Forecast of Gold and Murder

Secrets of the Pirate Mountain

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
210 Pages
Reviewed on 12/22/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    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.


Dear Anya: You have a winner!

Okay so I loved this book! This author has a great writing style. Her words guided my eyes through the storyline so well that I imagined every scene from her words. The plot is woven together quite nicely with the unique Latin and/or Hispanic backgrounds and dominant themes of the tale.

Now to this fun storyline, we have to start with our woman of the hour: Samy. Samy unquestionably has what the young kids these days call a “soft life”; Although it wasn’t explicitly stated, you can tell Samy's living her best life. She picked the well-off hubby/highly educated hubby who works for a big Bio-med company in Puerto Rico and it’s easy to get a little envious of her life if you're not careful.

Although Samy does say she has a modest business/coffee shop that she calls “a hole in the wall” you can tell her character is meant to come off as more soft, pampered and invested enough to lead us through the gossip and drama of whodunit! So if you hate Samy in the beginning don’t give up on her character because we literarily see “whodunit” through her eyes and ears, and mostly ears because the woman loves some good gossip(like all of us).

Samy is uniquely positioned to meet the locals and she also strategically places herself in places where clues are likely to be found. I loved the authors placement of certain historical side stories too, such as the treasure being the stolen profits of a Spanish queen. I felt like I was learning something I didn’t know and researched a bit of what was said in the novel to see if it was fiction.

My only critique is that some of the character personalities were depicted better from different perspectives of storytelling, 3rd vs 1st person was the main battle going on. The verbiage in the dialogue between the characters is so authentic and I am not of Hispanic/Latino descent but I read the characters who are in my head as the dialogue is assigned perfectly to the cultural personality. The characters in 3rd person felt so much more real.

All in all, this story is the perfect beach or wind down read. At every page you’re putting a murderer in mind and a motive. The title does a good job of depicting the search of the two themes here because there’s two quest going on at once in the story. There’s this the tale of the buried treasure and a present day murder.

Side note: Is there agrammatical error on page 47? It says “We both have blonde hair but she is not as tall as I’m. I must recognize that I’m not as slim as she is.”


What a story!

Author Anya has done a great job of depicting the natural tension that should come from locals who've lived on an island their entire life and are now being confronted with an outsider who has become a self-designated detective, but who also seems to be more connected to the horror of the death of the person in the story than the locals.

Piecing the clues together of a really exciting story is the name of this book's game, you could literally jot down each clue like a murder mystery game as the book proceeds. For example, with Samy's character, the locals often want to hide things from her but they also reveal things Samy would never find out without their help.

Although I would have loved more emotional language to help feel the characters when there was dialogue in this book (which does have lackluster moments), I have to admit this story was well crafted. Also, after all of the buildup I was expecting my intuition on who did it to be incorrect that would have made this book. I still question whether the detectives and Samy got it right...There were also such nice touches added to the book. Such as the addition of the sweets and treats in the plot like "dulce de coco". Seeing the recipe at the end of the novel took the cake for me, I got to try it out one day! Hat's off to this author, Author Anya can write! (4.5/5)