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Bridesmaid duties can be deadly…
Maddie Kosloski has more than wedding cake on her plate. She’s managing her paranormal museum, helping her best friend Adele with wedding plans, and trying to prove that Adele’s vintage wedding dress is most definitely not haunted.
But when a bridesmaid turns up murdered, Maddie has to solve the crime to save the wedding. As her bouquet of suspects grows, and everyone’s alibis have the ring of truth, Maddie begins to doubt this wedding will go off without a hitch.
If you love laugh-out-loud mysteries, witty heroines, and a touch of the paranormal, you’ll love Damsel in a Dress, book 5 in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series of novels. Read this twisty cozy mystery today!
Read an Excerpt
The wedding gown ghosted into my museum on a slither of plastic and a shiver of air conditioning. Since it was a paranormal museum, I should have figured that was a sign, an omen, a warning.
But all I worried about that morning was stepping on the hem of my best friend’s newly altered dress. I carried it like it was an atom bomb, arms extended, treading carefully.
File that under the had-I-but-known category.
My assistant, Leo, looked up from behind the glass counter and slid one finger inside the collar of his Paranormal Museum tee. “Yo.” His black leather jacket was slung over the back of his tall chair. A shock of his ebony hair fell forward, obscuring his eyes.
The museum’s front door drifted shut behind me, and the bell jangled above it.
“Thanks for managing things.” I draped the dress over the counter. Unpeeling the staticky plastic from my jeans, I scanned the museum, alert for disasters.
Visitors wandered between the shelves displaying haunted objects and creepy dolls. Photos of long-dead murderers gazed impassively from their frames beneath the black-painted crown molding.
“How many decks did you sell?” I bounced in my low-heeled sandals. The museum was doing better, but we needed to increase our in-store sales.
I deflated. Bummer. Still, I’d only been gone thirty minutes.
GD, the museum’s ghost detecting cat, rose from the haunted rocking chair in the corner of the main room. It swayed beneath the ebony cat’s weight.
“How’d you get stuck with dress duty anyway?” Leo asked.
“I’ll do anything for wedding cake.” Really, I will. Also, I was a bridesmaid, and one of my bridesmaidly duties was picking up the altered wedding gown. Cruelly and unfairly, I had not been selected for cake sampling duty.
A couple of things I need to admit. One, I’ve never read a cozy mystery. Two, I’ve never read anything by Ms. Weiss. And three, I’ve never laughed at a mystery before. Seriously. This book had me grinning or laughing the entire time I was reading. Plus, I just got so caught up in the story that when I had to put it down (you know, to eat and such), I couldn’t wait to dive back in. I just had to know who did it and why. Plus, I’m a sucker for a cat and a dog in a book. Plus, a wedding.
Maddie is a true gem. I’d love to be her friend and peruse her museum. Do I believe in ghosts? Yes, in some form. But what was really interesting to me was the wedding dress and the history behind it. Unfortunately, that’s all I’m going to say about that because anything else would spoil the whole book for you. The twist in regards to the dress is fabulous and I actually got a bit teary eyed. Great job Ms. Weiss with that plot point. Plus, Maddie working with Adele’s mom and Dieter is hilarious.
The whole murder mystery is spot on. I never figured it out and normally, I do. Ms. Weiss does an excellent job of throwing red herrings in the plot and it was a lot of fun trying to keep up. You will definitely need a scorecard to keep up with the suspects. And yes, each one of them had a motive but the fun of the whole book was watching Maddie try to figure it out. Maddie’s boyfriend is a cop and he is behind her trying to figure it out. I just wish that her school bully/cop Laurel would have gotten slapped a time or two. She was just awful to everyone in the book. Grrrr…
I loved Maddie, Harper, and Adele as friends. You could tell that they would do anything for each other. Leo, Maddie’s assistant, is a hoot. The other secondary characters are well thought out and richly drawn. I haven’t read the other books in the series but I’m guessing that they are also prominent in those books, two. The ladies club was a riot. How knew that a ladies club was that cutthroat? Even the cat, GD, and Bugsy, the dog are great characters. Yes, they have their own personalities and backstories.
I can’t wait to dive into this series. Keep in mind that while Maddie has a boyfriend, it’s the mystery that is front and center in the book. Honestly, I didn’t need a romance in this story. It was fun, hilarious at times and the whodunit was fantastic. It made sense in the end. Just remember, getting to the end is half the fun, so don’t cheat and read ahead.
About the Author: Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in Colorado Springs, CO, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries:
Pie Town – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/pie-town-mysteries
Tea and Tarot – https://www.kirstenweiss.com/tea-and-tarot-mysteries
Paranormal Museum- http://www.kirstenweiss.com/the-perfectly-proper-paranormal-mus-1
Wits’ End – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-cozy-mystery-series
If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery:
Witches of Doyle – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/doyle-witch-cozy-mysteries
Riga Hayworth – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/riga-hayworth-paranormal-mysteries
Rocky Bridges – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/rocky-bridges-mysteries
If you like steampunk:
Sensibility Grey – http://www.kirstenweiss.com/sensibility-grey-steampunk-suspense
Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at http://kirstenweiss.com