Murder at the Book Group

Murder at the Book Group

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, 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 suspected there might be something more to her past than she let on.

How much does anyone really know about Carlene Arness? And did she die by her own hand or someone else’s? Hazel begins a search for the truth that produces no shortage of motives, as she unearths the past that Carlene took great pains to hide. And most of those motives belong to the members of her very own book group…

Featuring memorable characters and a wicked sense of humor, Murder at the Book Group shows the darker side of a book club where reading isn’t about pleasure—it’s about payback.
  • Pocket Books | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476762463 | 
  • December 2014
List Price $7.99 (price may vary by retailer)
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Read an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Murder at the Book Group includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Hazel Rose never dreamed that the murder mystery book group she cofounded with Carlene Arness would play host to a real murder. In Murder at the Book Group, Carlene is found dead in her own home, supposedly from a suicide induced by cyanide-spiked tea. Hazel is suspicious and decides to investigate this potential murder—where everyone in her book group is suddenly a suspect. As she dives deeper, she finds out the old adage is true: Everyone’s got a secret.  

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

1. At the beginning of the story, how would you describe Hazel?
2. Which character in the book group do you most relate to?
3. Who were you rooting for romantically in the story—Hazel and Vince, or Hazel and her ex-husband Evan?
4. Carlene has an extremely turbulent past, which Hazel unveils throughout the course of the book. Do you know anyone like this?
5. Describe Hazel’s friendship with Kat, and her friendship with Lucy. How doe see more

About the Author

Maggie King
Gus Dellinger

Maggie King

Maggie King grew up in North Plainfield, New Jersey, graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, and worked as a software developer in Los Angeles for many years. She is a founding member of the Sisters in Crime Central Virginia Chapter. Her short story “A Not So Genteel Murder” was published in the Virginia Is for Mysteries anthology. Maggie lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, Glen, and two cats. Visit her at