A Tourist’s Guide To Murder (Mystery Bookshop Book 6)
Sit, Stay, Slay (Dog Club Mystery Book 5)
Sit, Stay, Slay and A Tourist’s Guide To Murder by V. M. Burns are solid tales of intrigue. With each book, these stories just get better and better.
Sit, Stay, Slay is the last book in the series for now. Readers will miss the characters, humor, and mysterious plot, but at least they will get a happy ending. The book begins with a local mock trial dog show attended by those in Scarlet “Dixie” Jefferson’s obedience class. Dixie has known the judge, Naomi Keller, since high school, and they have had difficulties over the years. As Dixie’s class members are putting their dogs through the trials, they are all disqualified by bad calls. When Dixie puts her Standard Poodle through her demonstration, Keller deliberately steps on the Poodle’s front paw. Dixie has had enough, and with a right hook, she floors Keller. Then as the event is winding down, the lifeless body of Keller is found strangled and Dixie becomes the number one suspect. With the help of the other dog club members, Lilly must find the real killer to clear her friend’s name.
A Tourist’s Guide To Murder has Samantha along with Nana Jo and her friends from the Shady Acres Retirement Village (Irma, Ruby Mae and Dorothy) heading to London for a Mystery tour which sounds fascinating, considering Samantha also writes mysteries. After the tour owner dies, the tour guide still insists that everyone should “keep calm and carry on.” But once a tourist on the trip also dies under mysterious circumstances, the police are called in to solve the murders. Now it’s up to Sam and the Shady Acres ladies to mix and mingle among their fellow mystery lovers, find a motive, and turn up a murderer.
Readers of Burns are never disappointed. Considering how terrible 2020 has been these are great escape books.
Elise Cooper: How would you describe Dixie in Sit, Stay, Slay?
V. M. Burns: Everyone came to a happy ending. She is a lot of fun, energetic, and a passion for dogs. No one could mess with her dogs.
EC: What about the research?
VMB: I used to belong to the Echo Dog Club. I learned about people who cared about their animals and saw them as family members. I like featuring different dog breeds in the Dog Club books. Since poodles are my breed there will always be poodles. But I also like to feature other dogs like border collies and greyhounds. I want to help people to make sure they learn about a particular breed and if that dog will fit in their lifestyle.
EC: Are you afraid of mountains?
VMB: There is a real Lookout Mountain, and I cannot drive up it. I moved from the Midwest to East Tennessee and never knew I had a problem with heights until I moved here. There are a lot of mountains. I have put a lot of my own fears in the main character, Lilly.
EC: What about what was written with the Southern culture?
VMB: My mom is from Alabama and my dad from West Tennessee. I found out after I moved there are unique differences depending on the region. I learned that people make casseroles when there is a death in someone’s family. They start a food train and people sign up for a particular day they will bring the food over. It is very thoughtful.
EC: In A Tourist’s Guide To Murder why London?
VMB: I have been to England a couple of times. I have put my desire to go back to England and tour all the special spots for mystery lovers into this book. I did use the real mystery tours itinerary in the books and some real places like Agatha Christie’s house.
EC: There is a quote about police in the book?
VMB: You must be referring to this one, “It requires so much of your time with so little thanks and money… Long hours, crappy work with little pay.” I talked to former police officers. Also, in my previous job my boss was a director working with young people and her husband is a police officer. They have different views of young people. Remember, police are the first people called to violent events. Similar to every other profession police have good and bad people.
EC: What about your next book?
VMB: It is titled Killer Words and is part of the Mystery Bookshop series, out in December 2021. Detective Stinky Pitts is accused of murder. The main characters try to help him and find the real killer.