triangle brand accent
triangle brand accent


thumbnail Mystery Book Club

by Sharon Nagel on June 1, 2023
Tags: book club (13), mystery (12), programs (9)

Back in 2019, when I was in library school and working at the Whitefish Bay Public Library as an intern, my boss put me in charge of hosting a monthly mystery book club. I had been in book clubs for decades, but I had never organized one, so this was a new challenge.

Choosing the books was the fun part, but it can be a challenge to get people to attend regularly. People have so many demands on their time that it’s hard to attend every month even when it’s something a person wants to do. And just when we had built up a decent number of regulars, the pandemic happened. Everything shut down, including our library programs. In 2021, we started up again but virtually using Zoom, and I got to host book club from my dining room in my condo. No travel required. However, we had to start over from scratch with participants. Only one of my original attendees was interested in coming back, but they did not care for Zoom, and so did not join us until we went hybrid in the fall of 2022. 

Eventually, if you are still reading this, we built up a nice group of regular virtual attendees. One of those people suggested that I contact the author of the book that we were reading for August of 2021 and ask her to Zoom in with us. I thought this was a great idea, although I wasn't sure if the author would agree. We were a very small group. We were reading Murder in the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer. Erica Ruth is a Milwaukee author, so I went to her website and sent her a message. She was extremely gracious and agreed to join us. We had a fascinating meeting where the author shared her process for writing the book and her research methods. Side note, Erica Ruth is a genius who sets her historical Jane Wunderley mysteries in cities all around the world. Then she visits these cities to do research for her book. An enviable plan.

Since that inaugural author appearance, we have hosted author Juneau Black, local favorite Nick Petrie, and most recently, Patricia Skalka, author of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries. Author visits are by no means the focus of our book club, but they do add an interesting perspective from time to time.

If this piques your interest, please join us on the second Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm. We meet on the second floor of the library in the program room, or you may join us virtually from the comfort of your own dining room.