The Hour of Death–review

This is the second book in the Father Selwyn and Sister Agatha series by Jane Willan. It’s set in North Wales in a small village and revolves around the lives of an abbey of Anglican nuns and their vicar, Father Selwyn. One nun in particular, Sister Agatha, is obsessed with murder mysteries. She’s a mystery writer in what small amount of spare time she has. Or she can be found discussing the latest case with her longtime friend, Father Selwyn. I hadn’t read the first book, but I definitely intend to! I like these characters a lot!

My Goodreads review:

The Hour of Death (Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery #2)The Hour of Death by Jane Willan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first I’ve read in this series, but I didn’t feel lost or confused when it came to the characters. They were well-explained without going into much of the first story or giving any spoilers out.

I really enjoyed the characters of Sister Agatha and her friend Father Selwyn. It was like a Welsh version of the Father Dowling Mysteries from the 80s, only Sister is older in this and I would say Father is a bit younger than Father Dowling. The nuns are all so cool–they have cell phones and text each other, even the Reverend Mother and Father Selwyn. I didn’t know there even were such things as Anglican nuns, so I learned a little bit about that as well. They even had a tenant as a way to make extra money, an American girl Lucy, who was there to concentrate on her art, but as many of the people in the mystery, she has a secret.

A prominent parishioner was killed right after Lucy gave a talk to the Art Society. Sister Agatha couldn’t resist investigating when the death was ruled natural. I really got a kick out of her investigation methods. She was a big fan of Agatha Christie of course, as well as Stephanie Plum and Jessica Fletcher, plus some British TV detectives. It was kind of hilarious when they turned the kindergarten Sunday School room into an incident room complete with a murder board.

The mystery was well-written and plotted. I wasn’t really sure until the very end when all the clues pointed to someone who the killer really was. There were some really good red herrings and plot twists going on. The ending was just a very heartwarming Christmas conclusion. I kind of hope that the character of Lucy sticks around awhile. In the meantime, I want to read the first book which I discovered I have on my Kindle.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

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Deja Moo–review

This is the third book in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series by Kirsten Weiss. I wasn’t really sure how I’d like it although I’m not opposed to paranormal books. I just didn’t want for it to be too creepy and it seriously was not. There was nothing that couldn’t be explained–it was all done by humans.

The only thing that could really be construed paranormal was the talk of the curse but Maddie, the museum owner doesn’t even believe in curses. I’m trying to help anyone who might have doubts about reading this, don’t have those doubts, it’s a really fun book with some great characters. I plan to read the first two in the series since I have them as e-books. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance reading copy of this book provided by NetGalley and the publisher.

My Goodreads review:

Deja Moo (Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum #3)Deja Moo by Kirsten Weiss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a real page turner! I got absorbed into the mystery so fast that I could barely put this down. I finished it by reading straight through since just after lunch. Even though this is the third book in the series, it could be a stand alone if anyone isn’t familiar with the series. I hadn’t read any of the previous books but I quickly got acquainted with the characters and knew what was going on since not too much backstory was really needed.

It’s almost Christmas in San Benedetto, CA which means the annual burning of the straw cow, a tradition started by ancestors in Sweden. Maddie Koslosky, Paranormal Museum owner, now has some cow bells that are supposedly cursed and with the murder of one of the people guarding the cow, some are beginning to think the curse has returned. Maddie doesn’t believe in curses but she likes the publicity the stories bring her museum. For the good of the community, she agrees to a de-cursing of the bells after another body is found murdered the same way as the first man. Can Maddie find the killer before the killer takes care of her and her mom once and for all? And can she do this without incurring the wrath of Detective Hammer, her high school nemesis…only one way to find out!

There were so many fun characters in this well-written book. I love that there’s a trio of girlfriends, kind of like in the Nancy Drew stories. Maddie and her friends Adele and Harper have a weekly girls’ night out to talk over their week or in this case, talk about the investigation she’s not supposed to be holding.

I was glad to see Maddie got closure with her ex-boyfriend and was now able to possibly move forward with Jason Slate, handsome detective partner of Laurel Hammer. Maddie’s mom Fran cracks me up. She’s kind of that typical mom that means well but somehow gets into situations she shouldn’t. It was pretty funny when she had some policemen guarding her house and she was so bored she baked and fed them cookies.

I was definitely not sure who the killer was since everyone that was a suspect did have a good reason. There were some great twists and turns along the way and I was surprised with whodunnit. I loved the take down and ending, exciting and just plain fun. I’d like to go back and read the first two books now and will definitely keep an eye out for the next book in this series.

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