The Novel Art of Murder

The Novel Art of Murder

by V. M. Burns


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496711854
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 11/27/2018
Series: Mystery Bookshop Series , #3
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 107,730
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

V. M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She currently resides in Tennessee with her two poodles, Coco and Kenzie. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can visit her website at

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The Novel Art of Murder 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Librarirun 4 days ago
In the latest installment of the Mystery Bookshop series, bookstore owner Samantha "Sam" Washington must clear the name of her grandmother Nana Jo, the prime suspect in the murder of Maria Romanov. When Romanov, who recently secured the lead part in the Shady Acres Senior Follies play--the role Nana Jo has held for the last 10 years--dies from a bullet wound, the police turn their attention to Nana Jo, who is well known for her marksmanship. After all, the feisty Nana Jo had publicly declared her displeasure at losing the starring role. While Sam and Nana Jo's band of loyal, eccentric friends begin to investigate the crime, a second resident of the Shady Acres Retirement Village turns up dead. Not much is known about Magnus von Braun, but his unexpected demise under suspicious circumstances raises questions about whether the two murders are related. Are there unknown factors that tie the two victims to each other, or is more than one killer on the loose in sleepy North Harbor, Michigan? Sam and Nana Jo's supporters are more than up to the task of discovering clues based on the research they conduct. However, putting the pieces together to clear Nana Jo proves challenging. Sam once again uses her writing skills as a budding mystery author to process both the clues and her thoughts, which ultimately leads to solving the murders. In the Mystery Bookshop series, Burns has established a cozy bookstore setting and team of close-knit family members and friends. Rounding out the cast of characters are Sam's two faithful poodles, Snickers and Oreo, who are prominently displayed on the series' book covers. A major distinctive feature of the series is the "novel within a novel" technique, which has Sam writing cozy murder mysteries set in England between the two world wars. It is thus that readers are actually following the developments in two murder mysteries--one in the present day and one in Edwardian times. The result is a satisfying experience for cozy mystery fans.
Dollycas 6 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts We are back in North Harbor, Michigan just in time for Samantha Washington’s Nana Jo to become a murder suspect. It seems her usual part in the Shady Acres Senior Follies has been given to Maria Romanov, a woman of questionable character. Said to be descended from Russian Royalty and a great actress, Nana Jo knows the woman is a phony. As soon as others hear her sing, they know it too. Nana Jo tries to take the woman to task publically so when Maria ends up dead, Nana Jo’s fate as a murder suspect is sealed. Not so fast, Sam is on the case. Using her current work in progress where Lady Daphne is in the middle of a murder in the home of Winston Churchill to settle her mind and draw parallels, she is sure to find who has framed her Nana. The crew from Shady Acres steps in to help too and soon real suspects are uncovered and clues start to fall into place. That’s Oreo and Snickers on the cover, Oreo looks nothing like my Oreo but I love the author’s choice of pet names. The expression of the dog in the back cracks me up every time I look at the cover. Okay, the cover is great, but the story/stories within are excellent. Ms. Burns gives us a present-day cozy mystery and her character Samantha Washington is an author and we get to read her latest work too. I love that we get two stories in each novel. It took some getting used to with the first book, but now with book 3, I hit the rhythm right away. I really enjoy how they work together. Full of colorful characters the story sets a nice pace. Intrigue with a big dose of humor keeps the pages turning and both stories had wonderful surprise endings. Some parts are truly laugh out loud funny. I loved this book and can’t wait for more! This is the first book of 2019 to receive my top Paradise rating and a place on my Best Reads of 2019 list. While the story can stand on its own I recommend starting at the beginning of the series for maximum enjoyment.
MeezCarrie 12 days ago
This is my first book by V.M. Burns and it won’t be my last! While this is the third in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone – but I’m totally going to go back and read the first two books at my earliest opportunity. Samantha “Sam” is a great heroine, someone you’d like to have as a friend for sure. Not only does she run a successful mystery bookstore but she also gets to carry out her dream of writing. I loved how Sam uses the events in the story we’re reading to parallel things in the story she’s writing, a story within a story of sorts. And of course there’s the ladies of the Shady Acres retirement village, including Sam’s Nana Jo who is cast every year in the leading role of the Shady Acres Senior Follies. Therein lies the problem – and the murder – this year, and Sam needs the help of the other ladies at Shady Acres to keep her Nana Jo from being arrested. Enter a bevy of delightful, quirky, and diverse characters who are full of life and intelligence and wit. I loved these secondary characters and can’t wait for another chance to visit with them. Bottom Line: A well-written cozy mystery with charm and heart, The Novel Art of Murder is a truly enjoyable read from start to finish. The murder case itself was nicely-plotted and kept me guessing until the big reveal, and the dash of romance of course had my full attention. Vividly-drawn characters represent a mix of ages and race, and each had a role to play. Looking forward to more from this author and series! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
4GranJan 6 months ago
Cozy Mystery Within a Mystery This is another episode in the Mystery Bookshop series. The book is actually a mystery inside a mystery. Our heroine is attempting to solve a real-life crime while she is also writing a murder mystery. As readers, we get to enjoy 2 developing stories and solve 2 mysteries. It is such fun! The plot is tight with plenty of suspects and motives in both stories. All of the characters are well developed. This is the first of this series that I have read and it makes me want more! I will be reading all of this author's work that I can. I received this ARC book for free and this is my honest review.
Rockport_rocker 7 months ago
I adore the characters in this series and this book, The Novel Art of Murder. Ms. Burns does such a beautiful job of allowing even the secondary characters to shine that I feel I know all of them. The bookshop workers and their friends are the stars of the book even though none of them are the primary suspect this time. In fact, things at the bookshop are going great but the same can't be said for the retirement village our favorite seniors live in. History from as far back as World War II and as recent as the last decade come into play when a recent addition to the retirement condos is found dead in her room. The complexity of the background was fascinating but I was a bit disappointed that the murderer seemed too obvious. Since I read the book as an ARC there could be changes, and I can't wait to read the final product to see if that has happened. Of course, the person I think is most obvious usually isn't and other readers often have different ideas. The possible motives and intertwined characters still kept me hooked to the main mystery as much as the wonderful characters. As has been the norm, the historical romance that Sam is writing offers parallels that help her work through the real mystery as well as the newest book in the series that she is writing. I love that we get two whole mysteries rather than just snippets of Sam's work. I received and ARC of The Novel Art of Murder via NetGalley. I have recently become a big fan and shout about all of her book to all my friends because I love them so much.g fan and shout about all of her book to all my friends because I love them so much.
CozyOnUp 7 months ago
After losing her husband, widow Samantha Washington retires from her teaching job and takes on a new career as both a mystery writer and owner of a mystery book shop. A great fit for a woman who, along with her grandmother and a group of other women, likes to solve mysteries. When a new resident at Nana Jo’s retirement community is murdered, Nana is the main suspect. But Samantha and the ladies are on the case! Eerily enough the murder seems to parallel the mystery Samantha is currently writing, but even she doesn’t know how that will end. It’s a race to clear Nana’s good name as the clock ticks down to the police needing to make an arrest. This was my first introduction to the Mystery Bookshop series and I really like the characters. Samantha, her mother and Nana Jo are all widows and learning to let themselves love again. The characters emotions and ways they deal with things is genuine and relatable. Best bonus is that as a mystery writer, you get Samantha’s story as she writes it within this story. It’s a great two-for!
weluvdopey 7 months ago
This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. The story flowed very well and was very enjoyable. This book will keep you reading long into the night and you will not want to put this book down until you finish. This was such a great read and full of surprises. I am looking forward to reading other books by this great author.
Nancy0708 7 months ago
This story is very unique in that you get two great mysteries in one. The main story involves a bunch of seniors and mystery book store owner/granddaughter of senior suspect in current time and then a mystery set in 1938 in the household of Winston Churchill. I enjoyed both but having the stories alternating throughout the book made the flow of the stories choppy. I would have preferred two separate stories. Both had interesting premises but I really enjoyed the feisty Nana Jo.
Bobbie Kirkland 7 months ago
I received a free copy of THE NOVEL ART OF MURDER (Book 3 of the Mystery Bookshop Mysteries) by V.M. Burns in exchange for an honest review. Samantha Washington is close to her grandmother and her grandmother’s friends. When a woman her grandmother recently argued with and threatened is murdered in a locked room, Nana Jo is the primary suspect. Sam is able to cut a deal with the detective; she’ll find the murderer by Thanksgiving and give him the credit, or he can arrest her grandmother. When one of Nana Jo’s friends is present during the poisoning of another retirement home resident, Sam has to figure out how the homicides are linked. Through it all, Sam takes the time to write a World War II era murder mystery of her own. I haven’t read the other books in the series, so I don’t think I had the connection to the characters I could have had. Over all, this story was pretty entertaining. You get the bonus of two mystery books for the price of one. #TheNovelArtOfMurder #NetGalley
ArizonaJo 7 months ago
The Novel Art of Murder by V.M. Burns is book three in her Mystery Bookshop series and captured my attention from the first page. I confess that I love this series and am always excited when another book is ready for release. Ms. Burns' writing is descriptive and her characters are realistic, likable and quirky which adds to the fun as I read. I am also a fan of historical cozy mysteries so I get two for one with this series. The plot moved quickly with plenty twists, clues and red herrings to keep me guessing and turning the pages. The suspects were a devious lot that kept Sam, Nana Jo and the rest of the Sleuthing Seniors Book Club working hard to ferret out their history. I do love Nana Jo's friends and truly wish I could meet them and spend some quality time with them. I confess that I caught on to who the killer might be before Sam did this time and was quite elated when I was proved right. I almost never figure it out before the reveal. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
chefdt 7 months ago
A Novel Art Of Murder is the third book in the A Mystery Bookshop Mystery series. I enjoyed another visit with Samantha(Sam), her grandmother Nana-Jo, and Nana-Jo’s “posse” from the retirement community. Nana-Jo is mad enough to spit nails as this story starts. Nana-Jo has played the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies for the last ten years. But this year the lead role has been given to Maria Romanov. Nana-Jo and her posse just don’t understand, as Maria can’t carry a tune in a bushel basket. This causes a very loud argument between Nana-Jo and Maria in front of several witnesses. Then when Maria is found dead from a gunshot, Nana-Jo becomes a prime suspect. Sam and Nana-Jo and their friends begin to investigate to clear Nana-Jo’s name. Then, when Irma finds Magnus von Braun, another resident, is found dead in his apartment from an apparent poisoning, Sam begins to wonder if there might be more than one killer. They now set off to learn if there is anything to tie each other to a single killer or not. Sam is an aspiring author and has finished a couple manuscripts and has found that turning to write her next book helps her to find the answers to the actual mysteries that are being faced in the real world. This book within a book deals with Winston Churchill who is hosting a house party at his home, Chartwell House. I feel this book is well-written and plotted and a very interesting cast of characters. It also has enough red herrings and twist and turns to keep me guessing till the exciting ending. I also enjoy having a story within a story. I will definitely be watching for the next book in this interesting series.
BeagleGirl123 7 months ago
V.M. Burns' The Novel Art of Murder is the 3rd charming book in her Mystery Bookshop series about widow Samantha Washington, her grandmother, and Nana Jo's band of senior sleuths. Murder hits a little too close to home for Sam when Nana Jo is a suspect in the untimely death of a resident in her retirement community. Poison, blackmail, Nazis, and priceless stolen artwork all feature in this very cozy mystery, and Ms. Burns has once again included snippets of the delightful English cozy that Sam is writing (a mystery on its own!!!) for an added bonus. I love, love, love this series and highly recommend it! 5 stars!