cover image Murder at the Book Group

Murder at the Book Group

Maggie King. S&S/. Gallery, $15 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4767-6246-3

Murder on Tour, a Richmond, Va., book group that focuses each meeting on mysteries that share a geographic setting, provides the milieu for King’s entertaining debut. At a gathering devoted to Florida-based mysteries, one of the group’s cofounders, Carlene Arness, who’s normally soft-spoken and composed, is highly critical of the books under discussion, especially after an old acquaintance of hers from L.A. drops by. The group’s other cofounder, Hazel Rose, wonders whether Carlene’s irritation is a sign that something’s amiss in her personal life. By night’s end, Carlene is dead of cyanide poisoning. Certain that the suicide note is a fake, Hazel worries that any number of people around Carlene had an interest in her demise. Carlene’s estranged husband, Evan Arness, was once married to Hazel, which complicates matters. Readers will find more substance here than in most cozies. [em]Agent: Mel Berger, WME. (Dec.) [/em]