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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 Edw 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 shadows . . .


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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 Edw 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 shadows . . .

30 review for The Novel Art of Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    The Novel Art of Murder was another wonderful installment in the Mystery Bookshop cozy series and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Every year mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington's Nana Jo is cast in the leading role in the Shady Acres Senior Follies, the production from the local retirement village. But this year flamboyant Maria Romanov lands the role despite being a terrible actress causing Nana Jo to lay into her in front of everyone. When Maria turns up dead a few hours later, Nana Jo become The Novel Art of Murder was another wonderful installment in the Mystery Bookshop cozy series and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Every year mystery bookstore owner Samantha Washington's Nana Jo is cast in the leading role in the Shady Acres Senior Follies, the production from the local retirement village. But this year flamboyant Maria Romanov lands the role despite being a terrible actress causing Nana Jo to lay into her in front of everyone. When Maria turns up dead a few hours later, Nana Jo becomes the prime suspect much to Sam's dismay. Determined to prove her grandmother's innocence, Sam and Nana Jo's group of friends set out to uncover Maria's secrets including who would want to kill her. Sam is such an amazing main character that it makes it impossible not to like these books. She runs a successful business while pursuing her true passion with writing and she's such a genuine and caring person that you can't help but like her. I really enjoy her relationship with her grandmother as well as the mother-son type relationship she has with Dawson. In the last book, Read Herring Hunt, the possibility of a romance for Sam was introduced which is further explored in this book. While Sam is still grieving her husband, she is slowly exploring a relationship with Frank and I have to say I quite like the two of them together. The mystery in this book is very well done and I found myself eager to find out who the killer would end up being. I liked that Sam paralleled the book she's writing with real life events as that made things a bit more interesting as Sam explored her theories through her writing. Once again Nana Jo's group of friends return to help clear her name and I loved seeing these ladies again. Their friendship is wonderful and I like how each lady brings her own set of skills to the investigation. I was a bit surprised by the killer's identity as I had someone else in mind, but I will say I enjoyed the reveal and thought it was cleverly done. The Novel Art of Murder has definitely solidified the Mystery Bookshop series as one of my favorite cozy mystery series and I highly recommend this for new and old fans of the genre. **I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

  2. 5 out of 5

    Miss W Book Reviews

    The Novel Art of Murder is Book 3 in the Mystery Bookshop Series. Firstly, I LOVE BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS! I also really enjoy the senior citizen characters who have not only one, but two murders on their hands to solve at Shady Acres. The mystery is so well done, with a murderer I did not see coming. I really enjoy the Mystery Bookshop Series with such likeable characters and a great plot. This is a stand alone story, but the first two books are equally as fantastic, so go read those TOO!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    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 kee 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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Peggy R

    This is the third book in a fun series that I would highly recommend. The writing is descriptive and flows nicely. The characters are intelligent, diverse and a bit quirky. What I really like most about the characters is that many of the secondary characters are all friends from the Shady Acres retirement facility. The author does a terrific job of depicting these ladies as funny, vibrant, intelligent and still with purpose. They have life experience and it comes in handy when there is a murder This is the third book in a fun series that I would highly recommend. The writing is descriptive and flows nicely. The characters are intelligent, diverse and a bit quirky. What I really like most about the characters is that many of the secondary characters are all friends from the Shady Acres retirement facility. The author does a terrific job of depicting these ladies as funny, vibrant, intelligent and still with purpose. They have life experience and it comes in handy when there is a murder to solve. The mystery flows nicely through the entire story. Nana Jo is in need of help this time as she is the prime suspect in her rival's murder. There are plenty of suspects and motives to keep the reader guessing if there is one killer or two. The clues are peppered throughout the story and I like how the author will often tie in how the mystery in Sam's book helps solve the main mystery. This book is scheduled for release November 27th. I voluntarily read a digital ARC provided to me by the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This is the third book in the series, and my favourite so far! The main character is also a writer, so there is a bonus in that there are two mysteries to solve within the book, which is a bonus and not a distraction from either story. The mysteries were well written and kept me guessing! I especially enjoy the senior citizens, who were written as smart, full of life and entertaining. I look forward to reading the next in the series. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book! I have an odd relationship with this series, because while I enjoy the antics that Samantha and Nana Jo get up to, I could do without the Regency mystery that is told alongside the main story. I mean, I get WHY it's there, but I don't have to like it as much. I feel like it's too simple or something, I just don't know. But I did like the mystery of the two murders, and I like the dynamics developing with all of the interes Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book! I have an odd relationship with this series, because while I enjoy the antics that Samantha and Nana Jo get up to, I could do without the Regency mystery that is told alongside the main story. I mean, I get WHY it's there, but I don't have to like it as much. I feel like it's too simple or something, I just don't know. But I did like the mystery of the two murders, and I like the dynamics developing with all of the interesting side characters, especially the oddness that is Stinky Pitt xD Plenty of food references too; this book makes me hungry! Of course the mystery is solved and neatly wrapped up in the end, and there is a teaser chapter for the next book which I didn't read (not a fan of teaser chapters, I never read them) A fun series, four stars!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    The Novel Art of Murder by V. M. Burns is the 3rd book in the Mystery Bookshop series, and it is becoming one of my favorites. Samantha Washington owns Market Street Mysteries bookstore in North Harbor, Michigan. Nana Jo always plays the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies, but this year Maria Romanov gets the part. After a loud fight between Nana Jo and Maria, Maria is found dead and Nana Joe is the prime suspect. Sam is determined to find the real killer, and the sleuthing begins. This book The Novel Art of Murder by V. M. Burns is the 3rd book in the Mystery Bookshop series, and it is becoming one of my favorites. Samantha Washington owns Market Street Mysteries bookstore in North Harbor, Michigan. Nana Jo always plays the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies, but this year Maria Romanov gets the part. After a loud fight between Nana Jo and Maria, Maria is found dead and Nana Joe is the prime suspect. Sam is determined to find the real killer, and the sleuthing begins. This book was great. It has so many twists and turns. The author did an excellent job, I was hooked from the start. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I would definitely recommend this book. I received an ARC copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morin

    The Novel Art of Murder is a fun and colorful addition to the series. I immediately connected with the characters and this story kept me engaged from beginning to end. The story was well told and provided plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing. I volunteered to read and review an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.

  9. 5 out of 5

    VaLinda Miller

    This is the third book in the series about widower Samantha, who owns a mystery bookstore while solving murders. You know why I really love this book, it's by an African American woman author, it's about a bookstore owner, the grandmother, who knows how to use a gun and can do karate, with her very intelligent and funny retirement friends, show you how a real murder is solved and it doesn’t matter the age. Agatha Christie would be proud. It's funny and you don't have cute until way later in the This is the third book in the series about widower Samantha, who owns a mystery bookstore while solving murders. You know why I really love this book, it's by an African American woman author, it's about a bookstore owner, the grandmother, who knows how to use a gun and can do karate, with her very intelligent and funny retirement friends, show you how a real murder is solved and it doesn’t matter the age. Agatha Christie would be proud. It's funny and you don't have cute until way later in the book who the killer is.

  10. 5 out of 5

    RO G'ma

    The Novel Art of Murder is the third in V. M. Burns’ Mystery Bookshop series. This is an entertaining read with a great cast of characters and an interesting mystery. The storyline is well plotted and flows at a steady pace, with situations where I found myself laughing out loud, and lots of twists, clues, and red herrings to keep me guessing. The well-developed characters are likable, diverse, fun, although somewhat quirky, and the main character is writing a mystery book that is included withi The Novel Art of Murder is the third in V. M. Burns’ Mystery Bookshop series. This is an entertaining read with a great cast of characters and an interesting mystery. The storyline is well plotted and flows at a steady pace, with situations where I found myself laughing out loud, and lots of twists, clues, and red herrings to keep me guessing. The well-developed characters are likable, diverse, fun, although somewhat quirky, and the main character is writing a mystery book that is included within the storyline and provides a second mystery and clues that often help solve the main mystery. Samantha “Sam” Washington is the owner of the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore in North Harbor, Michigan. After the death of her husband, Sam sold their home, purchased a building, quit her teaching job, and opened a mystery bookstore. Sam, an aspiring author who’s writing a British historical cozy mystery, lives in an apartment above the bookstore along with her two aging poodles, Oreo and Snickers, and is dating Frank Patterson, the proprietor of North Harbor Café. Her grandmother, Nana Jo, owns a home in Shady Acres Retirement Village. Sam’s mother makes a shocking announcement to her family. Michigan Southwest University’s star quarterback, Dawson Alexander, is Sam’s assistant, lives in the apartment above her garage, and bakes delicious treats for the bookstore. Nana Jo is devastated when a new resident, Maria Romanov, beats her out of the lead role in the Shady Acres Senior Follies not only because she’d portrayed Eudora Hooper for the past ten years, but also because Maria had no talent. When Maria is found murdered in her locked apartment, Nana Jo becomes Detective Brad Pitt’s prime suspect because they had a big argument and she was overheard threatening Maria. Sam joins her feisty grandmother and her retirement village friends, Judge Ben Miller, and Frank to clear Nana Jo before the incompetent detective arrests her, and Sam makes a deal with Detective Pitt to share information they discover. When another resident, Magnus von Braun, is found dead in his apartment, Sam wonders if the two incidents are connected. Sam often turns to her writing to help her think and discovers her writing often parallels the real-life mysteries she’s trying to solve. I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Janet Graham

    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 wa 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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robin Rider

    #65 I love books about books, bookstores, in other words, all things tomes and The Novel Art of Murder by V. M. Burns certainly fills the bill. Part of the Mystery Bookshop series, this cozy includes a cast of endearing senior citizens who must solve not one, but two murders at Shady Acres. The information about Operation Paperclip was fascinating. Release date November 27.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bobbie Kirkland

    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 on 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

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie Jackson

    I adore the characters in this series and The Novel Art of Murder. Ms. Burns does a beautiful job of allow even the secondary characters to shine. 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 I adore the characters in this series and The Novel Art of Murder. Ms. Burns does a beautiful job of allow even the secondary characters to shine. 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 has 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kendrea Parsons

    The Novel Art of Murder is the 3rd Mystery Bookshop mystery by V.M. Burns. I really love this series so much. I love all the characters: Sam, Nana Jo, Dawson, and the girls from Shady Acres. They're all such fun to read about. I do wish Sam had more friends her age to interact with. I mean, I'm assuming she had friends before her husband died and she opened the bookstore. So, where are they? It just seems a little strange to me. The thing I really enjoy about this series is that there's two myst The Novel Art of Murder is the 3rd Mystery Bookshop mystery by V.M. Burns. I really love this series so much. I love all the characters: Sam, Nana Jo, Dawson, and the girls from Shady Acres. They're all such fun to read about. I do wish Sam had more friends her age to interact with. I mean, I'm assuming she had friends before her husband died and she opened the bookstore. So, where are they? It just seems a little strange to me. The thing I really enjoy about this series is that there's two mystery stories going on since Sam is writing a murder mystery as well. I get just as invested in Sam's mystery writing as I do the main mystery. I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series to see what happens to Sam and everyone else next. Note: I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    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 i 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!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Just loved this group of ‘crime solvers’ who use their years of making contacts to help find the killer. Senior characters are so varied while the.younger generation puts the clues together while juggling romances, family and friendship

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Cochran Schadler

    I adore this mystery within a mystery series. I'm not a fan of historical British cozies, but I do enjoy the inner stories in this series. This series is fun and the characters all have their quirks, which makes them so loveable. I love how they have a group that meets to get clues and find the killer. Really fun read! I love that this series is continuing!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    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. 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.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cozy Cat Reviews

    This is the third book in this wonderful Mystery Bookshop series.. I have read the previous books and highly recommend the entire series. Each book is full of humor and witty repartee that will make you laugh out loud . I so enjoyed this next in series ! I love to revisit Sam, her Grandmother Nana Jo and the friends from the retirement community, the charming poodles and the bookstore. . In this next book there is much excitement at the retirement home and two mysteries to solve. Nana Jo has los This is the third book in this wonderful Mystery Bookshop series.. I have read the previous books and highly recommend the entire series. Each book is full of humor and witty repartee that will make you laugh out loud . I so enjoyed this next in series ! I love to revisit Sam, her Grandmother Nana Jo and the friends from the retirement community, the charming poodles and the bookstore. . In this next book there is much excitement at the retirement home and two mysteries to solve. Nana Jo has lost her usual lead in the Senior Follies to another resident Maria who no one believes is talented enough to take on the role. Nana Jo is seen and heard arguing with her before Maria is found dead. Now Sam must look into the murder, find the right suspect and clear her Grandmothers name. Another death occurs and Sam is solving multiple murders while worrying about her Grandmother's future. Sam is writing a mystery book and finds that within the pages may hold the answer to these deaths. She soon is on the right path to the rightful suspect and finds herself in danger. This charming book is well plotted and a very interesting quirky cast of characters I enjoy returning to . The author writes with such humor and fun that each book is a delight to read. The twist and turns kept me guessing and enjoyed the well crafted interesting sleuth. I look forward to the next in series. This is a fun read that held my interest until the last page and I did not guess the ending ! Thank you for the ARC which does not influence my review. I highly recommend this fun cozy mystery series for your reading enjoyment

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Some series start to fade a bit by book three but this series just keeps getting better. Sam and her grandmother, Nana Jo are two people I would love to have as family. Add to that Sam's bookstore and the books she writes, well, I just want to climb into the book and stay there. I read this one on a rainy afternoon, sitting in my comfy chair with a big mug of tea - pure bliss. This time Nana Jo is the prime suspect when somebody else takes center stage with the leading role in the Shady Acres Sen Some series start to fade a bit by book three but this series just keeps getting better. Sam and her grandmother, Nana Jo are two people I would love to have as family. Add to that Sam's bookstore and the books she writes, well, I just want to climb into the book and stay there. I read this one on a rainy afternoon, sitting in my comfy chair with a big mug of tea - pure bliss. This time Nana Jo is the prime suspect when somebody else takes center stage with the leading role in the Shady Acres Senior Follies. (How can I get a front row seat?) Nana Jo more than a little blows a gasket and, in front of witnesses, tells Maria what she really feels about it. Oops, not good as Maria is later found very dead and fingers all point to Nana Jo. Turns out she wasn't the only one with a motive for murder. Maria was known to play around with the truth and there are some secrets in her life to dig up. Sam had better start digging fast to keep Nana Jo out of the slammer. I would encourage a reader new to this series to read them in order to get the most out of each one but, if this is already within your reach, grab it and settle down to a very well crafted mystery. Then go get the previous ones. I'm already for book #4. My thanks to the publisher Kensington and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Homerun2

    3.5 stars This pleasant cozy is set in a mystery bookstore, the lifelong dream of husband and wife Leon and Samantha Washington. Sadly, Sam was left widowed and is carrying on alone. Well, not really alone -- a great deal of the appeal of this series is the likable cast of characters, including Sam's mother and grandmother, sister, nephews and her grandmother's eccentric, smart and unconventional cast of elderly friends. When a woman is murdered at Sam's Nana Jo's retirement complex, Nana Jo comes 3.5 stars This pleasant cozy is set in a mystery bookstore, the lifelong dream of husband and wife Leon and Samantha Washington. Sadly, Sam was left widowed and is carrying on alone. Well, not really alone -- a great deal of the appeal of this series is the likable cast of characters, including Sam's mother and grandmother, sister, nephews and her grandmother's eccentric, smart and unconventional cast of elderly friends. When a woman is murdered at Sam's Nana Jo's retirement complex, Nana Jo comes under suspicion since she was heard threatening the victim after she lost the lead in an area musical to the interloper. So Sam and crew have to step in to stop Nana from being arrested. This is a cozy, with a great deal of implausibility built in but fans of good-hearted mysteries with some humor mixed in won't be disappointed. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Grace Koshida

    Mystery bookstore owner Samantha "Sam" Washington's grandmother Nana Jo is incensed that newcomer Maria Romanov has nabbed the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies. Nana Jo has played the role every year in their retirement village production and is suspicious how the no-talented woman got the part. When Maria is shot dead in her home, Nana Jo becomes the prime suspect of Detective Pitt. With help from her grandmother's gang of retirees, Sam c0nvinces Detective Pitt that she can find the real Mystery bookstore owner Samantha "Sam" Washington's grandmother Nana Jo is incensed that newcomer Maria Romanov has nabbed the lead in the Shady Acres Senior Follies. Nana Jo has played the role every year in their retirement village production and is suspicious how the no-talented woman got the part. When Maria is shot dead in her home, Nana Jo becomes the prime suspect of Detective Pitt. With help from her grandmother's gang of retirees, Sam c0nvinces Detective Pitt that she can find the real killer in a week before the Thanksgiving holiday starts. Sam uses her task of writing her historical mystery set in 1938 England at the Churchill home as a way to sift through the suspects and motives. This was a fun quick read and another strong entry in the Mystery Bookstop series. I received an eARC via Netgalley and Kensington Books with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Edel

    This is book 3 in the “Mystery Bookshop” Series featuring Samantha Washington , her high spirited granny Josephine and Josephine’s close friends . The story begins with Jo being replaced by new resident Maria , and Jo is none too pleased about it , later when Maria is found dead Jo is the first person the law looks to and it’s up to Sam and her elderly friends to find out exactly what’s been going on . I loved the relationship between Sam and Jo , it’s a really close and loving one and they are This is book 3 in the “Mystery Bookshop” Series featuring Samantha Washington , her high spirited granny Josephine and Josephine’s close friends . The story begins with Jo being replaced by new resident Maria , and Jo is none too pleased about it , later when Maria is found dead Jo is the first person the law looks to and it’s up to Sam and her elderly friends to find out exactly what’s been going on . I loved the relationship between Sam and Jo , it’s a really close and loving one and they are fiercely loyal to one another . The side story that ran along with this story , that Sam was writing made this even more enjoyable , it was a lovely added bonus . I had no idea who the bad guy was going to be by the end so it was a very pleasant surprise . I would recommend this to any cosy mystery fans as there is a lot of laugh out loud moments as well as a few that would bring a tear to your eye . I received this book to review from the lovely people over at Netgalley .

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Another solid installment in a cozy series featuring Sam, a bookseller who is also an author. This time out she's investigating who really killed the rotten Maria at the retirement community where her Nana Jo lives because for sure Nana Jo didn't do it! There are the usual twists and red herrings but what makes this special is the romance Sam is writing as well as her relationships, especially with Dawson. There's a love interest here for Sam, a relatively recent widow, and it will be interestin Another solid installment in a cozy series featuring Sam, a bookseller who is also an author. This time out she's investigating who really killed the rotten Maria at the retirement community where her Nana Jo lives because for sure Nana Jo didn't do it! There are the usual twists and red herrings but what makes this special is the romance Sam is writing as well as her relationships, especially with Dawson. There's a love interest here for Sam, a relatively recent widow, and it will be interesting to see how this develops. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Don't worry if you didn't read the earlier books (although you will wish you did because this is so good) - it's fine as a standalone. Looking forward to more!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    This series has such wonderful characters and this installment is just as great. Two murder mysteries for the price of one and trying to solve both gives lots to think about. Looking forward to the next book as mom will be there more and it sound be fun to watch the interaction between Nana Jo, Sam, Jenna, and Mom. Hope all the college kids and the seniors continue to be present. Such a delight to read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Baker

    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.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This is just a charming and great series! I love Nana Jo and her girls and how the whole family is involved in the bookshop and solving the mystery. I'm looking forward to the next one!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lizz Axnick

    These are super charming cozy mysteries with a wonderful cast of characters. I look forward to the next book!

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