Every year, the city of Gävle, Sweden, builds a giant straw Christmas goat. And nearly every year, someone burns it down.
Occasionally, the goat actually survives the holiday season. One year the goat was knocked down by a runaway RV. But it's gotten to the point where betting houses in London make odds on if and when the goat will be destroyed.
The story of the Gävle goat was too funny to ignore, and so my mythical California wine town of San Benedetto has its very own straw Christmas Cow, managed by the Dairy Association and Ladies' Aid. In my third paranormal museum cozy mystery, Déjà Moo, the cow meets a similar fate as Gävle'sbut with murderous consequences.
The proprietor of the paranormal museum, Maddie Kosloski, has mixed emotions about the cow's demise. After all, it drops her museum from the town's number two tourist destination to the number three spot for six weeks out of every year. But this holiday season, she's decided to take advantage of the cow, acquiring the set of "cursed" cowbells that the original Christmas Cow Committee was gifted by Gävle in the eighties. Every member of that committee died within a year of accepting the bells.
Is the curse back? Did it ever exist? Is Maddie's mom, who's on the new Christmas Cow committee, in danger? And will Maddie's love life get back on track? You'll have to read the book to find out. But one thing I'm sure of is the world news will continue to provide ludicrous stories to inspire.
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.
Praise for The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mysteries>:
"Well-drawn characters and tantalizing wine talk help balance the quirky aspects of this paranormal mystery."
"A delightful new series."
—Library Journal (starred review)
"Weiss' many quirky ongoing characters add charm and humor."
Kirsten Weiss (San Mateo, CA) writes paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem. She is also the author of the Riga Hayworth series and the Pie Town series (Kensington).