A Tourist’s Guide to Murder – VM Burns

“‘Attention.’ I clinked my knife against my glass.”

This is the sixth book in the Mystery Bookshop series, following bookshop owner and wannabe mystery writer, Sam Washington, as she repeatedly stumbles across murders – and reasons to investigate!

This time, and to shake the series up a little, I imagine, she’s off to London and a crime writing tour of England. It stretched my belief a little that she takes the whole crime busting squad of her grandmother and other elderly friends, to be honest – somehow, in all the fiction, that was the bit that didn’t work for me! Mind you, much as I like the group of ‘silver sleuths’, I can imagine other readers might have been more upset if they’d been excluded.

As the group meets other tour attendees and stumbles across some friction on the tour company owners side, it isn’t too long before a body or two turns up – well, it is a (cosy) mystery!

I like this series, I really do, but this wasn’t my favourite of the set. I was looking forward to some of the UK-based travels, based around famous crime authors, but it didn’t feel like more than a mention of names and places, overall, and I missed a better sense of ‘foreignness’ (for the characters, at least). The crime(s) had a nice nod towards a bit of a ‘theme’ but again, felt too underplayed, like a brief mention and not enough detail to bring it to any kind of life.

Sam’s own writing forms a book within the book, and the reason she’s off to England to do research in the first place. This is a nice idea, never the strongest of execution throughout the series, but again this time it felt a little less well put together than previous stories – a few too many elements adding to a jumble, rather than increasing the mystery.

Still, overall it was a light and easy read, fun enough and a great palate cleanse, which is generally what I’m after from cosy mysteries.

NetGalley eARC: 336 pages / 25 chapters
First published: 26th January 2021
Series: Mystery Bookshop book 6
Read from 16th-21st January 2021

My rating: 5/10

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