Wed, Read & Dead

Wed, Read & Dead

by V. M. Burns

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Overview

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 . . .
 
Praise for The Plot Is Murder
 
“Readers of Carolyn Hart and Vicki Delany will appreciate the lively seniors, the humor, and the bookstore environment.”
Library Journal (Starred Review)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496718297
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Series: Mystery Bookshop Series , #4
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 65,696
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

V.M. Burns is the acclaimed author of screenplays, children’s books, and cozy mysteries, including the Dog Club Mysteries, the RJ Franklin Mysteries, and the Mystery Bookshop Series. Born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, V.M. Burns currently resides in Tennessee with her poodles. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers Association of America, Thriller Writers International, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. She can be found online at www.VMBurns.com.

Customer Reviews

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Wed, Read & Dead 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
neptune75 2 days ago
As this newest book begins on a funny scene of Sam trying on the worst bridesmaids dresses to make her mother happy for her upcoming wedding, you know it will involve some interesting predicaments that you can't wait to see how Sam tries to solve. Sam's mother is planning her wedding on short notice, throw in a social climbing relative who hijacks the planning with the intent of creating a huge event and you have conflict. This is the setup for the murder of the unpleasant wedding planner. But who had a reason to want her dead? In order to save her mother's fiance from jail, Sam and her Nana Jo set out to find out. I love Nana Jo's spirit and think she would make a fun grandmother. At first I found the concurrent scenes from the novel that Sam is writing to be distracting, but eventually I got into them as I realized that they mirrored the action in the "real" part of the book. I enjoyed the book greatly as the characters seem to be real people that you would meet in your town. This helps draw you into the book and keep your attention. The big reveal of the culprit was not given away early on, so that is also a plus. This is another author that is on my watch list.
Karen-Hollins 11 days ago
Wed, Read & Dead is the fourth installment in the Mystery Bookshop series, I haven't read any previous books but was able to follow along. The story grabbed my attention right away! I am very happy I chose to read this book and plan on reading the other 3 as soon as I can. 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 book is filled with wonderful characters that are well-developed and very relatable. The plot had just enough twists and turns that I was guessing who might have done it till the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed Wed, Read & Dead and am looking forward to visiting Sam and Nana Jo again. I highly recommend this cozy mystery to all my friends and fellow cozy lovers. I requested and received a advanced reader copy from the publisher and Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
MeezCarrie 13 days ago
While this was my first read by V. M. Burns, it won’t be my last! The main character Sam is a young widow who is starting over with a new love and a couple of new careers – writing British historical cozies (how’s that for specific?) and running a mystery bookstore. Her family and friends who’ve become family are a very important part of her life, so she’s rarely sharing the scene with less than a handful of other people. Between her sassy Nana (who would purse whomp if she knew about my coined term, I’m sure of it), her sister and brother-in-law, her nephews, her mom, her mom’s fiance, her new boyfriend Frank, the Sleuthing Seniors (seriously, Irma cracked me up), and the college kids who help out in her store there are a lot of characters to fall in love with. Combined with the suspects and two adorable & heartwarming subplot characters, it could feel a bit crowded but it doesn’t at all. Everyone contributes to the plot in some way and the author maintains a seamless flow. I also loved how the mystery Sam is writing becomes a story within the story that adds a bit of split-time genre to the mix, as well as helping Sam flesh out the real life mystery as she writes. Burns is clearly multi-talented as “Sam’s” novel is just as entertaining as the “actual” novel. Bottom Line: Smooth writing, engaging characters, wit, humor (Irma!) and a multi-layered mystery that kept me guessing until very close to the end means I have a new fave author! Add in a bookstore setting & I’m eagerly waiting more books (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
Dollycas 17 days ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Wedding bells will soon be ringing for Samantha’s mom Grace who is set to be married on Christmas Eve to Harold Robertson. With just 3 weeks to make all the arrangements including the dresses for the bride and her daughters who will be her bridesmaids. The family gets together to meet the groom’s family and go over details. That is when his sister-in-law reveals her gift of a wedding planner even as she degrades the bride feeling she is not good enough for her brother-in-law. The wedding planner makes her grand entrance. Lydia Lighthouse flaunts all the lavish wedding she has planned. But her ideas fall short of what the couple wants and come with huge price tags. The groom can certainly afford them but when the planner continues with her plan ignoring Grace, her betrothed becomes livid. Later when Lydia is found dead no one is really shocked but when Harold is named the main suspect, Sam, Nana Jo, and the Sleuthing Seniors gather and use all their resources to find the killer. Sam also opens her home to some special guests and works on her next book which also features a wedding. It takes place in England in 1938 at the home of Lord William March. And it includes a murder too. What a fabulous book! The first chapter was so funny. I was laughing out loud. Things get serious after that but Ms. Burns laces her mysteries with humor and I love that. The characters in this story are so well crafted. From the youngsters to the seniors and everyone in between. There is a real sense of family in this story. A family that is so inclusive of not just blood relatives but the people that have been brought together through life choices and chances. It warms my heart to witness how Sam and Nana Jo open their hearts to others and how it expounds from there. This group of people comes together for all occasions even to solve a murder. Some investigate, some keep the bookstore going so Sam can pursue leads, while others try to get the wedding plans under control. Two characters that always steal my heart are Sam’s toy poodles, Snickers, and Oreo. I too have 2 dogs, not poodles, but border collie mixes, one who happens to be named Oreo. In this story, we learn how much Sam’s Oreo enjoyed playing in the snow. His snowful joy mirrored my Oreo perfectly. Snickers doesn’t like the snow much at all and that behavior mirrored my other dog Nerabelle too. It was almost as if Ms. Burns had visited us. The story includes two mysteries and I love that Sam uses her writing to settle her mind to ponder the clues in her real-life mystery. Both are well-plotted with great twists and turns. New readers to this series will have to get used to the switching back and forth from present day to Sam’s historical mystery but now look forward to it. In fact, I can’t wait for the parallel storyline to start. Engaging and fun characters, two intriguing mysteries, romance that doesn’t go too far, and great dialogue all make this story so entertaining. I love the bookshop setting too! I have enjoyed every book in this series and in Ms. Burns Dog Club Mysteries too. So much so, the last book in this series, The Novel Art of Murder was the first book this year to have a place on my Best Reads List for 2019. This book will join it as it now is my favorite book in this series. I can’t wait for the next one!
Tangen 21 days ago
family-dynamics, friendship, mystery, murder, murder-investigation, situational-humor, verbal-humor ***** A cozy mystery set in the Midwest wraps itself around a prewar British cosy mystery being written by the main character who operates a bookstore. Samantha is a widow like her Nana Jo and they are tasked with gathering their friends to put a wedding for the mom in the three weeks before Christmas. Enter the in laws, a villainous wedding planner, a pair of orphans, and an inept small town policeman. The mystery novel she is writing rather mirrors the current goings on and helps Samantha see the clues and red herrings more clearly. Plenty of laughs, too! I loved it and stayed up to finish it! I requested and received a free ebook copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley. Thank you for introducing me to a new author!
ArizonaJo 21 days ago
Wed, Read & Dead by V.M. Burbs is the fourth book in her Mystery Bookshop series and was one of those books that grabbed my attention from the first chapter. I laughed so hard at Sam while envisioning her trying on bubble gum pink bridesmaid dresses for her mother's wedding. I wish there was something new that I could say about Ms. Burns writing that I haven't said previously. It's so much fun to read two mystery stories within one book which Ms. Burns gives us in each book of this series. Her writing is captivating for me. I enjoy her characters and find each one to be friendly and likable. I would love to meet Nana Jo, Dorothy, Ruby Mae and Irma and spend time with them. The plot was tightly woven with just enough clues, twists and suspects that I was guessing almost to the end of the book who might have done it. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with Wed, Read & Dead. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All of the above opinions are my own.
chefdt 21 days ago
Wed, Read And Dead is the fourth book in the Mystery Bookshop Mysteries series. Samantha “Sam” Washington’s mother, Grace, is planning on getting married in three weeks and if Sam has to try on one more, less than beautiful, bridesmaid dress, she will scream. Grace is more concerned with meeting her husband-to-be, Harold Roberstson’s family. Her fears were well-founded when she met her future sister-in-law, Margaret. Margaret is snobbery personified and looked down on Grace and the rest of her family. As a wedding gift for Grace and Harold, she had hired a wedding planner. Big mistake!! The Wedding Planner, Lydia Lighthouse seems to more interested in lining her pockets with Harold’s money, rather than planning the wedding that Grace wants. Soon, Lydia’s body is found, having been strangled with her scarf. Sam and her Senior Sleuths begin to investigate who might have killed her, as Harold had a big argument the day before her body was found. Sam, in addition to running her bookstore and a little sleuthing from time to time, is also an aspiring author. Early in her writing career, Sam has learned that if she works on her book set in the 1930’s English countryside it helps her deal with the current mystery. So, we get a story inside a story. The English countryside mystery center around Lord William Marsh and his wife Lady Elizabeth and their nieces, Lady Daphne and Lady Penelope. I love this series, it is well-written and has a wonderful cast of characters. The book reads at a good pace. The Senior Sleuths are a real hoot and will have you laughing at their antics. Most all of the characters from previous books are back once again to give help and support to Sam. I can’t wait for the next book in this very enjoyable book. The next book is Bookmarked For Murder and will be out in November of this year.
BobbieLCLA 21 days ago
Through NetGalley, I received a free copy of WED, READ & DEAD (Mystery Bookshop Mysteries Book 4) by V.M. Burns in exchange for an honest review. Samantha Washington is delighted with Harold Robertson, the lovely man her mother is marrying; however, she’s less than delighted with the couple’s decision to have the wedding almost immediately. No one is pleased with the snotty wedding planner Harold’s sister-in-law foists upon the couple. Harold, especially, is incensed with the wedding planner’s rude and condescending behavior toward Samantha’s sweet mother. Though Samantha and family joke that Harold is furious enough to throttle the woman, it’s no laughing matter when the woman is later found strangled. Sam, Nana Jo, and their coterie of senior sleuths swing into action to keep Harold from being arrested for the murder. As usual, Samantha works through the events surrounding her by penning a new mystery novel centering around the wedding of Lady Daphne Marsh to Lord James Browning. I enjoyed this novel. I adore Nana Jo and the family dynamic. The people surrounding the core characters are wonderful in their own right. The more time I spend with the character, the more time I want to spend with them. I recommend this novel to fans of the series, fans of cozy mysteries with themes related to books, weddings, orphans, sassy seniors, and doggies. #WedReadDead #NetGalley
4GranJan 21 days ago
Art Imitates Life in This Episode This is the fourth book of this series. As in the prior episodes, the reader is getting 2 mysteries in one as our heroine solves a mystery in her life, she is also writing a British country mystery that the reader also gets to enjoy. Both stories are fun to read. The plots and their execution are very entertaining. There is a lot going on in both stories but they are never confusing. I have enjoyed reading this series and it is one of my favorites. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
Librarirun 21 days ago
In Wed, Read & Dead, the fourth book in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series, bookstore owner and author Samantha "Sam" Washington is juggling the holiday shopping rush at the bookstore and the upcoming wedding of her mother, Grace Hamilton to Harold Robinson, a member of one of Southwestern Michigan’s wealthiest families. With just three weeks until the nuptials, a wedding planner is hired to orchestrate the special day. But Lydia Lighthouse, touted as the wedding planner to the elite is in reality a planner-zilla intent on staging an extravagant, outlandish affair, steamrolling over the bride’s wishes for a private, elegant wedding. Harold is outraged by Lydia’s bullying behavior toward his beloved Grace and the mounting wedding expenses being incurred—and tells Lydia so in a very heated public conversation. It is thus no surprise that Harold becomes the prime suspect when Lydia is found murdered soon thereafter. With no time to waste, Sam—together with the formidable Nana Jo and her group of Sleuthing Seniors—springs into action to clear the prospective groom’s name before the wedding. Implementing both the standard and non-conventional research methods they’ve honed through previous investigations, the resourceful team unearths a treasure trove of information, revealing a number of suspects with axes to grind against Lydia. But who among these persons of interest is the killer? While the Sleuthing Seniors work their connections to dig up dirt on the suspects, Sam once again takes to writing to help her process her thoughts. The latest British cozy mystery novel she’s working on features a plot similar to the crime at hand. Through writing, Sam focuses her attention on connections between the clues, leading the way to resolutions in both “real” life and the novel she is creating. In the Mystery Bookshop series, Burns has established an inviting bookstore setting and team of close-knit family members and friends who become more endearing with each new book in the series. Their laugh-out loud antics and loyal devotion to one another are delightful to behold. Rounding out the cast of characters are Sam's two faithful poodles, Snickers and Oreo, who appear on the series' book covers. Also of note is Burns’s "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 the last century. I've read three of the four books in the series (note to self: track down and read book #2), and am of the opinion that Burns’s novels demonstrate cozy mystery writing at its very best.
Rockport_rocker 21 days ago
Wed, Read, and Dead, the third novel in the Mystery Bookshop series by V.M. Burns is a delightful read. As interesting as the mystery is, it is the characters that make me love this series so much and this book is no exception! The fact that the book includes poodles and a wedding are icing on a perfectly lovely cake. The regular characters are strong, fun, kind and witty from Samantha Washington to the college-girl sometimes helpers. Samantha is delighted, and a bit puzzled, that her extremely dependent mother has found a wonderful and wealthy man to play prince charming to her southern bell. Sam is more than willing to help with the wedding plans, but between a short deadline and the bride’s unrealistic and lavish expectation, the event is becoming a nightmare for the bookstore owner. When the groom’s sister-in-law “gifts” the happy couple with a wedding planner, the news should be greeted with delight, but they have all just met the woman and no one else thinks that she right for them. The bride so badly wants to make a good impression on the snobby sister-in-law that they all accept the nightmare to come, but they have no idea what a nightmare it will be. The murder of the planner is not a real surprise since it appears that they are not the only ones ready to strangle her, but until the murder is solved, the groom is suspect number one. I was delighted to receive an ARC of the book via NetGalley mostly so I could read it early, but I also enjoy sharing my love of Ms. Burns books with my friends. #NetGalley, #WedRead&Dead
CozyOnUp 21 days ago
Samantha’s mother, Grace, is getting married on Christmas Eve and tis the season for murder! With three weeks to plan the wedding with the wealthy beau, there is a family get together to bring both families together and a gift from Grace’s future sister in law is the services of a wedding planner. Turns out the wedding planner isn’t seeing the same vision os Grace, but she’s more than ready to spend the groom’s money freely. When the groom finally puts his foot down with the wedding planner after a furious confrontation, her body is found the next morning. Sam, Nana Jo, and the gang are raring to solve the murder before the wedding and there’s not much time left. 

This book was the best in the series so far. The family dynamics are captured well and I think everyone can relate to them. Also the next installment in the historical mystery series that Sam writes mirrors things to some extent and was a solid story within the story. It gives a great view of how a cozy author will bring some of the goings on in their own life into their writing and take some artistic liberty with it. ENJOYABLE on all fronts. A great twofer!