Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Murder at the Book Group (Book Group Mystery #1)” as Want to Read:
Murder at the Book Group (Book Group Mystery #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Murder at the Book Group

(Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery #1)

2.86  ·  Rating details ·  592 ratings  ·  187 reviews
For fans of Anne Canadeo comes a fun and sassy cozy mystery in which one woman must solve the murder of a book group member and untangle a web of secrets hidden by her bookish cohorts.
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 seem
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by Pocket Books (first published December 2nd 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Murder at the Book Group, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Murder at the Book Group

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 2.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  592 ratings  ·  187 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Murder at the Book Group (Book Group Mystery #1)
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley
I really thought this would be a fantastic read, murder and book groups seemed right up my alley, but sadly I struggled to keep all the characters in order and while it had so much potential it left me disappointed.
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

When Carlene Arness is found dead after drinking tea laced with cyanide while hosting the monthly meeting of the book club she co-founded with Hazel Rose, the members are horrified and puzzled by her death. Though a suicide note is found next to her body, none of them believe she was the type to take her own life and Hazel is determined to prove it.

There are a lot of suspects, maybe even too many, as Hazel discovers that Carlene, married to Hazel's first husband, hid a dark past. The book club
Feb 09, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015-books
I was really intrigued by the premise of a murder occurring in the midst of a book club meeting, which shouldn't be a surprise considering how much I love books... Not that I've ever participated in a book club or group, but I have been curious. So I was looking forward to inhaling Murder at the Book Group.

And I'm so sorry to say I didn't get into it at all. I gave it the 50-page try (actually, 76 pages), but didn't connect with any of the characters or with the story. The main character wants
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
This sounded so much like my thing. Murder and book groups - I belong to one - and a complicated story line. However, I have read 65% and stopped. I have just given up trying to keep track of all the complications in the lives of the characters. They marry each other’s spouses. Or have affairs with them. Marry 4 times (!) or swap or…. And honestly, I think the poison was in the ice not the tea so all their speculation will come to nought as the access could have been done anytime by anyone…. If ...more
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Murder at the Book Group Club ( Hazel Rose Mysteries) is 2014 Gallery Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

A book club gathering designed for discussions about books apparently is more of a gossip and bitch session as well as an opportunity to expound upon one's personal political leanings. Very little discussion of books actually takes place. But, everyone did manage to think about how cyanide would really work as
Feb 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Originally posted on Smitten by Books Blog

2.5 Stars

For fans of: Ellery Adams’ Books By The Bay Mysteries

The murder mysteries Hazel Rose typically puzzles over are of the fictional variety, but when fellow book-group member Carlene Arness keels over dead at one of their meetings, Hazel can’t help but investigate. Not only did she essentially witness the woman’s death, but Carlene was both a friend and the current wife of her former husband, to boot. At first blush, Carlene appears to have committ
 Reading Reindeer Cobwebbed

A cunning and cleverly posited mystery, MURDER IN THE BOOK GROUP demonstrates that one should be careful when forming a reading club, careful to keep the friends close and the enemies closer. Watch out for the sweet smile which contains malice, and the gentle hand designed to murder. A cosy and literary mystery in a contemporary style, this story presents a clever puzzle and an abundance of possibly scheming suspects.
Teresa Kander
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Murder, books, and a book group....this is a perfect series for me! I fell in love with the well written characters, and only figured out the mystery shortly before it was revealed, which is the way I enjoy my mysteries. I also like the fact that the majority of the characters are middle-aged, which makes them easier for me to relate to these days. I can hardly wait to read more about Hazel and the book group.

Heather W
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
A slow start and an even slower ending meant that I really did not get on with this book. The reveal happens around 80 pages from the end and is a bit of an anti-climax, with it not really being that surprising or clever. I honestly didn't think it was that believable and I was a bit deflated at the end.

However, Maggie can write incredibly in-depth and well thought out characters, who I did enjoy reading about. But unfortunately it was not enough to improve a dire book.
Odette Cortés
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It’s been a while since I read a contemporary mystery book that I really enjoyed. I guess that what really sold me about Murder at the Book Group was that it is about a murder that happens among aspiring mystery writers and readers, which provided a very creative scenario. Although it was about an amateur detective you did get the feeling that Maggie King did her homework, and it translates into the characters. The writing felt smart, concise and plausible, which has been refreshing.

I also like
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
A cozy mystery with an intriguing plot. This book could use a good EDITOR as many thoughts that had nothing to do with suicide/murder? While there was no explicit sex, the author seems immersed in it. The number of characters was confusing making tedious to read. It took me awhile before I figured out the MC. Hazel Rose is involved with a book club and at a meeting Carlene, another member dies while drinking poisonous tea. Hazel sets out to find out if it was suicide or murder. Carlene was not w ...more
Feb 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Although this is not the type of book I normally read, I gave it a try, reading about a third of the book before giving up on it. I really couldn't get interested in it. There was too much talking and not enough action for me. I also found it hard keeping track of all of the characters. Who said what and how are they related to the murder victim.
Jenni Schell
Oct 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle-books
Sadly, this book was not for me. I had a very hard time getting into it and didn't enjoy the characters.
Although this is first in the series it felt like a later book. We never really got introduced to the regulars and there are references to earlier meetings and changes in the group membership.
The book group part was OK. I liked their idea of selecting a location then members could read any book with that setting and ‘book talk’ their selection at the next meeting. The mystery itself was quite complicated with so many secret pasts, twisted relationships and hidden lifestyles- almost too much to c
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This novel introduces a woman author who becomes a sleuth upon seeing a member of the bookclub die in front of her. While the police wants to determine the death to suicide, Hazel Rose just can't. The woman had too much to live for.

Hazel and others try to nose out just what was the deceased's private Los Angeles, CA., prior her sudden return to Virginia.

To me, this book was a bit wordy and it was slightly difficult to get caught up in. The storyline was solid but I did weary of certain
Sheila Burke
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This was my first Maggie King book, and I have to say I wasn't disappointed. Creative and well-written, the mystery kept me guessing throughout. A very entertaining book, and worth the time to read.
Miriam Downey
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Read my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...

It is the third day of the new year, sleet outside, a quiet house, and a cozy mystery. Could anything be better? Without a care, I picked up Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King and looked up a few hours later, crime solved. My favorite lazy kind of morning.

Carlene and Hazel Rose are the co-founders of a mystery book club. The premise of the club is to read mysteries by geography (kind of an interesting idea). At the current m
Eileen Dandashi
Jan 08, 2015 rated it liked it
About the Story: 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 suspect ...more
Jun 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
I think I finally got 100+ pages in before I gave up. It just wasn't worth the effort to read. It didn't engage me so it took a lot of effort to read and I didn't really care for any of the characters or care what happened to them or care to figure out the mystery.

I didn't like the way the book started as though I was in the middle of a series. It's annoying enough when I do have to start a series in the middle for book club, I don't need an author making special effort to plop me in the middle
Paul Pessolano
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
“Murder at the Book Group” by Maggie King” published by Pocket Books.

Category – Mystery/Thriller Publication Date – December 30, 2014.

If you are looking for a cozy mystery, “Murder at the Book Group” will definitely fit the category. There is absolutely no gun play, car chases, gory details, or anything of that nature in the book. There is no questionable language and sexual content is kept to the imagination of the reader. The book is very reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel.

The book group
Jann Barber
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it
I had access to a preview copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I’m sure there is a sub genre within mysteries that includes romance with the mystery. I am not one who enjoys a lot of romantic entanglements as part of the plot. That being said, I still enjoyed King’s book; I tried to ignore the descriptions of hair, makeup, clothing, and romance.

However, romantic and sexual encounters did actually play a part in the storyline, so it was difficult to ignore all of it.

Hazel Rose an
Ann Fields
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was refreshing to read a murder mystery featuring mature characters. I enjoyed reading about adult situations, adult experiences, and most importantly, adult reasons to kill. I found charming the amateur sleuth (main character) who logically but oh-so-pleasantly conducted her investigation. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more agreeable sleuth. She could easily be every helpful and dedicated librarian or teacher you’ve ever met. The story is peppered with a line of characters (almost too many; ...more
Oct 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
This book just wasn't for me. I think it might appeal more to an older audience. The writing style didn't appeal to me, and I felt like there was a bit too much going on. I also felt the author went a bit overboard with politics - that's not necessarily something I expect to see in a cozy mystery. I didn't particularly like any of the characters, but I could see how someone older could identify with Hazel. I do think the main relationship could have been a bit better developed, but I did like Vi ...more
Margaret Andrews
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This has more than just a mystery storyline, which I appreciated because I'm not a big mystery reader, so there is crossover appeal here. I also like the humor and the "gossipy" aspect of the story, what with all the affairs, sex scandals, relationships. It moves at a nice pace and then 3/4 of the way through the book - WHAM! - the story grips you and won't let go until the end. The descriptions throughout the book kept me in the room with Hazel Rose, the main character. I really enjoyed King's ...more
Kenneth Funk
Dec 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: challenge2016
This has been the worst book I have read so far this year. I am actually listening to it as an audiobook and I hate to say this but I feel completely lost. I have listened from the very beginning but I feel like I have no idea what is going on. Maybe if I had read the paper version so I could map out the characters and who was doing what to whom it would have been easier. It is almost like I got dropped into the middle of a story with no warning. It has been almost 5 years since I stopped readin ...more
Melissa Cochrill
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Really 2.5 stars. I thought this book was going to be really good. It started very slow and I still don't know how I feel about the MC. This was one of those books that I just kept reading and thinking any page now it will get interesting. It finally did about half way through. I felt like this book was incredibly long too! It probably could have been 100 pages shorter. The mystery itself was interesting, it definitely had a twist.
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Listened to this on CD. OK story, but thin characters that I didn't really find fun or interesting. Yet, I kept on to the end. So ... maybe it would have been better read than listened to.
Richard Duncan
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I discovered "cozies"a couple years ago - easy-reading mysteries set in book stores, knitting clubs, bakeries, you-name-it. They are generally formulaic and simple, but with their combination of entertaining settings (want to learn a little about knitting, about wine-making, about raising goats?) and comfortable characters, I enjoy them as an occasional break from heavier reading.

Unfortunately, this one afforded so little pleasure that I was unable to finish it.

First, the writing is clumsy, hea
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ultimate Reading Challenge 2017. A book that is the first in a series.

They gather to discuss murder mysteries and each person critiques one book. After the discussion there are refreshments. This time they are meeting at Carlene's home. While drinking a cup of tea, she dies! Hazel swears she smells almonds, a sign that the poison was cyanide. Strangely, earlier in the evening Carlene was talking about a book which including a poisoning by cyanide. A note is found. So was it a suicide? She and Ge
Amy Reade
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
My first Maggie King book was her second, Murder at the Moonshine Inn, so I had already been introduced to some of the characters in her debut novel. Having said that, the outcome of the first book in the series was still a delightfully shocking surprise. My point here is that you can read Murder at the Moonshine Inn first and not worry about spoilers. Someone chime in if I'm wrong.

I enjoyed Murder at the Book Group for a number of reasons. First, I thought the pacing was perfect. There weren't
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Spook in the Stacks (Lighthouse Library Mystery #4)
  • Shot in the Dark (Coffeehouse Mystery, #17)
  • Hitting the Books (Library Lover's Mystery, #9)
  • Death in the Stacks (Library Lover's Mystery, #8)
  • Reading Up a Storm (Lighthouse Library Mystery #3)
  • Dressed to Kill (A Tourist Trap Mystery, #4)
  • Butter Off Dead (A Food Lovers' Village Mystery, #3)
  • Book Clubbed (Booktown Mystery, #8)
  • Restaurant Weeks Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery #3)
  • A Dark and Twisting Path (A Writer's Apprentice Mystery, #3)
  • On Thin Icing (A Bakeshop Mystery, #3)
  • Treble at the Jam Fest (A Food Lovers' Village Mystery, #4)
  • The Rhyme of the Magpie (Birds of a Feather Mystery, #1)
  • Live and Let Chai (Seaside Café Mystery, #1)
  • There's A Murder Afoot (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery, #5)
  • Crime & Punctuation (Deadly Edits #1)
  • If the Shoe Kills (A Tourist Trap Mystery, #3)
  • Curses, Boiled Again! (A Lobster Shack Mystery #1)
See similar books…
Maggie King is the author of MURDER AT THE BOOK GROUP and MURDER AT THE MOONSHINE INN, featuring Hazel Rose, an amateur detective living in Richmond, Virginia. Maggie also penned the short stories “A Not So Genteel Murder” and “Reunion in Shockoe Slip” for the VIRGINIA IS FOR MYSTERIES anthologies. "Wine, Women, and Wrong" is included in 50 SHADES OF CABERNET. Find "Keep Your Friends Close" in DEA ...more

Other books in the series

Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery (2 books)
  • Murder at the Moonshine Inn (Hazel Rose Book Group Mystery #2)

News & Interviews

Ashley Poston made her name with Once Upon a Con, a contemporary series set in the world of fandom, and her two-part space opera, Heart of...
38 likes · 6 comments
“We spent the next thirty minutes watching Carlene, by turns dominant and submissive, engaged in all manner of, let’s say, alternative sexual activity. As I’d guessed, the C&B tapes featured Carlene and B.J., while Randy was the “R” in C&R. I passed on C&E—I didn’t have the heart, or stomach, to watch Evan showing his stuff on tape.” 0 likes
More quotes…