The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum is a cozy mystery novel, written by Kirsten Weiss. This novel was published in 2016 by Midnight Ink. It is the first book in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series.
Blurb for THE PERFECTLY PROPER PARANORMAL MUSEUM
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.
More About THE PERFECTLY PROPER PARANORMAL MUSEUM
- Tense: past
- Point of View: first person
- Sexual Content: none
- Setting: San Benedetto, California
- Pet Peeves: none that I remember
Jen’s Review of THE PERFECTLY PROPER PARANORMAL MUSEUM
I read The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum because it caught my eye at the public library. At the time, it was a new release, and I wanted to pick a book from an author I had never read before to review on Books That Hook. I’m glad I picked this one.
Quick Review: Not much paranormal in this paranormal museum, but a fun book to read anyway
About the Story
Maddie is talked into helping out her friend, Adele, manage a paranormal museum while Adele works on getting a tea room ready for business (next door to the paranormal museum). Maddie finds Christy dead in the museum. Adele is falsely accused of the murder, and Maddie becomes determined to clear Adele’s name.
Meanwhile, Maddie has to deal with rumors about the museum being haunted, a mystery about a woman in a photograph from the 19th century, family drama, and townspeople who want to close the museum.
The opening sentence grabbed my attention. The following five pages were pretty dull, unfortunately. On page six, I finally saw where the story was going. That’s not too long of a diversion, but I think it could have gotten there a little faster.
The rest of the book moved along steadily. So, other than the somewhat slow start, I would say the pacing was fine.
The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum made sense from start to finish. Everything fit together. My main complaint is that there were points that were dropped. The author would introduce something, but then never bring it up again. I never, for instance, learned what the new evidence against Adele was. There were also some points made about Maddie’s brother, Shane, that never seemed to go anywhere.
About the Characters
I thought the characters were sufficiently developed. The reader receives just the right amount of backstory. The author didn’t get bogged down with trying to detail everything about Maddie’s life.
The supporting characters are all different and interesting. Maddie’s friends were the least likable, but I appreciated that they were each unique.
I wasn’t impressed with the cat. Usually, I love books with cats. For some reason, I just didn’t care about him, probably because he didn’t actually do much to advance the story. GD, which stands for ghost detecting, should have lived up to his name more.
Maddie has a few romantic interests, but nothing really happens in that regard. The book is more about her, her family, and her friends.
I liked that Maddie showed personal growth. She starts out a little snobby about the museum and about what she should be doing with her life. Some of this stems from her family’s expectations. As the story progresses, Maddie changes. She starts to care about the museum. Instead of worrying so much about what other people think, she does what she wants to do.
About the Writing
There isn’t much action or danger in The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum. I never became concerned for anyone’s safety or well-being. Even when Adele was in jail, I wasn’t worried. It didn’t seem like they had any evidence to actually charge her with the murder. Plus, I wasn’t concerned because I felt no connection to Adele. I didn’t care whether she was kept there forever. And, even when Maddie became jumpy, I wasn’t worried about her. I’m not sure why. Unlike Adele, I liked Maddie. She was smart and dedicated. So, I guess it was just not enough danger to make me feel concerned for her.
However, I was kept guessing about who was the killer. I went around in circles trying to figure it out. The motivation was even more surprising.
In other words, the mystery was strong, but suspense was lacking.
Overall, Weiss impressed me with her writing. There were only a few times in The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum when I felt the author needed to be more precise with her word choices. For example, she wrote cats when there was only one cat. Also, she tended to use since when she probably meant because. Those are only two examples I made note of, but I am certain there were more instances if it caught my attention enough to write it down.
About the Worldbuilding and/or Setting
I thought the author did a really good job creating the settings and writing them in a way that helped me visualize everything clearly. She worked in the details well; I’m glad she didn’t drag on in huge chunks about the settings.
One of the things I liked a lot was the descriptions of the objects in the paranormal museum. I wish there had been more, but I understand that this was a small building. I hope to see more creepy and potentially haunted objects in future books.
Do I Recommend?
The cover is awesome. That’s what made me pick up this book at the public library. I don’t regret doing so. The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum was fun to read.
None of the problems that I mentioned were deal-breakers for me. I did enjoy the premise, the setting, and the mystery. Also, Maddie is a likable character. I would read another book to see what happens to her. I kind of want her to end up in a relationship with her hot neighbor, but there’s something about him I just don’t trust. There are so many ways the author could take this story line.
I give The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum four stars (B) for 1) a well-developed and likable main character, 2) a well-planned mystery that kept me guessing, and 3) an original setting that created an opportunity for a (hopefully) long and fascinating series.
If you like cozy mysteries, you should give this one a try. There isn’t much paranormal activity in the story, but the mystery is solid enough to stand on its own without magic or ghosts.
My Rating: 4out of 5 stars (B)
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