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Valerie V.M. Burns Books In Order

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Publication Order of Dog Club Mystery Books

In the Dog House (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Puppy Who Knew Too Much (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bark If It's Murder (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Paw and Order (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sit, Stay, Slay (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Mystery Bookshop Books

The Plot Is Murder (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Read Herring Hunt (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Novel Art of Murder (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wed, Read & Dead (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bookmarked for Murder (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Tourist's Guide to Murder (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Killer Words (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bookclubbed to Death (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder on Tour (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of RJ Franklin Mystery Books

Travellin' Shoes (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Motherless Child (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Steal Away (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Vermeer Conspiracy (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Valerie M Burns is a cosy mystery writer who was born in Northwest Indiana. Though Valerie was born in Northwest Indiana, most of her childhood years were spent on Southwest Michigan, on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. After completing her high school education, Valerie M Burns joined Northwestern University, where she took a degree in Urban Studies and Political Science. Later on, Valerie M Burns decided to further her studies by joining the University of Notre Dame, where she took a Masters in Popular Fiction. After spending a bigger part of her life in Southwest Michigan, Valerie M Burns ultimately went searching for mild winters. Valerie eventually decided to settle down in Tennessee. The Plot is Murder was author Valerie M Burns debut book, which became an instant hit. The book received a nomination for a 2017 Agatha Award in the category, “Best First Novel. A full time author, Valerie M Burns is a member of several literary organisations such as International Thriller Awards, Mystery Writers-of-America and Sisters in Crime.

The Plot is Murder
In the Plot is Murder, author Valerie M Burns introduces the readers to Samantha Washington, a recent widow. Samantha’s life changed completely, after losing her beloved husband of more than 13 years. However, before passing on, Samantha’s husband makes her promise that she is going to fulfil her lifelong dream of owning a bookshop. Samantha keeps the promise. After selling their house, Samantha decides to purchase a building located in the North Harbour, which she plans to convert into a mystery bookshop. However, apart from making plans to open her own bookshop, Samantha is also working on her first novel, a murder mystery. From the look of things, everything that she has always dreamt of is about to happen. Nonetheless, despite everything moving according to plan, things take an unexpected twist when she discovers the body of one Clayton Parker, a real estate agent within her enclosed patio.

At one point, Parker had tried to prevent Samantha from purchasing the building, which would, later on, become Samantha’s bookshop. In the process, Samantha was forced to seek the services of an attorney, who assisted her in, sealing the deal. Several days after the deal was made, Parker still made attempts to try and speak to Samantha by constantly going to her front door. However, Samantha refused to answer the call, and in turn, Parker left without speaking to Samantha. With body being found on Samantha’s closed patio, and all the evidence pointing towards Samantha, Samantha is now the main suspect in a murder investigation. Though her conscience is clear, Samantha feels guilty, mainly because she felt that she might have done something to prevent Parker’s death. Thus, she vows to look into the killing and bring the responsible persons to justice. As the first book in the mystery bookshop book series, The Plot is Murder is a mystery narrative within a mystery. While Samantha is doing all she can to bring the killer to justice, she is at the same time penning her own cosy mystery about Sister Daphne and Lady Penelope.

Readers will definitely enjoy snippets from the book that Samantha was working on. Author Valerie M Burns does an exceptional job of alternating between these two narratives and thereby introducing a fresh feel to the narrative. All the characters in The Plot are Murder was brilliantly developed, both minor and major. As an extremely strong woman, Samantha is realising her dreams while at the same time grieving the loss of her husband. Jo, Samantha’s grandmother is also extremely tough as well. To assist Samantha in the investigation, she enlists her friends at the retirement home. Another brilliant character in The Plot is Murder is Irma, a lovely old lady who loves to use curse words in her conversations. However, the group loves to stop Irma from finishing these words. The humour sprinkled in the mystery and extremely funny characters all make, The Plot is Murder quite enjoyable. The mystery, on the other hand, moves at quite an enjoyable pace. There are numerous suspects in the book and a lot of sleuthing is done by the main characters.

Read Herring Hunt
Read Herring Hunt is the second instalment in the Mystery Bookshop book series. In this second instalment, we meet once again with Samantha, her grandmother Jojo, and her detecting friends from the senior home. Though Samantha became a widow, more than a year ago, she still was able to fulfil her lifelong dream of opening up a bookshop. For quite some time the bookshop did extremely well until a dead body was discovered in the premises. When we meet with Samantha, in Read Herring Hunt, she still resides in the same apartment that she did in the first instalment. From time to time, her grandmother visits her and even stays over for several days. Just above the garage, lives Dawson, their adopted family member and a college student.

Things have already begun to pick up. Apart from making enough money, Samantha has also made several friends. From the look of things, she is slowly learning to cope living without her husband. With everything going so well, Samantha cannot imagine anything else going wrong. As time goes by, by Dawson begins to get close to the wrong girl. From the word go, Nana Jo disapproves of the girl and evens refers to her as a floozy. It is obviously clear that the girl has her eyes on Dawson, mainly because he is extremely popular and a highly talented college football player. Moreover, Dawson has prospects of going pro. After ending the relationship with the girl, Dawson comes to the bookshop with scratches all over his face and a black eye. Dawson blames Melody, his girlfriend for the injuries. Unfortunately, several days later, Melody, the floozy is found dead. Immediately, Dawson becomes the prime suspects in Melody’s murder investigation. Once again, Samantha, Jo and her friends from the senior home once again, join forces to try and prove Dawson’s innocence.

Just like the Plot is Murder, the Red Herring hunt is not only fun but also highly entertaining. All the characters are superb including Nana Jo and her friends from the senior home. The entire team from the senior’s home is outspoken and are great at assisting Samantha with her sleuthing. Iris is a character that will definitely grab the reader’s attention. On several occasions, she had to be stopped from letting out curse words.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Valerie V.M. Burns

4 Responses to “Valerie V.M. Burns”

  1. Jennifer: 1 month ago

    I just finished your first 2 dog mystery stories (In the Dog House & The Puppy who knew Too Much” and I am sooooo impressed! I identified with ALL your characters, especially the dogs (Lia, China, Turbo and especially Aggie). Your stories are wonderful and comfortg to me as I recently lost my last fur baby (she was 15 an and was a most favored & pampered chihuahua). I will definitely read the other books in the series.

  2. Sandra Jones: 1 month ago

    Pleas,please more dog club books!!!
    I was severely injured. As I recovered the east Tennessee dog club antics made being stuck in the house bearable. Thank you so much.

  3. Mary Ann White: 5 months ago

    Please write a bit faster! I’d really like more of the bookstore mysteries. And I also loved the pet mysteries and I’d love to see more of those! Not trying to be pushy, but I’m 76 and I’d hate not to read more of either of these.
    I’ll read the other series later.

  4. Christine: 2 years ago

    I am recovering from two hip replacement surgeries and am looking at new authors to pass the time I have always loved reading as especially mysteries, my mom introduced me to Phyllis Whitney, Agatha Christie and others and my favorite Mary Stewart. I discovered your books and have been enjoying reading my way through the Mystery Bookshop series. I am especially delighted with Samantha’s Nana Jo and her group of friends at Shady Acres. My mother had a group of very lively older lady friends. I could put a name to every one of your ladies from my moms’ buddies and I also like the added plus of reading the British cozies Sam writes. I just finished Killer Words and will eagerly await the next installment! Until that comes out (which I hope will be soon!) I am going to start your Dog Club books. So I just want to sincerely thank you for your wonderful books!


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