Pressed to Death (A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery #2) by Kirsten Weiss
Description: Paranormal museum owner Maddie Kosloski has the perfect exhibit for the harvest festival—a haunted grape press. But when she’s accused of stealing the press, and her accuser is murdered, all eyes turn to Maddie. Knowing the perils of amateur sleuthing as she does, Maddie is reluctant to get involved . . . until 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 overactive imagination, Maddie must unearth the killer before she becomes the next ghost to haunt her museum.
Genre: Mystery - Cozy
Why I Picked This Book: I loved the first book in the series and couldn't wait to find out what mess Maddie got herself into next and what artifact she solved the mystery for.
My Impression: This may be the absolute best concept for a cozy mystery series! Maddie Kosloski owns a Paranormal Museum which is crammed full of haunted (maybe) and mysterious (definitely) items all which have their very own history and a mystery to solve. On top of that people have an unfortunate habit of dropping dead around her which leads to a very present day mystery to solve.
In this book the mysterious object is a cursed grape press and the former owner who is now claiming that Maddie stole the object happens to wind up dead. Everyone seems to have a different perspective on the murder victim which makes Maddie's job of unraveling who really did him in all the more difficult. I absolutely loved the mystery around the grape press. There's something so intriguing about solving an old cold case and that was probably my favorite part of the book.
I loved catching up with Maddie's friends, Harper and Adele, and really enjoyed Dieter's larger part as well as the addition of Leo, Maddie's new employee. The antics of the Ladies' Aid and the the rival group had me laughing. I've worked in enough volunteer organizations to know that while slightly exaggerated some of it wasn't that far outside reality.
The only thing that I didn't enjoy about this mystery was the detective and Maddie's nemesis, Laurel Hammer. I get that Laurel hates Maddie but her behavior drifted over to down right unprofessional and unethical. and there were a few things she did that I don't think were legal (especially taking "evidence" without a warrant). She had a larger part in the first part of the book but thankfully she faded more into the background for the majority. Maybe she can take a vacation in book #3?
Despite my one issue this is a really fun addition to a great cozy mystery series. I'm excited to see what trouble Maddie gets into next and what artifact in the museum gets investigated. Plus, what other mystery series has a rather surly ghost detecting (GD for short) cat? While reading the first book in the series isn't necessary I do think it would help the enjoyment of this book as it explains a lot about the museum and how Maddie got mixed up in it.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! Do I really have to wait a year for book #3?
Would I Recommend this Book?: I would! If you like cozy mysteries (or just quirky books with a history element) than you really must not miss this series!