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My dear Book Clubbers,

I want to begin with a great big thank you to everyone for all of my wonderful gifts! I love everything and I can’t thank you enough. But I’ll attempt it, whether you like it or not. First off, the trunks are so “me” that it’s scary. They will reside in my new loft office (I work from home in my jammies since I closed my law firm) next to an antique globe I own that also has a blue background. Ray is looking forward to cooking us shrimp pasta for Christmas dinner. If you know anything about me, you know how I love to defy holiday traditions and do things differently. I think shrimp pasta is the perfect holiday cuisine. I plan to handle the whole wine opening and serving part of the meal, we all do what we’re good at right? I’ve already convinced Ray that we should watch Hercule Poirot’s Christmas on Christmas day, so it won’t be too hard to include a game of Wine-opoly. The man is a saint, as you all well know (you’ve met me right?) It won’t surprise you that I collect literary based cookbooks and cocktail books (see attached photo) and I have coveted the MWA cookbook since it was published. Again, it’s so “me” that it’s scary! Thank you all so much for your generosity, your unfailing attendance at all club meetings, and your tolerance of all of my quirks, games, and crazy ideas.

On to the festivities of the year. I always love our Christmas party. Even crammed into my narrow, townhouse-like home, it’s my favorite party of the year. I love that everyone makes a special effort to attend and when they can’t it’s with regrets rather than just an FYI. I always say we have the best book club ever, and it’s so true!

This year was no different. Deborah was the newbie this time and she really rolled with the whole thing. She got her gifts stolen from her several times and took it with a grain of salt. Jose entertained us all with his wearing of the London Underground apron (did I tell you I went to London for my birthday?). I think he only took the pot holder off his hand to make it easier to hold his beer. I say that I have retired the Charlie Brown tree, but we just can’t be sure.

We had an upset this year, and I report the following with equal sadness and joy. Jeff did NOT win the quiz prize this year. Lorraine swooped in, took control, and nailed the quiz score—blowing Jeff out of the water, if I may say so. Jeff took it well and wished her the best, although I did see him with a pocket knife very close to her car tires later in the evening. But I digress. Congratulations to Lorraine for accomplishing something that Dave has only dreamed of. Too bad he wasn’t there to see it!

Speaking of Dave, he was missed during this year’s festivities. We did vote that due to his absence, we would require a book report. We’re all familiar with the concept from 4th grade, and it’s very simple. You read the book, you report on it. Perhaps though, Mrs. Anderson in 4th grade didn’t require you to sit on a dinosaur chair and deliver your book report while wearing a beany. But all I have to say is, think outside the box, Mrs. Anderson. Dave is tasked with reading and reporting on the following literary gem. This is not a mission that can be accepted or declined. This is mandatory reading and, if I know Dave, he will rise to the challenge. Here you go Dave, remember that this book was chosen with love by all of your Crime & Beyond friends:

TheNymphosOfRockyFlats

The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo (a local Denver author). The first and only vampire book to be declassified by the federal government. Felix Gomez went to Iraq a soldier. He came back a vampire. Now he finds himself pulled into a web of intrigue when an old friend prompts him to investigate an outbreak of nymphomania at the secret government facilities in Rocky Flats. He'll find out the cause of all these horny women or die trying! But first he must contend with shadowy government agents, Eastern European vampire hunters, and women who just want his body. Skewering sexual myths, conspiracy fables, and government bureaucracy, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats reveals the bizarre world of the undead with a humorous slant and a fresh twist.

Dave, I have already ordered you your own copy of this masterpiece and look forward to presenting it to you in January.

I think my favorite part of the night was when my husband came home to a huge cheer and several drink orders. Had I known that I could not duplicate his cocktails I would ever have agreed to the shirking of his duties to attend an insignificant dinner with friends. I applaud my husband’s many talents (the most notable being the putting up with yours truly) and he has been informed that he is an integral part of the December book club festivities and gives his humble apologies for not being here for the entire event. He will make sure that this shirking of duties never happens again. I think to make up for the cocktail debacle of 2016, we will need to impose a dress code of vest and top hat. But that’s just an initial plan, I’m sure I can think of many more punishments, I mean dress codes for him. If any of you have the urge to feel sorry for him, be rest assured that he did not marry me without knowing that he was in for quite an adventure.

But wait, there’s more. We actually discussed the book. Yes, we had a book. The overall scores were very good, she says with surprise. I was not a fan of the woo-woo aspect of this book, along with the fact that there was no mystery to it, but many Crime & Beyonders loved it. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Creepy, I liked the characters and the story – Jose, while drinking an IPA and wearing an apron.
  • I didn’t like it halfway through, it wasn’t a grabber – Bruce, with an air of superiority that only a true mystery reader can muster.
  • I was confused, but I liked the writing – Janine, too nice to possibly offend an author, but too honest to not tell her true feelings.
  • It wasn’t realistic, all of those paranormal people in once place – Deborah, who held the author to a higher level of reality than Unger may have liked.
  • I bought into the psychic part, I really liked Finley – Sharon L., who always finds the best in everyone.
  • I liked Rainer, he may have been a cheat, but he was real and he got Finley – Kerry, who was a bit disappointed in this month’s read.
  • This book was a bit too woo-woo for this group. I was reminded of Anne Rice – Jeff, lamenting the fact that he chose to watch a re-run of the Dr. Who Christmas special rather than study for the quiz.
  • This wasn’t really a murder mystery – Denise, mimicking what Kerry was thinking at that very moment.
  • Whatever Denise says – Denise, recently voted husband of the year.
  • DNR – Sharon K. who hopes to not go into cardiac arrest at a book club event anytime soon.
  • Good read, it was ok, I was sad that the Gramma died – Kim, who deserves a medal for reading as many Reacher stories as she has.
  • I like paranormal and sci-fi – Chris K., who always surprises us with her love of all books and all genres.
  • I liked it, I studied parapsychology – Raj, who prefers Ray’s chocolate martinis to Kerry’s.
  • I’m halfway through, but I love it – Judy, who has been known to pan a book for its low body count.
  • DNF (did not finish) because DNL (did not like) – Cindy, who is NOT afraid to voice her opinion.

That’s a wrap for the year ladies and gentlemen. For everyone who celebrates, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I will see you in January to discuss The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith. Check the library for copies.

If you signed up to lead or bring snacks, thank you very much. I will email everyone separately with their months and assignments.

Your fearless leader (but apparently crappy bartender), Kerry

See you in 2017!

P.S. I got some great photos of the event and will work with our webmaster to get them on Wiki with these notes.

CookbookCollection


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