The Last Curtain Call By Juliet Blackwell: Review/Giveaway

Aug 15, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Cynthia Chow, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Cynthia Chow

Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a copy of The Last Curtain Call and a link to order it from Amazon and an indie bookstore.

Turner Construction head Melanie Turner is finally working on her most important project; the remodel of her newly purchased 1911-built home in Oakland, California. Once owned by Mel’s family and gifted to her by her fiancé Landon Demetrius, the couple is now negotiating the relationship-testing challenge of a home renovation. The battle of wallpaper versus paint gets put on pause when Mel’s foreman discovers a hidden room in their attic. While Mel knows that a sealed-off room rarely hides something good, this time she discovers a treasure-trove sure to win the fashion-loving contractor’s heart. That the bounty of 1920s dresses and gowns are accompanied by the ghost of their owner isn’t even all that surprising, as Mel has earned her reputation as a psychic home renovator who frequently talks to ghosts. This time Mel meets the very deceased aspiring actress Hildy Hildecott, who fits into the theme of the day when Turner Construction take on their next project restoring the Crockett Theatre.

The mysterious Xeres Group are investing millions to properly renovate the historical movie theater, but their representative Gregory Thibodeaux is vague with details concerning their reasons and their membership. There are numerous complications involved in restoring the century-old building, not in the least of which are the artistic squatters living within the aging structure. Gregory’s fall down a flight of stairs during their initial tour is quickly overshadowed by a ghostly production that has Mel seeing a spectral audience applauding a very real death. Dramatically draped over the original Wurlitzer on stage is the body of Isadora, one of the residing squatters whose death befits her actress’s namesake. While trying on one of Hildy’s gowns Mel sees a reflection of herself as the actress, only also holding a bloody knife in her hand. Hoping that this isn’t a new aspect of her gifts that may get her even more enmeshed in murders, Mel searches for clues and answers that will put to bed both her visions and the mystery of who is responsible for the killings.

This eighth in the series is perfectly at home in the historical theater setting that is inundated by quirky characters and artistic temperaments. Fans of the author’s Witchcraft Mysteries will be charmed to see that their heroine Lily Ivory makes an appearance, with the witch of Aunt Cora’s Closet vintage clothing store advising Mel on her own haunted gown. Mel’s friends lend assistance as well, although for once her bestie Luz Cabrera is experiencing a bout of uncharacteristic insecurity. It’s a delight to see the normally confident professor insecure in her new relationship with Mel’s acupuncturist, requiring that the two couples go on a double-date that is in danger of being over-planned by the ambitious Luz. This series continues to combine practical investigations with the paranormal in a manner that is surprisingly grounded, especially now that Mel’s loved ones all seem aware and accept her abilities. The discovery of her mother’s journal further expands upon their legacy and gifts, broadening the mythology of the supernatural world. Clever dialogue and humorous situations ensure that readers will enjoy this light-hearted mystery that explores the beauty of San Francisco’s unique and artistic locations.

To enter to win a copy of The Last Curtain Call, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “curtain,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 22, 2020. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  2. Just been reading this series. Love the theater plot of this latest.

  3. I love the Haunted Home Renovation series and would love to be your happy winner. I own six of the previous books in the series and they are lonely for this one.

  4. Great series. Looking forward to reading.

  5. Sounds like a fun new series for me! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  6. Captivating and great. Love the series.

  7. Thanks for the chance! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  8. We have a winner!


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