Book Club Profile: Mysterious Undertakings at Waldo

Library Life
Waldo mystery lovers undertake a discussion of C.J. Box. Click for larger photo.

Welcome to the first of our KCPL Book Group profiles. Mysterious Undertakings at the Waldo Branch gladly agreed to accommodate a drop-in visitor who took copious notes and photographs. But then again, Waldo welcomes all newcomers, and on this particular night, there was more than one newbie.

Mysterious Undertakings meets the first Monday of every month in a meeting room. The members take turns choosing the books and the selector leads the discussion. Facilitators Ann and Marty make certain the room is booked, cleaned, and set up.  Another participant brings tea, and everyone is free to bring their own tea cup. (If you use one of the Library mugs, you must wash it before you go.)

At this gathering, Phil led the discussion on the first Joe Pickett novel, Open Season. Phil knew that author C.J. Box was likely familiar to many of the attendees, and he took the time to point out that the conversation had to be focused on the book, not the author.

Readers spent a merry hour discussing the character of Joe’s wife, and if it was realistic to expect her to tolerate a relationship in which the finances of her family are so strained. Then they turned to the character of Joe, a Wyoming game warden, and his struggles to do the right thing for the environment, the livelihood of the residents, and his own family. These were topics of endless fascination for attendees –  species threatened by advancing development and the economic survival of a town.

One reader saw the similarities to Zane Grey in this mystery and said it was a western with a detective instead of a cowboy, which led to a conversation about blending the two genres.

All in attendance agreed that the Joe Pickett mysteries were a series that got better with each entry and always provided worthy points to ponder about the environment.

To join Mysterious Undertakings, call Marty Hatten, 816.701.3486. Find out more about Library book groups.

About the Author

Kaite Stover

Kaite Mediatore Stover is the Head of Readers’ Services for the Kansas City Public Library. She is a regular guest on KCUR's Book Doctors segment and moderator of The Kansas City Star’s FYI Book Club. Kaite has contributed to Booklist, Public Libraries, Reference & User Services Quarterly, and Library Journal. She can tap dance, read tarot cards, and doesn’t bite.

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