Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge: My Sign-Up

Brand new for 2017! My Reader's Block is proud to introduce the Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge. Since mysteries are my primary genre, I wanted to develop another mystery challenge that would be more all-encompassing. Unlike the variations of my yearly Vintage Mystery Challenge, this mystery challenge will have no publication date limits. If it's a mystery--it counts and it does not matter when it was published. Your goal? To follow a set of clues furnished by the mystery books you read to create a body of evidence to support a book court case. Each book clue should lead you to your next read. The connection can be anything at all from author names to motive for murder to type of mystery (police procedural, espionage, romantic thriller, etc) to an item on the cover, but you must be able to make your case to the jury on your detective logic. I would prefer that you not read eight books from the same author and use the author/series character/etc. as the clue link, however. 

Evidence Trail Example: if the first book I read is by Agatha Christie, then my next book could be Arrow Pointing Nowhere by Elizabeth Daly who has often been referred to as "Agatha Christie's favorite author." Using "Arrow" from the Daly book's title, then House of the Arrow by A.E.W. Mason (published in 1924) could be next and it might lead me to another book published in 1924...and so on. If you have doubts about whether your clue is convincing OR you need any clarification about the challenge at all, you may approach the bench with questions (phryne1969 AT gmail DOT com).

There are several levels of participation:
Infraction -- six books read in a single chain of evidence
Misdemeanor -- eight books read in a single chain of evidence
Felony -- ten books read in a single chain of evidence 
Capital Offense -- twelve books in a single chain of evidence 

For full details and to sign up, please see the link above. 

I will be starting with a Misdemeanor (my official commitment) and then will see if I can build a case for a Capital Offense.

1. Death at Swaythling Court by J. J. Connington (1/4/17) [revolver on cover--which leads me to...]
2. Death of a Racehorse by John Creasey (1/7/17) [do those bullets on the cover match the gun in question? And my next clue...]
3. The 24th Horse by Hugh Pentecost (1/13/17) [Now horses seem to be theme. This takes place at a horse show in New York City. And this book leads me to...]
4. Death Takes a Bow by Frances & Richard Lockridge (2/5/17) [With more mysterious goings-on in New York City...with Mr. & Mrs. North.]
5. Deception Island by M. K. Lorens (2/13/17) [In the Lockridge book, the victim is a writer. Here, the amateur sleuth is a writer. Connection = writers]
6. Episode of the Wandering Knife by Mary Roberts Rinehart (2/17/17) [A man on the cover of Deception Island is holding a knife. A woman on the Rinehart book is holding a knife. Connection = knife]
7. The Body Missed the Boat by Jack Iams (3/6/17) [Rinehart book was a Dell mapback. That map led me to this book which is also a Dell mapback.]
8. Murder at Government House by Elspeth Huxley (3/14/17) [Iams book was set in Africa. This book is also set in Africa.]


9. Dread & Water by Douglas Clark (3/15/17) [Two important scenes in the Huxley book involve mountainsides. All of the deaths in the Clark book occur while mountain-climbing]
10. Silence Observed by Michael Innes (3/28/17) [Both Clark & Innes have upper-level policemen investigating the crimes] 


11. Nun Plussed by Monica Quill (3/30/17) [A rare/used book man is one of the victims in the Innes book; a rare/used book man is the initial suspect in the Quill book]
12. A Grave Case of Murder by Roger Bax (4/10/17) [A supposed marriage is involved in each book]

Capital Offense! 

13. Murder Comes First by Frances & Richard Lockridge (4/11/17) [Both books have very sympathetic detectives--in the Bax book, sympathy with the suspects, and in the Lockridge book sympathy with the amateur detectives.] 
14. Stroke of Death by Josephine Bell (4/12/17)  [Murder for Money]
15. Coffin's Dark Number by Gwendoline Butler (4/16/17) [Both are heavily psychological character studies--and very squalid, depressing character studies too]

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