Fauquier County Public Library

Mystery Book Club Celebrates 16 Years

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Each year, the Mystery Book Club (Warrenton) celebrates its anniversary with a pizza party (provided by the Friends of the Fauquier Library) and goodies that our club members share. This year, the group marked its 16th anniversary!  In contrast, I’m a newcomer – I have just finished my first year (and two months) as the discussion leader. I knew going into this that we had some veteran members of this book club – with some going back to the beginning when the club was initially formed.

One member recalled a photo taken by the Fauquier Times Democrat at a book club discussion in 2000.  I had seen that newspaper photo in the materials my predecessor left me when she handed over her mystery “stash,” so I headed back to the Virginia Room to look at our newspaper archives on microfilm to locate it. That photo got me thinking – some of our members have been coming a long time, but what keeps them coming back?

I took that question and some others to veteran members Sheila and her husband Dave. Here’s what they had to say:

Photo appeared in the Fauquier Times Democrat on January 24, 2001.

Photo appeared in the Fauquier Times Democrat on January 24, 2001.

What made you join the mystery book club 15 years ago? I had just retired and was looking to further pursue some of my life-long interests. I’d always favored the mystery genre so this was perfect for me.

Do you have a favorite mystery book, author or series? In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming and The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill are favorite series of mine, the entire series.

Do you have a favorite book from another genre? All the Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See.

How do you prepare for the monthly discussions? I keep notes as I am reading it – characters, places of interests and other facts. Then, I put together a summary when I complete the book.

Do you always finish the monthly selections? No, if the book is too violent or repeatedly uses vulgar language, I will not read it.

Do you have a least favorite title, series or author? I consulted my notes for this: Death of a Doxy (2008) by Rex Stout, The Killing of Mindi Quintana (2011) by Jeff Cohen, Out (2011) by Natsuo Kirino and Their Wildest Dreams (2008) by Peter Abrahams.

Why do you continue attending the mystery book club? Friendships, lively discussions and the knowledge that others bring to the meetings.

What are your hobbies outside of reading? Knitting, swimming, walking, jigsaw puzzles, biking, quilting and my grandchildren.

Do you have any advice to new members thinking of joining a book club? Attend the meeting, whether you have read the book or not, and let the discussion and humor of it all inspire you to join in with the group.

MBC yrs

Mystery Book Club members share the number of years they have been attending.

I realize I still have a lot to learn as I lead (it’s really keeping order, this group needs no leading!) this book club, but I know that I each time I attend I learn more about the mystery genre and the true “gurus” of the Mystery Book Club.

Thanks Sheila and Dave for the great insight and tips. I agree that attending a book club enhances the reading experience;  the discussions and knowledge that other members share is a lot more fun than trying to figure out “who did it” alone.

~Jody, Reference Librarian, Warrenton central library

The Mystery Book Club (Warrenton) meets the third Thursday of each month at the John Barton Payne building from noon-1 p.m.

Book listsreviews from our book clubs and favorites from library staff are great resources when searching for your next book. Or stop by the reference desk at your local library.

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