Friday, November 4, 2016

Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge


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 Offence -- twelve books in a single chain of evidence

Here are the rules in a nutshell:

~Challenge runs from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. All books should be read during this time period. Sign up any time between now and November 1, 2017.  Any books read from January 1 on may count regardless of your sign-up date. If you have a blog, please post about the challenge. Then sign up via the linky below. And please make the url link to your Challenge post and not your home page. (Links that do not follow this rule will be removed.) If you do not have a blog, links to an online list (Goodreads, Library Thing, etc.) devoted to this challenge are also acceptable OR you may comment below to indicate your sign up.
~All books must be mysteries. Humor, romance, supernatural elements (etc) are welcome, but the books should be mysteries/crime/detective novels first.
~A full body of evidence must be read at the chosen level for a completed challenge and to be eligible for an end-of-year prize drawing.
~You are welcome to level up if you find that your evidence trail leads you to suspect a more serious crime. But no reduced sentences will be accepted (no leveling down).
~A wrap-up post/comment/email will be requested that should include explanations of the clue links.
~Reviews are not mandatory, but a monthly link-up will be provided for those so inclined
~A Headquarters link will appear on my sidebar after the beginning of the year--a place for review links and the year-end wrap-up.

Prizes!
~All challengers who complete their level with readily explained clues will be eligible for an end-of-year prize drawing.
~Bonus prize for the challenger who provides the longest chain of evidence (most books read in a single trail of clues). In case of a tie, I will draw a winner from those who have completed the same amount.







17 comments:

Peggy Ann said...

Your a genius, you really are! This sounds like great fun.

Bev Hankins said...

Peggy Ann, thanks! I hope it will be fun and I hope to see you sign up!

theinvisibleevent said...

There's a chance I'll mess this up, but it sounds like a lot of fun...a great idea, count me in! Oh, and count me in for the 2017 Golden Age Scavenger Hunt, too -- I'll do posts on both nearer the end of the year. Thanks for continuing to come up with these things, Bev, it adds a nice layer of caclulation to my choices and keeps things interesting (for me, I mean; I can't vouce for my readers...)

neer said...

Wow! This sounds really interesting Bev. I am definitely in. Will do a post for this and the vintage mystery challenge in December.

Bev Hankins said...

JJ and neer: hope you have fun with it. And glad you'll be joining me for both!

I like to give my reading a little bit of focus...and I can't resist a challenge so it keeps me motivated.

Susan said...

This sounds great! Would the following be a valid Chain of Evidence? I have all these in my TBR piles....how cool is that!

Chain of Evidence:
Death at Glamis Castle (Kathryn Ardleigh #9) by Robin Paige
Clue = royal dwelling (castle/palace)
The Rebel Princess (Alais Capet #2) by Judith Koll Healey
Clue = person of royal birth
Royal Blood (Her Royal Spyness #4) by Rhys Bowen
Clue = Blood
Bloody Halls (Jack Marston #1) by Carl Brookins
Clue = Blood
Bloodsport at Hiram Bog by Paige Erwin
Clue = Blood
A Flaw in the Blood by Stephanie Barron

Bev Hankins said...

Susan: I'll take it...I'd envisioned a little more variety in the clues. But since the only restriction I've suggested is not to have books from all the same author (or series character, etc) I don't think I can say no. :-)

Jamie Ghione said...

I'm going to give this a shot, and will try to get the minimum level. Books and clues TBD.

Carol said...

Sounds fun! I'm definitely in.

Thomas Peaple said...

Do any of the Donna Tartt books count please? and does The girl on the Train?

Bev Hankins said...

Thomas--This challenge is more open than my Vintage Mystery challenge. If you consider it a mystery/crime/thriller, I'm not likely to complain (unless it's REALLY a stretch). I'd definitely take The Girl on the Train and The Secret History by Tartt. I don't think The Goldfinch qualifies, though. A good guide would be if either your library has it marked as a mystery or detective fiction or if one of the book platforms (Goodreads, Library Thing, etc.) has a book listed as "Mystery" with a fairly high number of people filing it under that category.

Sharon Sprigg said...


Sounds exciting, count me in. Sharon

Nell said...

Most of my reads are mysteries. I'm signing up at the Misdemeanor level. I created a shelf on GR for this challenge.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/2443048?shelf=follow-the-clues

Michelle Miller said...

I'm in! Going to give it the old college try, as they say. ;-) Thanks for hosting!

Bev Hankins said...

Thanks, everyone, for joining me on this. I hope you all have fun with it. I can't wait to see what evidence trail you come up with.

cpontius said...

I have posted my trail of clues so far in the comments of my original post (Chris L. Pontius link above).

Nell said...

Finished my 12th book in the chain of evidence. Posted on Goodreads bookshelf as clues and on my member post in the cozy mystery group. Here is the list (so far):

Chain of Evidence:
1. A Burial at Sea by Charles Finch
Clue = 5th book in series
2. Iced Under by Barbara Ross
Clue = MC from Maine; tea cups & window on cover; plot similarity (disappearance of family member); victim poisoned
3. Twisted Threads by Lea Wait
Clue = first in series; set in coastal town; cat on cover; victim poisoned
4. A High-End Finish by Kate Carlisle
Clue = MC lives in home town, has curly red hair & owns business; flowers on cover; series adapted for tv (HMM); author's first name & initials; boyfriend is ex-military special forces
5. Florist Grump by Kate Collins
Clue = dog on cover; pub 2015
6. A Fright to the Death by Dawn Eastman
Clue = yarn, knitting needles & basket on cover
7. Death By Cashmere by Sally Goldenbaum
Clue = birds on blue cover
8. Die Like an Eagle by Donna Andrews
Clue = set in Virginia, small town; MC has a dog
9. Murder Most Howl by Krista Davis
Clue = set at an inn/hotel
10. Whispers Beyond the Veil by Jessica Estevao
Clue = set at an inn/hotel; author writes under pen name
11. Hot Button by Kylie Logan
Clue = Buttons on cover, fashion theme
12. Deadly Patterns by Melissa Bourbon