The Novel Art of Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V.M. Burns

The Novel Art of Murder
(Mystery Bookshop)
by V.M. Burns
About the Book

The Novel Art of Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Kensington (November 27, 2018)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711858
ISBN-13: 978-1496711854
Digital ASIN: B07B7B4C8Q

Mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington is trying to keep her grandmother from spending her golden years in an orange jumpsuit . . .

The small town of North Harbor, Michigan, is just not big enough for the two of them: flamboyant phony Maria Romanov and feisty Nana Jo. The insufferable Maria claims she’s descended from Russian royalty and even had a fling with King Edward VIII back in the day. She’s not just a lousy liar, she’s a bad actress, so when she nabs the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies—a part Nana Jo plays every year in their retirement village production—Nana Jo blows a gasket and reads her the riot act in front of everyone.

Of course, when Maria is silenced with a bullet to the head, Nana Jo lands the leading role on the suspects list. Sam’s been writing her newest mystery, set in England between the wars, with her intrepid heroine Lady Daphne drawn into murder and scandal in the household of Winston Churchill. But now she has to prove that Nana Jo’s been framed. With help from her grandmother’s posse of rambunctious retirees, Sam shines a spotlight on Maria’s secrets, hoping to draw the real killer out of the shadow

Guest Post

Cozies Aren’t Realistic and Other Criticisms

I recently read an article where someone criticized cozy mysteries for not being “realistic.” It wasn’t the first time I’d heard that particular criticism. Before I started writing cozy mysteries, I shrugged off those critiques with barely a thought. It’s fiction (completely made up). It’s not supposed to be real. However, now that I’m a cozy mystery author, I listen to critics a lot more than I ever did in the past. Is there truth in what these critics are saying? Is there something I could or should do differently to make my cozy mysteries more…realistic, without adding bad language, sex or violence, of course?

Genre fiction (romance, crime fiction, horror, fantasy and sci/fi) is criticized a lot. Even among proponents of genre fiction, cozy mysteries receive massive amounts of criticism for the lack of realism. Little old ladies aren’t single-handedly tracking down criminals while knitting cute outfits. Murders are messy, and killers aren’t always brought to justice. All of these statements are true. Nevertheless, crime fiction is still very popular. Why?

To be completely honest, I have no idea. However, I do have a theory. I think the reason people like cozy mysteries is because of its biggest complaint, it’s not real.” Let’s face it, the news is full of reality. The news media floods our senses with stories about coldblooded murders, acts of violence and the ugliness of life. Sadly, many people don’t even need to read or watch the news to see the cruelness of life, it’s a part of their everyday. Cozy mysteries provide more than a few brief hours of entertainment. These books provide a welcome escape from reality and something more…hope. In a cozy mystery, there is the certainty that the killer will not only be revealed by the end of the book, but that justice will prevail, something that isn’t always guaranteed in real life. The amateur sleuth isn’t just a nosy neighbor intervening in something that should be left to the police. The amateur sleuth reminds us that there are people who care about justice. There are people who know their neighbors and care what happens to them. Cozy mysteries remind us that despite everything going on in the world, there are people who are willing to fight for what’s right, even at the risk of their own life. Cozy mysteries aren’t real and for that, I’m very thankful. Long live the cozy!

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 at

Author Links:



Twitter:  @vmburns

Purchase Links – Amazon –  Barnes & Noble – IndieBound:  – Books-A-Million –  Hudson Booksellers 


January 30 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

January 30 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

January 31 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 31 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 1 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

February 1 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW

February 2 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

February 2 – Mythical Books – SPOTLIGHT

February 2 – The Editing Pen – GUEST POST

February 3 – Babs Book Bistro – GUEST POST

February 4 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW


February 5 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW  

February 5 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

February 5 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 6 – Rae’s Books and Recipes – SPOTLIGHT

February 6 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

February 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 7 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

February 7 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST

February 7 – Jody’s Book Reviews, Book Tours & Giveaways – SPOTLIGHT

February 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

February 8 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 8 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW

February 9 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

February 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

February 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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  • Kay Garrett

    Thank you for being part of the book tour for “The Novel Art of Murder” by V.M. Burns. Enjoyed reading the guest post. I concur with saying love live the cozy! Can’t wait for the opportunity to read this wonderful book on my TBR list. LOVE the cover!