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Pressed to Death
     

Pressed to Death

4.0 5
by Kirsten Weiss
 

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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.

Overview

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.

Praise:

"In Weiss's engaging sequel . . . Well-drawn characters and tantalizing wine talk help balance the quirky aspects of this paranormal mystery."—Publishers Weekly

 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/23/2017
In Weiss’s engaging sequel to 2016’s A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, Maddie Kosloski, who runs a struggling paranormal museum in her tiny hometown of San Benedetto in California wine country, is convinced that her newly acquired haunted grape press is a perfect draw for the big harvest festival. When the press’s previous owner, Romeo Paganini, accuses Maddie of stealing it, the police seize it as evidence and Maddie ends up with no entry to the festival. Maddie’s subsequent discovery of her accuser dead in a barrel of grapes leaves her a prime suspect. Another murder raises the stakes. San Benedetto residents start taking bets on if and when Maddie will solve the crimes after she turns amateur sleuth in her own defense, to the ire of local detective Laurel Hammer, her nemesis. Well-drawn characters and tantalizing wine talk help balance the quirky aspects of this paranormal mystery. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
2016-12-19
The curator of a most unusual museum tries to prove she's innocent of murder when the original owner of her latest exhibit winds up dead.San Benedetto Detective Laurel Hammer's grudge against Madelyn Kosloski, which goes all the way back to high school, flared up again quite recently when Maddie accidentally set Laurel's hair on fire in the name of crime solving. So it's no surprise to Maddie that Laurel has it in for her, even going so far as to confiscate a grape press Maddie bought to display at the local Harvest Festival. This isn't just any grape press, but a verified haunted one, a perfectly fitting addition to the booth highlighting Maddie's business, the Paranormal Museum. Laurel's claim that the press is stolen forces Maddie to trace the provenance from the original owner, Romeo Paganini. Almost as soon as she starts to look for Romeo, Maddie finds him, or at least his body. Not only will Maddie never prove her innocence of the grape press theft, but now Laurel's determined to arrest her for Romeo's murder. And Maddie's allies are few. Her overbearing mother insists that Maddie personally investigate Romeo's death, and Maddie's boyfriend, Mason, is nowhere to be found. But Maddie finds a surprising friend in her part-time employee, Leo, who also happens to be Romeo's estranged son. So close do the two of them grow, in fact, that Maddie's friends soon wonder if her relationship with Leo is making her forget that he's a viable suspect in his father's death. Weiss trades down from a focus on her characters' personal lives to something more plot-driven, diminishing the charm of her series debut (The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, 2016).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738750750
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date:
03/08/2017
Series:
A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
182,994
File size:
3 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Kirsten Weiss (San Mateo, CA) writes paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem. She is also the author of the Riga Hayworth series.

Customer Reviews

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Pressed to Death 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Qnofdnile 10 days ago
Maddie a curator for a small paranormal museum in wine country California who also huelps out with the harvest festival gets into the middle of a drama she has no control of. Of course she is a suspect as she was the first on the scene and she has to investigate as she didn't do. Has some fun, quirky characters with a haunted plot. It was a fun read and looking forward to the next book in the series.
KimHeniadis 3 months ago
Another wonderful book in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery series! In the first book, Kirsten Weiss lightly touched upon the paranormal aspect of the items in the museum, but this book saw her digging deeper into them, which I really enjoyed. And what is fun is there is two mysteries in each book, the main one that is occurring and Maddie is investigating, as well as one that is related to one of the objects and happened years ago. So two mysteries for the price of one. Weiss continues to develop the characters in this book, which is always enjoyable. I even liked how she had Maddie and Mason’s relationship progress. Although some may not be big fans, I think it’s great how it opens up even more options in the future. The one relationship that gave me a bit of pause though, is the one between Maddie and Det. Hammer. I know some people are just horrible people. But it was hard for me to get past the way Det. Hammer unprofessionally treated Maddie in front of other people, including her co-workers. Everyone was just like, “Oh, well. That’s just how Det. Hammer is.” I really had to stretch my imagination that no one would call her on it. I hope to see even more paranormal presence in future books, and am looking forward to reading book three in the series.
CozyUpWithKathy 3 months ago
more than one puzzling mystery PRESSED TO DEATH by Kirsten Weiss The Second Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery After nearly being killed, Maddie Kosloski declares she will never get involved in another murder investigation. Yet when she finds the body of a local vineyard owner in a wine vat, everyone expects her to get involved, including her mother! Will Maddie be able to solve the murder while simultaneously helping with the town's annual haunted house and evading Detective Laurel Hammer's attempts to make her life as difficult as possible? With a caustic, self-deprecating wit Maddie reflects on the strange things occurring in her life. From her mother kowtowing to the president of the Ladies Aid Society (which is showing serious similarities to the mafia), a surly cat, a disconnect from her boyfriend, and the ramifications of having a cursed grape press, Maddie attempts to make sense of it all with the help of her best friends. Ultimately PRESSED TO DEATH is a story about friendship, family, and sacrifice. Those three themes intertwine characters and their actions giving meaning and motive. The second Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum presents more than one puzzling mystery. Kirsten Weiss combines a historical mystery with a current murder, adds concern to the romance, a hint of the paranormal, and plenty of charm to create an absorbing read. I really enjoyed this second entry to the series. The characters have grown, showing greater depth and complexity. In addition, the paranormal aspect to the series is more pronounced and given more serious consideration.I look forward to reading more about Maddie and her perfectly proper paranormal museum! FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
KrisAnderson_TAR 4 months ago
Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss is the second book A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery series. Maddie Kosloski owns the Paranormal Museum in San Benedetto, California. Maddie is getting ready to leave for the Harvest Fair, but Detective Laurel Hammer has delayed her. Detective Hammer is accusing Maddie of dealing in stolen property. Romeo Paganini is claiming the grape press that Maddie purchased from Herb Linden was stolen. Maddie has a copy of the signed receipt from Romeo’s wife, Jocelyn. It is only thanks to Frances Kosloski’s, Maddie’s mother, smooth talking, that they finally get to leave for the fair (I am sure that we will be seeing the good detective again soon). Maddie, with help from her mother, finishes setting up her table, and then they go to check the big vat for the wine stomping event. It is the biggest fundraiser for the Ladies Aid Society. They arrive to find the truck still in place, and the grapes were just dumped in the vat (they need to be spread out). Frances asks Maddie to jump in and spread out the grapes (and she does with her white tennis shoes still on). As Maddie uses the rake to spread out the grapes, she notices an arm sticking out. Upon closer inspection, she finds the body of Romeo Paganini. Detective Hammer immediately suspects Maddie of committing the crime. Frances wants Maddie to get involved in the investigation which shocks Maddie (especially after the last time). Maddie is not sure she wishes to be involved, but, after two close brushes with death, she has no choice. Maddie must work in her investigation in between working at the museum, setting up a haunted room for the Ladies Aid Haunted House event, and discovering the history behind the grape press. Maddie’s thoughts, however, are a little scattered. Her boyfriend, Mason Hjelm, is acting distant and unavailable. But when a second person is murdered, Maddie will need to focus on the task at hand. Pressed to Death is easy to read and it does have a decent tempo (I was tired of using the word pace). I had trouble getting into the book in the beginning. Things do pick up in the second part of the story. I found the paranormal element to be nonexistent which was unfortunate (it is only hinted at subtlety). The addition of a mystic element would have greatly enhanced the story. I am giving Pressed to Death 3 out of 5 stars (it is okay). I thought the romance element to be overpowering and unappealing. There is quite a bit of activity going on in the story. I personally felt that there are too many elements. I am curious why authors feel the need to jam a book full of activity (it is happening in more and more cozy mysteries). The author made Detective Hammer out to be a nasty, vengeful harpy who is bent on destroying Maddie. It might have to do something with Maddie setting the good detective’s hair on fire (going from long hair to a pixie cut) in book one. The detective seizes so called “evidence” from Maddie without a warrant (very unrealistic). The cops also seem to be spinning their wheels regarding the case while Maddie put together the clues and solves it. The main mystery is uncomplicated and the culprit easily identified (I believe even a novice mystery reader will be able pinpoint the killer). The past mystery relating to the grape press was interesting, but there was little investigation into it. While I have not had the pleasure of reading The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum, I understood
GratefulGrandma 4 months ago
Maddie Kosloski is the owner of the Paranormal Museum in San Benedetto, California. In this story, an antique grape press that was once used in the wine making business and is rumoured to be haunted, is the newest acquisition of the museum. When Maddie moves it to the Harvest Fair site advertising her museum, her nemesis, Detective Lauren Hammer, comes to tell her that the true owner of the press is claiming that is it stolen and she will have to confiscate it. Even when Maddie produces a receipt signed by Romeo Paganini's wife, the detective goes to the fairgrounds to remove the press. Before she is able to take it, Maddie, helping her mother set up the "Grape Stomp Booth" comes across a dead body buried under the grapes. When it is identified as the vintner accusing her of theft, Maddie becomes a suspect. Everyone, including her mother, wants Maddie to investigate the crime--except the police. One of the things I like about this series is that the police do not co-operate with the amateur sleuth. Maddie does not get any information from them, she is on her own if she wants to solve this crime and take suspicion off herself and her employee, the vintner's estranged son. There is a lot going on in this story besides just the murder mystery. Maddie is having problems with her boyfriend Seth, the Ladies' Aid Society has a huge rift that has put her mother in the middle and Adele is trying to get her tea shop business off the ground. As in the first book, Maddie is also working on getting more information surrounding the murder/suicide story that is attached to the Grape Press. There is fun when setting up the Haunted House, having a Death Cafe and running the museum in general. I really like the character of Deiter, handyman extraordinaire as well as bookie for all local strange things to bet on. All this adds to the story, even though some reviewers wish there had been more emphasis on the mystery. I liked how this developed the main characters more and we get to know them better in this book. The one character that I still do not like is the terrifically annoying Detective Laurel Hammer whose purpose seems only to annoy Maddie and her friends as well as carrying a grudge from highschool days when she was a bit of a bullly. She is definitely a negative stereotype that make police look bad. I am hoping that she will lighten up in future books. This is a well written cozy mystery with a great California setting and quirky characters. The idea of the Paranormal Museum is a unique twist to the series. Even though Maddie is not a true believer in the paranormal, she realistically accepts that there are phenomena that cannot be explained. Three is a lot of information about making wine blended into the story and of course drinking wine happens at many occasions. This was a fun, easy read that I recommend to cozy mystery fans, especially those who like wine or the paranormal. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.