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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 4 star ratings
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    Second A Mystery Bookshop Mystery!

    Read Herring Hunt by V.M. Burns is the second installment in A Mystery Bookshop Mystery series. Samantha “Sam” Washington owns Market Street Mysteries in North Harbor, Michigan. Dawson Alexander works (and lives) at the shop as well as bakes delights for their customers. Dawson is also MISU (Michigan Southwest University) star quarterback. On Monday, Dawson’s ex-girlfriend, Melody Hardwick is found dead by a jogger and Dawson is the police’s primes suspect. Sam calls her sister and criminal defense lawyer, Jenna to defend Dawson. Jenna tells all of them (with a special look at Nana Jo) to not speak with the press. Unfortunately, Dawson’s wayward father, Alex did not get the message. Dawson is suspended from school and the football team pending the outcome of the case. Sam, Nana Jo and the Sleuthing Seniors dig up dirt on Melody to see who could have wished her harm. They need to clear Dawson’s name before the next big game or his future will be over before it begins. Read Herring Hunt can be a read alone. All the information a reader needs is included. The case from The Plot is Murder is discussed three times and the background on the main characters is included. Read Herring Hunt is an easy to read cozy mystery. I like that the main story has a nice steady pace and an active murder investigation. I felt that Nana Jo overwhelmed the main character, Sam. Nana Jo has a lively personality, a variety of friends and a busy social life. Sam comes across as rather bland (she is also a blabbermouth). Sam is busy working on her second British cozy mystery and the chapters from it are included in the book (alternating chapters). I do not like that the author included the book Sam is writing into the story. It does not enhance the main story and it felt like filler. It also takes a reader out of the story. I wish the author had focused on improving her main story which could have used further development. I found it lacking in depth and complexity. All readers should be able to solve the murder mystery. One detail gives away the killer’s identity (especially fans of Agatha Christie). I do appreciate that the investigation was hands-on. The Sleuthing Seniors and their connections are helpful in ferreting out details that aid in narrowing down their suspect list and pointing them in the direction of the evil doer. I could have done without the cliché nasty detective with the unfortunate nickname of Stinky Pitt (courtesy of Nana Jo). While A Mystery Bookshop Mystery series is not the right fit for me, I suggest you get a sample and see if it works for you. We all have different reading tastes!
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    Great read, great double header!

    Just like its predecessor, Read Herring Hunt is a winner on all levels. As a cozy mystery it swallows me with wonderful writing, pulls me into the growing family of wonderful characters, and holds me with a great mystery plot. As a mystery is keeps me on the edge of my seat because those characters mean so much and because the complex plot keeps me guessing; Read Herring Hunt provides the perfect balance of what I look for in a mystery. One of the unique and delightful elements of this book is the fact that the main characters writes a 1939 cozy mystery throughout the story which she shares with us. After I read The Plot is Murder, I decided that reading the two novels separately fit my reading style best so I marked each part of the historical novel and went back through to read it. It was another complex cozy mystery focusing on a time period when the world was on edge and people throughout Europe had to be aware of dangers of espionage in their every day lives. Two winners for the price of one!!! I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of this book via NetGalley and loved it enough that reviewing it was a must. I have to let my friends know that I have a new MUST READ author in V. M. Burns!

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