Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Puppy Who Knew Too Much by V.M. Burns | Blog Tour with Guest Post and Giveaway

The Blurb

Lilly Echosby and her toy poodle Aggie find a fresh start in Chattanooga, Tennessee, spoiled by the scent of murder . . .

Having solved the shooting death of her cheating husband, Lilly's left behind the drama of Lighthouse Dunes, Indiana, to start over in the hometown of her best friend, Scarlett "Dixie" Jefferson. As she gets settled in her new rented house, Lilly gives Aggie, short for Agatha Christie, her own fresh start by enrolling her in the Eastern Tennessee Dog Club, where Dixie is a trainer.

But drama seems to hound Lilly like a persistent stray. Her cranky new neighbor appears unfamiliar with Southern hospitality and complains that Aggie barks too much and digs up his prized tulips. But what the poodle actually unearths is the buried body of a mysterious man who claimed ownership of the lost golden retriever Lilly recently rescued. Now it's up to Lilly and Dixie to try to muzzle another murderer.

The Puppy Who Knew Too Much by V. M. Burns
Series: A Dog Club Mystery, #2
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Paperback: 190 pages

ISBN-10: 1516107918
ISBN-13: 978-1516107919
Kindle ASIN: B07D233MVK
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The Guest Post

The Joy of the Amateur Sleuth

One of the key components of cozy mysteries is the use of the “amateur sleuth.” Amateur sleuths are individuals, usually female, who are not paid to solve crimes. They’re not trained members of law enforcement, nor are they highly skilled. Amateur sleuths are the average person just like you and me. However, critics of the genre often disparage the use of amateurs to solve crime stating that it’s “unrealistic.” However, to categorize cozies as unrealistic because of the use of the amateur sleuth is, in my opinion, missing the point and the beauty of the amateur in these tales.

One of my favorite cozy mystery sleuths is Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Miss Marple is an elderly spinster who lives in the village of St. Mary Mead in England. Miss Marple is a nosy busybody who sees everything that goes on in her village. Her ability to solve mysteries centers around the fact that she has lived her entire life in a small village where she has observed human nature up close and personal. When introduced to someone new, Miss Marple observes and then associates that person with someone in her village with a similar nature. This isn’t unusual. We’ve all met someone who reminded us of someone else, either by the way they look or the way they behave. There’s nothing “unrealistic” in that. To quote a verse from the Bible, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Miss Marple takes that sentiment and runs with it.

From an author’s perspective, an amateur sleuth provides a vast opportunity for intrigue and mischief. Amateur sleuths are not professionals and rarely get from beginning to end without mistakes. In fact, it would be unrealistic if an amateur behaved perfectly with no missteps. Unlike a policeman, an amateur sleuth isn’t bound by rules of law. They boldly go down paths where a trained professional would never tread. Their ignorance usually places the amateur in some very sticky situations. However, it’s those situations which can be the most entertaining part of the story.

Amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries represent average people who are capable of extraordinary feats. Even without extensive training or specialized skills, the average person is able to use their wits to solve mysteries. Even though mistakes will happen, those mistakes don’t have to be show stoppers. Just as your favorite amateur sleuth is able to wiggle out of tight situations, so can we all. If Miss Marple can follow the clues and figure out whodunit, then each one of us can too.

The Author

About V.M. Burns

V.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. 

Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder, was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at

Find Valerie on the web at

The Giveaway

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Follow the tour, to read other Guest Posts, plus interviews and reviews.


February 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

February 11 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

February 12 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST

February 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

February 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

February 14 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

February 15 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

February 15 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – GUEST POST

February 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 18 – Carla Loves to Read – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW


February 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

February 20 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST

February 20 – I'm All About Books - SPOTLIGHT


February 21 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

February 22 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 22 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

February 23 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

February 24 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW

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