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I received notification that volunteers will be allowed to return to the branch in the coming weeks, however, group meetings won’t resume until at least the coming fall.

As an FYI, I won’t be returning to the library as a volunteer or as a leader of the Mystery Book Club. If anyone is interested in taking over, let me know.


February, 2021 Update

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Here’s an update Joan received from the Volunteer Coordinator at Spanish Springs Library:
We are governed by an independent Library Board, so whatever the county or the state plans to do may not be what our actual plan is.  That being said, we will be adapting our existing reopening plans to align with the Governor’s plan as much as we can.  

One of the many things we will have to consider is vaccination of staff and volunteers and how that puts other staff, volunteers and members of the public at risk.   We miss you all and can’t wait to have you back in the branch but keeping everyone safe is our first concern.
As soon as we have a better idea of what the plans are and when things will be happening, we will be sure to let you know ASAP!
Remember, holds can be picked up at the drive-through, so do take advantage of this service.
Hang in there!


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Another Update

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Sadly, the Library Director has mandated that there will be no in-person programs through at least the end of December 2020.

The library system is currently running 2 virtual book clubs with online Zoom meeting:
3rd Thursday of each month 2-3:30 pm 
4th Tuesday of each month 10:30-noon 


If you’re interested, participants register for these via the online calendar and then are sent the Zoom login information.

An Update

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Hi all!
Here’s a link to the Washoe County Library System Reopening Plan. 
There’s a lot involved, but the bottom lines are:
  • Library branches continue closed and largely unstaffed until June 1
  • Book drops may open after June 8
  • Grab and Go hold pick-ups may start June 15
  • Branches may open in a limited way after July 15
  • All physical programs (Book Club!) are cancelled through August 31

As an additional note, a semi truck came off the Pyramid Highway and put a big ol’ hole in the Spanish Springs library building.  Therefore, add building repairs to the schedule.  Here are some photos the branch manager sent to me.

If you’re dying to do a book club, here’s a link to the library system calendar.  There a number of virtual meetings.
I’m slowly transitioning back to an in-office work schedule, with pants, makeup, and the whole nine yards.  My hairbrush broke, my hiking boots fell apart, the washing machine wouldn’t stop filling with water, and we had to replace our refrigerator.  Guess where OUR stimulus checks went!
Stay well and stay in touch.



As you’re probably aware, the library has been closed since March 15, 2020 and I currently have not heard of any proposed re-opening date.

I have, however, been advised that no in-person programs will be held through at least the end of August. I’ve also been asked if the group wants to meet virtually and after reaching out to our members, there doesn’t seem to be a desire to do this.

Therefore, the Spanish Springs Mystery Book Club will not be meeting again until at least September.  I will, of course, keep an eye on things and let everyone know if the situation changes.

The books we were going to read and discuss over the summer are hereby pushed off into 2021.

Be well.

Button Man – Mark Pryor

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Once again, duplicate titles created some confusion among our readers.  Last month, Gone was revealed to the be the title of eight other books.  This month, there were three.  And Valorie read one of the wrong ones.

However, after her rather hilarious input, we may have to read her Button Man.

OUR Button Man was less about the mob and more about an American (in cowboy boots, no less!) in London and Paris and role fame, social status, and the desire for justice is played out in our world.

Joan thought Valorie would enjoy this book because it had the violence she so loves.  It also had British and French settings, rain, a little humor, a little spice and was generally an all-around thriller.

We were advised by Valorie, however, that HER Button Man was more bad ass than OUR Button Man, and so we discussed the mob definition of the title.  We agreed that the British Button Man was less “whack-y and more a convenient title for the book.

We found the main mystery interesting and enjoyed the other plot lines around the edges that added intriguing flavor – the Ripper angle, the wife in Texas angle, the antique books angle, the politics, the serial killer profiling, and the tabloids’ impact on investigations.  We all felt like Pendrith was off from the get go, but could NOT figure out why.  Merlyn didn’t seem to be age-appropriate for what she was doing and we had problems with that.

Favorite Characters – Hugo, who was declared to be nice, but not terribly good at his job; Merlyn, Upton, Agarwal, Pendrith, Harry Walton, and none of the above.

Joan’s meeting notes are confusing — Valorie either liked or disliked Leo for setting the fire.

Least Favorite Characters – Pendrith; Harry Walton, eventually.  Dayton Harper, the little shit.  Hugo was cocky and incompetent.

Valorie revealed that the Epilogue to HER Button Man made her tear up a little.

Because this was a British mystery, Ruthanne made faces, didn’t like any of the characters, and ranked it very low.  Joan initially LOVED the book, but once plot holes and stylistic issues were pointed out to her, she dropped her rating.  But only a little.


Gone – Randy Wayne White

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So, the group generally likes books set in Florida because, well, crazy people are entertaining.  But this a Florida with salt of the earth people instead.  We liked the concept of a capable woman running boat charters and found her inner dialogue tamping down her true reactions in order to present a specific persona was refreshingly different.  Bruce had just returned from a trip to the area depicted and said that it was true to life.

We thought the plot was exciting and many of us read the book very quickly.  The mystery of the missing girl was interesting because of our desire to see her rescued from the creepy guy, even if she didn’t want to be rescued.  It’s rather scary to think that there are men out there that have this kind of psychological power over women and they’re like an addiction to these women.  And it’s also scary that seemingly together women get sucked into these situations.

That said, we found the story to be more thriller-ish and a bit predictable.  Too much “women in peril” and we had a hard time believing and/or understanding the final resolution.  Bruce did say that boars really are the scarier mangrove swamp animal.

Favorite characters – Most characters were real humans and quite likeable, except for the lady attorney.  We liked Hannah and her directness, though we did get a little sick of her whiny, “I was gawky” mind set.  Her mother Loretta is wonderfully awful.  Cordial Pallet was a cool old coot.  Friend Nathan and Lawrence, the uncle of the kidnapped girl were also favorites.

Least favorite characters – Gabby, Ricky Meeks, Ricky’s partner, Eugene Schneider (a scuzbag), the captain and the owner of the Sybarite.  Martha the lawyer was creepy and that whole lesbian subplot was unnecessary.


Visions of Sugarplums – Janet Evanovich

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Our group has a real love/hate relationship with silly holiday novels.  While we want something light and festive, some of us also want some substance.  But one doesn’t really read Evanovich for substance, which this book lacks.  But there is plenty of ridiculousness.  And elves.  There are lots of elves.  And cookies.

Our opinions ranged from hating it and finding it completely unbelievable, to loving it and finding it entertaining and fun.  The supernatural bad guy/supernatural good guy plot was ridiculous, as one would expect.  And the whole “elves” angle was silly.  But Diesel is hot, while Stephanie is a hot mess.  Her family is crazy but entertaining.  Morelli didn’t disappoint, but the women generally agreed there wasn’t enough Ranger.

Favorite – Morelli, Gramma Mazur, Mom (after a discussion about her name, research revealed that she is Ellen or Helen.  Dad is Frank.), Stephanie and her family, Diesel, and Rex.

Least favorite – Sandy Claws, Stephanie and her sister Valerie, Briggs, the mean aggressive elf, and Mary Alice, the annoying little girl who thinks she’s a horse.




X – Sue Grafton

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The group was mostly so happy to be discussing something other than a cozy, that we were willing to excuse a LOT of the problems we had with this book.  Some of us found this book to be too long, disjointed, had too many characters, repetitious descriptions, and a little half-assed, research-wise.  Kinsey was declared to be a little slack in her background searches, Henry’s antics seemed a little outrageous for someone of his age, and there was generally a sloppiness to this book not seen in others.

That being said, we enjoyed the multiple threads of investigation and rated this quite high, for us.  Kinsey Millhone is an interesting investigator, even though she’s locked into all of the standard P.I. tropes – working for the mysterious dame, working for free, money is tight, etc.

We had an interesting discussion about 1) why the author kept this series locked in the ’80s, without all the modern conveniences, and 2) investigations in general and what we thought Kinsey should have done differently.  Of course, if she had, there wouldn’t have been nearly as much story.  Which then led to a discussion of investigations members of the group have done, particularly with regard to new neighbors.  Fascinating.

Favorite Characters – Henry, Pete, Henry’s Cat, Kinsey, and Edna for all of her marvelous rottenness.

Least Favorite Characters – Edna, Ned Lowe, Joseph, Teddy, and Kim Bass.  Joan has no patience with unhelpful front desk people.

Be sure to take note of our reading list for 2020!  It’s in the bar on the right.


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