by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Double Up. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
A haunted grape press seemed like the ideal new display for a paranormal museum, but that was before it was reported stolen, the owner murdered, and the press hauled away as evidence. Maddie Kosloski had purchased the antique press for San Benedetto’s upcoming harvest fair, and she can’t explain why Romeo Paganini declared it as stolen after his wife sold it to a dealer. Detective Laurel Hammer, who has bullied and loathed Maddie since childhood (a recent incident involving hair and fire hasn’t helped matters), was eager to confiscate the press as evidence even before Romeo was found at the Harvest Festival buried in pile of grapes. Exhibiting an “Invisible Grape Press” now that Laurel has absconded with the actual press was a brilliant move, but it will take far more marketing ingenuity to keep Maddie and her friends out of Laurel’s grasp and off of the suspect list.
Maddie’s previous exploits in murder investigation have her leery of becoming involved in another, so she’s unable to understand why everyone seems to intent on her delving into this one. Maddie’s mother is the first to throw her under the bus by pressuring her to solve the crime for the Ladies Aid Society, which is apparently undergoing a power struggle between ruthless factions. As a result, Maddie finds herself having four days to plan not just an entirely new haunted house display, but solve a murder as well. Maddie’s two best friends, self-involved Adele Nakamoto and secret Strega/financial planner Harper Caldarelli, provide less investigative aid than they do emotional support when Maddie’s boyfriend Mason Hjelm goes MIA. The reappearance of his ex-girlfriend may have been the cause of his sudden absence from her life, but Maddie is in no great hurry to find an answer that could possibly break her heart. As a result, she is able to focus on the sabotage of Romeo’s winery, the mystery of the double-homicide haunting the antique grape press, and why delicious lemon bars seem to be such an important clue.
“Mad” Maddie Kosloski may have moved past her much detested nickname, but she still finds herself in the midst of a romp of mayhem and unavoidable chaos. Maddie proudly heralds the Paranormal Museum as San Benedetto’s second most important tourist attraction (after the annual torching of the Christmas Cow), and with her Ghost Detecting cat they create eccentric exhibits to lure in visitors. Maddie’s mother is a delight as she works behind the scenes to cement her place within competing women’s charity groups, and a certain amber-eyed detective may be assuming a greater role in Maddie’s life. This second in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery series somehow surpasses the promise of its debut, delivering a completely unexpected conclusion topped off with a laugh-inducing twist.
To enter to win a copy of Pressed to Death, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “pressed,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 8, 2017. US residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.