Saturday, March 19, 2016

Review: The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
by Kirsten Weiss
Release Date: March 8th 2016
2016 Midnight Ink
Ebook Edition; 288 Pages
ISBN: 978-0738747514
Genre: Fiction / Cozy / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

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.

My Thoughts 
The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum was a light and fun cozy mystery and I was drawn to it because I was intrigued by the title.  Okay, anything with the work paranormal in it tends to draw me in, but I loved the idea of a "proper paranormal museum" - and wondered what that was all about. I never used to pay attention to cover pages and titles, but having a friend who draws them, I've become a lot more interested in the process and in the artwork.  
Drawn to the paranormal, I love all types of ghost stories including hard-core horror down to the lighter cozy mystery of which this one belongs.  You've got your room temperatures changes, mysterious happenings, mysterious sounds, and of course, the GD, the ghost detecting cat.  There was also the elusive hint here and there that there is much more to the museum than meets the eye, although that was not really apparent in this book.  Being the first in what I presume will be a new series however, I am not surprised by this, and not overly disappointed by the lack of paranormal activity that occurred.  So while this is labelled paranormal mystery, I actually think it falls more under the cozy mystery genre at this point. Definitely a lot of hinting as to events that could happen in the future though, with Maddie, and I was definitely interested considering the conversation in which those hints occurred. 

I thought Maddie was a lot of fun and I enjoyed her character quite a bit. Back in her hometown after losing her job, she was trying to figure out her life when running the paranormal museum sort of feel into her lap.  I enjoyed her personal reflections on her life as they were light and fun, and her relationships with her brother and her mom.  I couldn't quite figure out her relationship with her mom though, as that seemed a bit muddled and confusing but I'm hoping future novels will sort that out.  A lot of the secondary characters were quirky and interesting, although their actual relationships and connections to Maddie were not always clear, one of the things that happens in a novel that is more light and fun, rather than deep in nature.

There is definitely a romance in the works, but it didn't really happen in this book.  Mason, a hunky bike shop owner, is clearly the front-runner, but there could also be another one in the works as well as Maddie clearly had a connection with Detective Slate, although I'm not entirely sure if the connection was romantic or paranormal.  Time will tell.  

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum was enjoyable and quite fun.  An easy-to-read entry in the cozy genre, with a historical mystery, a quirky and unusual museum, interesting secondary characters, and a cat that I adored, this is definitely a good entry into the paranormal / cozy world.   I did think the mystery was rather easy to figure out though; a few more twists and turns might have raised the intrigue just a notch.  I am very glad the author did not spend a lot of time on the romance and focused more on Maddie's journal to self-discovery although I do think this is one of the things that did hinder the mystery.  For those of you who like a light-hearted cozy mystery, then I highly recommend this one for you.  I'm not sure when the next book in the series will be released, but I do know there are several other cozies by this author coming up and I can't wait to read them.