Wed, Read & Dead (Mystery Bookshop) by by V.M. Burns
Bookstore owner Samantha Washington sells and solves mysteries in North Harbor, Michigan—including the murder of her mother’s wedding planner . . .
Sam’s mother can’t wait to wed her wealthy beau, Harold Robertson. The big mystery is how they’re going to pull off a lavish wedding in three weeks. Harold’s snobby sister-in-law proposes a solution: engage flamboyant wedding planner Lydia Lighthouse. But their beacon of hope quickly sends everyone into a blind rage, most of all the groom-to-be. So when the maddening micromanager is strangled with her own scarf, it’s a shock, but not a surprise.
It’s a case of art imitating life as Sam pens her next historical mystery set in England between the wars. Lady Daphne Marsh insists on marrying Lord James Browning on Christmas Eve, three weeks hence. But when the fop planning their wedding ends up with a knife in his back, she vows to nab the backstabber before she walks down the aisle.
Meanwhile, when she’s not writing, Sam and her beloved and boisterous Nana Jo rush to shine a light on Lydia’s killer—so her mother’s new husband won’t spend his honeymoon behind bars.
This is the fourth book in the Mystery Bookshop series and the first that I read. I will now go back and read this series from the beginning. This is a character driven, humorous, cozy mystery with so much going on, I had no problem whipping through this book. The main murder does not take place until about 30% of the way in, but that did not deter my enjoyment of this story. Sam’s and Jenna’s mother is getting married to wealthy Harold and he will do whatever it takes to make his bride-to-be happy. She really does not know what she wants in this wedding, but only has three weeks to plan it. I laughed loudly during the scene of Sam trying on bridesmaid dresses in bubble gum pink. When she falls over, I almost did the same. Not only is there the mystery of the murder, but there is a side mystery about two runaway children which just about broke my heart. I love the characters in this story. I would love to meet Nana Jo, Dorothy, Ruby Mae and Irma and spend time with them, they are so quirky and hilarious. I love their sleuthing and they all just happen to know someone. Frank, Sam’s boyfriend is also a great character, but so are all the rest. V.M. Burns has penned an enjoyable story. The plot kept me hooked, but it is the characters that will keep me reading this series. So, two mysteries in one, humour, adorable kids that will break your heart, sassy seniors, the MC owns a bookstore and lots of food all add up to a wonderful cozy mystery that I can’t recommend enough. Pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: 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.
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