Hello, Miss Dog. What is your name and your author’s name?
Champion Crooner ’Ol Blue Eyes, One for My Baby is my registered name. That’s what the American Kennel Club uses. However, my “call name” is Baby. A call name, is basically a nickname. My author’s name is Valerie Burns, although sometimes she uses her initials, V.M. Burns.
Tail wags to you, Baby, and your author, too.
What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.
Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder is the first book in the Baker Street Mystery cozy series. This is the first book where I’ve appeared, but it won’t be the last.
I hope not. I have six books so far in my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series, and I hope my author writes another soon although she’s currently tied up with the new Buttercup Bend series.
Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.
Yes, I am in a series. The Baker Street Mystery is a culinary cozy mystery series. Two Parts Murder, One Part Sugar is the first book in the series. I used to live with a wonderful woman named Octavia Baker. She raised me from a puppy. However, when she died, she left her house, her bakery, and me, to her great-niece, Madison. Maddy doesn’t know the first thing about running a bakery or taking care of a 250lb English Mastiff. So, I have to help her. Octavia was a smart woman. She knew that Maddy might try to sell everything and return to her old life. Octavia stipulated that in order to inherit, Maddy couldn’t sell anything for one year. She had to stay in New Bison, run the bakery, and take care of me (although I’m the one who ends up taking care of her). Not long after Maddy arrives in town, the mayor is murdered in the bakery and Maddy’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon. With the help of her new friends (and me, of course), she has to figure out whodunit.
That sounds pawsome.
Are you based on a real dog such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
My author loves dogs, but she doesn’t have an English Mastiff. She has two toy poodles, Kensington (Kenzie) and Chloe. For two small little fluff balls, they’re pretty cool. I think they both have a crush on me, which makes it hard. I can’t show favoritism. But, we all get along well. My author does a lot of research about dogs that she really wants to own (and there are lots of them). She’s got tons of books on dogs and spends a LOT of time surfing the Internet and something called, Instagram, looking at pictures of English Mastiffs. She also has friends that have mastiffs who feed her information that she uses in her books.
My author is a cat person, but she her parents had poodles and German Shepherds when she lived at home.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
My first human, Maddy’s Great Aunt Octavia, used to tell me that without me, she would be lost. I believe her. Now, that Octavia’s gone and I have to look out for Maddy, my paws are full. My role in Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder is vitally important. Trust me, protecting my human is a full-time job. I honestly, don’t know how she survived this long without me.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
I like the times that I spend with Maddy at night when she talks to me and gets my opinion about the people she’s investigating. I also like hanging out at the bakery. Quite a few thumbprint cookies fall on the floor, which is my domain.
Alicia doesn’t talk to me about the murders she’s investigating, but I am quite observant and am always able to lend a paw.
- Are you a talking dog in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
I don’t talk, but my human is able to understand exactly what I mean based on my facial expressions and body language. Sometimes, I have to get a bit more aggressive and bark or show my teeth, but she eventually figures it out. She’s new in New Bison, Michigan, so I’ve had to let her know who the good guys are, and who she should avoid like the plague.
Sounds like you’ve mastered non-verbal communication. So have I, although in my latest stories, I let the readers and my pet co-stars understand my thoughts. I only use non-verbal cues with Alicia and my other human co-stars.
What advice would you give other dog characters?
Remember, it’s up to us to train our humans. My human, Maddy, didn’t know the first thing about taking care of a dog, or cooking, or pretty much anything other than shopping. But, she’s a fast learner. No matter how clueless your human may be, you can’t give up.
Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.
Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder was released on August 30, 2022. My author has another book with her toy poodles, which is part of her Mystery Bookshop Mystery series. The 8th book in that series, Bookclubbed to Death, will release in December 2023.
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
Thanks so much for the interview, Baby, and best tail wags to you and your author. I’m sharing the blog tour for your book below.
Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder (A Baker Street Mystery)
by Valerie Burns
About Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder
Two Parts Sugar, One Part Murder (A Baker Street Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington Cozies (August 30, 2022)
Paperback : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496738225
ISBN-13 : 978-1496738226
Digital ASIN : B09MZTN6YC
In this delectable new cozy mystery series, social media maven Maddy Montgomery’s perfectly ’grammable life has come undone, and she’s #StartingOver in a tiny town with one giant problem—a killer on the loose . . .
When Maddy Montgomery’s groom is a no-show to their livestream wedding, it’s a disaster that no amount of filtering can fix. But a surprise inheritance offers a chance to regroup and rebrand—as long as Maddy is willing to live in her late, great-aunt Octavia’s house in New Bison, Michigan, for a year, running her bakery and caring for a 250-pound English mastiff named Baby.
Maddy doesn’t bake, and her Louboutins aren’t made for walking giant dogs around Lake Michigan, but the locals are friendly and the scenery is beautiful. With help from her aunt’s loyal friends, aka the Baker Street Irregulars, Maddy feels ready to tackle any challenge, including Octavia’s award-winning cake recipes. That is, until New Bison’s mayor is fatally stabbed, and Maddy’s fingerprints are found on the knife . . .
Something strange is going on in New Bison. It seems Aunt Octavia had her suspicions, too. But Maddy’s going to need a whole lot more than a trending hashtag to save her reputation—and her life.
About Valerie Burns
Valerie (V. M.) Burns is the author of the Mystery Bookshop Mystery series. Her first book, The Plot is Murder, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Debut Novel. She is the author of the Dog Club Mystery Series, the RJ Franklin Mysteries, a three-time finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and an Edgar Award-nominated short story. Her newest series, Baker Street Mysteries, will release later this year, and her Pet Detective Mystery series will release in 2023. Valerie is on the board of Sisters in Crime and the Southeastern Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. She is also a member of Dog Writers of America, Crime Writers of Color, and International Thriller Writers. She is a manager for a Fortune 100 company and a mentor in the Writing Popular Fiction Program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Born and raised in northwestern Indiana, Valerie currently lives in the southeastern United States with her two poodles. Readers can visit her website at vmburns.com.
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