A Whale of a Murder is a fun cozy mystery that held my interest throughout as I tried to figure out whodunnit alongside Venus, Sherrie, and the police. 


About The Book

Venus Bixby: Book 1
Publication Date: April 23, 2024

First in the Venus Bixby Mystery series from award-winning author Valerie Taylor.

Sea breezes and fireworks fill the air in cozy Chatham Crossing, the peaceful and historic whaling town situated between Providence and Cape Cod.

Venus Bixby, owner of the forever popular music store Oldies & Goodies, is counting on the festivities over the Fourth of July weekend to propel her to a position on the prestigious Town Committee.

After years of living in the shadow of her late husband, Venus will finally be the center of attention this holiday weekend: starting with her fiftieth birthday celebration and ending as the parade’s Grand Marshal.

Faster than a cookie crumbles, her dream collapses on the morning of her party when she trips over orange platform shoes in the gardens of the Sofia Silva Whaling Museum and breaks her thumb. When it’s discovered the shoes are attached to the body of the manager of the museum’s gift shop, Venus becomes both a suspect and a sleuth in Chatham Crossing’s first murder in decades.

Given this unexpected turn of events, will Venus ever sing and dance at her birthday party, or will her fractured thumb end up in handcuffs?

Includes cookie recipes and playlist!

The Review

A Whale of a Murder by Valerie Taylor is the first book in the Venus Bixby Mystery series, and I look forward to returning to Cape Cod over and over again. Getting to know Venus, as well as the other characters, was fun and provided some laugh-out-loud moments. The characters all have so many facets to them and they feed off each other but none more than Venus and her visiting twin sister, Sherrie. 

What’s a cozy mystery without an amateur sleuth or two helping the local police, whether they want assistance or not? There were many stories told, along with murders and other crimes committed. The suspect list keeps growing, with Venus and Sherrie doing much legwork to gather clues and interview some of those on their list. The story had a good flow with a lot of twists and turns. The suspect list grows larger and shrinks as people are added and taken off the list of those who could be found guilty. But is there only one guilty party or more?

I liked the interactions between the characters and the descriptions of the businesses, the Whaling Museum, the town, the parade, and especially the cookies. Music is woven throughout, especially oldies, giving off a good vibe. The solving of the crime as the clues are put together and red herrings thrown out was nicely portrayed when the whodunnit is revealed. 

By the end of the book, there is closure and a festive air. I enjoyed reading the recipes and looking over the playlist at the back of the book. I can’t wait to find out what Venus and the others get involved in next.

A Whale of a Murder is a fun cozy mystery that held my interest throughout as I tried to figure out whodunnit alongside Venus, Sherrie, and the police. 

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About The AuthorValerie Taylor tried to retire in 2016. But life had other ideas. After enjoying some of the best years of her life in Boston and Seattle, she moved back home to Connecticut and embarked on a second career as an author. Her first romantic comedy trilogy What’s Not SaidWhat’s Not True, and  What’s Not Lost won multiple awards. Encouraged by her readers, she created a new cozy mystery series, spinning one of the secondary characters in What’s Not LOST into the role of amateur sleuth in  A Whale of a Murder: A Venus Bixby Mystery. When she’s not writing or reading, Valerie enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator.


Blog Tour Schedule

July 8 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

July 8 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

July 9 – Mystery, Thrillers, and Suspense – SPOTLIGHT

July 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

July 10 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

July 11 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

July 12 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

July 13 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 13 – Reading Is My SuperPower – AUTHOR GUEST POST

July 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 15 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

July 16 – Baroness Book Trove – SPOTLIGHT

July 16 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 17 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – AUTHOR GUEST POST

July 17 – Books, Ramblings, and Tea – SPOTLIGHT

July 18 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT


July 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – AUTHOR GUEST POST

July 20 – Sarah Can’t Stop Reading Books – REVIEW

July 21 – Boys’ Mom Reads! – REVIEW


JoAnne Weiss, nee Montalbano, was born and raised in NYC until moving to CT with her family when she was 16 and she's never left. Married for 41 years with one grown son, she works in an elementary school office where she's been since it opened in 2003. Prior to that, she was an accountant in several corporations before becoming a stay at home mom for 12 years. JoAnne enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and extended family as well as with friends. She enjoys cooking and rarely uses a recipe the way it was intended but instead uses them and cooking shows to give her new ideas and suggestions. JoAnne has a huge bucket list of places she'd like to visit but has been lucky enough to travel to England, Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and many states in the U.S. including Hawaii, California, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine among others. Some of JoAnne's favorite genres include contemporary romance, chick-lit, romantic suspense, and historical romances including regency and those set in the west. JoAnne is on several author's street teams and enjoys interacting with many of them on Facebook as well as reading their newsletters. She has been lucky enough to meet some of her favorite authors among them Susan Mallery, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Meg Tilly, Beatriz Williams, and Marie Bostwick. JoAnne took a road trip with her sister in the fall of 2019 and visited Nora Roberts' bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland for an authors' signing. She hopes to do more of this in the future. JoAnne leaves reviews for all books she reads on Goodreads and her reviews can be found at JoAnne currently reviews for - and which is on hiatus. Previously she reviewed for which has since closed. Payment is in the form of receiving free books to read and review. Her mantra is too many books and not enough time!


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A Whale of a Murder is a fun cozy mystery that held my interest throughout as I tried to figure out whodunnit alongside Venus, Sherrie, and the police. 4-STAR REVIEW: A WHALE OF A MURDER by Valerie Taylor