Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Great Escapes Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Wed, Read & Dead by V.M. Burns


Today is publication day for Wed, Read & Dead and my turn to participate in the book's Blog Tour.  In this post you'll find book and author information along with my review.  And don't forget to enter the giveaway via the link in this post.

About the book . . . 

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (April 30, 2019)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-10: 1496718291
ISBN-13: 978-1496718297
Digital ASIN: B07G6RDBRV

Synopsis . . . Bookstore owner Samantha Washington sells and solves mysteries in North Harbor, Michigan—including the murder of her mother's wedding planner...

Sam's mother can't wait to wed her wealthy beau, Harold Robertson. The big mystery is how they're going to pull off a lavish wedding in three weeks. Harold's snobby sister-in-law proposes a solution: engage flamboyant wedding planner Lydia Lighthouse. But their beacon of hope quickly sends everyone into a blind rage, most of all the groom-to-be. So when the maddening micromanager is strangled with her own scarf, it's a shock, but not a surprise.

It's a case of art imitating life as Sam pens her next historical mystery set in England between the wars. Lady Daphne Marsh insists on marrying Lord James Browning on Christmas Eve, three weeks hence. But when the fop planning their wedding ends up with a knife in his back, she vows to nab the backstabber before she walks down the aisle.

Meanwhile, when she's not writing, Sam and her beloved and boisterous Nana Jo rush to shine a light on Lydia's killer
—so her mother's new husband won't spend his honeymoon behind bars...

My review . . . In Wed, Read & Dead, the fourth book in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series, bookstore owner and author Samantha "Sam" Washington is juggling the holiday shopping rush at the bookstore and the upcoming wedding of her mother, Grace Hamilton to Harold Robinson, a member of one of Southwestern Michigan’s wealthiest families. With just three weeks until the nuptials, a wedding planner is hired to orchestrate the special day.  But Lydia Lighthouse, touted as the wedding planner to the elite is in reality a planner-zilla intent on staging an extravagant, outlandish affair, steamrolling over the bride’s wishes for a private, elegant wedding.  Harold is outraged by Lydia’s bullying behavior toward his beloved Grace and the mounting wedding expenses being incurred—and tells Lydia so in a very heated public conversation.  It is thus no surprise that Harold becomes the prime suspect when Lydia is found murdered soon thereafter.

With no time to waste, Sam—together with the formidable Nana Jo and her group of Sleuthing Seniors—springs into action to clear the prospective groom’s name before the wedding.  Implementing both the standard and non-conventional research methods they’ve honed through previous investigations, the resourceful team unearths a treasure trove of information, revealing a number of suspects with axes to grind against Lydia.  But who among these persons of interest is the killer?

While the Sleuthing Seniors work their connections to dig up dirt on the suspects, Sam once again takes to writing to help her process her thoughts. The latest British cozy mystery novel she’s working on features a plot similar to the crime at hand.  Through writing, Sam focuses her attention on connections between the clues, leading the way to resolutions in both “real” life and the novel she is creating. 

In the Mystery Bookshop series, Burns has established an inviting bookstore setting and team of close-knit family members and friends who become more endearing with each new book in the series.  Their laugh-out loud antics and loyal devotion to one another are delightful to behold.  Rounding out the cast of characters are Sam's two faithful poodles, Snickers and Oreo, who appear on the series' book covers.

Also of note is Burns’s "novel within a novel" technique, which has Sam writing cozy murder mysteries set in England between the two world wars.  It is thus that readers are actually following the developments in two murder mysteries—one in the present day and one in the last century. I've read three of the four books in the series (note to self: track down and read book #2), and am of the opinion that Burns’s novels demonstrate cozy mystery writing at its very best.

Giveaway . . . Enter the Wed, Read & Dead contest to win an Amazon gift card by clicking on this link.

About the author . . .   
V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime.

Author links . . . 
Website:  http://www.vmburns.com/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vmburnsbooks/
Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase links . . . 
Amazon    Barnes & Noble    IndieBound  
Books-A-Million   Hudson Booksellers

Blog Tours 

Tour participants . . .
April 23 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 23 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
April 24 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
April 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
April 25 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 25 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
April 26 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW
April 27 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 27 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
April 29 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 30 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
May 1 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
May 1 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
May 2 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT  
May 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT


Note . . . I received a complimentary copy of Wed, Read & Dead from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Sharing this original post on Twitter and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated. 


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