Title: The Book Club Murders
Author: Leslie Nagel
Publication date: 27 September 2016
Source: eARC Netgalley
What the blurb says
“Charley Carpenter has poured heart and soul into her clothing store, Old Hat Vintage Fashions. She’ll do anything to make it a success—even join the stuffy Agathas Book Club in order to cultivate customers among the wealthy elite of Oakwood, Ohio.
Although mixing with the most influential women in town has its advantages, Charley finds the endless gossip a high price to pay. But after two women with close ties to the Agathas are brutally murdered, everyone falls under threat—and suspicion. When key evidence indicates that both murders are the work of the same hand, Charley realizes that the killer has arranged each corpse in perfect imitation of crime scenes from the Club’s murder mystery reading list. She uses her membership in the Club to convince Detective Marcus Trenault to use her as an inside informant. Not that he could stop her anyway.
Intelligent, fearless, and every bit as stubborn as Marc is, Charley soon learns the Agathas aren’t the only ones with secrets to protect. Passions explode as she and Marc must race against time to prevent another murder. And if Charley’s not careful, she may find herself becoming the killer’s next plot twist.”
Everything seems perfect and calm in Oakwood, Ohio where a group of wealthy women have a book club called the Agatha’s Book Club. This club, named after the great Agatha Christie, is dedicated to reading classic murder stories from great female authors. All goes well until bodies from members of the club start to pile up, and every crime scene is stage as one of the books read in the Agatha’s Book Club. Are the women in this club being targeted?Is there anyone safe?
I found the characters were very different and rich for me the main strength of the book.
The main character is Charley. She is an entrepeneur that is trying to make her business work even if that means dealing with the Agatha’s the rich, and no so nice woman in town. Charley is a charming and intelligent woman dedicated to take care of her ill dad. She has had bad experiences with love so it’s reticence to try. She is stubborn and that is why she is able to keep in the investigation. I think that you can understand her in every sense.
The Agatha’s are great. At first I thought that they were the typical stereotype of wealthy woman: you know rich, poweful, a lot of time in their hands that they dedicate to charity ball after another, forcing everybody to participate, and treating other people as being below them. In the end, you are able to see much more. Each one is different in personality and in their problems which even trying to keep them bury they surface and allows to see them as humans. I even get to like one or two of them.
My favorite character was Marc. He is intelligent and handsome, and once he let’s go of all the issues he had he goes after what he wants, and when that happens you cannot put down the book.
The idea of murders imitating classic novels is a good one and if you add to that that they staged the crimes based on writers such as Agatha Christie and JD Robb it gets even better.
They were nice twists in the story, especially in the end. Though the end wasn’t that unexpected to me (I was right on who did it), I enjoyed it and I felt like it all was very well developed and nicely closed, as the pace was the right one with no rush to finish it.
In addition, there was a romantic relationship included which always add tension and eargerness to see what happens between the characters. I really enjoyed those parts, and felt like the evolution of the relationship was the right one. I must confess that I read it in 2 days because I was eager to see how things were going between Charley and Marc.
The author did a great job mainting an atmosphere of tension high. Not only in regards to the solving of the murders but also mainting the romantic tension between Marc and Charley. This made me read faster, I just wanted to know what was going to happen between them. I devored this in 2 days.
For me it had the right dose of both romantic and mystery elements, without becoming cheesy.
This cozy mystery has a lot of the elements that I like in a book: mystery, romance, a nice village and books, so when I read in the blurb that the characters had a book club and the main books were ones of Agatha Christie I had to read it. I totally recommend this book to all those cozy mystery readers.
*I received this book in exchange of my honest opinion through Netgalley.