Retro Reading: If Walls Could Talk by Juliet Blackwell
It's best to say If Walls Could Talk these walls should remain mute.
In the debut of the Haunted Home Renovation series we meet Melanie "Mel" Turner who's taken over her father's construction business. While Mel likes her job and those who work for her, she dreams of moving to Paris.
As the book opens, Mel has gone over friend Matt Addax's house the morning after he hosted a self demo party. She finds the former rockstar passed out on a couch and can't remember too much of the party. He's also not sure how his head was injured. As they begin to survey the damage, Mel discovers something in a wall. While trying to retrieve the object Matt suddenly screams as his business partner shoots a nail gun at him.
While the nail misses Matt both are shocked to see that Kenneth is missing a hand and a whole of blood.
During the investigation of the murder, Mel finds out her signature was forged on a few permits, bringing her old flame Graham Donovan back into her life. Graham is an inspector for Cal-OSHA and unsuccessfully tried to persuade her not to marry "the love of her life."
While all this is going on, Mel begins to see the ghost of Kenneth. Although they weren't friends while alive things haven't changed much since he's been dead. She tries to get rid of him but he keeps popping up from time to time.
Mel can't figure out why he's come to her later discovers her late mother had the gift of seeing dead people and was somewhat psychic. She only discovers this when her father mentions it.
As Kenneth keeps popping up, she tries to get answers from him but he's of no use since he can't remember what happened prior to his death. Soon the bad guys are after her because they think she knows or is hiding something.
Although I've read the plot before in recent books the only twist on this book is having a ghost. I kept hoping for more excitement and there are a couple of page turning moments, but for the most part I really didn't care too much for the characters.
Certainly I wasn't going to lose any sleep but the failure here is the relationship between Mel and Kenneth. It should have been developed more.
We know they didn't like each other to begin with so why is he popping up and reporting back to Mel? Maybe if the two of them had worked together as a team it would have been a little albeit a lot more exciting.
There's literally a laundry list of suspects to choose from but even though they're minor characters some could have been expanded more. Even those characters come out flat.