If Walls Could Talk
by Juliet Blackwell
Book 1 of Haunted Home Renovation Mystery
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...
The premise for If Walls Could Talk is one for a murder mystery trope that I personally like a lot wherein that the main character is able to see ghosts, and thus must be the "Ghost-of-the-Week's" champion, so to speak. It's certainly not an original concept, but it is one that has massive potential depending on how well the author plays it.
The book starts off a little slow, but it's pretty easy to becoming caught in what's going on. The story itself was not entirely predictable in a specific capacity, but any and all surprise twists didn't exactly seem all that surprising. While I couldn't really pinpoint who the killer was, as there were so many possible suspects, you still get that nagging feeling that there's more to the story for each suspect. The final reveal didn't strike me as too surprising.
The characters may not really stand out, but I can live with that considering that they are great characters with potential for more growth throughout the rest of the series. Likable characters can still be enjoyable to follow even if they're kind of boring.
On the other hand, my BFF (this book was read as our mini book club buddy read) and I also agreed that the historic home renovations parts of the book were pretty fascinating. It's an interesting concept to include because it hinges on older, historical homes that all have potentially exciting stories to tell--perfect for haunted houses, by the way!
Finally, while quite enjoyable, there are still a few things that are left unresolved--a few loose ends with some of the side characters whom all seemed significant in some way, but in the end, you're not sure what actually happened.
If Walls Could Talk isn't the best read in the world, but it's also maybe a step up from a mediocre read which I found very entertaining. This is a series I will probably stick with in the long run.