A Haunting Is Brewing: A Haunted Home Renovation and a Witchcraft Mystery Novella
by Juliet Blackwell
Review by Gayle Surrette
InterMix Kindle Edition ISBN/ITEM#: B00JJXV7QU
Date: 21 October 2014
This novella is available as an ebook. It is a tale of Halloween hijinks, mayhem, and murder, that pulls together the main characters from two of the author's series -- Mel Turner of Haunted Home Renovation and Lily Ivory of Witchcraft Mysteries.
Mel Turner has been asked to help get a Victorian mansion ready for a Halloween fundraiser for a museum. While working on the mansion, Mel notes that the life-sized dolls originally made by the owner of the house are not quite normal. When one of the young docents is found dead, Mel believes that he was murdered. She feels she must find the killer while the police are still leaning towards suicide. But, to solve the case, she needs help. One of the other young people helping out works at a vintage clothing store and says that the owner is a witch and she could help Mel with her investigation.
Mel and Ivory hit it off immediately and find their skills can help each other, but have very little overlap. Together they just may have the necessary skills to free the ghosts and the spirits of the dolls and, if they're lucky, solve the murder.
I haven't read any of the previous books, in either series, but found this novella delightful, witty, interesting, and the characters engaging. Neither Mel nor Ivory have paranormal powers that make solving this type of problem easy -- there are some very real limitations on what they can do and even together they have to work at figuring out what, where, who, and how. Even paranormal abilities don't make solving crimes easy.
If you've been interested in the series, but haven't read them, A Haunting Is Brewing may be just the introduction you need to see if you'll enjoy the longer novels in the series. If you are a fan of the series -- either one or both -- this will be a great way to see how these two women work together.