Saturday, September 1, 2018

Book Review: The Plot Is Murder by V. M. Burns

The Plot is Murder
Author: V. M. Burns
Series: Mystery Bookshop
Publication: Kensington (November 28, 2017)

Description: The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store’s owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . .

Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store’s grand opening, she’s also realizing another dream—penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling's charms. When one of Daphne's suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.

But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her—after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her?

My Thoughts: Sam Washington had changed her life since her husband Leon died. She isn't putting off their dreams anymore. She sold the house they renovated, retired from her job teaching English at the local high school, opened a mystery bookstore and is writing her own cozy British mystery. However, her new life runs into a stumbling block when the sleezy realtor who sold her the building for her bookstore and new loft apartment is found stabbed to death outside her store.

Detective Brad Pitt, known as Stinky in his childhood, thinks he's found a perfect suspect in Sam. Sam has supporters on her side, too, as she tries to clear her name and find out who killed Clayton Parker. She is assisted by her grandmother Nana Jo and some other senior ladies from Nana Jo's retirement home. These ladies have a quite a network of relatives and friends who help build a picture of Clayton and his family.

Meanwhile, Sam is writing her own mystery which takes place at the country home of Lord William March in 1938. When a body is found in the maze and it looks like Victor's almost-fiance Daphne is a suspect, Victor's chivalrous nature makes him step in to protect her. However, Daphne's sister Lady Penelope, who has loved Victor secretly for years, is less eager to let Victor assume the blame.

I really enjoyed this cozy mystery within a mystery, Sam's senior friends provided a bunch of information and lots of humor too. I liked the fast pace and the complexity of they mystery.

Favorite Quote:
"I'm gonna knock your brains out if you make one move, you crazy mother--"

"Irma!" we all shouted.

"Sorry." Irma broke into a coughing fit. "I guess I got carried away."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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