Missing in Michigan by April A. Taylor – Book Review
Missing in Michigan by April A. Taylor – Book Review
Missing in Michigan
Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries Book One
Author – April A. Taylor
Publisher – Midnight Grasshopper Books
Pages – 176
Released – 19th June 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-0692134207
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Julie
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book
Is she a medium? A psychic? Alexa Bentley only knows one thing for certain; she can talk to ghosts. And sometimes, they take her advice.
Missing in Michigan is ideal for fans of the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Mysteries, quirky female characters, and the Paranormal Mystery/Supernatural Suspense genre. This exciting, funny new series will keep you guessing!
Alexa’s unusual ghost therapy skills take her to a remote corner of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But this case is much trickier than anything else she’s ever encountered. A grieving ghost, several missing teens, and a supernatural creature from Native American folklore stand in her path. Along the way, she manages a bit of romance and lots of witty humour.
Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries – She’s a witty, mystery-solving ghost therapist.
‘Missing in Michigan’ is the first novel in the Alexa Bentley Paranormal Mysteries series by award-winning author, April A Taylor. We meet our main protagonist, Alex as she is negotiating with a ghost. As she describes herself as a ghost therapist and paranormal empath, perhaps this should not be too much of a surprise. If I’m honest, I did at that point wonder if this was to be a series of brief comic strip type encounters however, once Alex travels to Munising in Michigan, a more substantial story unfolds.
The tale is written in the first person so we stay with Alex throughout the book. She soon becomes embroiled in a puzzle which will take all her powers of deduction, tenacity and courage (along with a bit of help from the ghost world) to solve. She establishes herself in Munising and is joined by some foils to help the story progress. The author sets her scenes well, creating some very atmospheric backdrops. She uses humour, sarcasm, irony, foreshadowing, fear and pathos for dramatic effect, along with a smattering of romance to pull her readers into what is actually a fairly straightforward plot.
Not living in USA, I had to do a bit of research as to exactly where the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is situated and I also confess to not knowing much about Native American folklore. I was pleased to note that the author had done her homework regarding the Ojibwe legends and the wendigo in particular.
There is fine line between fleshing-out of cast and padding; in this case, I would have liked a bit more backstory to give me more emotional investment in the characters. However, the trade-off for this was a consistent and pacey momentum which was sustained until the end.
The writing style is clear and the story not over-complicated. I appreciated the epilogue at the back when the author gives her readers a bit of insight into her mind-set. I think the humour was a little out of place at times towards the end, particularly in view of the way in which the plot develops. There were a couple of twists but both were fairly easy to anticipate so no great denouement awaits the reader at the conclusion of the mystery; that doesn’t mean it isn’t exciting though.
If you enjoy paranormal mysteries, this book is for you. It is definitely a page-turner which doesn’t take itself too seriously. I look forward to the next offering in the series and award ‘Missing in Michigan’ four stars.
Reviewed by Julie
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About the Author
April A. Taylor is an American author and an award-winning Dark Art and Fine Art Photographer. Her horror novel, The Haunting of Cabin Green, was the #1 Best Seller in United States Horror New Releases for three consecutive weeks (late April to mid-May 2018) on the main Amazon site. Both books in her Midnight Myths and Fairy Tales series became a #1 best seller in Amazon’s Canada store during March 2018.
Like many writers, she started putting pen to paper during early childhood. Her first project was a family newspaper entitled The Taylor Family Times. Since then, she’s spent more than three decades honing her craft through a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction projects.
April’s appropriately spooky black cat, Riley, is her toughest editor and critic (look for pictures of him in action – and sleeping on the job – on Instagram!).
Horror caught her attention at a young age, and she’s enjoyed exploring the darkness hidden inside everyone’s psyche ever since. She’s also intrigued by each person’s capacity for astounding levels of goodness in the face of overwhelming evil.
April’s horror, paranormal mysteries, and dark, reimagined myths and fairy tales tackle both these topics. The darker side of humanity is also on display inside her Fine Art and Dark Art photographs, which have been published and exhibited around the world by a diverse list of media sources such as Fangoria, Scream: The Horror Magazine, and the short horror film Cathartic.
She currently lives in Michigan with the love of her life and their two cats. April is an Active (professional level) member of the Horror Writers Association. If her life was a cartoon, she’d be Lisa Simpson.