Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell Narrator Xe Sands

Dead Bolt
Book 2 in the Haunted Home Renovation series
by Juliet Blackwell
Narrator Xe Sands
7 hours 19 minutes
Tantor media

Juliet Blackwell Dead Bolt Xe Sands narrator
Author Juliet Blackwell

Narrator Xe Sands

When a fantastic book is read by an equally fantastic narrator you have a combination that will send your pleasure meter into orbit. When Xe Sands and Juliet Blackwell merge their talents pure magic happens. Plan to have time set aside to listen to Dead Bolt uninterrupted, so you can thoroughly enjoy yourself. Sands does an amazing Russian accent and gives just the right amount of whine and daintiness to our petite and shy Katenka Daley. I'm always astonished at the wide range of languages and types of characters that Sands not only is spot on with, but makes them seem so real. You are lead down the path where Sands wants to take you and you will happily follow enthralled with her presentation. 

Juliet Blackwell is an extremely skilled writer, each book is original, humorous, scary, and captivating.
The characters are never stale, or unrealistic. Each one engages you to the point you like or dislike them, and care about them. They are like people you either would love to know or do know. The story flows in an unbroken stream and is never dull or boring. Set in San Francisco and the Bay Area, it's loaded with tidbits of historical information and points out many of the changes that have occurred in the city.

Mel Turner, construction company owner, has eagerly begun the restoration of a beautiful Queen Anne house in San Francisco's Cow Hollow area. Katenka Daley and her husband Jim Daley insist on living in the house while construction is going on against Mel's wishes. Katenka confides to Mel that she is sure the house is haunted and she's afraid harm will be done to her baby, she's decided that it might be best to stop the restoration. Frustrated Mel, knows Jim Daley is adamant about not living anywhere else not even for his beloved Katenka. Mel definitely does not want to quit the restoration. During this confidence one of the ghost makes its presence known causing Katenka to faint and Mel wanting to run out the door. After the manifestation is over, Mel is still unwilling to stop the restoration and tells Katenka she'll see what she can do to rid the house of the ghosts. After all this is not her first encounter with ghosts, although they seem more malevolent than the ones she had to deal with in a previous restoration.

Ghosts and even a ghost cat are a handful to deal with, when neighbor, Emile Blunt, ambushes Mel, while she's heading home. Emile has been a thorn in Mel's side, with his constant complaining about the noise, the dust and just about everything so she's taken by surprise when he wants her to intervene with the Daley's on his behalf to buy the mansion.

It escalates into a screaming match with him refusing to move out of the way of her car when she's trying to get out of her parking place, and her yelling at him to get out of the way or she'll run him over. The next day Emile is found shot to death embroiling Mel and even her father as possible suspects. Mel, because the loud screaming match was reported to the police and her father as he found the dead man. Even Jim Daley is a suspect as he also had a confrontation with Emile the night before.

Mel, is not only feisty and resourceful she is sensible and sets her mind to extricating herself and her father and contacts her friend Brittany who not only revels in hauntings but is a good sources of information. One by one, Mel, tracks down the previous owners a crazy old cat lady, Hetty Banks, her children, and some of the previous residents when it was a sort of boarding house and took in orphaned children.

It's quite the jumble of people and motives. Although Emile was a crotchety old guy Mel was having trouble actually finding anyone with a truly plausible motive. It heats up when she learns that Hetty has been left his worldly goods, including his shop. Mel didn't know that Hetty and Emile were close enough for him to will his belongings to her. Causing Mel to take a second look at Hetty as a possible suspect, after all she surmises even an old lady can pull a trigger.

 I enjoyed the interchange between Mel and the skeptical policewoman, when she tries to explain her connection to the house and to Emile Blunt. Trying to explain about ghost is more than the woman can take.
Police are not very likely to look fondly on hauntings or anything woo woo. Mel's romances are looking somewhat better and Graham is back in the running. Her young lover returns but reigniting that love fest doesn't look like it's in the offing. Overall this is a fun series, not quite a cozy like M. C. Beaton writes, but not the blood lust in the style of  Peter Robinson . 

Dead Bolt Juliet Blackwell narrator Xe Sands
Dead Bolt by Juliet Blackwell

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