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Murder at the Book Group    by Maggie King order for
Murder at the Book Group
by Maggie King
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2014 (2014)
Paperback, CD, e-Book
*   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Hazel Rose and her friend Carlene start a murder-mystery book group. Most members are fledgling writers and some have even had their first publication. The twist to this setup is that Hazel was once married to Carlene's husband! Carlene is a little hard to take, but dies at a book group meeting after drinking a cyanide-laced cup of tea.

A suicide note leads police to believe that Carlene did this to herself – but Hazel doesn't believe it. She decides to investigate Carlene's background as well as the last days and minutes of her life.

Good idea for a plot. The characters come off as close to real – at least their squabbles seem right on. However, while the investigation moves along (at a slow pace), it lacks luster and has little suspense. The story is told and not shown. Murder at the Book Group is weighed down with speculations about who is married to whom and who was once married to someone else's current husband!

The dénouement is too long in coming and really a relief. This novel needs a rewrite and to lose at least fifty pages. Though there is a lovely sense of humor sprinkled throughout the book, this is not enough to save it.

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