Forecast of Gold and Murder

Secrets of the Pirate Mountain

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 12/22/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Treat yourself to a cozy murder mystery novel in the upcoming holiday season with Forecast of Gold and Murder: Secrets of the Pirate Mountain by Anya Magnusson. Due to her husband's job in Puerto Rico, Samy moves to the small mountainous town of Andantera, where she promptly opens a coffee shop. She stumbles on the body of a man while strolling along the trail in front of her house, just at the spot where a century-old pirate's treasure is supposed to be buried. Samy is determined to solve the mystery and catch the killer, but she didn't bargain with residents desperate to get their hands on the treasure. Samy also learns that a life insurance policy worth a million dollars was taken out just a month before the victim's death. Can she solve the murder?

Forecast of Gold and Murder will appeal to fans of whodunit murder mysteries and readers who love treasure hunt stories. Fast-paced and full of reveals that take you by surprise, Anya Magnusson's narrative doesn't leave room for fluff and holds your attention until the last page. What impressed me most about this murder mystery tale is that although the cast of characters is quite large, everyone has a legitimate role to play and their motives and actions always felt genuine. Samy is a character who isn't afraid to follow her inner instincts, and it is this facet of her personality that makes her such a compelling protagonist. Highly recommended.

Asher Syed

Forecast of Gold and Murder: Secrets of the Pirate Mountain by Anya Magnusson is a cozy mystery set against the landscape of provincial Puerto Rico. The story's protagonist is a coffee shop owner and sleuth named Samy, who is a recent arrival in little Andantera. Puerto Rico has a rich history and San Juan was notorious as a major haven during the age of piracy. Magnusson weaves this into Andantera, where the legend of a hidden treasure chest is widely believed. When Samy finds a dead body at a notorious location, she takes it upon herself to collect evidence after the local law enforcement fails. As she enlists the help of friends, the net begins to close and the links between the treasure and the murder appear too intertwined to be coincidental.

Piracy, hidden treasure, small-town lore, an oversized insurance policy, an affair, murder, and gossip. These are just some of the ingredients that make up Forecast of Gold and Murder by Anya Magnusson. Using the tiny community of Andantera, Magnusson crafts a mystery around small-town life. She accomplishes this with relatable scenes. These include chit-chat between women sitting in a salon having their hair done and a café that serves up both coffee and collaboration. There's an authenticity to these scenes that breathes life into the characters and the incremental and conspiratorial events that take place. Readers who are accustomed to more polish might struggle with the writing style, but the overall plot is good and the mystery is as delicious as Samy's java.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Forecast of Gold and Murder: Secrets of the Pirate Mountain by Anya Magnusson is a murder mystery that actively engages the reader in trying to piece together the threads of the story. In 1722, Spanish pirates Juan Diego and Rodrigo defected from their ship, stole a bag of treasure, and buried it on a hilltop in Andantera in Puerto Rico. Hundreds of years later, Samy’s husband is selected to replace the manager of his company, BIOMED, in Andantera. After moving to the town, Samy discovers a dead man’s body near their home. Local legend indicates it is the same place where the treasure is believed to be buried, and Samy becomes involved in the case. What follows is a series of events that point to a long list of persons of interest in an investigation that rekindles awareness of the treasure.

Anya Magnusson’s Forecast of Gold and Murder is a gripping story that has all the elements of a great mystery. The author’s descriptive language effectively establishes the setting and mood. With well-structured chapters and suspenseful dialogue, this tale should hook readers’ interest from beginning to end. Subtle clues and hidden evidence are provided as we follow Samy, the main character, when she sets out to help solve the mystery. In the process, we meet the town’s interesting characters and learn about the latest gossip and grudges. Forecast of Gold and Murder brings small-town sleuthing to life for readers, and the suspense is palpable. I highly recommend this story.

Essien Asian

The people of Andantera are thrown into turmoil when a body is discovered on the tracks leading to the famous Pirate Mountain. What makes it even more mysterious is the victim is a member of the local community with no history of any wrongdoing. Because she discovered the body, Samy Deluca takes it upon herself to investigate the murder and find the killer. The only problem with this is that the local police do not care for any interference and the residents believe any crime in their town must be connected to a notorious centuries-old treasure that no one has been able to locate. Using her coffee shop as her base of operations, Samy prepares to take on obsessed academics, crazed treasure hunters, and a dysfunctional family with a lot to hide in Anya Magnusson's Forecast of Gold and Murder: Secrets of the Pirate Mountain.

Murder comes to town and everyone is a suspect in Anya Magnusson's Forecast of Gold and Murder. The storyline is interesting when you consider the dexterity with which Magnusson blends a historic treasure hunt with a modern-day detective mystery. Her character development gives impressive background depth to all the protagonists in a way so the community of Andantera feels like an authentic backwater community. The most impressive aspect of this novel is the interaction between the characters, which ranges from serious to comedic, making the plot easy to follow and maintaining my curiosity to its end. This work may not pack the high-octane action scenes one may be accustomed to with detective novels. However, the aura of mystery it maintains and Magnusson's well-crafted storytelling approach make this an enjoyable reading experience.

Jason C

Forecast of Gold and Murder: Secrets of the Pirate Mountain by Anya Magnusson is an engaging murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing at trying to piece together a puzzle of a plot.

From the beginning of the adventure, Magnusson hooks the reader by detailing a story of buried pirate treasure in the 1700's. Flash forward to modern day, and we now follow a couple moving to a new town in Puerto Rico. Catch is, this small town is the same one where that pirate treasure was hidden hundreds of years earlier. What follows is a mystery with twists and turns that keep the reader on the edge of the seat the entire time along with a cast of interesting, well-developed characters that hold the reader's attention.

What was great about this book is there was no lull in the story. Action was around every corner, and Magnusson's writing was structured well with great dialogue to make the reading very enjoyable. Overall it was a great read with plenty of hooks to captivate the reader and figure out the mystery.

B. Delator

The prologue of this book really captures the reader from the very start. The idea of there being lost treasure brought me back to my childhood of wanting to go out and hunt for treasures. Add a murder mystery to the mix and you get a very entertaining book.
I loved how easy the story was to follow and each character was easy to remember too. Bethsaida became one of my favorite characters despite me not liking her at the very start. She starts off being the nosy neighbor who loves to gossip. But at the end of the day, who doesn’t like some good gossip.
Samy does a way better job at investigating than the actual detective but I was worried about her the whole time. This really keeps the reader on their toes.
This books captures the essence of a small town perfectly and the recipe at the end of the book is a unique touch.