The Plot Is Murder by V.M. Burns is the first book in the NEW “Mystery Bookshop” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, coming November 28, 2017

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?

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This was a fun book to read. A dead body is found on Sam’s property and she becomes the prime suspect. In order to clear her name, Sam with assistance from a seniors group led by her nana, show that it’s what you can gleam from doing what comes naturally to bring a killer to justice.

What a wonderful story that grabbed my attention immediately quickly becoming a page-turner as I had to know how this was going to end. I love the pacing and the comfortable tone that made it easy to follow as each chapter gave me enough to narrow down the list of suspects. Also liked the story within a story that mirrored “real-life” in North Harbor. The author did a great job in staging this engaging mystery abound with lovable characters like Nana Jo, Dorothy, Irma, Ruby Mae, Dawson, Sam and of course Oreo and Snickers. The mystery was expertly written keeping me glued to the pages and I enjoyed how everyone played a pivotal role in the apprehension of the killer. The narrative was visually descriptive, making me feel a part of the action as the ladies searched for clues and Sam’s property became victimized. This was a great debut and I can’t wait to read the next book in this delightfully entertaining series.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

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