Monday, November 19, 2018

Red Harvest: Review


"Plans are all right sometimes," I said. "And sometimes just stirring things up is all right--if you're tough enough to survive, and keep your eyes open so you'll see what you want when it comes to the top." ~The Continental Op in
Red Harvest (1929) by Dashiell Hammett

Newspaper publisher, Donald Willsson calls on the Continental Detective Agency to send an operative to his town of Personville (known colloquially as "Poisonville"). Our unnamed narrator, known forevermore as The Continental Op, arrives in town without any briefing on what Willsson wants. He's told that he'll find out once he meets Willsson at his home. But Willsson isn't at the house and his wife doesn't know where he is. She gets a phone call, runs off without a word, comes back some time later with what looks like bloodstains on her shoes, and announces that Donald won't be coming home that night. The Op isn't too shocked to find out that Willsson is dead.

Willsson's father Elihu has, until recently, owned the town. But when a strike threatened his businesses, Elihu brought in professional strong men to break the strike and those men decided they like the looks of Personville and hung around. Elihu is still the nominal big man, but he has to kowtow to the gangs when they say so. Donald was trying to stir up support to clean up the town through his paper and when The Op visits the elder Willsson a deal is struck (with a signed contract and all) that the Continental Detective Agency will clean up the town.

After a lot of people (and I do mean a LOT) are killed (and Elihu tries to cancel the deal), the town is cleaned up and Elihu is back in control. But Elihu Willsson may not like the state of his town once The Op is finished with it.

So....this is SO not my thing. Hard-boiled, noir is in general not my thing. But I loved The Maltese Falcon. And I enjoy small doses of Brett Halliday's Michael Shayne. But Red Harvest is really not my thing--this is noir at its blackest and grittiest. This is hard-boiled so hard it's turned to stone. There are bodies everywhere. There are double- and triple- and quadruple-crosses. There are huge shoot-outs between the gangs and the police (who have gang ties of their own). 

The saving grace? Hammett knows how to write. Even though I'm not happy with what I'm reading, he makes it go down nice (though I'm not sure "nice" is exactly the right word here...). The Op may take extreme measures to get the job done. He may not operate within a particularly palatable set of rules--but reading about his exploits and his interactions with various characters is entertaining. The plot line is a bit convoluted (what with all the double- and triple- and so-on-crossing and all)--otherwise I would have have rated this classic in the hard-boiled realm higher. ★★ If you like noir and hard-boiled detectives, then this is definitely your thing.

[Finished 11/12/18]

2018 Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge: My Sign-Up


Michelle at Seasons of Reading is once again sponsoring her Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. In short, the challenge runs from November 19, 2018 through January 6, 2019. The books read must be Christmassy in nature--novels, short story collections, books of poems, etc.

There are various levels:
~Candy Cane: read 1 book
~Mistletoe: read 2-4 books
~Christmas Tree: read 5-6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)

Additional levels all watching Christmas movies and reading children's books with your kids--but you must complete one of the main reading levels to fulfill the challenge.

For more details and to join up, follow the link above.

As usual, I am joining a the Mistletoe level:

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Death of My Aunt: Review

Death of My Aunt (1929) by C.H.B. Kitchin

At 25, Malcolm Warren is already a bit of a stick-in-the-mud, eccentric, old-fashioned stockbroker. The most excitement in his life has come with the ups and downs of the stock market. But he's always been the favorite of his very rich and extremely autocratic Aunt Catherine and he gets along with old girl. They've always understood each other, so when she summons him for a visit he goes. She wants advice on her investments and Malcolm is the only one she trusts to do the right thing. Little does he imagine the excitement in store for him.

During his stay with Aunt Catherine, he is tricked into handing her a fatal dose of poison. Malcolm must turn amateur detective to prevent himself from being hauled away as suspect number one. He also has a fondness for Aunt Catherine's young husband--a man none of the rest of the family likes and whom they would love to see put away as auntie's killer. So, Malcolm wants to save two people from the gallows and see the proper villain charged with the crime. But who is it? Our hero shares a list of those who might have an interest in Catherine's death--most of whom would benefit most if either Malcolm or Uncle Hannibal were charged with the crime. There are a whole slew of family members--from Malcolm's own mother and another sister and brother to various nieces and nephews to Aunt Catherine to a couple of solicitors with an interest in the doings. 

Malcolm, in the true spirit of a detail-minded businessman, also provides the reader with timelines for the substitution of the poison and in-depth cases against various suspects. He even makes a case against Uncle Hannibal and sets up a test to allow Hannibal to prove his innocence. Will he be sorry he let his uncle off the hook?

H.R.F. Keating thought this one was good enough to make his Crime & Mystery: The 100 Best Books list. Steve over on Mystery*File thought it dated, but still a lot of fun to read. Though he does say that he doubts that today's readers will find much of interest. He's right. While did appreciate Malcolm's run-down of timelines and motives and whatnot and the plotting is fairly decent, there just isn't a lot to get hold of in these characters. Malcolm isn't world's most engaging protagonist and none of the other characters are at interesting or sympathetic. Not even poor Uncle Hannibal. Part of the problem is that Kitchin doesn't spend a great deal of effort on characterization. A decent mystery--interesting enough for those of us who enjoy vintage mysteries and who want to check out the books on Keating's list. But not one that you need to go out of your way to track down. [Am I damning with faint praise? I suppose so...] ★★ and 3/4.

[Finished on 11/7/18]



Saturday, November 17, 2018

Ngaio Marsh Challenge II: My Sign-Up


Ngaio Marsh Challenge:

Ngaio Marsh is one of the 'Big Four,' Golden Age authors, who include Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham. In 2018 we read the first 12 of her mystery novels featuring her detective, Roderick Alleyn. And in 2019 we will read the next 12 of her mystery novels. The books, in order, will be:





Jan - Book 13. Died in the Wool (1944)
Feb - Book 14. Final Curtain (1947)
March - Book 15. A Wreath for Rivera (1949)
aka Swing, Brother, Swing
April - Book 16. Night at the Vulcan (1951)
aka Opening Night
May - Book 17. Spinsters in Jeopardy (1953)
aka The Bride of Death
June - Book 18. Scales of Justice (1955)
July - Book 19. Death of a Fool (1956)
aka Off with His Head
August - Book 20. Singing in the Shrouds (1958)
September - Book 21. False Scent (1959)
October - Book 22. Hand in Glove (1962)
November - Book 23. Dead Water (1963)
December - Book 24. Killer Dolphin (1966)
aka Death at the Dolphin 

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge: My Sign-Up


The Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, hosted at Passages to the Past, allows readers to use any genre of historical fiction--including romance, mystery, young adult, etc--to fulfill the challenge. There are several levels of participation. For full details and to sign up, please follow the link above.

I am signing up for 

Victorian Reader -- 5 books

Books read for the challenge:
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Family Tree Reading Challenge: My Sign-Up



Becky at Becky's Book Reviews is hosting another round of the Family Tree Reading Challenge. She has given us several options this year, but I am going to stick with reading books that were published in family members' birth years. This year I made a basic commitment of five books and then added a second level for extended family. For 2019, I plan to read 10 books total for immediate family including my parents and my husband's family.

Phil (my dad): 1948
Gloria (my mom): 1947
Bev (me): 1969
Brad (husband): 1966
Kyle (son): 1992
Beverly (husband's mom): 1944
Elvin (husband's dad): 1940
John (husband's step-dad): 1946
Kristal (husband's sister): 1968
M. Alex (husband's brother): 1976


Craving for Cozies: My Sign-Up



Lori at Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book is once again hosting her Craving for Cozies Challenge. If you like cozy mysteries, follow the link to read the details and sign up. I will be signing up for the first level: Feeling Peckish (1-25 Cozy Mysteries) to go along with my sign-up for another cozy mystery challenge.

Books read for the challenge:

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Cruisin' Thru the Cozies: My Sign-Up



Yvonne at Socrates's Book Reviews is once again giving us a choice at the Cruisin' Thru the Cozies Challenge. We can either go with the cozy categories that she has given as prompts or we can read any cozies of our choice. I still prefer to leave thing's open, so I'm going with the cozies of choice version and will commit to the first level--Snoop. If you'd like to join in, follow the link above.


Level One (Snoop): Read a total of 10 books.

Books read for the challenge:
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2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge: My Sign-Up



The folks at the PopSugar Reading Challenge like to encourage us to expand our reading horizons by giving a list of forty reading prompts--plus a bonus ten for those who are very committed. We don't have to do all of them--the goal is to read more and read more of the things we don't normally read. I'm quite sure I won't read all of these; especially since I try to limit my non-owned reading (I have mountains of books right here in the house that I need to get to. So, my declared goal is to read 20 books from either list.

Here are the prompts that most appeal to me--for the full list, follow the link above.

1. A book that makes you nostalgic
2. A book with a plant in the title or on the cover
3. A reread of a favorite book
4. A book about a hobby
5. A book with "pop," "sugar," or "challenge" in the title
6. A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover
7. A book with a question in the title
8. A book set on a college or university campus
9. A book told from multiple character POVs
10. A book set in space
11. A book by two female authors
12. A book with a title that contains "salty," "sweet," "bitter," or "spicy"
13. A debut novel
14. A book with "love" in the title
15. A book featuring an amateur detective
16. A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter
17. A ghost story
18. A novel based on a true story
19. A book revolving around a puzzle or game
20. Favorite prompt from a past PopSugar Challenge
21. A "choose-your-own-adventure" book
22. Read a book during the season it is set in
23. A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage, or convent


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Challenge Complete: PopSugar Reading Challenge 2018




I originally signed up for 20 of the possible 50 categories on the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge.  I thought I might do more and kept the challenge open even when I had my 20 completed. But--given the books I still need to read for other challenges, I'm pretty sure I've completed all I'm going to from the list. So, here are the prompts that I've finished in the 2018 Challenge.

1. A book made into a movie you've already seen: Rear Window by Cornell Woolrich (5/16/18)

2. True Crime: Great True Stories of Crime, Mystery & Detection by various authors; put together by Reader's Digest

3. The next book in a series you started: The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas (6/1/18)

4. Nordic Noir: The Terrorists by Maj Sjowall & Per Wahloo (8/30/18)

5. A novel based on a real person: The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher [Harry Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & several others] (6/12/18)

6. A book set in a country that fascinates you: A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh (1/7/18) England--I've always wanted to travel there.

7. A book with a time of day in the title: Murder at Midnight by C.S. Challinar (7/23/18)

8. A book with your favorite color in the title: The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie (5/28/18)

9. A book with alliteration in the title: Lament for a Lady Laird by Margot Arnold (2/3/18)

10. A book with a weather element in the title: Foggy, Foggy Death by Frances & Richard Lockridge (9/22/18)


11. A book with an animal in the title: The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess (2/8/18)

12. A book set on a different planet: (various different planets) World's Best Science Fiction: 1966 by Donald Wollheim & Terry Carr, eds (1/9/18)

13. A book with song lyrics in the title: Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner [song sung most famously by Louis Armstrong] (3/30/18)

14. A book by a female author who uses a male pseudonym: With Blood & Kisses by Richard [Dora] Shattuck (2/23/18)

15. A book you borrowed or was given to you as a gift: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards [gift from one of my 2017 Secret Santas] (1/23/18)

16. A book by two authors: Murder Out of Turn by Frances & Richard Lockridge (3/27/18)

17. A book by a local author: Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay (1/11/18)

18. A childhood classic you've never read: The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (7/25/18)

19. A book set in the decade you were born: The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird [1969--my birth year, in fact] (2/16/18)

20. Book with an ugly cover: The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction 8th Series by Anthony Boucher (ed) [I think it's ugly because there's SO much yellow--and I'm really not a yellow fan.] (1/28/18) 

21. A book that involves a bookstore or library (Both!): Murder by the Book by Stephen Sheridan (5/8/18)

22. Favorite prompt from 2015, 2016, or 2017 PopSugar Challenges. I would choose 2015's Book with a number in the title:  The Zero Trap by Paula Gosling (4/8/18)

Monday, November 12, 2018

Death & the Dancing Footman

Death & the Dancing Footman (1941) by Ngaio Marsh is one of those Golden Age mystery stand-bys: a murder at a country house party--and in the middle of a snow storm no less. But Marsh gives the standard a slight twist. Jonathan Royal, who by his own reckoning is a stifled artist, has decided to use human beings in a drama of his own contrivance. He has deliberately invited a houseful of guests where each person is at odds with at least one other person (and sometimes more). And he has invited Aubrey Mandrake, a poet dramatist, to be his impartial audience.

It came to me that human beings could, with a little judicious arrangement, be as carefully "composed" as the figures in a picture. One had only to restrict them a little, confine them within the decent boundaries of a suitable canvas, and they would make a pattern...Of course, the right--how shall I put it?--the right ingredients must be selected, and this was where I came in. I would set my palette with human colours, and the picture would paint itself.

Aubrey Mandrake is horrified. "It seems to me that you have invited stark murder to your house. Frankly, I can imagine nothing more terrifying than the prospect of this week-end." And, yet, it is the horrified fascination of someone watching a train-wreck. He can't not stay and watch the drama unfold.

And unfold it does though the guests do try to keep a civil and even sometimes party atmosphere going until Aubrey is shoved into the freezing waters of the outdoor pool and both Nicholas Compline and Dr. Francis Hart each claim the other has mistaken Aubrey for themselves and that murder has been attempted. Other attempts are made...but when death final comes, it strikes an unexpected target. Mandrake sets out through the drifts of snow to bring back Inspector Roderick Alleyn--who he knows to be staying in the near-by village. Alleyn will have to comb through all the clues to discover if it is a case of a victim by mistake or if the murderer got the results intended all along.
 
One of the delights of this book for me is the naming of the butler. A butler named Caper just seems so perfect for a mystery given one of its definitions as "an activity or escapade, typically one that is illicit or ridiculous." It's also quite apt in a book that has a dancing footman to have someone named after a word for "skip or dance about in a lively or playful way." Marsh must have thought it a bit much to actually name the footman Caper, but obviously couldn't resist implying that the butler might once have capered about himself when he was young.

I did find myself missing Alleyn for a huge chunk of the book. He doesn't show up until the story is two-thirds along and even then he's without Fox, his right-hand man. I enjoy their interactions very much and wish that we had had more time with their investigation. But the twist on the country house murder was very interesting and made for an enjoyable read overall. ★★★★

[Finished 11/7/18]

Monday, November 5, 2018

Alphabet Soup Challenge 2019


The Alphabet Soup Challenge means that by December 31, 2019 our bowls must be filled with one book (title) for each letter of the Alphabet. Each letter = one spoonful.

Basic Details: You can join any time. For those pesky Q, X, and Z letters, the word that starts with the challenge letter may appear anywhere in the title. For full details and to sign up, click the link above.

A:
B:
C:
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I:
J:
K:
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Alphabet Soup--Authors Edition 2019


Every year Lori at Escape with Dollycas sponsors the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge (A-Z titles)--which I will be signing up for momentarily (because it's a challenge and I can't resist). BUT this year she's added a version for reading the alphabet in authors as well: Alphabet Soup--Authors Edition. So--our mission is to read books by authors whose first or last name will allow us to read one book for every letter of the alphabet. If you'd like to join in, please click on the link above for full details and the sign-up. X is going to be a tricky one. Especially since I prefer to read from my own shelves, if possible.

A:
B:
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Color Coded Reading Challenge 2019: My Sign-Up


Every year I think I may have used up all my titles with "Brown" (or a shade of brown) in the title. And every year I prove myself wrong. I'll keep signing up for the Color Coded Reading Challenge until I run out of titles (I'm determined to only use titles and not covers).

Here's the basic rule: Read nine books with the various colors listed below in the title or as the predominate color on the cover. For full details and to join us, click on the link above. I list my books and the dates read as they come.

1. Read a book with "Blue" (or a shade of blue) in the title/on the cover.
2. Read a book with "Red" (or a shade of red) in the title/on the cover.
3. Read a book with "Yellow" (or a shade of yellow) in the title/on the cover.
4. Read a book with "Green" (or a shade of green) in the title/on the cover.
5. Read a book with "Brown" (or a shade of brown) in the title/on the cover.
6. Read a book with "Black" (or a shade of black) in the title/on the cover.
7. Read a book with "White" (or a shade of white) in the title/on the cover.
8. Read a book with any other color in the title/on the cover.
9. Read a book with a word that implies color in the title/on the cover.




Sunday, November 4, 2018

Challenge Complete: Mount TBR






Well, I finally made it. I huffed and puffed my way to the top of Mount Everest. It's not as easy as it used to be. But my flag is planted! And...I'm not wasting a moment. I've tossed my gear into the spaceship that was waiting for me on the peak and I'm off to Mars. I know I won't make the top of Olympus, but let's see how far I can get....


1. The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham [on TBR since at least 2011] (1/1/18)
2. A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh [on TBR since 1/5/13] (1/7/18)
3. Bartholomew the Beaver by Ruth Dixon [on TBR since 3/24/17] (1/13/18)
4. World's Best Science Fiction: 1966 by Donald A. Wollheim & Terry Carr (eds) [on TBR since 10/4/14] (1/9/18)
5. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay [on TBR since 3/5/15] (1/11/18)
6. Search for Spock: A Star Trek Book of Exploration by Robb Pearlman [on TBR since 11/23/17] (1/12/18)
7. Partners in Wonder by Harlan Ellison (and others) [on TBR since 9/12/15] (1/19/18]
8. The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards [on TBR since 12/28/17] (1/23/18)
9. Red Warning by Virgil Markham [on TBR since 7/27/17] (1/25/18)
10. The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction edited by Anthony Boucher [on TBR since 7/21/16] (1/28/18)
11. Act One, Scene One--Murder by A. H. Richardson [on TBR since 7/21/17] (1/30/18)
12. The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Ripper Legacy by David Stuart Davies [on TBR since 10/19/17]  (1/31/18)
Pike's Peak!! 
13. Lament for a Lady Laird by Margot Arnold [on TBR since 11/7/13] (2/3/18)
14. The Pink Camellia by Temple Bailey [on TBR since 1/3/15] (2/5/18)
15. The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess [on TBR since 3/24/17] (2/8/18)
16. Avalanche by Kay Boyle [on TBR since 5/31/13] (2/8/18)
17. Another Woman's House by Mignon G. Eberhart [on TBR since 10/17/15] (2/10/18)
18. Star Wreck 6: Geek Space Nine by Leah Rewolinski [on TBR since 7/2/18] (2/11/18]
19. Beverly Gray's Secret by Clair Blank [on TBR since 3/24/17] (2/13/18)
20. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey [on TBR since some time pre-2011] (2/14/18)
21. The Stately Home Murder by Catherine Aird [on TBR since 10/5/17] (2/16/18)
22. With Blood & Kisses by Richard Shattuck [on TBR since 12/25/14] (2/23/18)
23. Odor of Violets by Baynard Kendrick [on TBR since 10/9/15] (2/27/18)
24. Dog Will Have His Day by Fred Vargas [on TBR since1/2/16 ] (3/4/18)
Mount Blanc!!
25. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain [on TBR since 5/25/17] (3/10/18)
26. Green for a Grave by Manning Lee Stokes [on TBR since 5/31/16] (3/13/18)
27. Payoff for the Banker by Frances & Richard Lockridge [on TBR since 12/25/16] (3/15/18)
28. About the Murder of Geraldine Foster by Anthony Abbott [on TBR since 1/10/13] (3/22/18)
29. The Sign of the Book by John Dunning [on TBR since 1/19/17] (2/2318) 
30. Scotland Yard Photo Crimes from the Files of Inspector Black, Vol. 1 by Henry Black [on TBR since 12/31/16] (3/24/18)
31. Murder Out of Turn by Frances & Richard Lockridge [on TBR since 12/25/16] (3/27/18)
32. Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner [on TBR since 7/21/16] (3/30/18)
33. The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson & Lloyd Osbourne [on TBR since 3/13/13] (4/3/18)
34. The Zero Trap by Paula Gosling [on TBR since 12/31/16] (4/8/18)
35. Death of a Hoosier Schoolmaster by Marlis Day [on TBR since ] (4/10/18)
36. A Vow of Penance by Veronica Black [on TBR since 7/20/13] (4/11/18)
Mt. Vancouver!!
37. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Illustrated Classics version) [on TBR since 8/17/17] (4/11/18)
38. Mrs. Malory & the Lilies That Fester by Hazel Holt [on TBR since at least 2011] (4/13/18)
39. The French Powder Mystery by Ellery Queen [on TBR since 7/8/16] (4/24/18)
40. Terror in the Town by Edward Ronns [on TBR since 12/25/14] (4/26/18)
41. The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Seventh Bullet by Daniel D. Victor [on TBR since 6/21/14] (4/27/18)
42. Then There Were Three by Geoffrey Homes [on TBR since 12/25/16] (4/30/18)
43. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (Illustrated Classics version) [on TBR since 8/17/17] (5/1/18)
44. Death at the Dog by Joanna Cannan [on TBR since ] (5/4/18)
45. Vintage Murder by Ngaio Marsh [on TBR since 8/6/11] (5/7/18)
46. Untidy Murder by Frances & Richard Lockridge [on TBR since 10/7/16] (5/9/18)
47. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (Illustrated Classics version) [on TBR since 8/17/17] (5/10/18)
48. Rear Window by Cornell Woolrich [on TBR since 12/16/15] (5/16/18)
Mt. Ararat!!
49. The Body in the Basket by George Bagby [on TBR since 12/25/15] (5/22/18)
50. The Love Songs of Sappho trans by Paul Roche [on TBR since 12/16/10] (5/23/18)
51. By the Light of the Study Lamp by Carolyn Keene [on TBR since 7/1/16] (5/25/18)
52. The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie [on TBR since 11/12/16] (5/28/18)
53. Dekok & Murder by Installment by A. C. Baantjer [on TBR since 1/2/16] (5/30/18)
54. The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas [on TBR since 12/22/12] (6/1/18)
55. Terror in Times Square by Alan Handley [on TBR since 12/20/14] (6/5/18)
56. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (Illustrated Classics version) [on TBR since 8/17/17] (6/9/18)
57. The Witch of Lime Street by David Jaher [on TBR since 6/9/16] (6/12/18)
58. Artists in Crime by Ngaio Marsh [on TBR since 11/21/16] (6/17/18)
59. Some Beasts No More by Kenneth Giles [on TBR since 3/28/15] (6/22/18)
60. Gun in Cheek by Bill Pronzini [on TBR since 7/11/09] (6/27/18)
Mt. Kilimanjaro!!
61. She by H. Rider Haggard [on TBR since 10/3/14] (7/17/18)
62. The Trouble in Hunter Ward by Josephine Bell [on TBR since 3/10/12] (7/18/18)
63. Nothing Venture by Patricia Wentworth [on TBR since 8/17/13] (7/19/18)
64. Time of Terror by Hugh Pentecost [on TBR since 12/31/11] (7/20/18)
65. Women Sleuths by Martin H. Greenberg & Bill Pronzini (eds) [on TBR since 11/29/08] (7/21/18)
66. Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin [on TBR since at least 3/5/11 ] (7/22/18)
67. The Babes in the Wood by Ruth Rendell [on TBR since 3/17/11] (7/22/18
68. Murder at Midnight by C. S. Challinor [on TBR since 6/11/15] (7/23/18)
69. The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (ed by ) [on TBR since 8/20/15] (7/25/18)
70. The Lacquer Screen by Robert Van Gulik [on TBR since 3/8/14] (7/28/18)
71. A Summer in the Twenties by Peter Dickinson [on TBR since 5/26/12] (8/2/18)
72. The Haunted Showboat by Caroline Keene [on TBR since 7/29/18] (8/2/18)
73. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith [on TBR since ] (8/5/18)
74. The Big Four by Agatha Christie [on TBR since 10/6/16] (8/12/18)
75. A Very Private Enterprise by Elizabeth Ironside [on TBR since 1/11/14] (8/16/18)
El Toro!!
76. Overture to Death by Ngaio Marsh [on TBR since 8/12/11] (8/19/18)
77. The Tale of Brownie Beaver by Arthur Scott Bailey [on TBR since 6/2/17] (8/19/18)
78. Great True Stories of Crime, Mystery & Detection by various (ed. by Reader's Digest) [on TBR since 8/7/11] (8/22/18)
79. The Blind Spot by John Creasey [on TBR since 10/7/16] (8/23/18)
80. Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus [on TBR since 10/6/16] (8/24/18)
81. Basil & the Pygmy Cats by Eve Titus [on TBR since 10/6/16] (8/24/18)
82. Basil in Mexico by Eve Titus [on TBR since 10/6/16] (8/25/18)
83. Angels in the Gloom by Anne Perry [on TBR since 2/1/13] (8/28/18)
84. The Terrorists by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö [on TBR since 3/29/11] (8/30/18)
85. The Invisible Thief by Thomas Brace Haughey [on TBR since 1983] (9/5/18)
86. The Grub-&-Stakers Pinch a Poke by Alisa Craig (Charlotte MacLeod) [on TBR since at least late 1980s] (9/10/18)
87. The Charles Dickens Murders by Edith Skom [on TBR since 1/19/15] (9/15/18)
88. The Boy in the Pool by Camilla R. Bittle [on TBR since 7/27/17] (9/16/18)
89. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen [on TBR since at least 2011] (9/18/18)
90. Foggy, Foggy Death by Frances & Richard Lockridge [on TBR since 8/6/11](9/22/18)
91. Death at the Bar by Ngaio Marsh [on TBR since 7/8/16] (9/29/18)
92. The House of Sudden Sleep by John Hawk [on TBR since 12/25/17] (9/30/18)
93. Death of a Peer by Ngaio Marsh [on TBR since 12/30/17] (10/3/18)
94. Before Midnight by Rex Stout [on TBR since 2/28/15] (10/4/18)
95. 'Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick [on TBR since 6/24/17] (10/4/18)
96. Queen's Quorum by Ellery Queen [on TBR since 5/4/15] (10/13/18)
97. What Beckoning Ghost by Douglas G. Browne [on TBR since 10/9/15] (10/16/18)
98. The Glass Mask by Lenore Glen Offord [on TBR since 5/31/16] (10/21/18)
99. The Killing Strike by John Creasey [on TBR since 10/7/16] (10/28/18)
100. Five Alarm Funeral by Stewart Sterling [on TBR since ] (11/3/18)
Mount Everest!! Challenge Complete!

Challenge Complete: Humor


The Humor Challenge Reading Challenge was a new one for Jamie over at Whatever I Think Of last year and she's brought it back in 2018. I decided to give it a try at the Cartoonist level and have finished my fifth book to fully qualify myself as a Cartoonist. Thanks, Jaime, for sponsoring this one.


Choose a level from below.  You may go up a level, but not down.

    Cartoonist: 1-5 books
    Humor Columnist: 6-10 books
    Comedy Writer:  11-15 books
    Stand Up Comedian: More than 15 books

1. Star Wreck 6: Geek Space Nine by Leah Rewolinski (2/11/18)
2. With Blood & Kisses by Richard Shattuck (2/23/18)
3. The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson & Lloyd Osbourne (4/3/18)
4. Gun in Cheek by Bill Pronizini (6/27/18)
5. Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer (10/30/18)