Murder At The Book Group
Pocket Books, Dec 30 2014, $7.99
In 2005 in Richmond, during the Murder On Tour book club discussion, published author of Murder à la Isabel Carlene Arness vehemently tosses her copy of Murder In The Keys into her fireplace stunning the other attendees; as Carlene is normally a calm soft-spoken individual. Wannabe romance writer Hazel Rose wonders if the cause of Carlene’s venom is the separation from her husband Evan, who happens also to be one of her Hazel’s ex-spouses. Their efforts to illicit more information on why she hated the novel leads to Carlene’s venomous response over the misuse of cyanide, which she plans to deploy correctly in her next novel. As the session winds down, Carlene collapses; the shocked participants realize she is dead from ironically cyanide poisoning.
The stunned reading group agrees that Carlene was not herself at the meeting and even more upset when newbie Linda arrived; but also would not kill herself especially using cyanide in spite of a suicide note. Assuming a murder occurred at the book group session; Hazel, her sometimes much more than just a friend retired RPD homicide detective Vince Castelli and her cousin Lucy Hooper look into the victim’s past seeking who loathed the recently dearly departed Carlene.
The first Book Group mystery is a pleasant amateur sleuth though a scorecard as to who belongs with whom at that moment would be helpful (this group gets around). Witty Hazel is a tremendous lead who deftly keeps the storyline focused even with a myriad of supporting characters. Murder At The Book Group is a delightful cozy in which the audience will want more investigations starring Hazel and her bookish cohorts.