A Pilgrimage to Death (A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery)

A Pilgrimage to Death (A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery)

by J. J. Cagney

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Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2018 and 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards winner.

When Cici discovers a body in the forest, she's shocked to realize the victim's wounds are identical to the ones that killed her sister a year ago. Now she's embroiled in the takedown of a massive criminal operation, and the stakes couldn't be higher…

Someone murdered her sister. And shot her dog. The killer won't stop until she's dead, too.

Cici finds a dead body while hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest. The situation deteriorates when she discovers the victim bears similar stab wounds to those that ended her twin sister's life a year ago.

Then, her identical twin sister infiltrates her dreams.

All of a sudden, Cici and her dogs must dodge arrows, bullets, and even a demon truck—all while she grapples with the knowledge that her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation. Worse, her twin's death was much more sinister than a random act of violence.

Now, as she follows the clues her sister drops in her dreams, the criminals want Cici out of the way. Permanently.

A Pilgrimage to Death is a high-octane thriller. Fans of Ruth Ware, J.D. Robb, and Angela Marsons will love J. J. Cagney's new edge-of-your-seat novel.


"A wholly absorbing gumshoe tale elevated by an extraordinary detective."(Kirkus Reviews starred review)

"Vivid, alluring, and heart-wrenching, Alexa Padgett's A Pilgrimage to Death is every reason I love mystery. A breathtaking tale."—Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author

"A Pilgrimage to Death was an edge-of-my-seat thrill ride that kept me guessing all the way through. Alexa Padgett weaves an intricate and enthralling tale, with relationships that run deep, and mystery that does the same."—Allyson Lindt, USA Bestseller

"A Pilgrimage to Death is a phenomenal read from the moment you open the book on the first page to the very last page." —Jeanine, Bookbub Review

"This is an edge-of-your-seat thriller with a great storyline and multidimensional characters." —Suecolerick, Bookbub Review

"A Pilgrimage to Death is filled with a lot of unexpected twists."—Energy, Bookbub Review

"If you like Murder She Wrote and Agatha Christie, you will love this." —Lisa, Goodreads Review

"This is a must-read book, and I give it five stars." —Angela Sanders, Author of Never Again

"There are many suspects, few leads and several tense moments when Cici becomes targeted by the unknown killer."—Sheila, Goodreads Review

Product Details

BN ID: 2940155590361
Publisher: Sidecar Press, LLC
Publication date: 08/14/2018
Series: A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 63,206
File size: 799 KB

About the Author

With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path as a content manager for a web firm at the height of the tech boom, marketing director for a high-profile sports agency and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction. She is a card-carrying member of RWA, or would be if Romance Writers of America had cards. She’s also a member of Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (LERA), and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal (FF&P) chapters, where she’s met fabulous writers. She aspires to be as witty and kind as her writing family is.

Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, Alexa soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all – at least for a while. And she does in her books.

Alexa loves to read, especially her friends’ stories. She also spends a great deal of time in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.

 Write her at alexa@alexapadgett.com. She loves to hear from her fans!

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A Pilgrimage to Death (A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite There are no leads in the murder of a well-liked Santa Fe school teacher and the killer still roams free to kill again in the suspenseful murder mystery, A Pilgrimage to Death (A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery Book 1) by Alexa Padgett. Since Reverend Cici Gurule's identical twin sister, Anna Carmen, was murdered a little over a year ago, Cici left her position in a Boston church and took charge of a parish in her hometown of Santa Fe. Attempting to move past Anna Carmen's death, Cici has been trying to lead a normal life by living one day at a time. Hiking in the nearby forest is one of the ways she uses to cope with her pain. While climbing the trail, Cici is surprised to feel Anna Carmen's presence. The surprise immediately turns to shock with the subsequent discovery of a corpse. The condition of the man's body is reminiscent of Anna Carmen's untimely demise. With the occurrence of this new homicide, Cici now finds herself in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy that has ties to her twin. Without any clues as to why Anna Carmen was killed, the reason for her death remains a mystery. What had Anna Carmen been doing that reaches beyond the grave and endangers those she left behind? The "voice" of the dead, guiding the heroine in her search for the truth, is an intriguing paranormal aspect of the brilliant sleuth murder mystery, A Pilgrimage to Death by Alexa Padgett. I love a good murder mystery, especially if the protagonist is a little bit different. With Cici being a motorcycle-riding, beer-drinking reverend who has medium-like connections with her twin, this whodunit definitely fits the criteria for being unique. It is a thrilling cozy mystery filled with drama, suspense, and murder; all of which held me spellbound until the exciting finale. There is enough action, blood, and death in this "unputdownable" book to satisfy die-hard mystery fans without being offensive to those of a more sensitive nature. A Pilgrimage to Death is an enticing springboard for a spectacular sleuth series. I highly recommend it to those who love unusual amateur detectives with a "never-give-up" attitude and a little far-fetched help from the Otherside.
thicks More than 1 year ago
Cici is not perfect. Yes she is a Pastor, yes she has a potty mouth (under the circumstances she's allowed), yes she is right in the middle of an investigation with a target on her head. She doesn't scare easy and that's a good thing. She's found herself knee deep in the middle of an investigation into a murder. This author gives us a great thriller with tons of suspense and awesome characters who aren't scared of twist, and there's a gang of them. This isn't cut and dry and tons of folks will go down before it's done. Absolutely loved it. As soon as I thought I had it figured out something else came up. Love this author. Love that she doesn't let you get comfy before she throws you another curve ball.
cristieu More than 1 year ago
This twisty gem of a book is the first in a series and after reading it I cannot wait for the next one! The author's writing was great and the characters and plot were well developed.
BookAddictLive More than 1 year ago
It’s been my pleasure to read Alexa Padgett’s A Pilgrimage to Death, which is book one in The Reverend Cici Gurule mysteries. This has set the scene and standard for future adventures. This is a spoiler free as the book isn’t released yet. Rev Cici has come back to her home town to takeover at the Local church. Cici’s twin sister was killed and the murderer never caught. Cici and her twin’s friend Sam a Detective returned to solve the case. Unfortunately is a year later when a body is found dead with the same knife wound as her sister. Suddenly after a year things start happening, all being connected to Anna Carmen. I loved Cici and Sam, they had a real partnership together. Cici was real, with same fears as anybody else. A modern woman trying to make a difference. I grew up on Agatha Christie, and love a good mystery. This was a good murder mystery with a lot going on. I was glued to the pages, when I got my surprise at the end. I wanted to read another one. So book two please, as I’m impatient for the next one.  
sheilamiss56 More than 1 year ago
A Pilgrimage to Death is a suspenseful story that takes you on a twisting ride, not unlike a scary rollercoaster. In the story, Cici and Sam work together to determine why dead bodies are stacking up, including her twin sister. There are many suspects, few leads and several tense moments when Cici becomes targeted by the unknown killer. The reader is unprepared and left gasping when the murderer is revealed! The author ties up the loose ends well, including explanation of the roles played by all suspects. A well-written and entertaining book that will keep you up all night reading!
Jeanine More than 1 year ago
A Pilgrimage to Death is a phenomenal read from the moment you open the book on the first page to the very last page. The characters are well flashed out and the plot is believable. It’s easy to visualize myself in the story and I found myself cheering the main character on at times as if she was right in front of me. This book is centered on Cici Cirule, a local reverend whose twin sister was murdered the year before. Now Cici finds herself in the middle of an investigation when she finds a body while out on a hike and realizes the stab wounds bear a distinctive similarity to the wounds that took her sister’s life. What follows is a series of twists and turns that would make any roller coaster designer swoon with envy. Who can Cici trust and who is really out to get her? Will she be able to finally solve the year old mystery of who took her sister’s life and why? With the help of a few friends, her trusted 4 pawed friends, and the ghost of her twin sister who Cici thought she had lost for good, she’s going to do everything she can to figure this mystery out before anyone else gets killed. Will she be successful or will she be next? Score this one in the top ten and forget about getting to sleep early.
Naty 6 months ago
Can Cici Gurule solve her twin sister’s murder while trying to stay alive? When Cici and Sam, a police detective and best friend with Cici’s sister, find a dead body with injuries as the ones that killed her sister they will push to a dangerous situation with more deaths until they find her killer and discover the connections with a drug cartel. An intense reading.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
The Reverend Cici Gurule is determined to find justice for her murdered twin, but the killer has other ideas. Cici has come to Santa Fe so that she can be where her sister died. After another victim is found by Cici and Detective Sam Chastain, Anna Carmen’s spirit helps guide her sister. Cici’s investigation makes her a target. Can Cici solve the crime before the killer finds her? I enjoyed this exciting mystery. The Reverend is a complex character. I admired her quick wit and ability to follow clues. Her relationship with Sam has so many possibilities. The Detective is very protective. I could tell he cared. It will be interesting to see what develops. The story is well written and has unexpected twists that kept me off balance. The dialogue was realistic and helped move the story along. The ending was a shocker. I enjoyed the writing of Alexa Padgett. I enjoyed A Pilgrimage To Death. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
Michelle_V More than 1 year ago
This is a captivating murder mystery involving a set of twins. Reverend Cici and her twin sister Anna Carmen. A year after the murder of her sister another body is found with identical wounds. I really enjoyed reading this murder mystery and it's full of suspense, intrigue, and a paranormal twist that captivated me from beginning to end. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series.
CChimni More than 1 year ago
Wow! I couldn't put it down. I love the concept of the bond between the sisters surviving even death. The book was heavy of mystery and suspense. I was guessing til the end. I love the budding relationship and connection between Cici and Sam. As a romance lover, I'd love to see the romance evolve faster, but I understand this is a mystery...so I can be patient! I can't wait to see what the rest of the series brings!
TexasRedbird More than 1 year ago
Alexa Padgett - A Pilgrimage to Death Reverend Cici has returned to her home town of Santa Fe, New Mexico to take over as pastor in her home church. She has also returned to try to solve the murder of her twin sister Anna Carmin. With the help of her long time friend Sam, they will track through the ugly side of drug trafficking in their lovely small town. Sometimes though, the snake is hiding way too close to home. With some Divine and ghostly intervention Sam and Cici will find the truth. This is a well balanced story with memorable and likeable characters. What I liked most about Cici is she loves Jesus but she cusses a little. The supporting characters are all as essential to the story as the main ones. Good pacing, sharp prose, made this a very enjoyable - and often difficult to put down, story. Happy to find this is the first book in a series. Happy to see where Cici and Sam go from here! I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dani_the_Bookaholic More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and author Alexa Padgett for sending me a copy of A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH in exchange for my honest opinion. ~~~ This review is also posted on my blog: my nickname dot com ~~~ I have to admit, I thought that having a reverend be my guide through a drug infested murder mystery was a little strange, but I rather enjoyed Alexa Padgett’s A Pilgrimage to Death. While the main character, Cici, is a reverend, the story is not preachy. Cici is a young woman who has made mistakes of her own and is there fore those who are making their own. And that includes her decease twin sister. Over a couple hundred pages, Cici and Sam, her childhood friend turned detective, sort through clues, follow-up leads, and work toward finding the person who murdered her sister, all while almost losing her own life on a couple different accounts. A Pilgrimage to Death is a sad and thrilling tale, filled with grief, drugs and a killer you’ll never see coming. But wait, this isn’t the end to Cici’s story! A Heritage of Death (Reverend Cici Gurule Mysteries #2) comes out on October 23rd! I’m excited to see where Cici’s story takes her next! If you are too, make sure to reserve your copy today!   From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.—Dani Dani's Score out of 5: (3.5/5) (A bookmark:, is a half a stack of books. i.e: = a score of 2.5)