10/20/13

If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell, Narrated by Xe Sands

If Walls Could TalkA Home Renovation Mystery
(A Haunted Home Repair Mystery)
Author: Juliet Blackwell
Narrator: Xe Sands 

Producer: Tantor Audio 
7 hours 27 minutes




Narrator Review: Xe Sands

Xe Sands Narrator of If Walls Could Talk A Haunted Home Repair Mystery
Xe Sands, Narrator
I can not think of all the fabulous narrators there are, but who would be better than Xe Sands. Absolutely no one is the answer. I love her narration of Juliet Blackwell's books, both series, and her rendition of Mel the personable, perky, and sassy Victorian Home renovator is superb.

Her Spanish is, well, so Spanish, outstanding and at least to my ears authentic. Xe Sands, just wow's your socks off. Ms. Sands draws the emotions out of every character, and every scene making them pop and sparkle.

Did I mention that Ms. Sands has a lovely voice that can make just want to listen regardless of what book she is narrating. Talent is too small a word to describe Ms.Sands, alas, talent, at the highest level is just what she always delivers.










Audio Book Review: If Walls Could Talk By Juliet Blackwell


If Walls Could Talk, is a fairly new series written by Juliet Blackwell. I enjoyed everyone of Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries, they were fun reads and so hard to put down. Haunted Home Repair Mysteries, win hands down for sheer reading pleasure.

Blackwell has found a good balance between not having excessive sex scenes yet still eludes to it without being offensive, while still capturing Mel's romantic  interests. There's a wide cast of engaging characters from the young to the old, and they are all well fleshed out, without going overboard on dry details. It is very refreshing to have a female lead that is running a successful house restoration company. 

Melanie Turner, recently divorced, returns home after her mother passes away and her father devastated and having a hard time coping with losing the love of his life, hands the reins of his construction company to Mel.

Melanie takes to the business like a fish to water and loves what she's doing and she is good at it. After two years of successfully running Turner Construction her Dad is happy to work a little in the background and just offer suggestions and tips, Regardless if Mel, wants to hear them or not.

As a favor to a friend, Mel had given an unofficial inspection of his Pacific Heights mansion restoration. Mel knows the aging rock star through her ex-stepson Caleb, who goes to the same school as Matts' son. The owners had a wild "do it yourself demo party" for the 'A'  list celebrities who thought it was cool that Matt and partner Ken were flipping a Victorian Mansion and doing the work themselves.

When Melanie gets to the home one of the owners is near death and the other is so hung over he has little recollection of the previous night's festivities. Ken is bleeding out from being shot with a nail gun. Mel tries to comfort him while waiting for the ambulance and to her horror she see's a bloody stump where his hand had been.

Before Ken dies at the hospital a nurse thinks his last words were implicating his partner Matt, as the one that shot him. This leads to Matt's arrest later and a lot of trouble. Mel and everyone else can't believe it and there is no way that Matt, would have done such a thing.

Mel first see's Ken, out of the corner of her eye, then he disappears when she looks directly at him. At first she wonders if she dozed off, or imagined it or maybe is stressed from a day from hell.

When she learns that at the time she saw him he had already died. In the days that follow she continues to catch sight of him. This is unsettling and he seems to want her to do something, she just doesn't know what. Mel, wonders if she's gone a little crazy or if what she is seeing is real. 

Mel, noticed a scruffy brown dog wearing a red neck scarf, hanging around outside Matt's house, he has no identification or tags. No one seems to know who he belongs to or if he belongs to anyone at all. One day when Mel's going to head home the dog jumps into her car and won't get out.

Kenneth appears in the car right on top of the dog. Poor dog is startled and not to happy about being sat on and jumps into the backseat. It dawns on Mel, that she may not be crazy, because the dog saw Ken. She feels somewhat better about this turn of events just knowing she isn't the only one seeing Ken, but with a ghost appearing at all, she is not so happy. 

Mel, with amazing self control tries to find out why Ken keeps showing up and what does he want. Poor Ken, is clueless himself as he doesn't remember anything at least not anything that will help Mel unravel the mystery of who killed him or why.

Bad enough to deal with Ken, but there are other ghostly beings residing in the mansion, again, Mel, see's them out of the corner of her eye. She is able to start sorting them out because she can also smell things like cigar smoke, or hear the rattle of a newspaper. In time it is apparent to Mel, that she is going to have to rid herself and the mansion of all the ghosts. 

The unfolding of how Mel, solves the crime and understands what role the Mansions ghost have in it, is no third rate ghost story by any means. It's full of fun and laughs, wonderful characters, and a huge variety of things going on that pull the story together into one of this years best fiction book.

This series has soared to the top of my all time favorite books ever. San Francisco, is the perfect backdrop with its myriad of Victorian homes, conglomeration of people and activities. As always I suggest listening to the audio version, as nothing illustrates the story and gives body to it more than a good narrator. Xe Sands, excels at bringing everything to life. 


If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell
If Walls Could Talk















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