Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Keeper of the Castle

Keeper of the Castle (Haunted Home Renovation - Book 5) by Juliet Blackwell

Publication Date: 12/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Obsidian Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0451465806
ISBN-13: 978-0451465801

(Received for an honest review from Obsidian Mystery)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Juliet Blackwell on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries

1. If Walls Could Talk
2. Dead Bolt
3. Murder on the House
4. Home for the Haunting
5. Keeper of the Castle

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Keeper of the Castle, courtesy of the author's website.


In the latest Haunted Home Renovation mystery from New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell, San Francisco contractorand reluctant ghostbusterMel Turner gets hired for a job that's to die for.

Lately, Mel has been worried about finding enough historic renovation work to pay the bills. But while Turner Construction is in need of a project, Mel’s boyfriend, Graham, has his hands full managing the reconstruction of an ancient building shipped over from Scotland.
With the job plagued by rumors that the stones are cursed, Graham brings in Mel to look for paranormal activity. And while the ghost of a charming Scottish clansman does seem to be hanging around the site, the real shock comes when they stumble upon a body.
When the original construction crew starts running scared, Mel brings in her team to finish the job. Now all she has to do is nail down the killer, and put the spirits to rest, before anyone else winds up heading for the highlands…


There are not one, but two ghosts in Juliet Blackwell's latest Haunted Home Renovation book, Keeper of the Castle. This one has a Highland theme, as well as, a few ghostly twists and plenty of construction and renovation tips. Reader's who are looking for something a little on the spooky side will love Mel's adventure with the reconstruction of a Scottish monastery and her continuing work with laying ghosts to rest. Blackwell once again shows great care with her character development and interesting plot ideas. A must read paranormal cozy!

What I liked:

Juliet Blackwell always seems to come up with something usual for each of her books in this series. She has the ability to think outside the box with each story and come up with something original and different. That's a great quality for any writer, but I think it's especially important to those who write mysteries. You have to have that something that sets your book apart from the rest of the pack. This time it's a Highland twist that gives Keeper of the Castle it's unique foundation. 

Graham asks Mel to take a look at a project he is working on. He is a green consultant for a wealthy client who is reconstructing a Scottish monastery, stone by stone, in a new American location. Unfortunately, there are a few issues. The building inspector is trying just about everything he can think of to shut down the project and there are a couple of ghosts haunting the chapel.

This sounds like it's right up Mel's alley, especially after said building inspector ends up dead and Mel is asked to complete the project. Blackwell doesn't take long to draw the reader into the background and history of the monastery and what seems to be bothering the Highland ghosts. I loved the Scottish theme and thought Blackwell did a great job executing it. The mystery involving the inspector's death was interesting, but sort of took a back seat to the ghostly drama going on.

Bottom Line:

Mel starts to unravel what is going on with both the murder and the ghosts and still has time for her family, friends and Graham. There was a nice balance to the book, but it did lean a little toward the ghostly goings on. I felt like it needed a little more mystery and a little less history, but still enjoyed it a lot. Readers who want a little something unique will appreciate Blackwell's attention to detail with the Scottish aspects of the book and Mel once again shows of her great knowledge of construction. A good overall read.

Keeper of the Castle is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Juliet Blackwell is the pseudonym for the New York Times bestselling mystery author who also writes the Witchcraft Mystery series and, together with her sister, wrote the Art Lover’s Mystery series as Hailey Lind. The first in that series, Feint of Art, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. As owner of her own faux-finish and design studio, the author has spent many days and nights on construction sites renovating beautiful historic homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently resides in a happily haunted house in Oakland, California.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Keeper of the Castle by Juliet Blackwell.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 31st.

1. Please leave a comment. Ever done any home renovation projects? What kind? How did they turn out?

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Annette N said...

I have been involved in remodeling a room in a 100 year old home. We found that not one of the 8 windows in the room were the same distance from the floor or the ceiling. But, it was such a lovely home it made no difference.

Texas Book Lover said...

not home renovations...but I'm part of office renovations all the time as part of my job. They never turn up anything interesting though since they aren't old buildings.

Linda Kish said...

My son has been doing some work in our house. It's coming along pretty good considering he has no experience. He redid their bathroom and is in the process of closing off the bonus room. He wants to put in a concealed door. That should be interesting.

Carol M said...

No, I haven't but we do need to do some.

Kimberlee said...

I haven't done any home renovations, but I am purchasing a house in January and sure I will have many projects to do.


Karen B said...

Other than painting and changing light bulbs all renovations have been hired out!

Angela - Bookaunt said...

Yes after three hurricanes came through we had to redo our house, we put in tile floors, french doors and repainted and I do not want to have to do that again.

holdenj said...

We sanded and painted our house ourselves, which has been the biggest thing to date. Not really a true reno, of course, but a lot of work!

holdenj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I haven't done any home renovations other than simple wall painting.

Rita Wray said...

When we moved into our house my husband and I did a lot of renovations. It's hard work but I love it.

bn100 said...

No, I haven't

Anonymous said...

We have redone our bathroom and it went ok except we hope to get the trim finished but things keep happening to keep us from finishing.

Brooke Showalter said...

I haven't done any home improvement projects. I'm not very handy!

Elizabeth Schroedle said...

When my Dad was alive, he and I did many home improvement projects. Mom and Dad retired to Dallas, TX. The master bedroom was huge and carpeted with the ugliest wallpaper. There was even wallpaper around the tub. We stripped off the wallpaper and applied tile around the tub and put in a new floor. We re-wallpapered with a subtle stripe pattern with an border of exotic flowers in mint green and light peach. My mother loved it. It took almost 3 months as my Dad was very pokey with home improvement projects. Thank goodness, they had a second bathroom.

Anonymous said...

I've done a lot of Painting Projects and stuff like installing Towel Bars etc. no major stuff...
Marilyn Watson

lag123 said...

I would rather hire it done.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Sue Farrell said...

We completely refinished our kitchen cabinets and turned our kitchen from a dark, dingy place to a bright, inviting room.

Theresa N. said...

Lots of projects and so far so good. :)
Theresa N


Two years ago, we bought an older home with the express purpose of renovation. It SOUNDED like fun. Two years later, we're still working on it. Not as much fun as we thought....

Unknown said...

I helped with Rebuild Joplin Project after the big tornado. Due to a lot of unscrupulous people, many homes were supposedly rebuilt or repaired by shoddy builders. We went in to fix these homes (at no cost) to these homeowners. i am not a skilled worker but we were taught how to tear down walls, remove and replace doors and windows, replace carpet and flooring, remodel bathrooms and kitchens. it was a great feeling of accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

Vera Wilson said

Couldn't tackle anything big.

Have tried painting and that turned out ok, but major stuff leave to ones that know how.

snoopysnop1 at yahoo dot com

Meg C. said...

I've never done or helped with any home renovations. I kind of want to though, partially for the experience, partially because I like the idea of making any ideas of mine a reality. Or as close as you can get with any renovation (since things almost always seem to happen that change it at least a little.

Anita Yancey said...

No, I haven't done any home renovation projects, but I probably need to. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Natasha said...

No I haven't done any yet.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Unknown said...

We put an protective coat on the garage floor. It turned out really nice. I just didn't care for the time it took to get it finished. :P

Michelle F. said...

My parents painted the walls and before that scraped them down. This was years ago.