The Novel Art of Murder

Hello Everybody! It seems like it’s been awhile, huh? I’ve have been reading SO MANY books, and am working on the reviews now so in a little while, you’ll have enough of me to sick of.

Today, I’m proud to a part of The Novel Art of Murder by V.M. Burns blog tour. Check it out all below for

About Novel Art of Murder:

I received this book for free from Great Escape Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Novel Art of MurderTitle: The Novel Art of Murder (Mystery Bookshop, #3)
Author: V.M. Burns
Pub. Date: November 27, 2018
Publisher Kensington Publishing Corporation
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 256
Goodreads Amazon|| B&N

Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is trying to keep her grandmother from spending her golden years in an orange jumpsuit . . .

The small town of North Harbor, Michigan, is just not big enough for the two of them: flamboyant phony Maria Romanov and feisty Nana Jo. The insufferable Maria claims she's descended from Russian royalty and even had a fling with King Edward VIII back in the day. She’s not just a lousy liar, she's a bad actress, so when she nabs the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies—a part Nana Jo plays every year in their retirement village production—Nana Jo blows a gasket and reads her the riot act in front of everyone.

Of course, when Maria is silenced with a bullet to the head, Nana Jo lands the leading role on the suspects list. Sam’s been writing her newest mystery, set in England between the wars, with her intrepid heroine Lady Daphne drawn into murder and scandal in the household of Winston Churchill. But now she has to prove that Nana Jo’s been framed. With help from her grandmother's posse of rambunctious retirees, Sam shines a spotlight on Maria’s secrets, hoping to draw the real killer out of the shadows . . .

About the Author:

About V.M. Burns

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. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at


IMHO The Novel Art of Murder:


First off, I read this out of sequential order with no problems so no need to worry about that.

Novel Art of Murder is adorable, funny, and well done! I will be going back to the beginning  to find out about Samantha and Dawson coming under suspicion of murder themselves. And continuing on with Samantha and crew, of course. It’s modern Golden Girls solving mysteries with a granddaughter at the helm.

Did I mention the two adorable dogs Sam has? Living with and taking care of doggos is well represented here. I didn’t have a single moment of “what about your pets!!!” like with so many other series that include familiar sidekicks. That’s always distressing and kicks me out of the flow.

Writer & Bookshop Owner Leads Golden Girls Gang In Solving Mysteries

Bookshops are not uncommon in cozy mysteries, but this is the first time I’ve read SO many amazing recommendations for different people. This bookshop isn’t just a wistful backdrop, they actually worked it.  I want to go to Samantha’s bookshop and not just because it’s a bookshop lol!

I am not a fan of Churchill, the genocidal imperialist white supremacist. It made me uncomfortable with the excerpts from Samantha’s mystery set in his house, with him, his wife and son. Thankfully the “great man” is hardly on the page and by the time he is, you’re already engaged. Further, it’s more about the women banding together to solve a mystery and a young couple having an argument.

This little story within a story kept me guessing as much as the larger mystery at hand. I love how Samantha used writing this story as a way to process and mull. Most things have to percolate in the back a bit before springing forward as a full thought. It’s clever and felt authentic.

Pulling out quotes was hard and I was wrapped up enjoying the book to make a study of it, but this one tickles me every time:

I couldn’t help wondering if some of her coughing spells weren’t related to having to choke down obscenities. Maybe we should just let her swear and see if her coughing decreased.

Great Rating Graphic


Perfect cozy mystery specimen, which aside from Churchill, was a joy to read.



(5) $10 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out the rest of the Novel Art of Murder tour here with Great Escapes!

Leave A Comment

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.