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Bookstore owner and mystery writer Samantha Washington comes to the aid of the cop who once arrested her own grandmother . . .
Sam and Nana Jo are back in sleepy North Harbor, Michigan, where Sam is eagerly awaiting the publication of her first book. In search of more immediate excitement, Nana Jo hits the casino with her fellow Shady Acres Retirement Village gal pals—but they get more than they bargained for when they witness Detective Bradley Pitt decking mayoral candidate John Cloverton.
As Sam well knows, mystery novels are full of brilliant detectives, genius sleuths, and hero cops. Detective Bradley Pitt—aka “Stinky Pitt”—is another story. In the past, the dull-witted detective has mistakenly accused members of Sam’s family for crimes they didn’t commit. Now, it’s his turn: when Cloverton turns up dead, he’s arrested. With his predilection for polyester, Pitt has been wanted by the fashion police for years, but Nana Jo knows her former elementary school math student would never commit murder—it doesn’t add up. Somebody’s framed the flatfoot to take a fall, and Sam and Nana Jo must step in to restore the reputation and good name of Detective Pitt.
Following Your Dreams
Hi, my name is Samantha Washington. After years of dreaming about opening a mystery bookshop, I finally did it. I quit my job and opened Market Street Mysteries. It was scary to give up the security of a regular, steady paycheck as a high school English teacher, but I’m glad I did. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. My late husband, Leon, and I wasted so much time waiting to hit the lottery, for the planets to align, and our ship to come in. We dreamed of quitting our jobs and opening a bookshop that specialized in mysteries for more years that I can count. It wasn’t until Leon died that I realized, life is too short NOT to follow your dreams. That’s when I took a leap of faith. I quit my job, sold our house, and bought the building that we’d always dreamed about. I converted the upstairs into a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment and opened the mystery bookstore.
Opening a mystery bookshop was only one of my dreams. I also dreamed about writing British historic cozy mysteries. After Leon’s death, I needed something to fill the lonely nights, so I finally stopped dreaming and started writing. My cozy mystery is set in England in 1938, right before the start of World War II. I’ve always loved history and there were so many interesting characters that inspired and intrigued me from that period. From Winston Churchill to Wallis Simpson, I’ve enjoyed learning about everything from Bletchley Park to Virginia Hall, the one-legged American spy who outwitted the Nazis. Even more exciting has been weaving these characters into my fictional mysteries. In KILLER WORDS, the 7th book in the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series, I include details about Joseph Kennedy while he was ambassador to Great Britain and his daughter, Kathleen ‘Kick’ Kennedy. Here were two more people who followed their dreams. Joseph Kennedy dreamed of a career on the political stage, which came true for his sons and descendants. While Kick gave up everything to follow her dream to marry the man she loved, William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington.
Thankfully, most people won’t have to make the same sacrifices as Kick Kennedy, who gave up her faith, and was willing to face isolation from her family in order to follow her dreams. However, it’s rarely easy and requires a great deal of courage. My late husband, used to repeat a quote from Henry Ford,
“If you always do
what you’ve always done,
You will always get
What you’ve always Got.”
The Mystery Bookshop Mystery series includes two mysteries to solve in every book. Check out the series and read the mystery that I’m faced with solving, along with the British historic cozy mystery that I’m writing. I hope that when you’re done, you’ll be inspired to follow a dream or two of your own.
About the Author
V.M. Burns was born and raised in the Midwestern United States. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Dog Writers Association of America, Thriller Writers International, is on the national board for Sisters in Crime. She currently resides in the warmer area of the U.S. with her two poodles. Readers can visit her website at http://www.vmburns.com
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