Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Haunted House Renovation

Mel Turner has encountered many ghosts in her career in home renovation, but in A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blakewell, there are more that the usual number of spirits. Her client Alicia Withers wants Mel to renovate an historic San Francisco Bay lighthouse and the keeper's house for her boss, billionaire Ellis Elrich. They want to convert it to a bed and breakfast with a restaurant for drop-in dinner guests.

While Mel is scoping out the island, she sees a ghost leap to her death from the top of the lighthouse. Shortly afterwards she sees the ghost of a small boy dressed as a pirate walking along the rocks.

When Alicia's abusive ex-husband shows up on the island, Mel and Alicia try to remove him. Alicia thinks she is seeing a "ghost" when Thorn Walker shows up. He claims he is a changed man and wants to reconcile with her, but Mel's bodyguard hustles Thorn to the harbor. Alicia is shaken badly and wonders how he found her.

In the meantime Mel encounters three protestors who don't want the keeper's house and lighthouse renovated. They have been using the island as their own national park and they do not want that to stop. Mel tries to explain why they will still have limited access, but they are not appeased.

Still trying to focus on the renovation, Alicia heads to the tower to look around. Mel, still suffering from vertigo, is relieved not to have to climb the tower. Suddenly she hears Alicia scream and the body of a man comes tumbling down the stairs with a knife protruding from his chest. Alicia slowly walks down the stairs and her clothing is covered in blood. The dead man turns out to be Thorn Walker.

Before long a third ghost shows up -Thorn Walker. Mel, sruggling to overcome her vertigo, knows she needs to search the tower to clear Alicia who has been arrested and possibly learn who the other two ghosts are.

With three ghosts swirling around her, the remodeling takes the back burner as Mel tries to discover who the women ghost is. The plot forces Mel into the lighthouse keeper's life and the loneliness of the job.

I really enjoyed The Ghostly Light. Mel is a thoughtful character and she uses her ghost-seeing ability to solve the mystery. The peripheral characters including her father, her boyfriend and all the ancillary people living in her father's house add to the charm.

For other books by Juliet Blackwell, click here.

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