Friday, October 26, 2018

Sophia Rose Reviews: Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss, Narrated by Emily Durante

Today Sophia Rose is here to give us a Halloween worthy review of Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss, narrated by Emily Durante.

Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss, Narrated by Emily Durante
#2 Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum
Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Publisher:  Tantor Audio
Published:  7.31.18
Time:  9 hours 23 minutes
Format:  MP3
Source:  Tantor Audio
Sellers:  Amazon - Barnes& Noble - Kobo


Goodreads Blurb:
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.

Sophia Rose's Review:

A body at the grape harvest festival, a cursed and haunted grape press, danger at the haunted house, and mysterious activities among the ladies' aid society all come together to give Maddie Koslowski a Halloween season she won't soon forget.

Pressed to Death is the second installment in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum cozy mystery series.  There is some build on the first book, but in a pinch a reader/listener might squeak by getting them out of order.

Like with book one, Maddie soon finds herself embroiled in a murder and her old high-school nemesis on the police force is looking for any excuse to arrest her while the other detective gives her an old tingly sensation each time they meet.  There are a lot of brands in the fire for her between her boyfriend, Mason, getting a surprise visit from an ex, her mother keeping secrets along with both her best friends, Estelle and Harper.  A death society group wants to use the museum for their meeting.  And, her teenage employee might be suspect number one in his own dad's killing.  While worrying about Mason's ongoing silence, she delves into community Halloween activities, working new angles to make the museum profitable, sleuthing the recent murder, and the one from the past involving the grape press. 

I enjoyed the mild spooky aspect of museum and haunted exhibits, GD (ghost detecting) cat's antics around the museum and the 'is it or isn't it' possibility of paranormal activity.

But, as I've emphasized, there is a ton going on in this one and I felt like Maddie was bouncing around from one thing to another making my head spin a bit.  I got confused a couple of times over which lady was involved in the historical museum, ladies' aid, or friends of her mother.  So many change of scenes and people like that.  Yes, there was forward progress, but all of it was somewhat distracting.  I suspect that several of the situations were meant to be distractions on purpose and they were humorous at that.

I did have the murder figured out and the tangle with Maddie's love life (let's just say, I'm sort of rooting for someone else) so I wasn't as upset as I might have been to see what was going on there with Mason going radio silent on her. 

My big complaint about the first book vanished and this one was a much more enjoyable story for me.  Maddie is settled into the museum and gung ho about her life in San Bernedetto.  No more wishy washy and constantly complaining or getting envious.  She no longer gets whiny with comparing herself to her siblings or her friends and she is loyal and involved in her work, her community, and her family and friends.

The narrator, Emily Durante did a fabulous job once again.  She had a good sized cast of varying ages and genders which she did well.  I like her voice for Maddie and definitely want to catch more of her work.

All in all, this was a fun and light spooky mystery.  I felt it was more settled in ways though a bit too busy in others.  It's definitely a series that I want to get more of since I love the paranormal museum, the combo of old and new murders, the quirky cat, and the whole cast of characters.

My thanks to Tantor audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Author’s Bio:
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 San Mateo, CA, 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, check out her Pie Town, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.

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

Feel free to follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss or Bookbub, get in touch on Facebook, post a picture of this book to Instagram and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

Narrator Bio:
Emily Durante has performed in a number of stage plays professionally, in the community, and at the college level. Other performance credits include commercial and industrial voice work, educational live theater, and singing telegrams. She has been narrating audiobooks for over ten years. She has also directed audiobooks, including the Earphones Award-winning performance of Heaven's Keep narrated by Buck Schirner. Emily resides in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two children.

Sophia’s Bio:
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia’s Social Media Links:


  1. Glad you liked it Sophia Rose it sounds like it could have gone either way with so much going on so Kudos for the author getting it right. Thanks for the great review, perfect for a mild scary read for scardy cats like me :)

  2. The narrator rings a bell so I am sure I have listened to her before :)

    1. She has done a lot of audio work so it wouldn't surprise me. :)

  3. This sounds pretty good. I could see myself liking this one.

    1. I enjoy the cozies with the paranormal elements. This one is fun because you're never sure if its real or imagination about the ghosts.

  4. Oh I've read book three and own the first two. Glad you had fun with it Sophia.

  5. I still need to get to Deja Moo, but that event has been mentioned since book one so I'm looking forward to it. :)