- Series: Book Group Mysteries
- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books (December 30, 2014)
- ISBN: 9781476762463
- Source: Publisher
Hazel Rose and her friend Carlene formed Murder on Tour, a mystery book group, to discuss books set in a specific geographic area. It was never their intent to form their own investigation, but when Carlene is found dead she must put on her detective hat and investigate the members of their book club. Initially ruled a suicide by ingesting cyanide, no one who really knew Carlene believed she could have killed herself. Yet as Hazel’s investigation continues, she learns there was an awful lot about Carlene that she didn’t know…including her propensity for promiscuous behavior.
Hazel and Carlene’s relationship was always an interesting one (Carlene is married to Hazel’s ex-husband, after all) yet there is clearly something from Carlene’s past she was hiding. Cross-country moves, name changes…there was something she was trying to hide. Hazel must get to the bottom of Carlene’s history. She quickly realizes that everyone close to Carlene had a motive to kill her (even herself if you get right down to it!). Was her killer a member of their book group? Are all of their lives at risk?
Murder at the Book Group is certainly one of the heavier (and sexier) cozy mysteries I have read. Set in Richmond, VA, I particularly thrilled to recognize settings and characters I am quite fond of. Yet as I eluded to, this cozie packed more of a punch than others in this niche. At 400 pages and a vast cast of quirky characters, there is a lot of substance to this cozie. Certainly not a detriment to the enjoyment of this read, yet certainly a fact I feel necessary to point out to potential readers!
Perhaps it was because of this heaviness and the multitude of characters that I didn’t feel connected at all to the characters. Throughout the novel we do learn a bit about Hazel and her past (she had quite a few relationships as well) but I never really felt like I knew the real Hazel. Now, I don’t have to become fully invested in a character to appreciate a book. It certainly helps, however.
Given that this is the first in a series, I’m not going to give up. There is plenty of potential with this series! A mystery book club? Right up my alley. Thank goodness, however, I don’t have a killer in my book club. Or do I?