse to interact with Kenneth....

    As Mel & Matt begin to work on the renovation things begin to happen: break-ins, assaults, fire, and more ghostly phenomena. As the history of the house is slowly revealed all the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together.....

    This is quick, easy & entertaining read. I have read another series by Blackwell, witchcraft mysteries, which (as witchcraft mysteries go), I prefer to many of the other similar series that have been published.
  • (2/5)
    Not at all believable in any facet, particularly the home renovation angle. Go write about something you know about.
  • (4/5)
    One of the better of the themed cozy's that I've read in a while, the theme of historical renovations (and talking to ghosts) was actually incorporated pretty smoothly and made sense in the context of both the story and the characters. The characters were fun and engaging, I definitely found myself caring about them almost from the start and the mystery itself was intriguing and while the resolution was not exactly surprising it did take a few interesting turns that I didn't see coming. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.
  • (4/5)
    Great first! I am a fan of this author's other series', the other one she writes as Juliet Blackwell, and the series she writes with her sister as Hailey Lind. This first in the Haunted Home Renovation series didn't disappoint. The characters are all likeable and well written and I'm looking forward to seeing future character development. I really appreciated too, that I didn't have to suffer through an over abundance of denial about her ability to see ghosts. I'm really looking forward to the next one and hate that I'll have to wait almost an entire year for it.
  • (4/5)
    Read on August 25, 2013Read/Listened for Fun (Physical Copy, Kindle, and Audible)Overall Rating: 4.00Story Rating: 3.75Character Rating: 4.25Audio Rating: 4.50 (Not part of the overall rating)First Thought when Finished: I was actually redoing a room while listening and this just added to the fun factor!Story Thoughts: Poor Melanie! All she wants to do is disappear to France and go native for a bit. Family responsibilities though prevent that and so she is now running the family's remodeling historic houses business. She also can see ghosts. These two combine to make for quite a fun way of solving a murder, discovering clues, and looking like your crazy! Actually I felt a bit bad for her as those pesky spirits could just pop up when it is inconvenient. Overall, the case is pretty solid and there were a few twists/turns. Not being able to figure out who did it immediately was great! Though you will figure it out before Mel, you will still have fun watching her come to the realization of who was behind it!Character Thoughts: I really liked Melanie. Her forthright behavior, backbone, and smarts made her a very strong woman. She was just quirky enough to identify with and knew when to stand her ground. She was also loyal to everyone: family, step-children (previous marriage), and friends. She is the kind of person I would want to have as a friend. Graham, I am not sold on yet but their eventual love match wasn't played up to much in this book. So I can take time to get to know him just as Mel will again.Audio Thoughts: Narrated By Xe Sands / Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins Xe is one of those narrators that truly sounds different in every book they do. She tends to merge with the characters and bring out their quirks, behaviors, and insecurities. She is fantastic at pacing, nuances, and emotions. I loved her as Mel! She just got her really well. I can't wait to get book 2!Final Thoughts: Great beginning to a fun series. I just wish I had half the remolding gumption as Mel!
  • (3/5)
    This was another cozy series that was recommended to me by a cyber friend. I've been reading a lot of cozies lately because they just feel good, and it was nice to read something light. I've had good luck and bad luck with these attempts. This attempt wasn't terrible, but not that good either. This book is about Mel Thompson and her construction crew located in San Francisco. There are some pretty good characters in this book, including Mel herself. I like that part about the book. I also liked the home renovation and antique hunting part. I was expecting ghosts, so that was not a surprise, but the ghosts in this book are not ghost-like at all. They were more like wooden characters. The mystery was not much of a mystery either, and the plotting didn't leave me on the edge of my seat. So I don't think I'll be continuing with this series.
  • (5/5)
    excellent story, I recommend this book the characters are wonderful.
  • (4/5)
    This book was a fun mix of cozy mystery and historic preservation, and it even mentioned Orinda, where my sister lives! Cozy mysteries are a guilty "cotton candy" pleasure of mine, and this one is one of the better ones I've come across lately.
  • (4/5)
    Fun, quick beach read. Likable characters, definitely a series with potential.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    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
  • (4/5)
    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.