3/6/14

Home for the Haunting 'The Haunted Home Renovation' Series by Juliet Blackwell, Narrator, Xe Sands

Home for the Haunting
Book 4, Haunted Home Renovation Series
Juliet Blackwell
Narrator Xe Sands
7 hours 30 minutes
Tantor Media




Photo of Narrator Xe Sands, reader for all Juliet Blackwell's series.
Narrator Xe Sands
Juliet Blackwell author of the Witchcraft Series, and Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries
Author Juliet Blackwell
Listening to Xe Sands is always such a pleasure. Few come up to her skill level at depicting not only each character but every nuance, which is essential for a story to flow without interruption. Sands gives structure and spirit to the words, that all narrators would do well to emulate. I was especially taken with the astonishing way Sands accurately depicts the voice of the elderly Etta Lee.

The text between the dialog is the glue that holds the story together, as Xe Sands, reads she is giving it excitement, setting the mood or giving it force and direction. Her intonations are flawless and in many languages and foreign accents. Ms.Sands is the highest caliber of narrator, always keeping your attention and directing your inner visualizations in the direction the author has laid out.

Audio Book Review:
Home For the Haunting By Juliet Blackwell

Mel Turner has taken on a volunteer project to do some much-needed repair work for some of the disadvantaged in the San Francisco, Bernal Heights neighborhood. Mel's project house is to repair the peeling paint, and the roof, mend the porch, and additionally building a wheelchair ramp for Monty Parker, who is unable to leave his house without help. The ramp will allow him to get out on his own. Mel's dad has taken on the repairs for Etta Lee a sweet retired school teacher, whose house is across the street from Mel's. Mel and her dad are in a friendly competition on who will finish their project first. Mel's helpers are all inexperienced young volunteers, while her Dad's helpers are all experienced craftsmen.

Good-natured Mel, knows her biggest challenge is making sure none of her volunteers hurt themselves, don't make mistakes and of course don't damage anything. Some younger kids from the neighborhood are disturbing the volunteers with their incessant singing of a ditty to the tune of the old  "Lizzie Borden took an axe," it's really creeping everyone out, Mel, in her engaging way talks to the kids, and one of the boys tells her they sing it every time they pass the murder house. Mel had already noticed faces peering out and she knows they are ghosts.


All is going along cheerily until some of the volunteers start clearing out a shed and find a corpse in it, and it doesn't look like its been there very long. This of course brings everything to a halt, Detective Annette Crawford is back in the picture as investigating officer. Crawford remembers past murders involving Mel, and had no interest or belief in the supernatural. She was downright disdainful of anything to do with haunting's. Now she is warming to the idea and Mel is her go to person for all things haunted.

We learn more about Mel's sister in this book. Unlike most of the people in the series, Mel's sister is not likable at all. She's downright unappealing. She's, rude, self-centered and really pushes Mel's patience to the limits. Let's hope we hear less about her in future books. Most of the characters in the earlier books are in one way or another brought into If Walls Could Talk and with each book we learn more about them.

I love all the series that Juliet Blackwell does, her writing is well thought out, detailed, and most of her people are likable, events are generally believable and the stories move along fast without any tedious boring parts. Xe Sands, is one of the most amazing narrators that we are so lucky to have. I recommend listening to the audiobook version and delving right into the series from the first book, If Walls Could Talk.

Haunted Home Renovation Mystery Series
1. If Walls Could Talk (2010)
2. Dead Bolt (2011)
3. Murder on the House (2012)
4. Home For the Haunting (2013)

Witchcraft Mystery Series
1. Secondhand Spirits (2009)
2. A Cast-Off Coven (2010)
3. Hexes and Hemlines (2011)
4. In a Witch's Wardrobe (2012)
5. Tarnished and Torn (2013)
6. A Vision in Velvet (2014)



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