Monday, April 6, 2020


My name is Samantha Washington and I’ve loved murder mysteries for as long as I can remember. I think my love affair started when I was a kid and my Nana Jo gave me my first Encyclopedia Brown book. From there, I moved on to Nancy Drew and found a kindred spirit in Agatha Christie. Even after all these years, I still remember the moment I got to the “Big Reveal” in The Murder of Roger Akroyd. The ending blew my mind and I was captivated forever.

I even met my husband, Leon, in the mystery section of a bookstore. Leon preferred darker P.I., noir novels. He used to joke that he liked his mysteries the same way he liked his coffee, dark and gritty. While I prefer my mysteries lighter and a lot cozier. Our combined love of the genres (and a shortage of bookstores in North Harbor, Michigan) planted the desire to own a bookstore that specialized in mysteries. We dreamed of carrying every genre and sub-genre of mystery old and new. There’s nothing worse than finishing the fourth book in a series and having to wait to get the next one. Or, looking for a book in a newly discovered older series only to discover your local bookstore doesn’t carry that series anymore. Leon and I would solve that problem by carrying older mysteries as well as newer ones. Bookstores turn their inventory often to make a profit, but we wanted to cater to people and not to the bottom-line.

Owning a bookshop, especially one that only carried mysteries, was a dream. I was a high school English teacher and Leon was a cook. We spent most of our married life living from one paycheck to the next, without a lot of excess capital for luxuries like buying buildings, but Leon’s unexpected death changed everything. Instead of waiting until my ship came in and I hit the lottery before I pursued my dream, I realized that life is short—sometimes, too short. So, I quit my job, sold our house and bought the building we often walked by and wondered, What if? Now, I own my own building and my own mystery bookshop, Market Street Mysteries.

Owning my own mystery bookshop has been a dream come true. Not only do I get access to an endless supply of mysteries, but I get to share my love of mysteries with others. Even though, Leon isn't here to see our dream become a reality, I've been blessed to share my dream with my grandmother, Nana Jo, and my nephews, Zaq and Christopher who often help out. I've even gotten to make new new friends, like my assistant, Dawson Alexander, who makes all of the delicious baked goods for the bookshop.

If you want to read more about me and my mystery bookshop, check out the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series by V. M. Burns. 


Amateur sleuth Samantha Washington's shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .

After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride. It's a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver's seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions...

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