Friday, March 18, 2016

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss - Book Review

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
(A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery)
By: Kristen Weiss
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication date: 8 March 2016
No. of pages: 288

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.

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss is a fun possibly paranormal cozy mystery, and the first installment in a series under the same name.
The novel opens with Maddie Kosloski and her friend Adele, who owns the Paranormal Museum and the second half of a building, which the latter is remodeling into a tea shop. The two women are confronted with the dead body of a not-so-likable acquaintance, Christy, in chapter one.

Christy, it seems, had a knack for making enemies. While reading, you can't feel sympathy for the dead woman. It also appears as though everyone had a motive to kill her.

"Mother always told me to stay positive. But I can't help feeling like another shoe is about to drop."

Maddie has significant faith that the police will handle the case with care and find the killer. However, she soon discovers that the school bully, Laurel Hammer, is one of the detectives in charge of the investigation, and it seems she has a grudge against Maddie.
The first introduction we get of Laurel, apart from reminder of Maddie's friend Harper, is this:
"Laurel Hammer banged open the door to the interview room. "So which one of you two idiots killed her?"

Maddie constantly tries to get people to tell the police what they know, and tries to do the same herself, but the police look at her as a likely suspect, especially when a second body appears; another fairly dislikable acquaintance. Even after they arrest her friend Adele, Maddie tries to be the good citizen and help the detectives.

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum is narrated from the first person perspective of Maddie, who gets many funny and entertaining thoughts. She is also down to earth and realistic, so it is easy to imagine her and imagine being in her place. Also, we go deeper into her character as she hesitates about managing the Paranormal Museum, while job hunting after being fired from her previous job.

"Dion Fortune's scrying mirror." [said Herb]… "Of course, I'm asking ten thousand."
I coughed. "Dollars?"
"But for you, five."
"Thousand?" I wouldn't pay five thousand for Ali Baba's mirror. There was no way anything in the museum cost that much.

The overall pace is fairly quick. There is constant moving and events, but in terms of solving Christy's murder, things are a bit slow. There was also the GD cat, a recurring theme in paranormal novels, although I couldn't understand that cat or its intentions.

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum is home to second mystery, one which Maddie stumbles upon, immerses herself in and takes it upon herself to solve. The mystery revolves around the picture of a woman named Cora, who is accused of murdering her husband.

I truly enjoyed the mystery within a mystery, and how Maddie goes about in order to search for two killers, one dead and one alive.

Another thing I enjoyed is how Weiss constantly made the reader think and doubt if the Paranormal Museum can live up to its name by being haunted – or not. Up until the end of the novel, the reader has doubts.

"The atmosphere thickened, choking. The quiet stretched, the only sound my own harsh breath, breath I could see in the air. It was a nails on a chalkboard silence, a deep silence that tightened my throat, made me tremble."

I particularly liked the development in Maddie's character, a trait not often seen in mystery novels. When we first see Maddie, she has low self-esteem, and who can blame her after nine months of job hunting with no development in getting a job. But as the novel ends, we see a significant change in her character, both in her attempt to catch the killer and in her negotiation skills.

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum is a quick, well-written and light read, with a mystery within a mystery and possible ghost.

Overall rating: 4 stars

Note: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour.

Keep up with the rest of the tour for more reviews, interviews and guest posts here.

Purchase links for The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum:
Amazon and B&N

Update: Check out Nadaness In Motion's book review of the next book in the series, Pressed to Death. Note: It doesn't contain any spoilers AND the books can be read as standalones.

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 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.

Connect with the author via Twitter, and her website.

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