A holiday tradition turns deadly, but is the paranormal museum to blame?
Maddie Kosloski is no fan of San Benedetto’s Christmas Cow, a thirty-foot straw bovine that graces the town square every December. For one thing, the cow displaces her paranormal museum as the number one tourist attraction. Plus, every year, despite around-the-clock surveillance, the cow goes up in flames.
But this year, there’s more than just a fire blazing in Maddie’s wine-country hometown. One of the Christmas Cow guards has been found with an arrow in his chest, and Maddie’s new haunted cowbell exhibit is fueling a panic. Are the spirits in her museum getting too hot to handle? If Maddie can’t stop the hysteria—and the murderous archer—her holiday plans might not be the only thing full of holes.
In the third installment of the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series, Maddie finds herself caught up in a mystery of flaming cows, archery, and haunted cow bells. The single most important tourist attraction, a thirty-foot tall straw cow, is set ablaze by a gang of gingerbread men and Santa Clause. As the flames die down, Maddie discovers a body… again. Fortunately, Maddie has a solid alibi for the murder, but her mother, who was guarding the cow, does not. Meanwhile, the townsfolk begin to get whackier than normal as they begin to blame the curious events that are unfolding on the haunted cowbells that are prominently displayed in Maddie’s paranormal museum.
So far, this is my favorite book of the series. It’s quirky and fun. The plot moves a long a lot smoother than the previous two books and it’s development of the characters is really coming along nicely. Maddie is still the protagonist, but the other characters and their storylines are what really flush out the book. In fact, I was amused by how a large number of townspeople arrive at the final showdown with the murderer at the end of the book. These kinds of quirky events and characters make cozy mysteries fun and entertaining. I even commend the author because she didn’t include Detective Laurel Hammer as prominently as she had in the past. It was also nice to see other characters begin to acknowledge Detective Hammer’s unhealthy desire and obsession with putting Maddie in jail or blaming her for everything bad that happens.
This was a nice addition to the series and I look forward to seeing what the next book has in store for me. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, I hope you’ll give this series a try and let me know what you think!
Reviewer’s note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.