The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss
Description: 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. (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: It's a paranormal museum. How could I resist?
My Impression: While I read a number of different genres my favorite comfort reads are those set in small towns with quirky characters and if those characters are trying to figure out what they really want to do than all the better. Throw in an old mystery and I'm a happy reader. This book managed to have all of those without seeming to be overfull.
I loved Maddie. She's in a tough position having to refigure out what she wants to do after losing her high profile job. She really likes being home but there's some pressure for her to move onto the next big thing. Her friendship with Adele and Harper is interesting and something I hope to explore a little more in future books as I wanted to know more about them and their history. I enjoyed seeing her friendship really start to bloom with Mason. I really liked that Maddie was able to work with people and compromise without seeming like a doormat.
The setting is really nice - quirky without being over the top. I like the kind of in between the more rustic elements of a small town and the elegance of a small town. The paranormal museum itself has a lot of potential for growth and I loved how Weiss wove in the story of Cora McBride. I definitely want to see more of the museum and I'm looking forward to seeing what changes Maddie makes. Plus, I just know there's more to the creepy doll room than meets the eye.
The mystery is a good one and while it isn't the sole focus of the book it facilitated a lot of what happened non-murder related. I really wasn't sure who the killer was going to be though I did feel like Weiss was fair in sprinkling little clues along the way. My only problem was the use of one of my least favorite devices - the over the top hostile cop. However, Laurel and Maddie do have a history and Laurel's hostility is balanced out by her partner who is much more fair and solid investigator. I loved the historical murder mystery involving Cora and Martin McBride. I loved it and how it was incorporated into the book.
Kirsten Weiss is a new author to me but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I'm really excited to see where the series goes. It definitely falls onto the lighter side of cozy mystery territory but I never felt like it strayed into silly even with all the madness of the paranormal museum. I feel like there's a lot of potential for future books and I just can't wait to find out what happens next!
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Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely! I'm already looking forward to the next book.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes, especially if you're a cozy fan. And don't let the paranormal mention scare you off - the paranormal touches are very light.