Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss - Book Review (A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery)

Pressed to Death
(A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery)
2nd in Series
Author: Kirsten Weiss
Publisher: Midnight Ink 
Publication date: 8 March 2017
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738750316
Kindle ASIN: B01FOR0Z7G

Paranormal museum owner Maddie Kosloski thinks she has the perfect paranormal exhibit for the harvest festival—a haunted grape press. But when she’s accused of stealing the press, and her accuser is found murdered, all eyes turn to Maddie.

Maddie knows well the perils of amateur sleuthing and is reluctant to get involved. But her mother insists she investigate. Does her mom have a secret agenda? Or is she somehow connected to the murder?

Facing down danger and her own over-active imagination, Maddie must unearth the killer before she becomes the next ghost to haunt her museum.

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

"I was going to jail.
Worse my arch nemesis would be the one to drag me from my own paranormal museum."

Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss starts with the above lines; the cozy, possibly paranormal mystery novel is exciting, quick-paced and fun.

Maddie, the present owner of San Benedetto's Paranormal Museum, is the unlucky person who discovers the body of a man ahead of wine festival. To make things worse, the same man had accused her of stealing his antique grape press and told the police as much.

Maddie is then forced/asked – which ever you decide – to investigate the man's murder, with her former school nemesis Laurel Hammer being right on her tail and constantly trying to drag her to jail, especially after Maddie accidentally sets Hammer's hair on fire.

While investigating, Maddie can't help but notice that her mother is acting strangely and so is her mother's entire group, the Ladies' Aid.

"It was one thing for me to discover a dead body, another to suspect my mom had some knowledge of the crime."

After the discovery of the dead body, a Romeo Paganini, Maddie keeps telling herself that she wouldn't interfere with the investigation, especially after the last one nearly got her killed.

Narrated from the first person perspective of Maddie, Pressed to Death allows the reader to see how Maddie's mind works as an amateur sleuth, and engrosses the reader in the novel, the events and the mystery-ies.

"This investigation—"
"I'm not going to interfere."
"Oh yes you are, Madelyn."

As with the previous book, Pressed to Death sees Maddie investigating a case that is supposed to be the police's responsibility as well as a historical cold case pertaining to her recently-acquired antique grape press.

A relatable character, I absolutely loved Maddie, even more than in the first book in the series. She has a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong, even if that means that her actions will hurt her. She is also caring, has good instincts and has learnt to trust them. This is significant for her character development.

"Haven't you ever seen something you can't explain?"
"Yeah, the way people tend to drop dead in your vicinity, and it's never your fault."

There were a lot of beautiful lines and images in the novel. The characters are down-to-earth and I liked the friendship Maddie, Harper and Adele have.

"I wanted to evoke the romance and mystery of tea, using lush descriptive phrases."
"Lush? These are pornographic," Harper said. "No wonder people were snatching them up."

Pressed to Death is the second instalment in The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series, but can be easily read as a standalone novel.

Overall, Pressed to Death is a perfect Halloween read and an enjoyable cozy mystery.

Overall rating: 5 stars

Check out Nadaness In Motion's book review of the first book in the series, The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, as well as my five-star review of Kirsten Weiss' poetry and prose chapbook The Tales of the Rose Rabbit.

Last but not least, check out the Nadaness In Motion-Kirsten Weiss collaboration titled What Is Cozy Mystery? And How Have Arab Readers Been Introduced tot he Genre?. The article is on the difference between a cozy and a traditional mystery and a short bit on how Arab readers were unknowingly reading cozies without being aware of the genre.
See how many of the points mentioned in the article you can find The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum mystery 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.

Connect with Kirsten via Twitter, Facebook or her blog.

Keep up with the rest of the tour here.

Purchase Links: Amazon and B&N

Note: I received a free copy of Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour by Lori Great Escapes Book Tours.

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