DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — The hard-edged detective enters the room, a crumpled cigarette he bummed dangling from his lips — unlit because he’s trying hard to quit the dang habit. He looks around the bedroom, sighs as he sees the body, one more poor victim who won’t be able to share his story.
But the detective protagonist knows every crime scene is a story itself, waiting for someone to unravel it.
And with a deft way with words, pacing and atmosphere, this mystery’s author takes readers right along with the detective as, together, they determine “whodunnit.”
“I think mysteries appeal to people in so many ways from just trying to figure it out or giving us a sense that no wrong goes unpunished,” said Bill Reinehr of the Marble Falls Library Mystery Book Club. “And there are so many different types of mysteries inside the genre itself that there’s definitely something everybody can enjoy and get lost in.”
Once a month, the club meets to discuss mysteries and highlight a book and its author. Typically, the Marble Falls Library Mystery Book Club meets 1 p.m. the first Thursday of the month at the library, 101 Main St., but this month, members bumped it back until Jan. 8 at 3:30 p.m. due to New Year’s Day falling on the regular meeting day.
The mystery aficionados will return to their regular schedule starting in February.
During the January meeting, the club will discuss Steve Hamilton’s “The Lock Artist.”
If that book doesn’t particularly appeal to a reader, Reinehr said the club has a list of selections throughout the year.
“So something’s bound to get your attention,” he said.
The mystery book club doesn’t just talk about a book. Members share other novels and authors they are reading or have read. It’s a jumping-off point for mystery enthusiasts, and readers in general.
“Mysteries encompass so much,” Reinehr said. “Within the mystery (genre), itself, you have such a variety such as police procedurals, cozies, suspense and even professional or amateur detectives. It’s really a big area.”
But he said novels from other genres — even some classic literature — often include elements of mystery.
While the mystery hinges around the crime and “whodunnit,” other parts of the novel can often play a big role. Reinehr pointed out that Tony Hillman, who penned numerous mystery novels set in the Navajo nation and Four Corners region of the Southwestern United States, basically created a major character in the landscape and culture itself.
Whether police procedural, an Agatha Christie “cozy” or a fast-paced suspense, the thing that matters the most is it’s just a darn good read.
“What we try to do is cover the entire waterfront when it comes to mysteries,” Reinehr said. “We have some that are pretty modern and some that are a bit older. We just want to give people a good taste of the mysteries out there, including many award winners. Because, in the end, it it’s an interesting story, that’s what we like.”
Call the Marble Falls Public Library at (830) 693-3023 for more information on the club or other events.