Mystery Monday: The Book Club Murders: The Oakwood Mystery Series by Leslie Nagel

Today’s mystery feature is part of a series by Leslie Nagel, an author I haven’t read before, and is called, appropriately enough, The Book Club Murders.  Set in the very real small town of Oakwood, Ohio where everyone knows everyone else and no-one would ever expect to find one murder let alone five, and the main character is a fiercely independent red-head who owns her own vintage clothing store called Old Hat.  As part of the Agathas book club (named after that mystery mavin, Agatha Christie), Charley Carpenter truly enjoys a good murder mystery — until she it starts to dawn on her that the murders are based on scenes from the books on her reading list and the killer must be a member of her club.

Charley’s dad has had 3 strokes over several years and requires full time care from Lawrence who now lives in with them.  She has two best friends, Frankie, whom she has known almost forever, and Dmitri, the hair stylist who works next door to Old Hat.  Detective Marcus Trenault was a few years ahead of Charley in school but she has had a serious crush on him since ninth grade.  Unfortunately, they also have a history of seriously angry words that maybe can’t be taken back.  Marcus’ partner, Paul, likes Charley and when he realizes she has a unique perspective of the members of the book club that could help with their investigation, he enlists her help, much to Marc’s chagrin.

By the time the Education Foundation’s Decades Reunion — everyone dressed in vintage clothing — rolls around, the body count is up to 3 and almost half of the members of the book club have turned out to be dysfunctional and harbouring jealousies which makes them prime suspects.  The killer is becoming bolder and flaunts her continuing success at the police.  But even after the suspected killer has seemingly committed suicide, Charley is not out of danger.  She has come to close to the truth and must be eliminated.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  It was an easy read with some solid detective work and interesting characters with a bit of romance thrown in.  I was a bit puzzled by the fact that people kept referring to “two crime scenes” and “two murders” when the police had only called the second an “accidental death”.  Also, I read on the web that the setting is in Ohio but there were a couple of things in the book that led me to believe the setting was Florida.  Other than that, a good plot with lots of clues and motives to keep you guessing and I would definitely read more by this author.  * * *  1/2

If you, too, are a fan of mysteries, I hope you’ll not only enjoy my Monday posts but will contribute by publishing your own Monday Mystery, mentioning my meme, then come to my blog, comment on your mystery (or mine) briefly, and include the link directly to your mystery review.  You can also copy my MMM badge to your post.

About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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