Review: Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King

Review: Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King
Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King

Published by Dreamscape Media, LLC on January 20, 2015
Series: Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

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

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...

A 50-something childless heroine who’s a multiple divorcee and a cast of characters that actually sound and act like real people I know? Are you sure this is a cozy mystery? Sign me up!

It’s all fun and games at the book group until someone drops dead. Carlene’s tea was poisoned with cyanide and a suicide note is found, but Hazel Rose is suspicious. Something’s not adding up with Carlene’s sudden demise. With a full cast of characters and potential suspects, Hazel finds herself digging deeper and deeper into the secrets surrounding Carlene’s past, as well as the secrets each book group member is hiding as well.

Something I’ve noticed when talking about cozies with people who don’t normally read them is that the genre can be perceived as too quaint or hokey. While some books certainly fit that description, Murder at the Book Group definitely isn’t one of them. It appealed to me right away because the characters talk like people I know (and myself!), which means the dialogue gets rather sweary at times. Some readers might not go for that, but for me, what a breath of fresh air. 

The reveal came as a complete surprise to me, making this a fun romp of a read. Virginia locals will also appreciate the Richmond setting, where the author lives. I’m looking forward to reading about Hazel Rose’s next adventure, and recommend this for cozy readers who love a sassy heroine.

Rating: 5 stars


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