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A Pilgrimage to Death

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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 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!


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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 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!

30 review for A Pilgrimage to Death

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    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 Trai 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This is the first in a new mystery series and it sure doesn’t disappoint. It’s about a reverend, Cici, who is also a woman, which is a different take. Cici has never gotten over the murder of her identical twin. It’s been about a year and there is still no closure. There have been clues and more deaths which have been in the same method as her sister’s. Cici doesn’t give up and soon finds that her snooping is leading to someone trying to kill her. A lifelong friend, Sam, who used to date her sis This is the first in a new mystery series and it sure doesn’t disappoint. It’s about a reverend, Cici, who is also a woman, which is a different take. Cici has never gotten over the murder of her identical twin. It’s been about a year and there is still no closure. There have been clues and more deaths which have been in the same method as her sister’s. Cici doesn’t give up and soon finds that her snooping is leading to someone trying to kill her. A lifelong friend, Sam, who used to date her sister, is a detective and has been trying to end a drug ring, which also seems to have ties to the sister. I loved all the characters. There was some world building and then there was so much action, I couldn’t stop reading. There were so many twists and turns and several times I was shocked at who and why and so many things I want to say but I don’t want to spoil it. If you like Murder She Wrote and Agatha Christie, you will love this. I can’t wait for the next book!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    In “A Pilgrimage to Death” Alexa Padgett sets the stage for an action-packed, mesmerizing mystery thriller that opens in Santa Fe, New Mexico where Cici Gurule, an easy-going, broad-minded minister has returned to shepherd the parishioners at a local church after her twin sister’s murdered. Friends with Sam Chastain who’s returned home to the Santa Fe Police Force after abandoning a promising career in a joint task force in Denver, Cici while hiking with him along the Aspen Vista Trail discover In “A Pilgrimage to Death” Alexa Padgett sets the stage for an action-packed, mesmerizing mystery thriller that opens in Santa Fe, New Mexico where Cici Gurule, an easy-going, broad-minded minister has returned to shepherd the parishioners at a local church after her twin sister’s murdered. Friends with Sam Chastain who’s returned home to the Santa Fe Police Force after abandoning a promising career in a joint task force in Denver, Cici while hiking with him along the Aspen Vista Trail discover the body of Donald Johnson, a lawyer and one of the founding members of her church. Stabbed multiple times, his wounds appear to be similar to those that killed her sister Anna Carmen. Fast-paced and gripping from start to finish, intensity and suspense heat up when Cici gets swept up in murders with a connection to a drug ring that has her asking questions only to be threatened with two dead white birds on the windshield of her car; a high-speed chase with a black truck; and a knife-wielding dark figure outside her house. Determined to find her sister’s killer the mystery deepens with twists and turns, even ghostly sightings that prevent her death. Amid all the violence as Cici searches for the truth and the murderer draws closer, friendship turns to something else as her chemistry with Sam ignites although he has a girlfriend in the mayor’s office he doesn’t quite trust. Skilfully Alex Padgett draws you in as events unfold that progress quickly and smoothly to a shocking ending. Bringing the story to life are wonderfully compelling, realistic and multifaceted characters like thirty-year-old Reverend Cecilia (Cici) Gurule who left a prosperous church in Boston as well as her boyfriend to return home after her sister was murdered. A caring, perceptive and progressive minister who depends more on dreams of the past and her sister’s hazy visitations than faith to find the killer, she joins forces with Sam Chastain, a diligent, close-mouthed but sometimes blunt SFPD detective finding clues where they're least expected. I liked the first in the Reverend Cici Gurule Mysteries “A Pilgrimage to Death” an innovative and exciting page-turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat until done.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Prescott

    I don't usually particularly like mysteries, but this one was AMAZING! I've read everything else by this author, and loved them, and she did not disappoint this time! The story caught my attention from the first; and I could not guess "who done it"! The character of Reverend Cecelia ("Cici") Gurule was was well done, and the cast surrounding her throughout was incredibly well fleshed out. The intriguing bit of Cici's twin helping her navigate the investigation Cici basically fell into was eerie I don't usually particularly like mysteries, but this one was AMAZING! I've read everything else by this author, and loved them, and she did not disappoint this time! The story caught my attention from the first; and I could not guess "who done it"! The character of Reverend Cecelia ("Cici") Gurule was was well done, and the cast surrounding her throughout was incredibly well fleshed out. The intriguing bit of Cici's twin helping her navigate the investigation Cici basically fell into was eerie and well thought out. If you enjoy mysteries, this is one you won't want to miss!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Whitty

    Reviewed on Behalf of http://bookaddict.live, It’s been my pleasure to read Alexa Padgett’s A Pilgrimage to Death, which is book one in The Reverend Cici Gurule mysteries. This has set the scene and standard for future adventures. This is a spoiler free as the book isn’t released yet. Rev Cici has come back to her home town to takeover at the Local church. Cici’s twin sister was killed and the murderer never caught. Cici and the twin’s friend Sam a Detective returned to solve the case. Unfortunate Reviewed on Behalf of http://bookaddict.live, It’s been my pleasure to read Alexa Padgett’s A Pilgrimage to Death, which is book one in The Reverend Cici Gurule mysteries. This has set the scene and standard for future adventures. This is a spoiler free as the book isn’t released yet. Rev Cici has come back to her home town to takeover at the Local church. Cici’s twin sister was killed and the murderer never caught. Cici and the twin’s friend Sam a Detective returned to solve the case. Unfortunately is a year later when a body is found dead with the same knife wound as her sister. Suddenly after a year things start happening, all being connected to Anna Carmen. I loved Cici and Sam, they had a real partnership together. Cici was real, with same fears as anybody else. A modern woman trying to make a difference. I grew up on Agatha Christie, and love a good mystery. This was a good murder mystery with a lot going on. I was glued to the pages, when I got my surprise at the end. I wanted to read another one. So book two please, as I’m impatient for the next one.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bec

    I absolutely loved this story. I have no words!! So brilliantly twisty! Alexa Padgett is a fantastic Author. Can’t wait for the next instalment in this amazing new series. Recommend to all.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Giselle

    Request a review copy here: [closed - other review opportunities found here]

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cody Smith-Candelaria

    Great Mystery!!! This is a really good story. There are twists and turns everywhere! The character development is great and you really get a feel for not only the two main characters but also the supporting casting. The story progresses in a natural but steady flow. As an added bonus, I actually live in the surrounding area of where the story takes place and Alexa does a great job of capturing the scenary and feel of this region. Cici returned to Santa Fe when she felt the connection with her tw Great Mystery!!! This is a really good story. There are twists and turns everywhere! The character development is great and you really get a feel for not only the two main characters but also the supporting casting. The story progresses in a natural but steady flow. As an added bonus, I actually live in the surrounding area of where the story takes place and Alexa does a great job of capturing the scenary and feel of this region. Cici returned to Santa Fe when she felt the connection with her twin sister die out. Sadly, it was a permanent loss and one year later, she still feels that loss daily. Still, she's working as the Reverend of the local church, she has Sam as her best friend, she has her dogs, one day at a time, she is moving forward with life. Until another murder happens and it's eerily familiar....until the threats start coming her way....until there are more questions than answers. Can she help Sam solver her sister's death? Can hr sister give her the clues? More importantly, will she survive long enough to do it? Really great story. I can't wait to see what new mess Cici will get herself mixed up in.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Louise

    I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review. This novel is a mix of crime, thriller, supernatural and romance, which somehow works perfectly together. Alexa Padgett has started a series about Reverand Cici who returns home following the murder of her twin. While Cici balances her new congregation, and re-establishes friendships/romances she delves deeper into her sisters unsolved death. Alexa weaves a brilliant story which at times causes the reader to question their beliefs and at I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review. This novel is a mix of crime, thriller, supernatural and romance, which somehow works perfectly together. Alexa Padgett has started a series about Reverand Cici who returns home following the murder of her twin. While Cici balances her new congregation, and re-establishes friendships/romances she delves deeper into her sisters unsolved death. Alexa weaves a brilliant story which at times causes the reader to question their beliefs and at the same time suspend their bias' to understand the significant bond twins hold even after death. This novel is plot driven and therefore many questions will arise in relation to the characters, how they know each other, and where their relationships stem. Knowing this will become a series leaves me to believe our questions will be answered as we move forward, and depth will be gained as the series expands. I highly recommend this novel for anyone looking for writers similar to Ruth Ware, Gilly MacMillian or Dean Koontz.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Myreadbooks

    I would like to thank Sidecar Press LLC and Netgalley for this partnership. I was immediately attracted by the cover: we see Cici from back wearing a red coat and black pants at the edge of the forest. We learn from the beginning that Cici had a twin sister but she was murdered and they threatened her church. Until the day a corpse is found in the forest of Santa Fe, she finds that the body carries the same stab wounds that killed her sister a year earlier; Cici will discover a lot of things about I would like to thank Sidecar Press LLC and Netgalley for this partnership. I was immediately attracted by the cover: we see Cici from back wearing a red coat and black pants at the edge of the forest. We learn from the beginning that Cici had a twin sister but she was murdered and they threatened her church. Until the day a corpse is found in the forest of Santa Fe, she finds that the body carries the same stab wounds that killed her sister a year earlier; Cici will discover a lot of things about her twin sister's past. She will do everything to avoid another assassination. A thriller read in one go, I immediately hooked to the captivating story, moving filled with suspense and twists. Eager to read what follows.

  11. 4 out of 5

    KFForever

    kfforever Reviewed by Anna Green on behalf of KindleFriendsForever This is my first book by this author and is one of my favourite genres, a murder mystery thriller; the first book in a series featuring Reverend Cici Gurule but can be read as a standalone. Cici Gurule is a progressive reverend who went back to her hometown when she felt something was wrong with her identical twin, Anna Carmen. Her plan of joining her boyfriend for an adventure to South America was abandoned. We have all heard how kfforever Reviewed by Anna Green on behalf of KindleFriendsForever This is my first book by this author and is one of my favourite genres, a murder mystery thriller; the first book in a series featuring Reverend Cici Gurule but can be read as a standalone. Cici Gurule is a progressive reverend who went back to her hometown when she felt something was wrong with her identical twin, Anna Carmen. Her plan of joining her boyfriend for an adventure to South America was abandoned. We have all heard how tight a bond is between twins and we see this in Cici and Anna Carmen. So when Cici received a phone call that Anna Carmen was murdered she had to find out who killed her twin. However, when she starts digging up dirt on some people, she receives warning notes and dead birds on her doorstep and some of her parishioners start dying. She needs to get to the bottom of this with the help of Sam, an old friend. He is a detective who previously worked in the big city, but also came back to town to help solve the murders and a much bigger problem which involves a drug ring. Narrated in third person, this gripping story is fast paced, full of suspense with a touch of the paranormal. I had conflicting feelings regarding the mystical angle to this thriller which is unreservedly sprinkled throughout the book, but somehow it adds credence to the tale. This is not your usual whodunit thriller; nonetheless,  it does make it more interesting and attention-grabbing. Sam’s backstory was implied that he was more into Anna Carmen in the past. As a secondary character, his loyalty and protectiveness towards Cici meld well with her stubborn, determined and feisty persona; they complement each other. Bear in mind that this is not a romance novel so the focus is about solving Anna Carmen’s murder.  Trying to keep up with the plot twists in the story kept me up all night but it was worth it. This is not your usual run of the mill murder mystery yarn and I am glad I got the chance to read this author’s book, it won’t be my last.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marta Aldrighetti

    Reverend Cecilia , called Cici, found in the mountain, Donald dead, so begin again to investigate with Police Sam, about Cici twin sister dead, Anna Carmen. So many hidden things misteries in the city of Santa Fe, hard work for the Police to discover what happen.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    What an amazing read! Alexa Padgett has everything in this book! A twin who lost her twin, and the murderer was never caught. Sadly, i put off reading this book because life got in the way, but onc i started, i didnt want to stop. Cant wait to see what comes next!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sara Koelsch

    This is my first Alexa Padgett. I haven’t even researched the author to find out if this is her first novel or not. I’m a big fan of going into stories blind. I love not knowing what the plan is. I’m so pleased I didn’t look into anything because this story was fantastic! There was so much hype following it… I’ve been hearing about it for weeks if not months now. Ms. Padgett did not disappoint me! In fact, I WILL look her up now because if she has more thrillers… I need to read them! I enjoyed s This is my first Alexa Padgett. I haven’t even researched the author to find out if this is her first novel or not. I’m a big fan of going into stories blind. I love not knowing what the plan is. I’m so pleased I didn’t look into anything because this story was fantastic! There was so much hype following it… I’ve been hearing about it for weeks if not months now. Ms. Padgett did not disappoint me! In fact, I WILL look her up now because if she has more thrillers… I need to read them! I enjoyed so much how the author developed this story. She really focused on the plot/storyline and developed it bit by bit. I’m dying to know more about the characters, which I loved. The characters were fascinating and really dimensional. Cici returns home, she’s a Reverend, which is a fascinating thing for a woman and I liked the strong feel it gave her. Anyway, Cici’s TWIN sister was murdered and she’s close to being obsessed with it. I mean, everyone always says that twins have this connection unlike any other connection. This was more fascinating than I expected with the supernatural type of feel mixed with a religious main character. Cici meets up with Sam, a detective. Cici and Sam team up to tackle the case together. It isn’t like there isn’t clues or even more murders… there is… and they start to piece things together. I really enjoyed how this book offered a mix of romance, paranormal, crime and thriller story. It was an interesting balance. I’m pretty giddy that this will be a series! It’s packed with a good mystery and the cat and mouse makes it hard to put down. Ms. Padgett ends it with a grand slam surprise ending! I feel like I hurried through this book too quickly and now I’m crazy for the next book. I received an ARC of this book with the hope that I would leave an Unbiased Opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that... my opinions. Check out my Blog: Next Book Review Check out my Facebook Page: Next Book Review Facebook

  15. 4 out of 5

    BookAddict

    From an author well known for angsty, evocative romance comes an exciting new mystery series featuring the Reverend Cecilia Gurule and hotshot detective, Sam Chastain. Cici and Sam are friends and hiking buddies who stumble across the body of a parishioner on the hiking trail, and the fatal wounds look strikingly similar to the wounds that killed Cici's twin, Anna Carmen, nearly two years earlier. As they begin to investigate this latest murder, Cici begins to get threatening notes and warnings, From an author well known for angsty, evocative romance comes an exciting new mystery series featuring the Reverend Cecilia Gurule and hotshot detective, Sam Chastain. Cici and Sam are friends and hiking buddies who stumble across the body of a parishioner on the hiking trail, and the fatal wounds look strikingly similar to the wounds that killed Cici's twin, Anna Carmen, nearly two years earlier. As they begin to investigate this latest murder, Cici begins to get threatening notes and warnings, but her sister's influence compels her involvement in the investigation. I've been a Padgett fan since I read the first Seattle Sound book and was really interested to read an early copy of this book in a different genre. I loved Cici's character for her authenticity. A female minister as the primary character intrigued me, and I appreciated her portrayal as a “regular" person with human frailties and believe her showing her true self made her a better spiritual leader. Sam was alpha and awesome, with a hint at a vulnerable side and a glimpse of some deeper feelings towards Cici, so I’m eager to see how things develop between them in subsequent books in the series. Of course they solved the mystery of Donald's death but I have no doubt Cici and Sam will continue to stumble into trouble. Although, I have to say, Padgett has set the bar incredibly high for future books with the shocking twist when the killer was revealed. She did a phenomenal job of sneaking in subtle hints to the killer's identity, subtle enough that it only all connected in my mind after the fact. I loved the paranormal element of Anna Carmen and can’t wait to see what happens in the next book! If you like mystery and suspense with a thread of romance throughout the series, you’ll love this one! *I reviewed this book freely and voluntarily, having made no commitment to provide a review and receiving no compensation of any kind from any source for this review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vickie Sarmina

    Reverend Cecelia (aka Cici) Gurule and her friend, Sam Chastain, a police detective with the Santa Fe Police Dept., were rock climbing on the Aspen Trail, when he received a call that a wife called that her husband was in heart distress in the vicinity of where they were climbing. Sam radioed back that he would take it. What they found was one of Cici’s parishioners, Donald Johnson, stabbed in the back with the same markings her late twin sister had. Is there a serial killer loose in their littl Reverend Cecelia (aka Cici) Gurule and her friend, Sam Chastain, a police detective with the Santa Fe Police Dept., were rock climbing on the Aspen Trail, when he received a call that a wife called that her husband was in heart distress in the vicinity of where they were climbing. Sam radioed back that he would take it. What they found was one of Cici’s parishioners, Donald Johnson, stabbed in the back with the same markings her late twin sister had. Is there a serial killer loose in their little town? Cici starts communicating with her late sister, since the twins had these strange ways of communicating through thought. She asks Anna Carmen to guide her to find the killer and the person who has been supplying the drugs. Bodies start cropping up, as Cici starts asking questions. Seems like there are so many secrets that were kept by Donald, i.e., secret post office boxes, bags of opioids, and young high school kids being killed. Who is doing the killings? Where are the drugs coming from? Who’s supplying them to Donald and how has he kept this secret? Will the killer finally set their sights on Rev. Cici? What a great plot! The character development offered the reader the inside thoughts and emotions of everyone in this book. I certainly didn’t see the end coming! It was a total shock!! I enjoyed the mystery and intrigue in this book. It kept the reader completely baffled until the very end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dani Winland

    Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and author Alexa Padgett for sending me a copy of A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH in exchange for my honest opinion. ~~~ This review is also posted on my blog www.danithebookaholic.com. ~~~ I have to admit, I thought that having a reverend be my guide through a drug infested murder mystery was a little strange, but I rather enjoyed Alexa Padgett’s A Pilgrimage to Death. While the main character, Cici, is a reverend, the story is not preachy. Cici is a young woman who has made m Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours and author Alexa Padgett for sending me a copy of A PILGRIMAGE TO DEATH in exchange for my honest opinion. ~~~ This review is also posted on my blog www.danithebookaholic.com. ~~~ I have to admit, I thought that having a reverend be my guide through a drug infested murder mystery was a little strange, but I rather enjoyed Alexa Padgett’s A Pilgrimage to Death. While the main character, Cici, is a reverend, the story is not preachy. Cici is a young woman who has made mistakes of her own and is there fore those who are making their own. And that includes her decease twin sister. Over a couple hundred pages, Cici and Sam, her childhood friend turned detective, sort through clues, follow-up leads, and work toward finding the person who murdered her sister, all while almost losing her own life on a couple different accounts. A Pilgrimage to Death is a sad and thrilling tale, filled with grief, drugs and a killer you’ll never see coming. But wait, this isn’t the end to Cici’s story! A Heritage of Death (Reverend Cici Gurule Mysteries #2) comes out on October 23rd! I’m excited to see where Cici’s story takes her next! If you are too, make sure to reserve your copy today!   From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.—Dani Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚🔖 (A bookmark:🔖, is a half a stack of books. i.e: 📚📚🔖 = a score of 2.5)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeanineitsme

    A Pilgrimage to Death is a phenomenal read from the moment you open the book on the first page to the very last page. The characters are well fleshed out and the plot is believable. It’s easy to visualize myself in the story and I found myself cheering the main character on at times as if she was right in front of me. This book is centered on Cici Gurule, a local reverend whose twin sister was murdered the year before. Now Cici finds herself in the middle of an investigation when she finds a bod A Pilgrimage to Death is a phenomenal read from the moment you open the book on the first page to the very last page. The characters are well fleshed out and the plot is believable. It’s easy to visualize myself in the story and I found myself cheering the main character on at times as if she was right in front of me. This book is centered on Cici Gurule, a local reverend whose twin sister was murdered the year before. Now Cici finds herself in the middle of an investigation when she finds a body while out on a hike and realizes the stab wounds bear a distinctive similarity to the wounds that took her sister’s life. What follows is a series of twists and turns that would make any roller coaster designer swoon with envy. Who can Cici trust and who is really out to get her? Will she be able to finally solve the year old mystery of who took her sister’s life and why? With the help of a few friends, her trusted 4 pawed friends, and the ghost of her twin sister who Cici thought she had lost for good, she’s going to do everything she can to figure this mystery out before anyone else gets killed. Will she be successful or will she be next? Score this one in the top ten and forget about getting to sleep early.

  19. 4 out of 5

    M

    Needs Coherent Addition of Paranormal Elements I enjoyed reading about the identical-twins’ innate intimacy and psychic connection, which gives them preternatural communication abilities. As the storyline developed, it seemed as though the use of paranormal elements became too convenient a tool, and IMHO was being used as a means to an end. I enjoy paranormal elements when harmoniously integrated within the storyline of mysteries/police procedurals. However, the author must control paranormal el Needs Coherent Addition of Paranormal Elements I enjoyed reading about the identical-twins’ innate intimacy and psychic connection, which gives them preternatural communication abilities. As the storyline developed, it seemed as though the use of paranormal elements became too convenient a tool, and IMHO was being used as a means to an end. I enjoy paranormal elements when harmoniously integrated within the storyline of mysteries/police procedurals. However, the author must control paranormal elements by developing a semi-logical, working system, instead of haphazardly deploying said elements. The shooting at the post office was odd. How did a gunshot—aimed at two people near the floor—set off all the fire sprinklers? There was no heat, so did a bullet strike a sprinkler, just so? Unlike TV or movies—in the real world—when one sprinkler is activated by accident, ALL the sprinklers are NOT activated, in order to minimize water damage to contents. Were all the sprinklers activated By paranormal means? I put this book down many times but managed to finish it. An editor would be extremely helpful for grammar, word choices, and spelling.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kim Owens

    This was the first book I have read by Alexa Padgett, but I am not sure how that can be! It was fantastic! It is the first book in a new mystery series and I found myself completely and totally immersed in the story. I have not read a mystery that I enjoyed as much in a very long time. The characters are fascinating - Reverend Cici is brave and courageous and has such a huge heart, Sam is a hardworking police detective with a soft spot for Cici. Justin is a forensic photographer with the police This was the first book I have read by Alexa Padgett, but I am not sure how that can be! It was fantastic! It is the first book in a new mystery series and I found myself completely and totally immersed in the story. I have not read a mystery that I enjoyed as much in a very long time. The characters are fascinating - Reverend Cici is brave and courageous and has such a huge heart, Sam is a hardworking police detective with a soft spot for Cici. Justin is a forensic photographer with the police department and Carol is the church secretary. There are many more great characters that caught my attention too. There have been a string of murders and opiate overdoses in the town where CiCi ministers, one of the murders being her twin sister. CiCi can’t stop searching for answers, and in doing so, finds herself in peril. The storyline is fast, easy to read, and I found myself turning the pages as quickly as I could to see what would happen next. I can tell you that I was kept guessing the entire time. This is a must-read for all you mystery lovers! I cannot wait until the 2nd book in the series comes out so I can see what more trouble Reverend CiCi can get herself into.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gin

    Once again this wonderful author gives us a character in Cici that's unique, captivating and unforgettable. She's colorful in her approach to life as well as some of her language. What a marvel of writing! The details and building of the characters and the mystery in this story are marvelous. In Cici's hunt for a killer that appears to be similar to that of her twin sister's unsolved murder years ago she is aided by her best friend and swoon-worthy hero, Sam. Regardless of his "girlfriend" I thi Once again this wonderful author gives us a character in Cici that's unique, captivating and unforgettable. She's colorful in her approach to life as well as some of her language. What a marvel of writing! The details and building of the characters and the mystery in this story are marvelous. In Cici's hunt for a killer that appears to be similar to that of her twin sister's unsolved murder years ago she is aided by her best friend and swoon-worthy hero, Sam. Regardless of his "girlfriend" I think these two make a great couple. Their chemistry is undeniable from the beginning. This is a thrilling murder mystery with lots of suspects, bad elements, danger and suspense. The twists and turns will keep you engaged and guessing until the end. There's also some humor and a bit of romance to go along with more macabre moments in the story. This is a terrific start to a new series and I'm all in for the rest of the series. I loved Cici, the Southwest setting, the secondary characters and the fantastic mystery. It doesn't get better than this!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Energy

    While hiking, Cici and her friend Sam stumble upon a body, which appears to be killed in the same manner in which her twin sister was not that long ago. What ensues is an investigation into what happened to her sister and the many people that seem to be involved in this tangled web. Being twins, Cici always had a strong connection to her sister, and it seems just as strong, although in different ways, after her death. Hopefully, her sister can help her figure out who is behind all the murders an While hiking, Cici and her friend Sam stumble upon a body, which appears to be killed in the same manner in which her twin sister was not that long ago. What ensues is an investigation into what happened to her sister and the many people that seem to be involved in this tangled web. Being twins, Cici always had a strong connection to her sister, and it seems just as strong, although in different ways, after her death. Hopefully, her sister can help her figure out who is behind all the murders and mayhem that is happening around town. Sam isn't all too sure about the idea of his dead friend helping from beyond the grave, but he does believe in Cici. A Pilgrimage to Death is filled with a lot of unexpected twists. I enjoyed getting to know Cici and Sam, and they work well together. There is a lot of world and character building which lays a good foundation for the beginning of a great series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kinky minx

    This is my first thriller book to be honest and I'm drawn to the expert before. I'm glad and happy I got the chance to read the ARC in exchange for honest review. I love the characters in the book, the plot is thick enough I sometimes wonder what will happen on the next page. Cici's identical sister has been murdered and Cici decide to find out is behind all these. And while Cici is sneaking around and somehow find out who is the killer.... which happens trying to kill her now. Cici is brave and This is my first thriller book to be honest and I'm drawn to the expert before. I'm glad and happy I got the chance to read the ARC in exchange for honest review. I love the characters in the book, the plot is thick enough I sometimes wonder what will happen on the next page. Cici's identical sister has been murdered and Cici decide to find out is behind all these. And while Cici is sneaking around and somehow find out who is the killer.... which happens trying to kill her now. Cici is brave and smart and I appreciate how she is eager to find the killer for her sister. On the other hand, the story is a page turner, really gave me a lot of surprises and excitement. I had a really good time reading this book. This is my first thriller book and I will give 4.3 stars. Recommend for everyone who does not usually read the thriller genre, this will be a good choice.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Teri

    Cici is not perfect. Yes she is a Pastor, yes she has a potty mouth (under the circumstances she's allowed), yes she is right in the middle of an investigation with a target on her head. She doesn't scare easy and that's a good thing. She's found herself knee deep in the middle of an investigation into a murder. This author gives us a great thriller with tons of suspense and awesome characters who aren't scared of twist, and there's a gang of them. This isn't cut and dry and tons of folks will g Cici is not perfect. Yes she is a Pastor, yes she has a potty mouth (under the circumstances she's allowed), yes she is right in the middle of an investigation with a target on her head. She doesn't scare easy and that's a good thing. She's found herself knee deep in the middle of an investigation into a murder. This author gives us a great thriller with tons of suspense and awesome characters who aren't scared of twist, and there's a gang of them. This isn't cut and dry and tons of folks will go down before it's done. Absolutely loved it. As soon as I thought I had it figured out something else came up. Love this author. Love that she doesn't let you get comfy before she throws you another curve ball.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dana Busenbark

    We start out the book meeting Cecilia Gurule. Who is she? What does she do? Where do we find her? Who is Sam? How does she know him? Who was Anna Carmen? Where do we find Cecilia and Sam this day? What secrets do we learn about Anna, and Donald? Who is Donald? This was one heck of a mystery to read! I enjoyed the bits of romance that peeked through now and again! I never would have been right if I had to guess 'Who dun it?' Nor would I have been correct! I really liked the book! Enjoy the read. We start out the book meeting Cecilia Gurule. Who is she? What does she do? Where do we find her? Who is Sam? How does she know him? Who was Anna Carmen? Where do we find Cecilia and Sam this day? What secrets do we learn about Anna, and Donald? Who is Donald? This was one heck of a mystery to read! I enjoyed the bits of romance that peeked through now and again! I never would have been right if I had to guess 'Who dun it?' Nor would I have been correct! I really liked the book! Enjoy the read. RECEIVED THIS BOOK AS A GIFT FOR A FAIR/HONEST REVIEW and REVIEWER FOR Bloggin' With M. Brennan.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Lee

    A Pilgrimage to Death is a suspenseful story that takes you on a twisting ride, not unlike a scary rollercoaster. In the story, Cici and Sam work together to determine why dead bodies are stacking up, including her twin sister. There are many suspects, few leads and several tense moments when Cici becomes targeted by the unknown killer. The reader is unprepared and left gasping when the murderer is revealed! The author ties up the loose ends well, including explanation of the roles played by all A Pilgrimage to Death is a suspenseful story that takes you on a twisting ride, not unlike a scary rollercoaster. In the story, Cici and Sam work together to determine why dead bodies are stacking up, including her twin sister. There are many suspects, few leads and several tense moments when Cici becomes targeted by the unknown killer. The reader is unprepared and left gasping when the murderer is revealed! The author ties up the loose ends well, including explanation of the roles played by all suspects. A well-written and entertaining book that will keep you up all night reading!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Williams

    Wow, what can I say about this storyline. It's absolutely incredible. So innovative and inventive. The author writes with so much imagination but somehow still manages to create some realism so that you feel the book is happening right now. The world building is something else and I loved this book as much as the first, maybe a little more so. The characters were great to get to know. This story has everything you could want.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    She lost her sister in a murder and now another body has appeared. She knows it was the same person so she gets help to help find them. She will need all the help she needs. Will she find them? Will her life ever be the same? See if she can get the truth I received an advanced copy and I enjoyed it so much that I want to review

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Hampton

    Oh my, who killed these people? A mystery for sure. An exciting, enticing book to the end. Cecilia was a reverend whose twin sister was killed and to find out who and why almost killed her too. Why would they kill and what was the reason, retaliating, reprisal? A good spin on words and storyline. I really enjoyed this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    This is a first in a new series and it was a great start! There were so many twists and turns that I think I got whiplash reading it! LOL! Definitely keeps you guessing and wanting more. Can't wait for the next book in this series. I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review it.

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