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Dead Bolt

(Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #2)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  3,096 ratings  ·  212 reviews

Turner Construction's latest restoration project is a historic Queen Anne Victorian in San Francisco. This time general contractor Mel Turner has to work around the owners who insist on sticking around- along with some ghosts that insist in their own way that the work stops...

The ghosts aren't the only ones standing in the way of the renovations. A crotchety neighbor,

Mass Market Paperback, 315 pages
Published 2011 by Obsidian Mystery
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  3,096 ratings  ·  212 reviews

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Start your review of Dead Bolt (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, #2)
Mel Turner renovates homes. Not just any homes...historic homes in San Francisco. Every house she works on has a story, a colorful past. Sometimes, Mel encounters ghosts and a mystery as she brings old homes back to their former glory. This time, her current project is a Queen Anne Victorian. It's a difficult project but not because of the work required. The homeowners insist on staying in the house during renovations and the resident ghosts seem determined that work should stop. Plus, a ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The A Haunted Home Renovation series is a winner. They can be read as stand-alone but the books are better read in order. The Protagonist is Mel Turner, she is recovering from a divorce and her Father has major medical problems. Mel took over the family business of reconstruction and has been running it successfully. Other characters are Dog, a stray that she rescued. Her Father and his disabled friend, Stan. There is Calbel, her stepson from her marriage. Graham, her boyfriend. Olivier the go ...more
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Juliet Blackwell continues her terrific Haunted Home Renovation mystery series with Dead Bolt. It’s not necessary to have read the first book, If Walls Could Talk, in order to appreciate this one. But, why would you want to miss any of the adventures of Mel Turner as she restores houses and tangles with ghosts?

Mel’s latest job is restoration of an 1890s Queen Ann Victorian, Cheshire House, in San Francisco. The project has had a few problems, handprints appearing on the ceiling, deadbolts
My father always used to say: There's nothing quite like a protracted remodel to test a person's sanity.

Mel Turner is renovating a Queen Anne Victorian In San Francisco when strange things start happening. There are misplaced tools, unusual handprints on 12 foot ceilings and a general feeling of unease. The owner has refused to move from the house during the project much to Mel's dismay. The murder of a shopkeeper after a run in with Mel puts everyone on edge and brings forth even more ghostly
I liked this better than the previous entry simply due to Mel (the MC) not doing any real work. It read much more believably. She's good a general contractor, not so much with tools. The mystery was suitably twisty with some fun characters & a lot of historical information about the old houses. I liked the way she pointed out how various bits of construction were typically done by specific peoples (e.g., Italian woodworkers) & she really does seem to have an appreciation for it. I do ...more
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was first drawn to this series because I used to build and remodel houses, then I enjoyed these wonderful characters and couldn’t get enough. Mel Turner is a take charge kind of gal, very organized, meticulous and not afraid of much except maybe getting her heart broken. She also has a special gift that at times is as much a curse as a blessing. With traits like these readers can’t help but care about her as we take each step right along with her, up those attic stairs or home to her Dad, Stan ...more
A cute, cozy, ghost story. A young woman who has taken over her fathers construction company in San Francisco has the ability to see and sometimes communicate with ghosts. In this addition to the series there is a murder across the street from a house that she is renovating and there is evidence that it may be connected to her project.

I enjoyed this story but it fell flat for me. Very predictable with a cooky cutter, simmering romance. The narrator's good job helped me to want to finish it.
SheriC (PM)
This second book in the Haunted Renovation mystery series was a fun enough, but distressingly heavy on Romance and light on Mystery. There were still some interesting tidbits on historical homes, though. I’m going to try the third book, but if it continues to emphasize goofy love triangles and sexual “tension”, then I’m outta here.

Audiobook via Audible subscription; Xe Sands’ performance is excellent as usual.

Feb 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery, mystery
I always enjoy JB's books, even when they are not particularly amazing. I do wish she would move her characters' development more quickly though.
Caitlin Copp
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: december-2017
This is the second in the Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries. Mel Turner and her construction company have started on a new project- a beautiful Victorian in San Francisco. This beautiful Victorian was recently purchased by new owners but the more Mel works on the house the more she realizes that the old owners never left. Matters are made worse when the ghosts start presenting as malicious, hurting the construction team members, causing destruction on the job site and scaring the home owners. ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozies
This is the second book in the haunted home renovation series. Mel Turner runs Turner Construction and is currently renovating a Queen Anne Victorian. When weird things start happening on the job site the owner is sure that the house is haunted. When their neighbor is murdered, Mel suspects that there is a connection between the murdervand the ghosts.

I am really enjoying this series and am excited to read more in the series. Mel and her father have a great relationship. And i love the
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This fun little book does not disappoint! Mel continues to come to grips with the fact that she can see ghosts...which might be easier for her than coming to grips with the various men in her life! No, MOST of them are NOT romantic interests, they are just men...with all that entails! SUCH a good way to spend a rainy day!
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am really digging this series. The whole renovating old houses and running into spectral visitors is quite fun. I also like the main character, Mel, a lot. She is level headed and I endearing. She is not a drama mama and doesn't do stupid things in order to solve a mystery. I hope this series continues to be this good. :D
Amy lifewiththe_williams
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great story by Juliet Blackwell! I listened to this one on audio and with every story cannot express my love for XE Sands any more. Juliet Blackwell’s words spoken by XE Sands is the perfect combination! I can’t wait to listen to the next one!
Better than the first! This mystery was based on a true story, which always adds a neat touch to this kind of story.
Janet Robel
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Cute cozy mystery. I would have liked a little more mystery, but overall, I enjoyed this. I like the main character, Melanie Turner, and love the presence of ghosts in her renovation projects.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I were Mel I would have slapped several people throughout this book. Ooooooo! They just grind my gears! Urgh!
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: bingo
Enjoyable mystery. I really like Mel and the other characters. This story had a regular murder mystery as well as a ghost mystery and there was more focus on the ghosts than the murder so it was as if she just accidently discovered the murderer. Still very enjoyable and I like the relationship between Mel and Graham and want to see where that goes.
Suspense Magazine
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
San Francisco general contractor Melanie Turner is up to her ears in trouble—of the human as well as the ghostly variety—in “Dead Bolt,” the second Haunted House Renovation Mystery by Juliet Blackwell. I’m not normally a fan of paranormal mysteries, but this one hooked me in right away.
Melanie and her crew have been hired to restore a historic Queen Anne Victorian in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood. This is no easy task because the home owners—the Daley family—refuse to leave and demand
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this series if you like paranormal mystery.

The main character, Mel, a general contractor, is interesting and quirky. However, she wears frilly clothes to the job site even though she has “overalls to wear over them if she needed to crawl through grime”. (Please, that is a little over the top.)

She has taken over Turner Construction from her retired dad and is surrounded by a warm non-traditional family and steadfast friends who add to the interest of the story.

Every house
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in this series, I also read the first one. Back in March, after I finished reading “If Walls Could Talk”, I remember not being able to wait for the next one to come out in December. Upon reading the first few pages “Dead Bolt”, I felt like I had read it before… then I realized the previous book had an excerpt of this one in it. Silly me.

It took me a little bit to remember why I had enjoyed these books to begin with. At times, the details can be exhausting if you’re not
Akhmal Aiman
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Took me more than a month to finish this considering my hectic semester.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Just like the first book, I think it is a good read. Interesting plot, as always, I mean, come on. Not everyday you read/hear a story about a construction worker who redoes haunted houses, right? If you feel like reading it, you're more than welcome, although some may find it slightly boring. It is a calm read.

The pace of the book was right and I think all the questions I asked myself throughout my reading
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this series if you like paranormal mysteries with a bit of romance. So far this series is clean. The main character is interesting and quirky. She is surrounded by a warm non-traditional family, fun friends and a cast of interesting extended characters. And of course she sees and talks to ghosts. Sometimes they even talk back. I love the constant bits of facinating trivia throughout the books. There is also a thread of social consciousness without preaching. I love this author ...more
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was one of those books so enjoyed you read it in one sitting if possible.
I enjoy Ms Blackwell's writing style and in this book the way she ended and began chapters kept the story moving quickly. I was even hoping the story might be a bit longer.

If there is a weak spot in the story, it would be near the end where she eluded to malicious activity, enough that you got the idea but she did not fill in seedy details. This does make Dead Bolt a story safe for all age levels.

This can be read as a
Brenda Kirton
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a good read. I enjoyed the fact that the protagonist is a female general contractor. She is smart and capable. I work for a building supply company, it is not a good idea to underestimate the women in this field.
It was a good blending of the old mystery and the new one. Mel Turner isn't afraid to ask for help with the ghosts she is dealing with. I will be looking forward to the next in the series.
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mysteries, 2013
I really enjoy this mystery series. Not only does it have the woo-woo factor, it takes place in wonderful San Francisco with all those historic houses. I also find the details of period renovations interesting. The characters are likeable and the stories are fun.

Highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a book that will keep you reading.
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love the character of Mel Turner. She's a responsible, smart, pretty independent general contractor who has recently discovered she can see and deal with ghosts. She has a good support group too; these are not all things you always find in a mystery. I'm glad they're there.

May 17, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Glenn Harris
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
These Haunted Home Renovation mysteries are remarkably good, with just enough interesting info about the building trades along with all the ghosts.
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Narration by XE Sands and a cozy mystery storyline make for a wonderful day of listening.
Second in the Haunted Home Renovation series and have already downloaded the third book.
Main character Mel Turner, ghost buster extraordinaire, is extremely likable and her San Francisco rehabbing shenanigans are fun and quirky.
Mel has a love interest that draws you in from the first book to the second and I am hoping to see him more in the upcoming installments.
I think I said this in my review of her
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Design upholstery 1 1 Nov 19, 2018 06:42AM  
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Juliet Blackwell (aka Julie Goodson-Lawes, aka Hailey Lind) started out life in Palo Alto, California, born of a Texan mother and a Yankee father. The family soon moved to what were, at the time, the sticks of Cupertino, an hour south of San Francisco. Walking to and from kindergarten every day she would indulge in her earliest larcenous activity: stealing walnuts and apricots from surrounding ...more

Other books in the series

Haunted Home Renovation Mystery (8 books)
  • If Walls Could Talk (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, #1)
  • Murder on the House (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, #3)
  • Home for the Haunting (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, #4)
  • Keeper of the Castle (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, #5)
  • Give Up the Ghost (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, #6)
  • A Ghostly Light (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, #7)
  • The Last Curtain Call (Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #8)
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