Virtual Mystery Book Group

This group is a permanently virtual book group focusing on all kinds of mysteries. 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.  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 spring-summer sessions (May, June, and July) discussing murders in Italy this year! 

Death at La Fenice, by Donna Leon, on Wednesday May 10, 4:30-5:30pm. Register. In CLAMS.

Donna Leon (1942- ) is an American who lived and taught in Italy from 1981-2015, mostly based in Venice. (She has now retired to Switzerland). Death at La Fenice (1992) is the first in a long series of novels featuring Commissario Guido Brunetti.

Description: Beautiful and serene Venice is a city almost devoid of crime. But that is little comfort to Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor whose intermission refreshment comes one night with a little something extra in it–cyanide. For Guido Brunetti, vice-commissario of police and genius detective, finding a suspect isn’t a problem; narrowing the large and unconventional group of enemies down to one is. As the suave and pithy Brunetti pieces together clues, a shocking picture of depravity and revenge emerges, leaving him torn between what is and what should be right–and questioning what the law can do, and what needs to be done.

The Shape of Water, by Andrea Camilleri, on Wednesday June14 , 4:30-5:430pm. Register. In CLAMS.

Andrea Camilleri (1925-2019) was born in Sicily and originally pursued a career as a writer before finding success as a director, first of plays, then of television shows for the Italian channel RAI. Only late in life did he return to writing and find success with his dark detective novels. The Shape of Water (1994) introduces Inspector Salvo Montalbano and the imaginary Sicilian town of Vigàta.

Description: Silvio Lupanello, a big-shot in Vigàta, is found dead in his car with his pants around his knees. The car happens to be parked in a part of town used by prostitutes and drug dealers, and as the news of his death spreads, the rumors begin. Enter Inspector Salvo Montalbano, Vigàta’s most respected detective. With his characteristic mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food, Montalbano battles against the powerful and corrupt who are determined to block his path to the real killer. 

The Bellini Card, by Jason Goodwin, Wednesday July 12, 4:30-5:30pm. Register. In CLAMS.

Jason Goodwin (1964 – ) is a British writer who was educated in Byzantine history, and once walked from Poland to Istanbul and then wrote a book about it. His has written five historical mysteries set in the Ottoman period, of which The Bellini Card (2010) is the third. His first book featuring investigator Yashim won an Edgar Award.

Description: Istanbul, 1840: the new sultan, Abdülmecid, has heard a rumor that Bellini’s vanished masterpiece, a portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror, may have resurfaced in Venice. Yashim is promptly asked to investigate, but – aware that the sultan’s advisers are against a repurchase of the painting – decides to deploy his disempowered Polish ambassador friend, Palewski, to visit Venice in his stead. Palewski arrives in disguise in down-and-out Venice, where a killer is at large as dealers, faded aristocrats, and other unknown factions seek to uncover the whereabouts of the missing Bellini. In the end, only Yashim can uncover the truth behind the manifold mysteries.

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