Revisiting V. M. Burns In the Doghouse

Dear Friends,

Revisiting V. M. Burns’ In the Doghouse

Several months ago, I shared the below guest newsletter from author V. M. Burns, and I’m honored to share it once again.

Ms. Burns and I have something in common; we both wrote novels titled In the Doghouse. Her book is a cozy mystery and part of her Dog Club mystery series. My novel is about a couple’s breakup from their dog’s point of view.

I learned about V. M. while I was researching books with titles that included “in the doghouse.” Dozens came up, including many children’s books, an erotica romance, and the below.

In the Doghouse by V. M. Burns

I immediately did two things:

  1. I ordered V. M. Burn’s first book in the A Dog Club Mystery series. (I give it 5 Bow-Wows!)
  2. I contacted the author and asked her to write a guest blog.


I’m very excited to share author V. M. Burn’s guest blog now.

And now, introducing Author V. M. Burns

Thanks to Teri for inviting me to guest blog to support her newest book, In the Doghouse. Teri and I both have books with the same title. Her book is women’s fiction about a broken relationship told from the dog’s perspective. My book is a cozy mystery involving lots of dogs and a murder. However, similar to Teri’s book, there is a broken relationship. So, it looks like we have quite a bit in common.

First, let me introduce myself. My name is V. M. (Valerie) Burns. I write cozy mysteries and have three series: Mystery Bookshop mystery series, Dog Club mystery series, and RJ Franklin Mystery series. I love dogs (especially poodles), and they are featured in all of my books. In fact, if you look at the covers for my mystery bookshop series, the dogs on the covers are my dogs, Coco and Cash (Snickers and Oreo, in the books).

Second, I have a confession. I hate coming up with titles for my books. In fact, I’m really bad at titles. Apart from the first two books in my Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series, my editor has renamed all of the books in the series. In my Dog Club Mystery Series, he renamed each and every book. We’re at the point now, where I put a title on the manuscript (primarily because my agent won’t let me send them without titles), and my editor comes up with new titles. Since I’m in confession mode, I might as well go all the way and say, I’m equally bad at cover ideas. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with a great editor and a fantastic illustrator who has created titles and covers that are much more appealing than anything I could imagine.

I will also admit that when my editor came up with, In the Doghouse, for the first book in my Dog Club Mystery Series, I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. Over time, it’s grown on me, and now I see his vision. However, in the beginning, I wondered where that title even came from. I tend to be very literal, and the titles I thought of were taken directly from the plot of the book. “In the Doghouse” implies being in trouble for something. Which, once I stopped to think about it, pretty much sums up most murder mysteries. In the first book in the series, Lilly Echosby’s husband, Albert, has tossed her aside for a younger woman—a much younger woman. Lilly doesn’t take getting dumped lying down and nearly strangles Albert. When Albert is later murdered, the police think she’s the most likely suspect. It’s up to her to find the real killer. I’d say Lilly was definitely, “in the dog house.”

In Teri’s book, Skip is a dog sharing his owner’s grief over the end of her relationship with John. Interestingly, the story is told from Skip’s perspective and starts with Skip coping with Lucy’s broken heart and tears. In my cozy mystery, Lilly encounters a wise woman on a train who sees Lilly’s tears and helps her realize she’s been holding onto something that died a long time ago. She helps Lilly realize that life is too short to be unhappy, which gives her the courage to go in search of her “happy place.” Lilly’s search for happiness leads to her adoption of a small toy poodle. She names the dog after her favorite mystery writer, Agatha Christie (who just happens to be my favorite mystery writer). Agatha, Aggie for short, is able to touch a part of Lilly’s heart, and the two develop a lifesaving bond. I won’t give away spoilers for either story, so if you want to know if Lucy and Lilly find their happy place, you’ll have to read the books.

In the Doghouse by V. M. Burns is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

In the Doghouse by Teri Case is available in hardback, paperback, audiobook, and ebook.

V. M. Burns

Back to Teri . . .

I am honored to reshare Ms. Burns’ letter and to have the chance to tell you how much I have enjoyed the Dog Club mystery series (and am waiting for the next to come out). I’ve since moved on to the Mystery Bookshop series, which has been an entertaining escape between life-changing marches, protests, and masks.

Please join me in supporting author V. M. Burns by buying her book(s) and writing a review.

Until next time, thanks for being you. Change is in the air!


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