Print Length: 256 pages
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
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About the Book:
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 rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Plot is Murder is a great start to V.M. Burns’ new Michigan-based cozy mystery series. As a Michigander, I love reading books set in my home state.
The setting involves Samantha, a recent widow, fulfilling her dream of owning her own bookshop. She packs up, sells the house she shared with her late husband, and starts anew in North Harbor, Michigan. As Samantha gets settled and begins penning her own novel, life take a nasty turn. A sketchy realtor is found dead shortly after his desperate attempt to talk to Samantha, and the worst part? He was found in the backyard of the shop. Now, Samantha must continue to move forward with the bookshop, stay on track with her novel, and clear her name.
I enjoyed the book’s mystery within a mystery as Samantha writes a fiction novel we get passages from, while being the protagonist dealing with her own mystery in The Plot is Murder. The dual mystery solving kept me engaged throughout the stories. The character development, those within the main story and those within Samantha’s story, is done well. Samantha’s character is down-to-earth with realistic bouts of sadness as she’s still mourning the loss of her husband. The world constructed by the author allowed me to envision the stories in my mind.
I look forward to the next Mystery Bookshop book.
I was provided a paperback book to read.
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