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


Publisher: Pocket Books

Publication Date: December 30, 2014

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

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

Nevertheless, on the night when the normally composed Carlene seems unusually angry and rattled, during group discussion she dies after drinking cyanide-spiked tea. Despite a suicide note, Hazel is skeptical; Carlene never seemed suicidal--why else would she make all those 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 a past that Carlene took great pains to hide. And most of those motives belong to the members of her very own book group... 

Featuring memorable characters and a wicked sense of humor, "Murder at the Book Group" shows the darker side of a book club where reading isn't about pleasure--it's about payback.

Review: MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP features Hazel Rose, who along with her friend Carlene Arness started a murder mystery book group. However, Hazel had no way of knowing their latest meeting would end in death. Carlene seemed a bit off during the meeting, but when she dies of an apparent suicide, Hazel’s not convinced she killed herself. Hazel begins an amateur investigation into Carlene’s death and is shocked by the secrets she uncovers. Especially as Carlene is married to, yet currently separated from, Hazel’s ex-husband.

MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP seemed to get more and more complicated and overpopulated with suspects as I kept reading. I wasn’t excited about learning whodunit by the time I got to that point in the book. It seemed like none of the book group members were any kind of friend to each other as they knew next to nothing about their so-called friends. I never really got a good picture of Hazel and as she is the narrator it was hard to get attached to her or the story. From the beginning, I didn’t care for or about Carlene. Yes, it was a terrible thing her dying from cyanide poisoning, but she wasn’t a sympathetic character in the least. There were so many secrets and lies going on in MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP, it was hard to keep track of everything. I wanted to like MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP, but unfortunately it wasn’t my cup of tea.

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