The Last Curtain Call
Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #8
By Juliet Blackwell
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
A new ghoulish mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Ghostly Light featuring Mel Turner, a ghost-whispering contractor.
Mel Turner can’t resist the chance to bring the Crockett Theatre, a decrepit San Francisco Art Deco movie palace, back to life. But there’s a catch for Turner Construction: Several artists are currently squatting in the building, and they aren’t the only ones haunting the once-grand halls of the historic theater…
When one of the squatters is found dead, the police department has a long list of suspects to investigate. Meanwhile, Mel and her fiancé, Landon, are remodeling an old house for themselves, and Mel finds being on the other side of a home renovation project more challenging than she expected.
When Mel discovers that the former owner of the Crockett Theatre died under mysterious circumstances, and that there just might be a connection to the ghost haunting her own attic, the case takes a new turn—one that could bring down the curtain for the last time. (Goodreads)
The Last Curtain Call, the long awaited eighth installment in the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery Series, is well worth the wait. The series is great fun with its San Francisco setting, enjoyable characters, well crafted mystery, and ghosts. It is a wonderful, light diversion from the cares of the real world.
Mel Turner’s family owned business Turner Construction has a great reputation for refurbishing historical properties, and she jumps at the opportunity to work on the dilapidated, 1920’s era Crockett Theatre. Things get complicated when one of the theater squatters is murdered, and Mel finds a ghost in the attic of her own new home. The more she investigates, the more connections she is able to make, and the closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she faces…from both mortal and paranormal sources.
I am so glad that Mel and crew are back for a new adventure in The Last Curtain Call. I have missed these characters more than I even realized. I love that Mel is family minded with she and her fiancé currently living with Mel’s father and his best friend. The addition of quirky friends and Mel’s ex-step-son Caleb add lots of interest and variety. Lily from author Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mystery series makes a crossover appearance; it is great fun for readers of both series. The characters specific to this mystery are diverse, and the squatters, and their predicaments, feel especially reflective of the current issues facing the U.S. My favorite new addition to the cast is the ghost of starlet Heidi; I want to know even more about her.
Both the mystery of squatter Isadora’s murder and the fate of Heidi and the theater’s former owner are well thought out and finely executed. I felt invested in the story from the first page to the climactic end. The history of the Crockett Theatre and the theater culture of the past make a wonderful backdrop for the story. The inclusion of the ghosts attached to the theater, especially the long ago murdered usher, seems perfectly feasible. I enjoy the paranormal element and, even if you think you do not like cozies featuring ghosts, highly recommend giving the Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries a try.
The Last Curtain Call is a notable entry in its series and immensely entertaining.