The Mystery Book Club

Dec 4, 2015 | 5 comments

Last Month's ChoiceWe met yesterday in Ilwaco at member Pat Moss’s place. As usual, only some of us were in attendance, only some of us had read the most recent book selection, and mostly we talked about other things. I sometimes (no, make that ‘often’) think that the “Mystery” in our name refers not to our book genre of interest but to why we call ourselves a “book club.” Not that it matters – it’s a great excuse to get together, to share ideas and to (sometimes) have a few bites to eat. Yesterday it was “Mediterranean Nibbles” (heavy on the Greek.)

A major subject of conversation yesterday, of course, was news of Nick Wilson-Codega and the upcoming Luau being held as a fund-raiser for him. We are all going and will try to sit together. We hope that Leigh (Nick’s mom) can join us for at least part of the time. Leigh was one of the Founding Members of the Mystery Book Club. Now that she lives in Seattle, she isn’t on “active” status, but thanks to our Chief-Organizer-and-Secretary Kitt Fleming, we keep her informed about our reading selections etc.

A Continuing FavoriteActually, of the Founding Members, I think that Leigh and Kay Buesing and I are the only three left. The club grew out of weekly book discussions between Gordon Schoewe and Carol Nordquist at our Friday Night Gatherings. I think it was back in the early 2000s and it got so that no matter who or how many came to Friday night, Carol and Gordon dominated the conversation with book talk. I, ever the concerned hostess (not!) felt that maybe more ‘general’ conversation might be appropriate to those not the least bit interested in mysteries; I suggested the formation of a book club – sort of like, “Why don’t you two take it outside?”

Meanwhile… Leigh was still living across the street and she and Carol and I were walking every morning – the “Walking Women of Oysterville.” Leigh is an inveterate reader. Plus she worked for Nyel and me when we had the BookVendor in Long Beach and was, by the Walking Women era, working at Adelaide’s in the Book Department. And, of course, she wanted to be part of the Mystery Book Club.

imagesAnd so did Kay Buesing. Kay and her late husband Jim had been a part of our Picnic Group. Jim and Gordon were best friends and when both Jim and Gordon’s partner Roy died, it was a no-brainer for Kay and Gordon to do a lot of social stuff together… like the Picnics and Friday Nights and… the Mystery Book Club.

We hadn’t been meeting together long before Sue and Bill Grennan moved to the Peninsula, went to Adelaide’s looking for books, and Leigh asked if they’d be interested in joining the Book Club. And so it has gone… bit by bit our group has contracted and expanded. We’ve lost both Carol and Gordon but we’ve also gained new readers (and friends!). By now our membership includes some who didn’t even know Gordon and Carol, some who have never met Leigh or Nick and some who don’t even know about Friday Nights at our house.

But, as far as I know, every single one of us will be at the Roo next Tuesday night at 5:00 enjoying the Luau benefit for our member Leigh’s son Nick who is valiantly battling esophageal cancer. Our plan to attend is no mystery at all. In fact, it’s a no-brainer!


  1. Sandy Stonebreaker

    Date of luau; by all signs it is on Tuesday and not Friday of next week.

    • sydney

      Yep. Tuesday, Dec. 8th, 5:00 to 8:00. Did I say Friday???? Jeeze!

  2. Caroline Miller

    Your book club sounds like many others. But my two cents worth, hated the Stieg Larsson mystery and did a blog on it sometime ago. Guess I wouldn’t get an” invite” to the Oysterville book club, would I?

    • sydney

      On the contrary, Caroline! I would love you to be in our book club. I am usually the nay-sayer in the group. In fact, I’ve even surprised myself by not completing a book now and then if I feel it’s a waste of time — a new experience for me. (I’ve always had that ridiculous ‘good student’ ethic — finish your homework. So, when you move to Oysterville (lol) by all means, join us!

  3. Vicki Carter

    I have been a part of a book club since the early ’90’s. Love it so much! I started out in one in Denver and the three main people in the group, me included, are still great friends! Then when I moved back to Longview I helped start the book group at the library. Now since I’m on the peninsula I’m a member of the book group at the Ocean Park Library. I love my book group and have met great friends through it. I always like the book, some more than others, and I always finish the book. I’ve always wished I could be in a group that meets where we could all have a glass of wine while discussing the book, but my groups have always been in libraries or book stores. Some day… 🙂


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