Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King


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.

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—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 comments:

Trish Hannon said...

I haven't read any cozy books apart from AC but my goal in 2015 is to read some. This one sounds fun and I like the setting!

Cleo Bannister said...

Loving the new style blog Lauren. This sounds like a really fun cosy mystery especially as it is set in a book club - one for me to look out for :-)

http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

Melliane said...

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.

Erika Sorocco said...

I'm such a sucker for a good cozy - this one sounds like a blast!

Gorgeous new layout, Lauren - it's perfect for the new year!

xx

Carmel B said...

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!

Candace said...

Oh yay! I was thinking this sounded good! I've been enjoying cozy mysteries a lot lately!
Love the new design!

Kindlemom said...

I love the new look!!

I love that this kept you guessing until the end too, that is awesome and doesn't always happen with mysteries anymore.

Krysten Quiles said...

Oh this book sounds delicious!

Keertana said...

I love a good mystery to curl up with this season. So glad you enjoyed this one and I adore your new blog design! :)

Christy @ Love of Books said...

Oh goodie, it actually kept you guessing. I love when a book can do that, because they seem so few now. I really should squeeze a couple cozy mysteries in too.

Jasprit said...

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! :)

Heena Rathore said...

Great review dear!

Vanessa Morgan said...

Happy New Year's Eve. Wishing you all the best.

Cascia Talbert said...

That sounds like an interesting book. Happy New Year!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I enjoy cozy mysteries too and haven't read enough of them. I'm glad that this one kept you guessing. I will have to put it on my cozy wishlist! Brilly review! Happy New Year!

E.J. Stevens said...

I love being surprised by who the murderer is. :)

Happy New Year!

JaimeLovesStuff said...

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!

Aylee said...

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 ^^

Brandi Kosiner said...

I don't do many mysteries but the cozy type does appeal

Montana @ The Book Belles said...

This sounds so interesting! I love mysteries where it's hard to guess who the murderer is.

Your new design is great, too :) I especially like the purple font on your header.

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

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!

Medeia Sharif said...

I love the surprise at the end of a well-written mystery. Great review.

DMS said...

Sounds like a fun book! Cozy mysteries are great- especially during this time of year. :)

Happy New Year!
~Jess