Publisher: Midnight Ink
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: March 8th, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Kobo | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Perfectly pressed. Perfectly proper. Perfectly deadly.
Paranormal museum owner Maddie Kosloski thinks she has the perfect paranormal exhibit for the harvest festival—a haunted grape press. But before she can open the exhibit, she’s accused of stealing the antique press. And when her accuser is found murdered, all eyes turn to Maddie.
Solving the crime is the last thing on Maddie’s mind, but her mother insists she investigate. Does her mother have a secret agenda? And why has the local charity, Ladies Aid, seemingly gone gangster?
In this light, cozy mystery, haunted houses, runaway wine barrels, and murder combine in a perfect storm of chaos. Facing down danger and her own over-active imagination, Maddie must unearth the killer before she becomes the next ghost to haunt her museum.
"Pressed to Death"gets off to a furious, full-throttle start. From there it zooms from story idea to story idea, bouncing around and having trouble settling on just a few. The story is mostly fast-paced, but slows down occasionally due to family angst, community happenings, etc.; there's a troubled romance, a potential new romance, a betting pool, a haunted house, rivalry and intrigue in a local ladies organization, a senseless feud that's already old and tired and needs to be ditched or resolved, and other events. It felt as if Weiss had lots of ideas and didn't know where to focus her attention. The story kept meandering and getting off track.
The paranormal aspect is subtle but sharper than it was in the first book, and added a nice bit of texture to the story. Weiss makes good use of the museum and also incorporates a cat into the story. Cats have a reputation for sensing the supernatural and GD is no exception. He also adds a bit of humor to the story. Some of the human characters were annoying, particularly Detective Laurel Hammer, and a few of the Ladies Aid women. There's some character development but it's low key.
As in the first book, Maddie is simultaneously investigating a historical case and a present day case, despite her protests to the contrary. Although she's very much an amateur detective, she does a better job than the police at solving things. Maddie initially gets involved when she's a possible suspect in the current day murder but her continued involvement was iffy and didn't really hold up. The mystery was not too hard to figure out though Maddie's attempts to solve it were often bumbling, which made sense given her amateur status. I would have liked to see her take a more active part in the investigation as she mostly wandered around, quizzing people, but doing little actual research or investigation.
Now it may seem like I didn't like "Pressed to Death" but I did. It wasn't great but it was pleasant. It has a good setting, interesting characters, and a good blend of mystery and paranormal. Despite the story's meanderings, it held my attention. Weiss has an eye for quirky and a gift for historical detail. It's different from other cozies, and worth a read if you like quirky mysteries mixed with a hint of paranormal.
My review of book one, The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
About the author ~
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 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
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