Hello book lovers, welcome back! As usual, today’s #TalkTuesday interview is also our #TeaserTuesday, Book Beginnings and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros! Enjoy!
Paw and Order by V. M. Burns is a fun cozy mystery. She has found her rhythm with engaging characters and enthralling plots. The humans and four-legged animals only enhance the story.
The story has Lilly Echosby convincing an eccentric poodle-loving billionaire Archibald Lowry to sponsor a fundraiser for the Eastern Tennessee Poodle Rescue. Unfortunately, he is murdered at the event, leaving his puppy poodle an orphan. Lilly’s best friend Scarlett “Dixie” Jefferson, a dog trainer and dog show judge, who lives with her husband, Beau, and two champion standard poodles, convinces Lilly to foster the puppy. Her own beloved poodle, Aggie, named after Agatha Christie, gets along well with the new puppy, renamed Rex after the mystery author Rex Stout. Falling in love with the puppy, Lilly decides to adopt it. As she welcomes Rex into her home, there are attempted poodle-nappings that were foiled. Lilly begins to wonder if the attempts to steal Rex have anything to do with the deaths that have recently occurred. Lilly, Dixie, and the members of Dixie’s dog club will put their heads together to help the police with their investigation. This includes her boyfriend Red, her daughter Stephanie, and her daughter’s boyfriend Joe Harrison, a K-9 handler for the Lighthouse Dunes Indiana police force.
The characters are multidimensional and readers learn a bit more about them in each book. The plot is fun and engaging with the added bonus describing specific breeds.
Elise Cooper: Is there any of you in the story?
V.M. Burns: A lot of what happened throughout the series has happened to me. Lilly moves to Tennessee because I moved there. She gets another dog because I got another dog. I was going to get a silver Toy Poodle and to name him Rex, as Lilly did in the story. Instead, I fell in love with another Toy Poodle that I named Chloe. Another similarity, Lilly and I both are buying a house we were renting. The ideas for this book came from my normal life. In both our lives dogs play such an important role.
EC: You always seem to highlight a different breed along with poodles in each book?
VMB: My editor thought it would be nice for me to feature a different breed in every book. I thought how great it would be to have all these dog breeds and to live vicariously with them instead of owning all those breeds. I have poodles myself; yet, would love to own so many breeds. People should be aware that different breeds have different characteristics. It is important to get a dog breed that fits someone’s life style. Doing the research is important.
EC: In this book the featured breed is border collies?
VMB: They could win everything in dog competitions. They are driven to work, agile, smart, and athletic. I would love to have a border collie. But anyone who wants one should understand, as I say in the book, that they need a job. They herd all the time. Anyone who owns one needs to have space and a job for them to do. This can include playing with children.
EC: Any dog owner can relate to how Lilly speaks with dogs?
VMB: I talk to my dogs. A lot of the book dialogue are conversations I have had with my dogs. For example, ‘what were you thinking?’ I truly believe they understand and know certain language skills, including certain words they come to understand on their own.
EC: You also put useful information about owning a dog in the story?
VMB: I had a friend whose dog got away. I realized it could be hard to find a dog even if they are microchipped. A lost dog has to be taken to a place that can find the microchip. By having a tracking device, the dog can easily be found. Another tidbit is to get a harness versus a collar for a leash. I was told to get my oldest dog, Cash, now eighteen, a harness so there would be no pulling on his throat and neck. I thought if it is good enough for him it is good to have for all my dogs.
EC: You give a shout out to mystery author Rex Stout by naming the puppy Rex?
VMB: He wrote the “Nero Wolfe series.” I am a big Agatha Christie fan, which is why Lilly’s poodle is named Aggie, after Agatha Christie, but my second favorite author is Rex Stout. The main character is a genius who is a recluse living in his brownstone New York place. He is a private detective. But he doesn’t leave his home so he has an assistant, Archie Goodwin, that does all the leg work.
EC: In this story you also explain Lilly’s choice to be a stay at home mom?
VMB: I like to write in all my books how life is about choices. Lilly decided to start a family and be at home for her children. Everyone’s life is different and that allows people to make choices. No one should be condemned or looked down upon for the choices they make. It has to be the right choice for a given situation.
EC: Can you give a shout out about your next books?
VMB: Out in December will be Sit, Stay, and Slay. The featured dog breed is a Greyhound. Lilly will be competing in her first Obedience Competition. To get ready for it there is a mock competition where a judge is murdered. Her best friend Dixie is accused. I bring everyone together to clear Dixie’s name including Lilly’s two children.
The “Mystery Bookshop Series” is titled A Tourist’s Guide To Murder. It comes out in January 2021. The main character Samantha along with her grandmother and her grandmother’s retirement village friends go on a trip to London England for the Peabody Mystery Lovers Tour. After someone is found dead they try to find a motive.
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
I’m also taking part in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros
Every Tuesday Socrates Book Reviews now hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where readers share the first paragraph of a book that they are reading or plan to read soon.
Looking forward to visiting your blogs and seeing what your Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, are this week!
Luv Sassy x
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