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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for The Last Curtain Call

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    I have read several of the series by this author, and especially like the ones set in the San Francisco bay area. (I was pleased that she even brought in a character from the Lily Ivory series, also set in San Francisco, to interact with Mel.). Melanie (Mel) Turner has taken over her dad's construction business, which concentrates on historic renovations. Mel also finds that she can see ghosts at the job sites, which often makes things complicated. The house that her fiance has purchased in Oakl I have read several of the series by this author, and especially like the ones set in the San Francisco bay area. (I was pleased that she even brought in a character from the Lily Ivory series, also set in San Francisco, to interact with Mel.). Melanie (Mel) Turner has taken over her dad's construction business, which concentrates on historic renovations. Mel also finds that she can see ghosts at the job sites, which often makes things complicated. The house that her fiance has purchased in Oakland has a talkative ghost who was a starlet in the 1920's, and coincidentally Turner Construction is renovating an old theater downtown. Is the theater haunted? Why did the previous construction crew leave the job? And can a ghost be responsible for a murder? So many cozy mysteries are predictable and formulaic, but not Juliet Blackwell's, so if you are looking for a relaxing read with a strong female protagonist, give this novel a try. I'm glad that the publisher and Netgalley provided me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    The Cozy Review

    The latest addition to the "Haunted Home Renovation" series from Juliet Blackwell, The Last Curtain Call, may be the best one yet! As someone who has renovated many houses, I can relate easily to Mel and her father. As characters, they are wonderfully human; the dynamic between father and daughter is filled with everything real parents and children experience. As for Lando, Mel's finance, he is protective but not smothering so, and it is obvious that he loves and cares about Mel. The introductio The latest addition to the "Haunted Home Renovation" series from Juliet Blackwell, The Last Curtain Call, may be the best one yet! As someone who has renovated many houses, I can relate easily to Mel and her father. As characters, they are wonderfully human; the dynamic between father and daughter is filled with everything real parents and children experience. As for Lando, Mel's finance, he is protective but not smothering so, and it is obvious that he loves and cares about Mel. The introduction of new characters is always fraught with pitfalls. Ms. Blackwell is a professional at skirting these types of issues and allowing readers to enjoy and get to know new characters without making them so dislikable as to be affronted. Mixing in the renovation of an old vaudeville era theater gives readers a glimpse into history and murder while keeping them entertained and interested. The victim is very likable, and it was a shame in some ways to see her die. There weren't too many suspects or motives; most readers will be thrilled when the killer is unmasked. If they haven't figured out who the culprit is before the final chapter, they will be happy to realize that deep down, they suspected the killer all along but didn't know it until the end. Murder, ghost, and renovation/restoration make for a captivating story, and The Last Curtain Call keeps readers on their toes. Adding in a resident ghost to Mel and Landon's new (old) home is delightful, and I hope we get to hear more from this new character in future books. I am overjoyed to recommend this book and the entire series to readers who enjoy ghosts, renovation, phenomenal characters and electrifying plots filled with action.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell the 8th A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery. It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series, but I recommend this spirited cozy mystery series. Melanie “Mel” Turner learned construction from her father and she now runs Turner Construction which specializes in renovating historic homes. Mel is a smart and gutsy woman with special abilities that she inherited from her mother. I would like to see Mel embrace her gift fully. Mel recently became eng The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell the 8th A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery. It can be read as a standalone for those new to the series, but I recommend this spirited cozy mystery series. Melanie “Mel” Turner learned construction from her father and she now runs Turner Construction which specializes in renovating historic homes. Mel is a smart and gutsy woman with special abilities that she inherited from her mother. I would like to see Mel embrace her gift fully. Mel recently became engaged to Landon Demetrius, a math professor. There is some tension between them over the renovation and Mel’s inability to set a wedding date. I thought The Last Curtain Call was well-written with developed characters and steady pacing. I love the humor in the story that had me chuckling frequently. I also enjoyed all the paranormal activity in this story. Spooky sounds and a variety of ghosts liven up this tale. The mystery was entertaining with a variety of suspects, active investigating, and misdirection. Mel questions a diverse group of people in her quest to find the killer. There are ghostly clues and suspense. I like how everything tied together and wrapped up at the end. It was great that the author included Lily Ivory and Oscar from A Witchcraft Mystery series (just love that series). I cannot wait for the next A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery. The Last Curtain Call is an enchanting cozy mystery with renovation rows, spooky specters, taboo tenants, a historic haven, and multiple murder mysteries.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Malmquist

    Mel Turner is the head of her family's construction company. She is asked to bid a job to restore an old vaudeville era theatre complete with beautiful decorating touches from the time when theatres were show places. ( Where I live several of these have been restored and they are really something, and of course, like the one in the book some of them are considered haunted.) Mel can see ghosts and there are some in the building. However, the real problems start when a homeless person is killed. Apa Mel Turner is the head of her family's construction company. She is asked to bid a job to restore an old vaudeville era theatre complete with beautiful decorating touches from the time when theatres were show places. ( Where I live several of these have been restored and they are really something, and of course, like the one in the book some of them are considered haunted.) Mel can see ghosts and there are some in the building. However, the real problems start when a homeless person is killed. Apart from that there is something fishy about the group funding the project for the theatre renovation. Plus there is a ghost of a starlet from the hey day times of the Crockett theatre haunting Mel's house. Lots of story threads keeps it interesting! Fun haunted construction series set in San Francisco.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Brown

    3.5 Stars Enjoyable cozy. I like Mel's character and her "gift". Keeps you not knowing when one of the ghosts will show up and what will happen when they do. 3.5 Stars Enjoyable cozy. I like Mel's character and her "gift". Keeps you not knowing when one of the ghosts will show up and what will happen when they do.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    A Ghostly Light, the last Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, came out in 2017. However, Juliet Blackwell's fans have nothing to worry about. The author hasn't lost her touch. In fact, Mel Turner, "ghost-talking psychic home renovator" only seems to have grown more intriguing in The Last Curtain Call. When Turner Construction is asked to renovate the historic Crockett Theatre in San Francisco, Mel's definitely interested. Yes, everyone has heard the stories that the theatre is haunted. Mel's more in A Ghostly Light, the last Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, came out in 2017. However, Juliet Blackwell's fans have nothing to worry about. The author hasn't lost her touch. In fact, Mel Turner, "ghost-talking psychic home renovator" only seems to have grown more intriguing in The Last Curtain Call. When Turner Construction is asked to renovate the historic Crockett Theatre in San Francisco, Mel's definitely interested. Yes, everyone has heard the stories that the theatre is haunted. Mel's more interested in all the architectural features in the historic building. She knows there are some issues. She's told she has to get rid of the squatters who are living in the theatre. And, there seems to be some funny business about permits and plans, and the previous construction company. Nothing she can't handle. But, when she finds an audience filled with ghosts and a murdered usher who offers to take her to her seat, she's not so sure. And, then someone takes one of the problem off her hands and kills a squatter. Mel suspects murder immediately. She is watching the dead woman dance on stage just as the body is found. Although San Francisco homicide inspector Annette Crawford reminds Mel she doesn't work for the police department, Mel wants to find the killer. She has additional motivation because she's convinced there is a connection between the Crockett Theatre and the ghost of a starlet who is haunting the house Mel is renovating, her own house. Mel's exploration of Bay Area history is just one of the appeals of this series. Fans of the long-running series will be intrigued by Mel's changing abilities. The Last Curtain Call brings her ghost-busting talents to the forefront. It's a fascinating story, filled with a couple creepy scenes in the theatre, along with area history, renovation details, and, of course, the wonderful characters in the series. Mel's family and friends add a touch of normalcy, a homey feeling to the books, despite the paranormal elements. Don't hesitate to pick up this book, even if you haven't read earlier ones. Blackwell is skillful with her introduction of characters, and new readers will easily catch up. But, those of us who have been with the series since the beginning will enjoy this latest adventure.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Plunkett

    I loved the history throughout the latest Mel Turner Mystery, The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell. It’s fun to see Mel take on renovating her future home and a historic theater at the same time! These wouldn’t be Mel’s renovations without a haunting of some kind. I really enjoyed the ghost backstory of Hildy Hildecott. She gives Mel a dress that leads to a character crossover where Mel visits Aunt Cora’s closet to consult another Blackwell character, Lilly Ivory from the Witchcraft Mysteri I loved the history throughout the latest Mel Turner Mystery, The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell. It’s fun to see Mel take on renovating her future home and a historic theater at the same time! These wouldn’t be Mel’s renovations without a haunting of some kind. I really enjoyed the ghost backstory of Hildy Hildecott. She gives Mel a dress that leads to a character crossover where Mel visits Aunt Cora’s closet to consult another Blackwell character, Lilly Ivory from the Witchcraft Mysteries series. It was fun to see these characters interact. I love how soothing seeing Mel with her family is, keeps the ghost busting from being too scary. As usual Blackwell crafts stunning imagery of the renovations, making me feel like I’m actually in an old theater in San Francisco. The book moves quickly and the plot is developed thoroughly keeping me entertained as a reader. Looking forward to seeing what else Blackwell has in store for Mel in the next one!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    This is a series that I really enjoy and can relate to (not professionally but as an old house geek), and I love that each book is fully capable of standing alone. This one ties Mel's own old house with a gorgeous old theatre and a full complement of ghostly presences. And the obligatory murder victim and investigation. Let the sleuthing begin and enjoy the ride. I did! Xe Sands has perfected her artistic delivery and should receive more awards! This is a series that I really enjoy and can relate to (not professionally but as an old house geek), and I love that each book is fully capable of standing alone. This one ties Mel's own old house with a gorgeous old theatre and a full complement of ghostly presences. And the obligatory murder victim and investigation. Let the sleuthing begin and enjoy the ride. I did! Xe Sands has perfected her artistic delivery and should receive more awards!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mel Turner and her crew are renovating the Crockett Theatre. They hit a snag when they find out there are squatters in the building. When one of the squatters winds up dead, there is no shortage of suspects. I love this series. The characters are so wonderfully written and I always enjoy the mystery. I love Mel and Landon's relationship and can't wait to read more in the series. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mel Turner and her crew are renovating the Crockett Theatre. They hit a snag when they find out there are squatters in the building. When one of the squatters winds up dead, there is no shortage of suspects. I love this series. The characters are so wonderfully written and I always enjoy the mystery. I love Mel and Landon's relationship and can't wait to read more in the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Rice

    Blackwell writes about two of my favorite topics—house renovation and ghosts. Best of all, she does it well, with in-depth characterization, rich history, and intelligent plotting. Mel Turner has taken over her father’s renovation-contracting business, although he still participates. She’s engaged to a hunky math professor who worries about her affinity for ghosts but accepts it. I love that Mel is savvy and not prone to pulling stupid stunts. She does her research—and this time its for an early Blackwell writes about two of my favorite topics—house renovation and ghosts. Best of all, she does it well, with in-depth characterization, rich history, and intelligent plotting. Mel Turner has taken over her father’s renovation-contracting business, although he still participates. She’s engaged to a hunky math professor who worries about her affinity for ghosts but accepts it. I love that Mel is savvy and not prone to pulling stupid stunts. She does her research—and this time its for an early 1900s movie palace, complete with its own ghost story. The reader is given lovely glimpses into the city of San Francisco, the background of early movies, and insights into the immense undertaking involved in restoring one of these grand old palaces. At the same time, she’s renovating her fiancé’s home—which has its very own ghost, an old-time movie starlet who reportedly killed her lover, then herself. The ghost is charming, but it’s the murder of a squatter in the movie theater that keeps the story rolling. The mystery is entirely about the journey through the theater’s history to uncover the motive for the killing—and the connection to Mel’s ghost. I’m just thrilled to go along for the ride!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mystereity Reviews

    I saw this book on Netgalley and couldn't wait to get my hands on it and it was every bit as good as the blurb made it out to be. This is my first entry into this series (this one is number 8!) so I can safely say that it can be read as a standalone. I sat down one evening with some time to kill before LivePD started and ended up missing the show! This was just too good to put down. So much to like about it, from the great characters to the amazing plot to the wonderful setting in an old decrepit I saw this book on Netgalley and couldn't wait to get my hands on it and it was every bit as good as the blurb made it out to be. This is my first entry into this series (this one is number 8!) so I can safely say that it can be read as a standalone. I sat down one evening with some time to kill before LivePD started and ended up missing the show! This was just too good to put down. So much to like about it, from the great characters to the amazing plot to the wonderful setting in an old decrepit theater. Mel is an expert in renovating houses (always a huge draw for me, I love old houses and I love when people restore them instead of ripping out the character and making it an open-plan-granite-countertop-marble-floor monstrosity. But that's another topic.) So, when Mel lands the plum job of restoring an old run down theater that she once visited with her late mother, she goes to have a look.Purchased by a mysterious organization whose motives are unclear, Mel is wary, especially after another contractor was dismissed from the job seemingly without any reason. At the theater, Mel finds a lot of work that needs to be done, as well as a small group of squatters who have to relocated before work can begin. While assessing what needs to be done, one of the squatters is found, strangled and set on top of the Wurlitzer organ, which rises slowly, revealing her dead body. Meanwhile, Mel and boyfriend Landon have bought an old house and are renovating it when they discover the ghost of a flapper in the attic, surrounded by her dresses. One of the dresses has a long rip in it and Mel also tries to unravel why she is haunting the attic. So, several things to solve in this book, and the pace swept along quickly, always a new clue popping up. I really enjoyed how it unfolded and the exciting conclusion capped off a really great book. If I was to point out any shortcomings, it's that the ending, while satisfying and thrilling, seemed to come about rather quickly although I do have to say that there was really no clue as to who the culprit was. Still, I enjoyed every bit of it and you can bet I'll go out and catch up on the other 7 books!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    5 stars This is the eighth book in the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series by Juliet Blackwell. Totally enjoyed this stunner of a book. I couldn’t put it down. The pages just flew by. I will definitely need to read more books from this series. It was just a fun ride. Mel Turner has taken over responsibility for her father’s business and they got a contract to fix up an old movie house. When they get there, they discover a previous contractor had started the job but they were called in to finish 5 stars This is the eighth book in the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery series by Juliet Blackwell. Totally enjoyed this stunner of a book. I couldn’t put it down. The pages just flew by. I will definitely need to read more books from this series. It was just a fun ride. Mel Turner has taken over responsibility for her father’s business and they got a contract to fix up an old movie house. When they get there, they discover a previous contractor had started the job but they were called in to finish it. This book just has it all. A ghost usher, a flapper ghost in Mel’s own house tied to the mystery of the movie palace. Just a bunch of fun stuff here. If you like a bit of paranormal in your cozy, definitely try this one on for size. Highly recommended. If you love a good cozy mystery, check this one out. What a fun read! I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    It had been quite a while I’d read a book in this series, and to be honest, in the other series I’ve read of her before. Now that I’ve read this one, I don’t know why I haven’t. This one finds Mel and Landon at odds over some reconstruction on their new house, but of course it doesn’t take long before Mel finds a ghost or two and is drawn into a mystery. This book is a lot of fun, and I love how Mel seems to be able to juggle everything but still make mistakes once in a while. Well-written, fun It had been quite a while I’d read a book in this series, and to be honest, in the other series I’ve read of her before. Now that I’ve read this one, I don’t know why I haven’t. This one finds Mel and Landon at odds over some reconstruction on their new house, but of course it doesn’t take long before Mel finds a ghost or two and is drawn into a mystery. This book is a lot of fun, and I love how Mel seems to be able to juggle everything but still make mistakes once in a while. Well-written, fun characters, an interesting mystery and a great plot with moments of fun and moments of chilling terror, this is a cozy paranormal mystery not to be missed even if the end was a little fast. Recommend. I was provided a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annarella

    I'm a huge fan of Juliet Blackwell and love both her paranormal cosy series. This is the last in "Haunted Home Renovation" and, even if it's not the best instalment, it was a gripping and entertaining read that I read in one setting. I was more than happy to meet again the great cast of characters, found the plot interesting and the paranormal aspect creepier than usual. The mystery was solid and the solution came as a surprise. Unfortunately the mystery investigation often takes the backseat to o I'm a huge fan of Juliet Blackwell and love both her paranormal cosy series. This is the last in "Haunted Home Renovation" and, even if it's not the best instalment, it was a gripping and entertaining read that I read in one setting. I was more than happy to meet again the great cast of characters, found the plot interesting and the paranormal aspect creepier than usual. The mystery was solid and the solution came as a surprise. Unfortunately the mystery investigation often takes the backseat to other subplots even if they're all somehow related. I had a lot of fun reading it and it's strongly recommend. Many thanks to Berkley and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maria DeBlassie

    This is another great installment of the Haunted Home Renovations series. I loved seeing how Mel's paranormal talents are developing over the course of each book as much as I enjoy hanging out with the regular cast of characters. As always, the mystery was intriguing and the historical detail was awesome. There was even a fun cross-over bit with Lily Ivory from the Witchcraft Mysteries. Lastly, Blackwell has a knack for great one-liners and funny observations about daily life. Such a great book! This is another great installment of the Haunted Home Renovations series. I loved seeing how Mel's paranormal talents are developing over the course of each book as much as I enjoy hanging out with the regular cast of characters. As always, the mystery was intriguing and the historical detail was awesome. There was even a fun cross-over bit with Lily Ivory from the Witchcraft Mysteries. Lastly, Blackwell has a knack for great one-liners and funny observations about daily life. Such a great book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    It’s been a while since I’ve read a book in this series. I was extremely excited to connect with Mel Turner, her dad, her uncle, and her step son, Caleb. I missed a few important things, but I immediately reconnected with Mel and I really enjoyed this book. The paranormal aspect of the story was great, I enjoyed meeting Hildey and was happy that Mel didn’t give up on finding the truth. I’m looking forward to reading the books I’ve missed.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Isis

    This is, by far, my absolute favorite book in the series. I loved the mystery, all the nuance tying the theatre to other locations, and all the ghosts. Juliet Blackwell continues to have a fan in me.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Bradford

    Another great book in this series. Love this series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    A very interesting story with so many ghosts for Mel Turner to take care of. A remodel of a very large historic theater with some long ago mysteries. I loved every minute of the read!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Setting this one in an old movie theater was a good choice. Very atmospheric. I was able to picture it in my mind through my reading. My one disappointment was the development of Mel's relationship with Landon. I read this right after I finished Give Up the Ghost where Mel meets Landon. I was expecting their relationship to be developing and that he'd be a part of her ghost busting as he was in the previous novel (still waiting for the library to get A Ghostly Light so maybe the relationship cha Setting this one in an old movie theater was a good choice. Very atmospheric. I was able to picture it in my mind through my reading. My one disappointment was the development of Mel's relationship with Landon. I read this right after I finished Give Up the Ghost where Mel meets Landon. I was expecting their relationship to be developing and that he'd be a part of her ghost busting as he was in the previous novel (still waiting for the library to get A Ghostly Light so maybe the relationship changed in that book) I'd read. In this one he plays no substantive role at all. Still, I liked the story, the setting, and having most of the secondary characters show up no matter how briefly.

  21. 4 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    https://openbooksociety.com/article/t... The Last Curtain Call Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #8 By Juliet Blackwell ISBN#9780593097939 https://julietblackwell.net/ Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Synopsis: 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 Turn https://openbooksociety.com/article/t... The Last Curtain Call Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #8 By Juliet Blackwell ISBN#9780593097939 https://julietblackwell.net/ Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele Synopsis: 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) Review: 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. *OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review during its ongoing blog tour*

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    I had a few issues with this book, but due to personal experiences I've had in my own life, still really connected to it more than I have with others in this series. As far as the murder goes, I felt the motive and choice of killer was a little flimsy. Some of the other characters were more interesting and could have had more interesting motives than what I felt was a pretty mundane non-reason. The historical ghost story/murder mystery was much more interesting, as they tend to be. The main issu I had a few issues with this book, but due to personal experiences I've had in my own life, still really connected to it more than I have with others in this series. As far as the murder goes, I felt the motive and choice of killer was a little flimsy. Some of the other characters were more interesting and could have had more interesting motives than what I felt was a pretty mundane non-reason. The historical ghost story/murder mystery was much more interesting, as they tend to be. The main issue I had with this story was the Lily Ivory/Witchcraft series crossover. At first I was really excited that these two Bay Area characters were finally meeting, but then soon realized by the dialogue that they had already apparently met. Then I got confused that I missed this somehow, and had to go back to my notes on the previous installments to see if I had somehow just forgot. It seems that the crossover was part of a short story novella, not in any of the proper books in either series, which I hadn't read and I guess is only available as an ebook. I feel like a lot of readers may have missed that, so my only wish was that the meeting took place in a dedicated book in the series for all to have a chance to read without being confused. This was a book where the setting of the late 1920's era movie theater was almost like a character itself. In my town, we have a similar theater which followed the same life cycle of vaudeville stage, early film, Golden Age of Hollywood, budget rereleases, and abandonment, before being renovated and revitalized. The descriptions of the interior of The Crockett sounded very much like my theater, though on a much grander scale. I, like Mel, had only visited that theater once in my childhood, when it was a budget theater, and becoming derelict inside. Upon entering for the first time, I immediately got weird feelings. At one point, I needed to use the bathroom, which was upstairs in the mezzanine, near the projection area. Even though there was no one up there when I went, I felt like someone was there with me, and was terrified the entire time I was up there until I got back to my seat. I vowed never to go back to that theater, and now that it's been reopened for local stage productions, I still won't go back. Reading this book reminded me so much of my experience as a child, that I decided to Google it's history to see if there was anything there that might have explained my feelings. Sure enough, it's said to be haunted by a former projectionist, who had died in a car crash midway between the theater and it's sister theater a few towns over, where he also worked, since back in those days theaters and projectionists were few and far in between. That would definitely explain the feelings I had being up near the projection booth. So, in a very weird and roundabout way, I actually related to this ghost story in a very real (to me) way, and it lead me get some closure on a particularly traumatizing childhood experience, considering I still think about it 25 years later.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jae

    In the midst of renovating the old house that her fiance, Landon, bought for them, Mel also takes on the task of renovating the historic Crockett Theatre in San Francisco. The old, art deco theatre has been sitting empty for years...empty, that is, except for the squatters living there. Mel soon learns that the squatters are the least of her problems. The theatre is also haunted. After one of the squatters is killed in the Crockett. Mel is compelled to ask around to see who may have had a motive In the midst of renovating the old house that her fiance, Landon, bought for them, Mel also takes on the task of renovating the historic Crockett Theatre in San Francisco. The old, art deco theatre has been sitting empty for years...empty, that is, except for the squatters living there. Mel soon learns that the squatters are the least of her problems. The theatre is also haunted. After one of the squatters is killed in the Crockett. Mel is compelled to ask around to see who may have had a motive for murder. In the meantime, she discovers the attic of her new/old home is also haunted by the ghost of a 1920's era starlet. It seems Hildy had a connection to the Crockett Theatre, and Mel can't help but think things may be connected. On top of her professional life, Mel is dragging her feet about setting a wedding date with Landon, and even she doesn't know why. Her stepson is off to college, which has her in the doldrums, and the thought of not sharing a home with her father has her feeling maudlin as well. Fortunately for Mel, the men in her life love her and are willing to have her back when it comes to dealing with the hauntings both at work and at home. I love this series, but it took me a bit to get into this story. Landon was acting like a donkey, what with arguing with Mel about renovating their house. I mean, this is just her area of expertise. *rolls eyes* I'm still somewhat put out, too, that he just up and bought the house in the previous book. Moving on. I did enjoy the cameo from Lily Ivory (of the author's "Witchcraft" mystery series) when Mel asked her to "read" an old dress of Hildy's. Once I got further into the story, I enjoyed it more. It was fun for the most part, with just enough creepiness thrown in. Overall, it was a very good story. Four stars.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    This is the 8th book in the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, but the first I had read. I had no problem following and enjoying this story. Mel Turner runs the family business, Turner Construction. They are contracted to renovate a San Francisco art nouveau movie palace. Now the important thing to note is that Mel sees and communicates to ghosts. You can bet there will be a lot of them in the decrepit theatre that is also home to squatters. Not only that, but Mel and her fiancé have purchased an This is the 8th book in the Haunted Home Renovation Mystery, but the first I had read. I had no problem following and enjoying this story. Mel Turner runs the family business, Turner Construction. They are contracted to renovate a San Francisco art nouveau movie palace. Now the important thing to note is that Mel sees and communicates to ghosts. You can bet there will be a lot of them in the decrepit theatre that is also home to squatters. Not only that, but Mel and her fiancé have purchased an older home to renovate and she meets the ghost of an actress that used to work in silent films. With all this going on, the last thing she needs it to find a dead body in the theatre. There is a lot going on that is keeping Mel hopping and her paranormal skills in hyperdrive. I enjoyed this story very much. Not only do we have Mel as a great protagonist, but the theatre is an amazing setting. The quirky characters the reader meets there also add a lot to the story. Mel's human relationships are very realistic. The relationship between father and daughter is filled with realistic experiences between parents and their children. Lando, Mel's finance, he is protective but not smothering, and his love and care are evident. The mystery is well developed and plotted. I did not have any idea who the culprit was, but there were several suspects. I liked the addition of the spirits and some of Mel's other friends/acquaintances also had some ESP. I liked meeting the spirits and learning some of their stories. The final reveal was quite good with Mel "seeing" exactly what happened years ago. I will be looking for more in this series to see what I have missed. The audiobook was narrated by Xe Sands. She is a narrator I have listened to before and I always enjoy her performance.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    There are, so far, eight books in the Haunted Home Renovation series and I feel safe in saying that each is better than the last. Now Mel and her fiance, Landon, are planning the renovations they have to do on the once elegant old house Landon bought as an engagement present. At one time Mel's grandmother lived in the house and Mel is looking forward to moving in. That is until her foreman tells her that there is a blocked and locked door in the attic. Mel's ghostly radar goes off and she is sur There are, so far, eight books in the Haunted Home Renovation series and I feel safe in saying that each is better than the last. Now Mel and her fiance, Landon, are planning the renovations they have to do on the once elegant old house Landon bought as an engagement present. At one time Mel's grandmother lived in the house and Mel is looking forward to moving in. That is until her foreman tells her that there is a blocked and locked door in the attic. Mel's ghostly radar goes off and she is sure she will meet a ghost on the other side of that door. Sure enough, she is greeted by the ghost of a 1920's actress, Hildy Hildecott who gives her one of her lovely dresses. That will lead Mel to later meet with Lilly Ivory (from the other series, the Witchcraft mysteries) when she seeks info on the dress Hildy gave her. If that isn't enough to keep her busy, the family construction company has the chance to renovate a local picture palace in San Francisco but there are some unanswered questions Mel wants answered. First, who exactly is footing the bill for the massive, millions of dollars, undertaking and second, why did the previous construction company drop the project? Might it have been something to do with a ghost? Is it in any way tied to Hildy? So many questions for Mel to find answers to - Turner construction needs the business and it isn't as though Mel hasn't dealt with more than a few ghosts on the job. Mel will take on anything this new project throws at her. I enjoyed every page. My thanks to the publisher Berkley Books and Edelweiss for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    The Haunted House Renovation series is an auto buy for me. I have read all 8 books in the series. This book might be one of the best of the series for me. Several years ago, I went on a tour of a restored grand 1920's theater. It had a Grand Barton organ (only two remaining in US) that rose up from the pit. The interior was in Art Deco gold gilding. The ceiling had a dark blue sky with stars and clouds. Of course, there were ghost stories or sightings that were told. So when I read about Mel Tu The Haunted House Renovation series is an auto buy for me. I have read all 8 books in the series. This book might be one of the best of the series for me. Several years ago, I went on a tour of a restored grand 1920's theater. It had a Grand Barton organ (only two remaining in US) that rose up from the pit. The interior was in Art Deco gold gilding. The ceiling had a dark blue sky with stars and clouds. Of course, there were ghost stories or sightings that were told. So when I read about Mel Turners restoring the Crockett Theater in San Francisco, it reminded me so much of what I saw on the theater tour. Another thing, I liked so much was the visual images the book brought to me as I read. Am example would be a balcony filled with customer ghosts with vacant eyes yet jeering at her. Then there was Harold , the theater page ghost who was persistent to see the ticket stub. At her new home, that is being renovated before they move in, there is the 1920's flapper starlet ghost Hildy. Then how Mel would describe the interior of the theater. I could see it all. The balcony ghosts were a creepy visual. I, also, like so much in the series, the meals her dad prepares at his home. Everyone is welcome and it always has a homey feeling of family, friends and shared meals. When Mel and Landon move into their new home, wonder how those scenes will continue because they are a strength of the series to me. I enjoyed the read very much and am looking forward to the next book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Avery Daniels

    Mel Turner, construction renovator extraordinaire, is very down to earth and works nearly all the time. Her life is complicated and seeing ghosts adds to that, and she has developed a fear of heights from the book before last that is definitely tested in this story. Landon Demetrius is a visiting mathematician professor at a local university and Mel's boyfriend. Homicide Detective Annette Crawford is back again and she is warming up to Mel, kinda sorta. Mel’s dad, Bill, their friend Stan, and he Mel Turner, construction renovator extraordinaire, is very down to earth and works nearly all the time. Her life is complicated and seeing ghosts adds to that, and she has developed a fear of heights from the book before last that is definitely tested in this story. Landon Demetrius is a visiting mathematician professor at a local university and Mel's boyfriend. Homicide Detective Annette Crawford is back again and she is warming up to Mel, kinda sorta. Mel’s dad, Bill, their friend Stan, and her ex-stepson Caleb get a little page-time for the story which is always enjoyable. The squatter-artists are unique and add to the story surprisingly well. San Francisco is always lovingly recreated in these stories. The Crockett Theatre is a delightful backdrop with the history and gothic atmosphere it provides. Delicious. The plot is deceptively simple and gets more complicated as you go. The pacing kept my interest and I breezed through the book staying up to read. The killer reveal is great with atmosphere and danger. Mel shines in her match with the killer, kudos! The wrap-up was perfect and light hearted, full of promise. I loved this long awaited eighth entry in the series. It provides some fun chills and light-hearted moments, good mystery to solve, characters to grow fond of, and a great finish written in a manner that effortlessly brings it all to life. What more could you ask for? Rating: Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now and put this author on your watch list

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    A Haunted Theater and a Murder Mel Turner’s Construction Company is expert at renovating old building. Now she has two projects. She and Landon, her boyfriend, have purchased an old house they plan to live in. Thing are going well, except Mel is finding that it’s not always easy to negotiate the details of a new renovation when you’re seriously involved with one of the partners. Maybe it’s a good training for marriage. She’s also involved with the restoration of the rundown Cockett Theater. When A Haunted Theater and a Murder Mel Turner’s Construction Company is expert at renovating old building. Now she has two projects. She and Landon, her boyfriend, have purchased an old house they plan to live in. Thing are going well, except Mel is finding that it’s not always easy to negotiate the details of a new renovation when you’re seriously involved with one of the partners. Maybe it’s a good training for marriage. She’s also involved with the restoration of the rundown Cockett Theater. When she finds Hildy, a ghost living in the attic of her old house, the two restorations come together. Add in the murder or a squatter in the old theater and the stage is set for an interesting time, particularly because the previous owner of the theater died under mysterious circumstances. This, as the previous books in this series, is a fun read. Mel is a true artisan bringing old houses to life. The fact that she can see and visit with some of the previous occupants is a bonus. In this story, Hildy, once a starlet, nowliving in the attic with her gorgeous dresses, is a fun character. She brings to life the old theater. However, the murder of a squatter in the theater is what keeps the story moving. I enjoyed the characters and found the interaction between Mel and Landon over the renovations in their house very realistic. I received this book from Berkley Publishing Group for this review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne Rhoads

    Juliet Blackwell never disappoints. Her cozy mysteries with paranormal elements are on my must-read list. In The Last Curtain Call Mel has two renovations to focus on and two ghostly mysteries. One is her own house that she and her fiance' Landon are renovating, where a 1920's era actress appears in a sealed off room in her attic. The second is a local historical theater in much need of repair and a good ghost buster. That place is filled with spooks. Blackwell's cozy mysteries handle death and s Juliet Blackwell never disappoints. Her cozy mysteries with paranormal elements are on my must-read list. In The Last Curtain Call Mel has two renovations to focus on and two ghostly mysteries. One is her own house that she and her fiance' Landon are renovating, where a 1920's era actress appears in a sealed off room in her attic. The second is a local historical theater in much need of repair and a good ghost buster. That place is filled with spooks. Blackwell's cozy mysteries handle death and spirits all the time but she does it in such a way that it's not heavy or frightening...but there are a couple scenes in the theater that might give your spine a few a shivers this time. Filled with misdirection, and mystery on top of mystery, The Last Curtain Call will keep you glued to the page until the last mystery is solved and the culprit unmasked. The Last Curtain Call even tossed in Lily Ivory, a character from Blackwell's other cozy mystery series, the Witchcraft Mysteries. It was fun to read that little crossover. This series is filled with characters that continue to grow and story lines that continue to captivate. Review copy downloaded from Netgalley.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    It was so good to read about another ghostly renovation adventure. It's been too long between books! I was a step ahead of Mel in figuring out the mystery, but I think the best writers intend for their readers to be a step ahead while still throwing in something they didn't quite see coming. I especially loved that they were trying to save a historic theatre. The community where I live has a similar though less grade theater that has been a work in progress for a long time. Unfortunately, we don It was so good to read about another ghostly renovation adventure. It's been too long between books! I was a step ahead of Mel in figuring out the mystery, but I think the best writers intend for their readers to be a step ahead while still throwing in something they didn't quite see coming. I especially loved that they were trying to save a historic theatre. The community where I live has a similar though less grade theater that has been a work in progress for a long time. Unfortunately, we don't have a Mel to come in and save it. (view spoiler)[It was especially nice to see her homage to the late, great Sue Grafton. I also loved the cameo appearance of Lily Ivory. I was a little confused about the final resolution and the funding for the renovations, but I'll accept that somehow they found a way to save it and make sure it stayed safe! I am disappointed that Mel is planning to go through with marrying her lame fiance. I was hoping his stubbornness about changes to the house he bought would help Mel see that they are not a good match. It's ok for strong women to remain independent. (hide spoiler)]

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