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.
When you read the title of this book, you expect the book to be a paranormal cozy mystery. Sadly, the title is a bit miss leading, because while the book is centered around a paranormal museum, there is nothing paranormal about the book. Was this a fact I got hung up on while reading the book? No, and I hope it won’t be one you will get hung up on either.
As the premier book for this series, I can say this book had a lot of promise and was an extremely enjoyable read. As much as I would have enjoyed a touch of paranormal, I don’t think the story needed it. The truth is, little suggestions of spirits and haunted things were more than enough to help make the shop interesting. In fact, I had no problems with the plot, with the exception of using the same recycled lines to describe the town. You should never have to describe the town as a whole, more than once. Normal people don’t walk around mentally describing the town they lived in and having a character continuously do it can really cause the book to drag.
As for the characters…. I’m honestly not sure how I felt about that. As strange as that may sound, I didn’t feel any real connection with them. The only time I felt any connection at all, came in times where Maddie was talking about her past with Sergeant Hammer. As someone who was bullied in high school, I can only imagine how awkward and even intimidating it would be to find out your high school bully, is now the cop trying to pin you for a murder you didn’t have anything to do with. There are so many things that happen with this cop that I can’t help but wonder why Maddie doesn’t press charges. She’s harassed and even physically assaulted by the woman. And yet Maddie keeps making the excuse, “She’s just doing her job.” This was frustrating to read.
Sounds like the book has a lot of problems, doesn’t it? Honestly, it really didn’t. So one relationship annoyed me. You might enjoy the animosity between the two. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. But as a whole, I felt this was a very solid start to what could be a very interesting and successful series. I do hope there will be more hints of paranormal stuff in future books, but that doesn’t mean I want Casper floating through every page. I hope the author can maintain her restraint and keep it more realistic. As it stands, there are events in this story, that can’t be explained away. That kind of writing adds just the right amount of mystics and avoids becoming too obvious or even cheesy. All of which makes it completely worth your time if you enjoy a good cozy mystery.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Pick up your copy on Amazon: The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss