The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
by Kirsten Weiss
Narrated by Emily Durant
#1 Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Formats available: Paperback, Electronic, Audio
Pub Date: 7.10.18| 8 hours 14 minutes
REVIEWER: Sophia Rose
MP3 copy provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
A Perfectly Proper Murder
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 then a fresh corpse in the museum embroils Maddie in murders past and present, making her wonder if a ghost could really be on the loose.
With her high school bully as one of the detectives in charge of the investigation, Maddie doubts justice will be served. When one of her best friends is arrested, she knows it won’t be. Maddie also 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.
It was the title. I couldn’t help myself and had to see what that was all about. This was a new to me author and a new cozy mystery series that may have a spooky element.
The story opens with Maddie back in town and meeting up with her best friends. She’s a bit sensitive about returning to her home town because she got fired for not doing an unethical thing and she feels that with such talented brother and sister that there is pressure on her to find something in her career field. Unfortunately, all she has as a possibility is Adele’s request for a favor that she run the town paranormal museum which is next door to the future tea shop that Adele is renovating. Soon, a job isn’t the only issue because a dead body turns up in the tea shop and Adele is the number one suspect.
I enjoyed getting to know Maddie and her friends, other people around them, the quirky Central Californian small town, and the mystery. But, as I suspected, that paranormal museum held my interest the most. There were some proper chilling moments and I loved the secondary murder mystery involving one of the historical artifacts in the museum.
Maddie really struggled to overcome her jealousy of her siblings because they have successful, bright careers, her ‘left out’ feelings occasionally with her friends, and the attitude she had about her small home town. This gave me a slight women’s fic feel to this one and expanded the story, slowing the tempo. I liked seeing her get her issues straightened out, but I confess that I got tired of her whining and getting crabby at her family who said and did nothing to deserve it. I found this wallowing not matching up with the portrait of a woman operating as a manager in a foreign country for an international business.
Another thing, I wasn’t sure about is how the police handled the murder. Now, granted the focus was on Maddie and her friends, but the little I did see didn’t seem to fit with how proper investigation would be done. There was not enough evidence to make an arrest and what was there was mostly circumstantial, yet they got one and got a terribly high bail set for Adele. What really had my brows raised high was the unprofessionalism and the one act of police brutality coming from the female detective who used to bully Maddie and other kids in high school. I couldn’t believe her partner just let it go or that the lawyers weren’t all over it. She threw Maddie on the ground and held her roughly claiming Maddie was attacking her when Maddie waved her cell phone in front of her. Let’s just say that this is fiction and not realistic for the police procedural part.
The narration work was done by the excellent Emily Durante. She voiced Maddie well and the other characters. There was some frogginess to a few of the male characters, but that was probably on purpose. She was steady and calm and I enjoyed getting lost in her storytelling.
Beyond my niggles about Maddie and the police. I thought this was a delightful start to a new series. I enjoyed the setting of small town, the cast of characters that I hope are recurring, the spooky moments and the dual mystery set up of a historical cold case one from the museum and a contemporary one. Those who enjoy paranormal cozy mysteries should definitely give this one a go.