Mystery fans rejoice! What could be better than a murder mystery that revolves around a book club that only reads murder mysteries? A club called the Agathas, in honor of Dame Agatha Christie, of course. Nagel has captured the feel of suburban America perfectly. The secret affairs that everyone knows about, the social clout of the country club set, the shared history of lifelong residents is all there in the descriptions of Oakwood. And when a murder shatters the seeming calm of the town, then is followed by another, and another...it seems that someone is capable of keeping secrets after all.
The characters are entertaining and provoke an emotional response from the readers. We may be amused by Charley and Frankie plotting over coffee, or amused at Dmitri's antics in the hair salon, and then irritated by the imperious Midge or feel sorry for Wilson in her rigidly controlled marriage. The tension between Charley and Marcus and the question of whether they will ever get together or not adds to the suspense of the murder investigation while also letting us take a break from death to roll our eyes at these two stubborn individuals. Even the secondary characters seem very real. There's the faithful caretaker Lawrence who tends to Charley's father; Marc's detective partner, Paul and his teasing that Charley is "Nancy Drew;" and even Charley's dad with his outrage at the inappropriate video that is posted on YouTube after one of the murders. Each person that the reader encounters is believable in all their strengths and weaknesses.
So, we have plot, setting, and characters that lure us in and then the twists and turns keep us guessing. Who is the real killer? Will the attraction between Marc and Charlie ever be acted on? Why isn't there an Old Hat vintage clothing boutique in my town? (Okay, maybe that last one was just me.) Readers who enjoy the Aurora Teagarden mysteries, Goldy's Culinary Mysteries, and other series where the protagonist is not an official detective will have fun with The Book Club Murders.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.