Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
When Maddie Kosloski's career flatlines, she retreats to her wine-country hometown for solace and cheap rent. Railroaded into managing the local paranormal museum, she's certain the rumors of its haunting are greatly exaggerated. But a new ghost may be on the loose. A fresh corpse in the museum embroils Maddie in murders past and present.
With her high school bully as one of the officers in charge, Maddie doubts justice will be served. When one of her best friends is arrested, she's certain it won't be.
Maddie grapples with ghost hunters, obsessed taxidermists, and the sexy motorcyclist next door as outside forces threaten. And as she juggles spectral shenanigans with the hunt for a killer, she discovers there truly is no place like home.
"The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum" appealed to me as soon as I saw it on another blog. The name and the cover caught my eye and I almost didn't car what it was about. I hoped it would be a light and fun story and it was. It was just the right blend of cozy mystery and paranormal activity; the latter is subtle and mostly left up to the reader to determine if it's real, coincidence, imagination or something else.
Maddie, our heroine, was someone I liked and would enjoy in real life. Fired from her last job for refusing to offer a bribe, she's in a slump, but she's dealing with her problems while not focusing exclusively on them. She's there for her friends too, she has to deal with a former school bully who's now a local cop, she has family problems; she's real, and relatable. When her friend Adele is arrested for murder, Maddie tries to help while at the same time dealing with some mysterious goings on at the museum. Although she was impulsive, she mostly refrains from acting stupidly and does a decent job for an amateur sleuth. She definitely has potential as an amateur detective. Weiss also does a good job with the other characters, fleshing them out with little details and bringing them to life.
The mystery itself was entertaining. I guessed who the killer was though I was wrong about their motivation. There were clues sprinkled here and there and several viable suspects. Maddie was clever in catching the killer and even worked with the police, in a fashion. There were actually two murders that Maddie was trying to solve but one was from years ago. Weiss neatly tied the cases together; there was no direct connection but they overlapped. Maddie dealt with the cases, and running the museum, with smarts, tact, and discretion. She wasn't wonder woman, she made mistakes, but she used her brains and unlike some heroines in cozies, wasn't all over the place or sticking her nose in everyone else's business.
"The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum" was fun and engaging and I'm looking forward to more in the series.
Kirsten Weiss grew up in San Mateo, California. After getting her MBA, she joined the Peace Corps, starting an international career that took her around the fringes of the defunct USSR and into the Afghan war zone. Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.
She writes paranormal mystery and suspense, blending her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of magic and mayhem.
Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking good wine.
Find Kirsten Online:
blog & website http://kirstenweiss.com