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Although Melanie "Mel" Turner had recently taken over her father's home renovation business in San Francisco while he recovered from the death of her mother, Mel is becoming much more renowned for her recently discovered talent of communicating with the dead. It was this ghost-busting attribute that got her hired by a couple to renovate a historic Castro District house into a haunted bed-and-breakfast. However, there is a catch; she must first spend the night in the home that has a history of scaring off previous contractors.
Mel also finds that a rival contractor will be spending the night along with her, an evening that ends in tragedy when Mel sees the ghost of the current owner. This is rather unexpected as the last time Mel saw Mrs. Bernini she was still very much alive. Mel's ghost detecting abilities unfortunately prove to be successful, as her next discovery is the body of Mrs. Bernini in a nearby well. It seems that Mrs. Bernini had promised her home to more than one hopeful recipient, an act of questionable generosity that leaves multiple parties disappointed, resentful, and with motives for wanting the woman dead.
While Mel's friends, her father, and the investigating homicide inspector would all prefer that Mel concentrate on renovating homes, she's unable to abandon the ghosts of the children who still inhabit Mrs. Bernini's house. Her investigation leads her to the mysterious death of the entire family who once lived there in the early 1900s and was blamed on a neighbor over water rights with an added element of witchcraft. Mel also must contend with seeing her ex-husband's new wife renovate what was once Mel's dream home, flirt with a Green contractor, and watch her father misinterpret her relationship with her non-gay gay best friend.
In addition to this very enjoyable paranormal mystery series, Juliet Blackwell also authors the charming Witchcraft Mysteries and the Art Lover's Mystery series written with her sister under the name Hailey Lind. Blackwell creates strong female characters who are likable, sympathetic, and very humorous. The magic adds just the right amount of charm and woo-woo to craftily plotted mysteries.
To enter to win a copy of Murder On The House, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “House”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 5, 2013. U.S. residents only.