Mystery Book Group

This is a book group focusing on all kinds of mysteries that will always be available virtually. We will explore a new theme for 3 months in a row at 3 times during the year.

It meets 9 times a year by Zoom on a Wednesday from 4:30-5:30 during the months of January-March, May-July and September-November.

You can join for one session, all sessions or any time a book or theme interests you. Register in the library’s Events calendar to have a Zoom Link sent to you before the meeting.  You can choose to attend sessions in person in the Bay Meeting Room, but Zoom participants will always be welcome. Please send questions and theme or book suggestions to Phoebe Acheson, Facilitator. 

I am happy to announce that the Virtual Mystery Book Club will be spending our winter 2024 sessions reading books on the theme of The American West. Join us as we read some chilling and (sometimes) wintry tales set in the wild places of the American West.

Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden, on Wednesday January 10, 4:30-5:30pm. Register. In CLAMS.

David Heska Wambli Weiden (1963 – ) is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation who grew up in Denver and Rosebud, SD. He has both an MFA and a PhD, and teaches Political Science and Native American Studies at Metropolitan State University in Denver. Winter Counts (2020) was his first novel, and it won an Edgar for best first novel as well as many other awards.

Description: Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  When justice is denied by the American legal system or the tribal council, Virgil is hired to deliver his own punishment, the kind that’s hard to forget. But when heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil’s own nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and make them stop. As Virgil starts to link the pieces together, he must face his own demons and reclaim his Native identity. He realizes that being a Native American in the 21st century comes at an incredible cost. Winter Counts is a tour-de-force of crime fiction, a bracingly honest look at a long-ignored part of American life, and a twisting, turning story that’s as deeply rendered as it is thrilling.

Open Season, by C. J. Box, on Wednesday February 14, 4:30-5:30pm. Register. In CLAMS.

C. J. Box (1958 – ) is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of more than 30 novels, including the Joe Pickett series which has been adapted for television twice. Open Season (2001) is the first Joe Pickett book.

Description: Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden—especially one like Joe who won’t take bribes or look the other way—is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. Joe soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep.

Skinwalkers, by Tony Hillerman, Wednesday March 13, 4:30-5:30pm. Register. In CLAMS.

Tony Hillerman (1925-2008) was born and grew up Potawatomi County, OK, and attended school with Potawatami children. He worked as a journalist and moved to New Mexico in 1952, and went on to teach journalism at the University of New Mexico as well as writing mystery novels, starting in 1970. Hillerman’s fiction reflects his appreciation of the natural wonders of the American Southwest and his appreciation of its indigenous people, particularly the Navajo. The protagonists are Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the Navajo Nation Police. Skinwalkers (1986), his seventh novel and the first the includes both Leaphorn and Chee, is considered his breakout novel.

Description: Three shotgun blasts rip through the side of Officer Jim Chee’s trailer as the Navajo Tribal Policeman sleeps. He survives, but the inexplicable attack has raised disturbing questions about a lawman once beyond reproach. Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn wonders why Chee was a target and what connection the assault has to a series of gruesome murders that has been plaguing the reservation. But the investigation is leading them both into a nightmare of ritual, witchcraft, and blood . . . and into the dark and mystical domain of evil beings of Navajo legend, the “skinwalkers.”

A list of current and previous books read by the Virtual Mystery Book Group can be found in our online catalog.