Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Today I am featuring Bookclubbed to Death by V.M. Burns.
Bookclubbed to Death (Mystery Bookshop)
8th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington Cozies (December 27, 2022)
Paperback : 240 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496739469
ISBN-13 : 978-1496739469
Kindle ASIN : B09YL6DB6Y
When the bookshop she owns becomes a crime scene, mystery writer Samantha Washington discovers there is such a thing as bad publicity . . .
After the local library in North Harbor, Michigan, is flooded in a storm, Sam offers her bookstore as a new venue for the Mystery Mavens Book Club. Unfortunately, she immediately runs afoul of the club leader, Delia Marshall, a book reviewer who can make or break careers—something Sam can ill afford with her debut historical mystery soon to be published.
But the next morning, Sam opens her shop to find the unpleasant woman dead on the floor, bashed with a heavy—apparently lethal—tome: the Complete Works of Agatha Christie. While Sam is busy writing her latest British historical mystery in which the queen mother is suspected in the murder of a London Times correspondent, a pair of ambitious cops suspect Sam of the real-life crime. When she gathers Nano Jo and their friends from the Shady Acres Retirement Village to review the case, they discover every one of the Mavens had a motive. With her novel about to hit the stores, Sam must find out who clubbed Delia before a judge throws the book at her . . .
North Harbor, Michigan is hit by a huge storm that downed trees and power lines and flooded the local library. Mystery bookshop owner Samantha Washington wanted to help so she opened her doors for the Mystery Mavens Book Club until the library could be reopened. Club leader Delia Matthews walked into the shop like she owned the place and started making demands for food to be served during the meeting and complaining that the meeting room was too small. Delia is a well-known book reviewer and the last thing Sam wants to do with her debut historical mystery about to be released is to ruffle the woman’s feathers so that while she can’t do anything about the space, she can provide food for the group.
The next morning Nana Jo wakes up Sam telling her that Delia Marshall was downstairs, dead. “Someone clubbed her to death with that book.” That book happens to be The Complete Works of Agatha Christie which was ordered by the now-deceased reviewer.
Sam has been busy working on her next mystery but now she has to add a real murder investigation to her duties as the police are ready to book her for Delia Marshall’s murder. She is glad she will have her Nana Jo and her friends from Shady Acres to help because it looks like every member of the Mystery Mavens Book Club had a reason to club the woman to death.
This is one of my favorite series. I really enjoy that our protagonist Samantha Washington is an author as well as a bookshop owner and that Ms. Burns gives us two mysteries within each book. The one Samantha is writing and the other that she ends up investigating to clear herself or someone near and dear to her. She is a darn good amateur sleuth and Nana Jo, Irma, Dorothy, Ruby Mae, and this time Detective Bradley Pitt—aka “Stinky Pitt” do their best to help. All these characters are very well-developed and those ladies from Shady Acres sure will tickle your funny bone. “Irma!” is heard often. She is a hoot and a half. I love her reports to the group. But she isn’t the only one to bring the humor. These lines really cracked me up. This is Nana Jo to Sam on their way to the basement with a scared Oreo and hard-of-hearing Snickers.
“We don’t have time for this, Dorothy. That tornado is almost on top of us, and I left my magic wand and shiny red shoes at the dry cleaners.”
Sam’s stories are also filled with great characters. The Queen Mother is a suspect this time and Lady Elizabeth is searching for clues. It is fun that Sam uses her writing to escape the drama happening in her real life but that it also helps her see what she is missing in her very real investigation. She rarely travels without her laptop so can write anywhere, even at a crowded casino.
Both mysteries are very well plotted with twists and turns. I really felt for Sam because her huge heart put her in Delia Marshall’s path. It is great that she has a supportive man by her side in her fiancee’ Frank. Frank has a mysterious past that gives him some fabulous connections. She also had a wonderful sister who Sam hates to ask for help but this time she really needs her. Interesting evidence paved the way for Sam but it involved some hard work to figure everything out. Lady Elizabeth has great support too. It is always fun to have a mystery involving the royals. Both mysteries kept me guessing.
Oreo and Snickers are a spunky pair and they always add to the story but they are getting up there in age. Our girls lasted for 17 years. I hope these two continue to frolic through the pages for a good long time.
Bookclubbed to Death is an excellent addition to this series. I was entertained totally by these wonderful characters and the situations they found themselves in. While this book can be read all on its own I truly recommend you read the series in order to enjoy the characters and their antics from the start.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
V.M. Burns was born and raised in the Midwestern United States. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers Association of America, Thriller Writers International, is on the national board for Sisters in Crime. She currently resides in the warmer area of the U.S. with her two poodles. Readers can visit her website at http://www.vmburns.com
Author Links: Website Facebook Twitter: @vmburns Goodreads BookBub Instagram
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”