MURDER ON TOUR by V. M. Burns
SERIES: Mystery Bookshop #9
GENRE: Cozy Mystery (Clean)
RELEASE DATE: November 28, 2023
Bookstore owner and Michigander Samantha Washington is thrilled to see her debut historical mystery finally on the shelves, but a killer seems determined to steal away the spotlight . . .
While Sam wraps up her first whirlwind book tour, Nana Jo has kept Market Street Mysteries running smoothly. The last stop is a prestigious book festival in Sam’s hometown of North Harbor, Michigan. But not everyone thinks the guest of honor, bestselling author Judith Hunter, deserves stellar reviews. Sam witnesses nasty arguments between Judith and two different authors—who accuse her of plagiarism and sabotage . . .
When a publicist is poisoned during a cocktail reception, Sam wonders if the killer missed the intended target. It’s a twist that echoes the plot of Sam’s mystery, Murder at Wickfield Lodge. But fact can be stranger—and deadlier—than fiction. How much collateral damage is the killer willing to risk? With feisty Nana Jo and the girls from Shady Acres Retirement Village lending a hand, Sam tries to solve the case before the festival delivers another fatality . . .
Other Books I’ve Reviewed In This Series
Ohhhh this was such a fun addition to the Mystery Bookshop series! Because not only do we get more page time with Sam, Frank, Nana Jo, and the Shady Acres crew, we also get a bit of a tongue-in-cheek look at life as a published author (though… it’s funny because it IS true). The discussions about common author struggles (like imposter syndrome & one-star reviews for things that aren’t the author’s fault, etc.) are authentic reflections of the perils and pitfalls to be sure, but I also LOVED that Burns shows the rewarding parts of being an author, too, not to mention the conclusion that Sam ultimately comes to about her books. It left me all warm and cozy as a reader! (And in case the author is wondering if anyone will catch her homage to a certain other amateur sleuth’s debut novel, I did and it made me smile big!)
It’s during this festival that the first of this book’s murders occurs, and we meet a bevy of plausible suspects who all need extensive therapy lol. Sam is, of course, right in the middle of things as she’s one of the featured authors, something that Stinky Pitt (her nickname for the local police detective) uses to his advantage. Which is also to our advantage as readers because we love being a part of Sam’s sleuthing too! And… naturally… gun-packing Nana Jo & her Shady Acres posse refuse to be left out. I adore these ladies so much, and I know for sure I’d want them on my side if I ever needed rescuing. The mystery has several complex layers, and I kept changing my mind – back and forth – about the identity of the killer. In the end, I wasn’t too far off but I also wasn’t completely right either. I loved the twists!
Bottom Line: Murder on Tour is another entertaining and layered mystery from V. M. Burns. The characters are lovable and often hilarious, the nods to authors & books & readers are like a warm hug, and the clues are cleverly mixed among the red herrings to keep you guessing. I also enjoy the story within a story we’re gifted through the peeks we take over Sam’s shoulder as she writes her own mystery novel. If you love reading books about books, especially when murder is afoot, then you absolutely must read the Mystery Bookshop series and Murder on Tour!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
Valerie (V. M.) Burns is an Agatha, Anthony, Edgar, and Next Generation Award Finalist. She is the author of the Mystery Bookshop, Dog Club, RJ Franklin, and Baker Street Mystery series. Valerie is a member of Crime Writers of Color, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers of America, and Thriller Writers International. Valerie has a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern University, a Master’s Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Fine Arts from Seton Hill University. In addition to writing, Valerie works as a manager at a call center, and is also a mentor in the Writing Popular Fiction MFA Program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Born and raised in northwest Indiana, Valerie now lives in Northern Georgia with her two poodles. Connect with Valerie at her website.
Other Recently Featured Books by Valerie Burns
This giveaway is hosted by Great Escapes, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour by clicking the banner below
What about you? What makes you want to read Murder on Tour by V. M. Burns?