A Heritage of Death

A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery Book 2

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
230 Pages
Reviewed on 10/05/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

A Heritage of Death by Alexa Padgett is the second installment in the Reverend Cici Gurule Mysteries series, preceded by the first book, A Pilgrimage to Death. A Heritage of Death reads as a standalone, although skipping over the first book would be a shame as it's excellent. Cici Gurule returns in this new adventure with an intriguing fresh puzzle to piece together, beginning with recurring dreams and a missing baby at her front door. She is still grieving the loss of her murdered twin sister, Anna Carmen, and once again enlists the help of Sam Chastain to sort through a mess that continues to mount and become more deadly and dangerous, as messages from beyond challenge the balance between her faith, her safety, and a mystery that pulls her into its malignant web.

Alexa Padgett knows how to bring on the suspense and surprises, dishing both out liberally in A Heritage of Death. Cici is such an engaging character and the gentle dance between her point of view and Sam's is brilliantly done. Padgett applies Cici's paranormal connection and interactions with a restraint that allows for the main characters to do the real leg work, dropping hints here and there that are often as confounding for Cici as they were for me...which is fantastic, since I'm not terribly keen on figuring a mystery out before she does. What propels this book through to the end is the tension on every page and a strong female lead that defies stereotypes as well as all the odds stacked against her. I'm excited to see what Padgett brings as the series progresses.

Grant Leishman

A Heritage of Death (A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery Book 2) by Alexa Padgett is an adventure into child abuse and murder in the Pueblos of New Mexico. The Reverend Cici Gurule has one special talent that makes her invaluable in solving crimes. Her twin sister was murdered and since then Cici has been receiving visitations and dreams from her late sister that give her clues to assist her in unraveling complicated and even unsolved crimes. With her best friend, Detective Sam Chastain, they are able to get the jump on other law enforcement people. When an abducted baby mysteriously turns up on Cici’s doorstep one stormy evening, she and Sam begin to investigate the abduction of one of Cici’s own parishioners. Their search for the missing woman takes them from Santa Fe to the Pueblo of Taos and a slew of cold cases involving missing and murdered indigenous women. Underlying the story is the on-going romantic tension between Cici and Sam. Cici always believed Sam was in love with her late twin sister, but recent events have led her to question Sam’s motives and feelings for Cici. Her search for some clarity on his feelings and her visions will lead them both into dangerous and uncharted waters.

This is the second book in the Reverend Cici Gurule Mysteries, but not having read the first in no way impinges on the reader’s enjoyment of this story. It stands alone as a murder mystery. Author Alexa Padgett does a good job of seeding little nuggets of information on what went before into the story to keep the reader informed and understand the scenario that is developing. At its core this is a classic “whodunit” story but with the added spice of the psychic bond between Cici and her dead twin, plus the simmering sexual tension between the Reverend and Sam, it lifts itself out of the ordinary. The writer’s style is relaxed and easy to read, with some excellent descriptive passages that bring the reader right into the action in the searing heat of a New Mexico environment. There is plenty of action for the fans of that genre, but for me, the real action was the simmering relationship between Cici and Sam. If anything was to make me look for the next book in this series, it would be to see what develops between the pair. Clearly well researched, this novel is a good read within its genre and one I can definitely recommend to fans of murder mysteries.

Susan Sewell

Haunted by dreams showing the plight of an abducted woman and her baby, a reverend begins desperately searching for the woman and child before they meet their demise in the brilliant sleuth mystery, A Heritage of Death (A Reverend Cici Gurule Mystery Book 2) by Alexa Padgett. Reverend Cici Gurule's identical twin sister, Anna Carmen, may have died and left this plane of existence, but she is still letting her presence be known. Lately, Anna Carmen has been interfering with Cici's dreams. Seeing an infant in a cellar and the young mother chained to a wall nearby, the fear and pain feel so real that Cici knows it is more than a dream, and she must do something about it. Not knowing what else to do, Cici turns for help to her lifelong friend, Sam Chastain, who is a detective of the Santa Fe Police Department. Sam is skeptical until a baby shows up on Cici's doorstep in the middle of a stormy night. Although Sam believes it is a domestic dispute, he grudgingly works with Cici to locate the missing mother. What Cici and Sam discover is far more sinister than a custody case. Can they find and rescue the mother before it is too late?

A motorcycle-riding reverend with psychic abilities is an unexpected, yet ingeniously intriguing twist in the fascinating murder mystery, A Heritage of Death by Alexa Padgett. This sensational novel is a thrilling whodunit with all the aspects of a brilliant murder mystery. Opening with a threatening message sent from the other side, the story builds to the climactic finale, complete with flying bullets. Suspense, anticipation, anxiety, and murder keep the reader captivated from beginning to end. It is a splendid cozy mystery with a thrilling plot, a riveting story line, and a unique protagonist. Everyone who loves a suspenseful murder mystery will not want to miss this one. This is an incredible story and I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Heritage of Death. Even though it is the second installment in the series, it is an exciting tale that has roots which stem from the first book and yet still works well as a standalone. This is a fabulous series, and I am looking forward to reading more of Reverend Cici's Gurule's mysteries!