Murder on Tour is the travel-themed book group featured in the Hazel Rose Book Group series. The members each read a different mystery based on a geographical setting and gather to discuss their selections. They try to avoid spoilers but sometimes they slip!
Years ago, when I lived in California, I belonged to a theme group and got acquainted with a variety of authors. Aside from Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, I hadn’t read many mysteries up to that point. Our themes varied from month to month—for example, one month we would read stories with journalist detectives; the theme for another month could be Alaskan settings. I moved to Virginia in 1996 and I’ve been in many wonderful book groups, but I consider the one I left behind in California my favorite. And it’s the model for Murder on Tour.
Murder on Tour includes two librarians, a romance writer, a successful businesswoman, and a retired English teacher. A love of books, especially mysteries, draws them together. Mysteries not only challenge them but offer justice and resolution in a world that often lacks such satisfaction.
In an early chapter of Murder at the Moonshine Inn, the group “travels” through time, way back to the ancient world. Here’s what they talk about when they meet:
Silver Pigs by Lindsay Davis
Aristotle Detective by Margaret Doody
Genesis One: Abel is Missing by Martin Lorin
Germanicus Mosaic by Rosemary Rowe
Genesis One: Abel is Missing is a fictitious take on the Cain and Abel brothers and the group breaks into a lively discussion of other books and movies that feature fratricide and sororicide, East of Eden and Chicago being two examples. The group members definitely have sibling murder on their minds because just that day Hazel Rose was asked to find out who killed Roxanne Howard in the parking lot of the Moonshine Inn. The request came from Nina Brown, Roxanne’s sister—and a prime suspect in her murder.
Later in the story the group tours the High Middle Ages, enjoying Alys Clare’s and Maureen Ash’s tales of knights battling evil, as well as the renowned Ellis Peters’s popular series featuring twelfth-century monk and herbalist, Brother Cadfael.
An early reader of Murder at the Moonshine Inn told me that she teaches a class in Early Western Civ and found herself jotting down a few of the books the Murder on Tour group read.
It’s my hope that Murder on Tour will have readers adding to their runaway TBR lists. And even starting a theme group!