Read Herring Hunt (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries)
2nd in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (April 24, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
Kindle ASIN: B074DGF7LW
Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is about to find out it’s not so easy to play Monday morning quarterback when it comes to murder. . .
To the town of North Harbor, Michigan, MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander is a local hero. To Samantha Washington, owner of the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, Dawson is more than a tenant—he’s like an adopted son. But to the police, he is their prime suspect after his ex-girlfriend is found murdered. It’s more than enough real-life drama for Sam to tackle, but her role as a mystery writer also calls. Returning to the English countryside between the wars, she finds Lady Daphne Marsh in quite the quandary. Someone has tried to murder the scandalous American divorcée Wallis Simpson, for whom Edward VIII so recently abdicated his throne. It seems finding a suspect is no small challenge when most of England has a motive . . .
While Sam’s lawyer sister Jenna rushes in to build Dawson’s defense, Sam and her lively grandmother, Nana Jo, huddle up to solve the mystery and blow the whistle on the real killer. With the tenacious members of the Sleuthing Senior Book Club eager to come off the sidelines, Sam and her team just might stop a killer from completing another deadly play . . .
Tenant, employee, and MISU quarterback Dawson Alexander finds himself in hot water when his ex-girlfriend is found dead. He is suspended from the football team but his boss/landlord Samantha Washington is committed to proving his innocence and her Sleuthing Senior Book Club, including her grandmother, Nana Jo are all on board to help. First Samantha gets Jenna, her sister/lawyer to represent Dawson, then she and the ladies start investigating.
Samantha Washington is also a budding author and her characters are dealing with a murder mystery of their own. During a hunt, a young woman is shot and killed. Lady Daphne Marsh is on the case because she knows one of her guests in a murderer. She hopes to pin down the killer before any more blood is shed.
V.M. Burns is unique because she gives her readers two completely separate mysteries in each book.
Samantha is a fantastic protagonist. She is still finding her way since her husband’s death but Market Street Mysteries Bookstore, a dream she ended up fulfilling on her own has had great success. Her nephews pitch in at the store when they can and while Dawson helps in the store but his main duty is baking up tasty treats for the customers to enjoy.
Her other dream to become a mystery writer is proceeding nicely too, as she pens her second story. She has yet to take the major step of finding an agent to get her books published.
Her Nana Jo has moved in with Samantha since she was involved in the murder in book one, The Plot is Murder. Nana Jo and her friends round out this clever cast. These senior ladies all remind me of my mother in one way or another and their antics had me in stitches.
I was happy to see Dawson in a key role. His mother/ son like relationship with Sam was heartwarming. Getting more of his backstory was very interesting.
The main mystery really had me guessing. The victim was not at all what she seemed and the more we found out about her the more suspects came into play. The police decided early on the Dawson was guilty so Sam and her senior sleuths really had to dig to get the evidence to convince them otherwise and by then they were almost too late. Twists, turns, and yes, Red Herrings kept the pages flying until the real murderer was revealed.
The second mystery, the one Samantha is writing was a type of closed room mystery. The guilty party had to have been part of the hunt. For me, this one was easier to solve but very entertaining. I will admit, it takes a while, to get into a rhythm with one story interrupting the other. I thought about skipping through and reading the main story first and then going back to read the second, but I didn’t do it. Samantha always finds time to write when she is stuck on the real drama in her life, late at night when she can’t sleep and I understand that. I read at night when I can’t sleep. So in recognizing her process I adjusted mine and read the book as it was written.
Both settings, the English countryside, and the Michigan college town of North Harbor come alive in the worlds V. M. Burns has created. The Marsh Manor and the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore are both places I would love to visit again and again.
Not one, but two well-written mysteries, a slew of interesting characters, and two vastly different settings make this book unique and enjoyable. I look forward to many more books in this series.
About the Author
V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She currently resides in Tennessee with her two poodles, Coco and Cash. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can visit her website at vmburns.com.
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