I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Pilgrimage To Death by Alexa Padgett
Series: A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery #1
Published by Sidecar Press, LLC on August 14, 2018
Source: Xpresso Tours
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"A wholly absorbing gumshoe tale elevated by an extraordinary detective."-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
They murdered her sister. They threatened her church. But their day of reckoning will cost her everything...
When Cici Gurule finds the dead body of a parishioner in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, she's horrified to realize the victim bears the same stab wounds that ended her twin sister's life one year earlier.
Now, as a freewheeling, progressive reverend who'll stop at nothing to protect her flock, she'll need to join forces with her detective friend and loyal pair of Great Pyrenees to hunt down the killer before she's forced to officiate another funeral.
Soon, however, Cici discovers her sister was on the trail of a deep-rooted criminal operation, and her death was no random act of violence. With the criminals out for Cici's blood, she needs to catch the wolf by the tail…before it goes in for the kill.
Fans of Sandra Brown, J.D. Robb, and Stacy Claflin will love Alexa's Padgett's new edge-of-your-seat novel! Scroll up and click to start this fast-paced, high-octane mystery thriller!
Cecilia Gurule, CiCi to most, returns home to Santa Fe upon quitting as the associate reverend from a large, wealthy church outside Boston after her sister, Anna Carmen’s murder over a year ago. She is not the only one to return home though. Sam Chastain left a promising position on a joint task force in Denver only to return home to Santa Fe to join the detective bureau. CiCi and Sam have been friends for decades and he always promised to be there for CiCi. While out hiking the Aspen Vista Trail, CiCi and Sam making a startling discovery. They find the dead body of Donald Johnson, one of the founding members of the church she had taken over this year. Like her sister, Anna Carmen, Donald has been stabbed much the same way. Is Donald’s murder somehow connected to the murder of Anna Carmen? CiCi is determined to find out, but does that put her in the crosshairs of a killer determined to silence CiCi for good?
A Pilgrimage To Death is the first book in the Reverend CiCi Gurule Mystery series and it has all of the elements to the start of a fantastic series. I found myself right in the middle of a criminal network intent on silencing any one who got in their way including the Reverend CiCi when she gets too close to the truth. Although the story is very much a mystery, it has underlying layers of the supernatural with CiCi being able to to talk to her dead twin Anna Carmen. In a way, it did lend an air of believability as twins often say they have a special bond and can communicate with one another which I find absolutely fascinating. So, I am glad that it was touched upon on this story. The mystery is done really well and I honestly never guessed the outcome and I kept going back and forth between the different characters wondering if they were the culprit/murderer. I would like to add that Alexa Padgett really knows how to draw you right in and this new series kind of reminds me of Patrica Cornwall’s Kay Scarpetta series, not so much in story line, but in the rich characterization and friendships that go deeper than ordinary friends.
CiCi is such a strong heroine. She has fears, goals and ambitions just like any other person. She is fiercely loyal to her friends and her parishioners. But, after her sister’s death, I don’t think she was ever the same again. She was not at peace knowing her sister’s killer was never brought to justice. But, through the investigation with Sam, I could see her growth the closer she got to unraveling Anna Carmen’s murder. Sam was an interesting character for me and the dynamic between him and CiCi just felt like it was more than friends, even though they never dated. They just have this super close bond with each other which was interesting to see.
A Pilgrimage To Death is a captivating page turner that reels you in slowly drawing you into the story. The twists really add to the tension and the action is non stop. The mystery is the heart of the story, though and it is done really well. I love when a book can keep me guessing right up to the very end. So far, this is a great start for a new series and I can not wait to read more.