Review: Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King

Posted December 30, 2014 by shooting in Uncategorized / 23 Comments

Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King

Review by Lauren

Source: review copy; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Hazel Rose never dreamed that the murder mystery book group she and her friend Carlene started would stage a real murder.

the normally composed Carlene is unusually angry and rattled one night
during a book group discussion and dies after drinking cyanide-spiked
tea. Despite a suicide note, Hazel is skeptical; Carlene never seemed
suicidal—she was busy making plans for her future. Incidentally, Carlene
was married to Hazel’s ex-husband, and Hazel has always suspected there
might be something more to her past than she let on.

How much
does anyone really know about Carlene Arness? And did she die by her own
hand or someone else’s? Hazel begins a search for the truth that
produces no shortage of motives, as she unearths the past that Carlene
took great pains to hide. And most of those motives belong to the
members of her very own book group…

Review: When I was offered a chance to read Maggie King’s debut novel, I happily accepted since I’ve been wanting to read more cozy mysteries. As I’ve only read a few, I can’t really compare it to any others, but I can say that it was a very enjoyable read!

Hazel Rose is a middle-aged woman who has made her way through a mix of ex-husbands, her last actually making her a widow before they could officially divorce. This might make Hazel a good candidate for murdering her first ex-husband’s current wife, but as Hazel is telling the story, she couldn’t do it, right? Well, if not her, then probably one of the other book group members, right? This includes Carlene (the victim) Sarah, Lucy (not there that night), Trudy (not there that night) Annabel, Helen and her son Art, Kat, and new member on the night of the murder, Linda.

As Hazel decides to investigate the murder, not entirely convinced by the suicide note “Carlene” left behind, she realizes that all the members of her book group have something they could be hiding, and possible motive for wanting to get rid of Carlene. It becomes abundantly clear that Carlene was far different than most people realized, even her own sister, Kat. She lived a different life in the past and could have made a lot of enemies.

One of the things that I love about cozy mysteries is that they tend to have a theme, like food or books. This one, of course, is books, though with the way the book ends, I don’t know how a “book-themed” sequel will happen. I would be happy to learn more about these characters though, especially with so many secrets and interesting tidbits unearthed throughout Hazel’s investigation. 

I wasn’t really sure who the murderer was, as there are many that it could have been. I loved learning new information throughout the book as it kept me turning back and forth between possible suspects. In the end, I was fairly surprised by the culprit. It wasn’t someone I really ever had in mind until Hazel did, so that was exciting! I like being surprised, though cozy mysteries are usually fun even if you do guess.

23 responses to “Review: Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King

  1. I love the style of your blog! I didn"t know about the book and it's been a while since I haven't read a real cozy but I love them! I need to go back to the genre mainly as I have many in my TBR pile.

  2. I was planning on finally giving cozy mysteries a try in 2014, but now the year is only two days away from being finished, and I still haven't managed to squeeze in a single title. *sigh* There's always 2015!

  3. This sounds like a brilliant read, I do like my mystery books especially when I'm unable to guess who the culprit is, I'm glad that you enjoyed this one! 🙂

  4. I love a good cozy mystery. I think I've seen this authors books before. I will definitely pick one up. I love a good surprise and your review makes me want to snag a copy!

  5. A cozy mystery? Oh, I do like the sound of that!! Heh, it's quite amusing to think about trying to deduce which member of your book group is the murderer – maybe I could introduce this book to my book club ^^

  6. I love a good cozy, and I think this one had already caught my eye- a cozy author I follow posted a pic of it- and I'm a huge fan of any books about book clubs. I still haven't read many cozies yet, but it's a genre that I've really grown to like over the last couple of years- I will definitely check this one out!

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.