Monday, December 2, 2019

Cozy Review: Bookmarked for Murder

We are delighted to feature a book-themed mystery here today!

Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop) by V.M. Burns

About Bookmarked for Murder

Title: Bookmarked for Murder (Mystery Bookshop) Cozy Mystery 5th in Series  
Author: V.M. Burns
Publishing info: Kensington (November 26, 2019) 
Paperback: 256 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496718313 
ISBN-13: 978-1496718310
 Digital ASIN: B07P9MR138 
Publisher's Blurb:
Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .
After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it's a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver's seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .

My Review: 
I have mixed feelings about this one. I thought it was an interesting story, with good characters, and a mystery worth puzzling over. At the same time, there were some issues with the writing. In the end, I decided to give it a pass on those, as it was an unedited proof, and hope that they will be cleaned up in the final draft and do justice to a good story.

Sam is an engaging sleuth, though I did wonder at times about how little time she seemed to need to spend working in her bookstore. The only bookstore owners I know are chained to their shops 24/7. That doesn't allow for a lot of sleuthing, though, so we'll forgive the author for stretching reality a bit. Sam is nicely human, with insecurities, over-confidence, and cleverness in about the right proportions. She makes at least one dumb move, but gets away with it.

I did have a hunch about the killer before the end, but would have said the same if it had proven to be a couple of others, so I can't say it was too obvious. The mystery is well put-together.

Honestly, the characters I really loved were Nana Jo and her cohort of feisty old ladies. This may reflect my age, or it may reflect that those are the characters that are developed in the most interesting way. Read it and draw your own conclusion about that!

My Recommendation:
This is a solid addition to the cozy mystery genre, with a touch of romance (but delightfully free of excessive angst about that romance). Nab it for a quick, fun holiday read. As the 5th in the series, I felt a bit at sea right at first, but the book has enough of the back-story to stand on its own.

FTC Disclosure: I received an ARC of Bookmarked for Murder from Great Escapes Free Book Tours, and received nothing further from the writer or publisher in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 

About V.M. Burns

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

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  1. Hey! A rafflecopter I can enter! That's great :)
    Interesting book, too!

    1. Yes--so nice of her to have one that isn't a print copy of the book :)

      It was a pretty good read.

  2. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading it.


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