Friday, October 23, 2020

Friday Fright Night: Halloween-Themed Titles

At the beginning of the month Curtis Evans from the The Passing Tramp put out the call to his fellow bloggers to take part in a month-long event to get us ready for Halloween. Friday Fright Night has found bloggers across the internet as well as familiar faces from the Tuesday Night Blogger crew serving up ghastly delights These are being gathered on up on the Golden Age of Detection Facebook page, but if any of my readers would like to join the fun you are welcome to leave a link in the comments and I'll see that Curtis gets it.

I missed last week and wasn't sure I would be able to put together one today, but I decided to try and squeeze one in under the wire. So...I ransacked my Goodreads book list (the easiest to sort) and will present you a sampling of Halloween-Themed Titles from my read and/or read lists. For most of the categories I have at least two titles, so I am challenging you to match the title to the correct author.  But I'll lead with Dwight V. Babcock's (The) Gorgeous Ghoul Case. There are no other ghouls among my books--unless you count the fact that I own two different pocket-size, pulp-era editions.

I haven't read this one yet, but the blurb for Babcock's book promises: You'll Shudder, You'll Groan, You'll Laugh--You'll Sit Up All Night to Read The Gorgeous Ghoul Murder Case! ...the intriguing, contrasting combinations that crows the pages include: A phone call from a dead man! A romantic moon that shines on a bitter fight in an open grave! A sweet-smelling gardenia crushed under the beautiful nude body of a throttled woman! A trumpet that serves as a doorbell! And a skunk that is a house pet! If you're badly in need of sleep, DON'T start this story--because you won't close your eyes until you've read the last action-packed line of this definitely superiour "whodunit"!

Of course, in honor of Halloween itself, there is Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie. Leo Bruce also tried his hand at a Halloween mystery with Death on Allhallowe'en. And, coincidentally, each story revolves around the murder of a young person who saw more than s/he should have.

But...on with our ghoulish games. In each category, your challenge is to match up the author with the appropriate title. Please--no peeking in Google. Answers will be posted next Friday so you can see how you did.

Ghosts
1. Ghost of a Chance                 A. Timothy Fuller
2. Death of a Ghost                    B. Leslie Ford
3. Old Lover's Ghost                  C. Kelley Roos
4. What Beckoning Ghost          D. Margery Allingham
5. Three-Thirds of a Ghost         E. Douglas G. Browne

Skeletons
1. (The) Mystery of the Skeleton Key     A. A. B. Cunningham
2. The Skeleton in the Clock                  B. Lenore Glen Offord
3. The Long Skeleton                             C. Francis & Richard Lockridge
4. Skeleton Key                                      D. Bernard Capes
5. Skeleton in the Closet                        E. Carter Dickson

Skulls & Monsters 
(I had fewer of these, so I combined)
1. The Riddle of the Traveling Skull     A. Robert Finnegan
2. The Monster of Lazy Hook               B. John Dickson Carr
3. Castle Skull                                      C. Thorne Lee
4. Many a Monster                               D. Harry Stephen Keeler

Witches
1. The Witch of the Low Tide            A. Charlotte Armstrong
2. Brood of the Witch-Queen             B. John Dickson Carr
3. The Witch's House                        C. Sax Rohmer

Bats
1. Bats Fly at Dusk                 A. Mary Roberts Rinehart
2. The Bat                               B. Sax Rohmer
3. The Bat Flies Low              C. A. A. Fair 

Devils
1. The Devil Loves Me            A. Edgar Wallace
2. The Devil's Stronghold        B. Ellery Queen
3. The Devil to Pay                  C. Louis Malley
4. The Devil in the Bush          D. E. C. R. Lorac
5. The Devil Man                     E. Leslie Ford
6. Horns for the Devil              F. Matthew Head
7. The Devil & the C.I.D.        G. Margaret Millar

Midnight (the witching hour!)
1. Before Midnight                         A. Rex Stout
2. The Midnight Plumber               B. Laurence G. Blochman
3. Prelude to a Certain Midnight    C. Maurice Proctor
4. Midnight Sailing                         D. Gerald Kersh






Thursday, October 22, 2020

Color Coded Challenge 2021: My Sign-Up

 


Every year I think I've used up my last title with "Brown" (or a shade of brown) for the Color Coded Reading Challenge and every year I prove myself wrong (or buy more books with suitable titles). I'll keep signing up as long as I have suitable titles (I'm determined to use titles and not covers).

Here's the basic rule: read nine books with the various colors listed below in their titles or as a dominant color/image on their covers. For full details, click the link above. I'll list my books and date read as they come.

1. Read book with "Blue" (or a shade of blue):

2. Read a book with "Red" (or a shade of red):

3. Read a book with "Yellow" (or a shade of yellow):

4. Read a book with "Green" (or a shade of green):

5. Read a book with "Brown" (or a shade of brown):

6. Read a book with "Black" (or a shade of black):

7. Read a book with "White" (or a shade of white):

8. Read a book with any other color:

9. Read a book a word/image that implies color (rainbow, polka dot, etc):

Calendar of Crime 2021: My Sign-Up


As mentioned elsewhere on the Block, mysteries are my go-to read, so filling up a Calendar of Crime with all sorts of dastardly deeds is an easy challenge for me. The goal--to read one month-related mystery book per month for a total of 12 books (or more, if you'd like). If you'd like to join me, just click on the link.
Click to enlarge

January:
February:
March:
April:
May:
June:
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December:








Virtual Mount TBR 2021: My Sign-Up

 

image credit--ST:The Next Generation holodeck with Capt. Picard

Every year my goal is to read from my own stacks (hence the original Mount TBR Challenge). And every year I decide that there are TBR books that I don't own that I just have to Read. So--with my Virtual Mount TBR Challenge, I get to count that mountain too. I'm starting with Rum Doodle and, hopefully, I won't get too carried away with library books. Though it would be nice to say that I've climbed the steps to Vulcan's Mount Seleya....

click to enlarge

If you have tons of books on your want to read list that you don't own, then please join me as we tackle fictional mountains in the TBR world. Just click on the link above.

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Rum Doodle

Mount TBR 2021: My Sign-Up

 

 

January 2021 kicks off the tenth year for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge and, despite climbing like mad and conquering Mount Everest on the regular each year, I still have mountain ranges to climb. And miles of bookcases to read before I sleep (or something like that). I just can't resist a good old fashioned used bookstore (though they are become rarer and rarer) or the community Hoosier Hills Food Bank Book Sale which adds to the mountains as fast as I knock books off. And, somehow, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled both my trips to my favorite used bookstore and the community book sale, my mountain range seems to be just as vast as ever. 

So, once again, I plan to concentrate on reading primarily from my own books in the coming year. Perhaps this year I will actually plant a flag on Mount Olympus...but my declared goal will remain Mount Everest. Please join me in knocking out some of those books that have been waiting for attention for weeks...months...even years. Just click on the link above.

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Pike's Peak
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Mount Blanc
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Mt. Vancouver
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Mt. Ararat
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Mt. Kilimanjaro
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El Toro
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Mount Everest

Vintage Scattergories 2021: My Sign-Up

 2021 marks the ten-year anniversary of the Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge and I decided to go back to the early days and revive the Vintage Scattergories edition. I am, of course, signing up for my own mystery challenge and, being a glutton for mysteries, I'm going to try for all the categories. For full details and to join me for some mystery madness, click on the link .



Categories:
1. Colorful Crime: A book with a color or reference to color in the title
2. Murder by the Numbers: A book with a number or quantity in the title
3. Amateur Night: A book with a detective who is not a P.I.; Police Officer; or other official investigator (Nurse Keate, Father Brown, Miss Marple, etc.)
4. Leave It to the Professionals: A book featuring cops, private eyes, secret service, professional spies, etc.
5. Jolly Old England: A mystery set in the United Kingdom
6. Yankee Doodle Dandy: A mystery set in the United States
7. World Traveler: A mystery set in any country except the U.S. or U.K.
8. Dangerous Beasts: A book with an animal in the title
9. A Calendar of Crime: A mystery with a date/holiday/year/month/etc. in the title
10. Wicked Women: A book with a woman in the title--either by name (Mrs. McGinty's Dead) or by reference (The Case of the Vagabound Virgin)
11. Malicious Men: A book with a man in the title--either by name (Maigret & the Yellow Dog) or by reference (The Case of the Haunted Husband)
12. Murderous Methods: A book with a means of death in the title (The Noose5 BulletsDeadly Nightshade, etc.)
13. Staging the Crime: A mystery set in the entertainment world (theatre, musical event, pageant, Hollywood, etc)
14. Scene of the Crime: A book with the location of the crime in the title (The Body in the LibraryMurder at the Vicarage, etc)
15. Cops & Robbers: A book that features a theft rather than murder
16. Locked Rooms: A locked-room mystery
17. Impossible Crimes: Any other impossible crime (locks not necessary)
18. Country House Criminals: A standard (or not-so-standard) Golden Age-style country house murder
19. Murder on the High Seas: A mystery involving water
20. Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: A book with a mode of transportation in the title
21. Murder is Academic: A mystery involving a scholar, teacher, librarian, etc. OR set at a school, university, library, etc.
22. Things That Go Bump in the Night: A book with something spooky, creepy, gothic in the title (The Skeleton in the ClockHaunted LadyThe Bat; etc)
23. Repeat Offenders: A mystery featuring your favorite series detective or by your favorite author or reread an old favorite
24. The Butler Did It...Or Not: A mystery where the butler is the victim, the sleuth...(gasp) the criminal...or is just downright memorable for whatever reason.
25. A Mystery by Any Other Name: Any book that has been published under more than one title (Murder Is Easy--aka Easy to Kill [Christie]; Fog of Doubt--aka London Particular [Christianna Brand], etc.)
26. Dynamic Duos: A mystery featuring a detective team (Holmes & Watson; Pam & Jerry North; Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin, or a little-known team that you introduce to us)
27. Size Matters: A book with a size or measurement in the title (Death Has a Small VoiceThe Big FourThe Weight of the Evidence; etc.)
28. Psychic Phenomena: A mystery featuring a seance, medium, hypnotism, or other psychic or "supernatural" characters/events
29. Book to Movie: A book that has appeared on screen (feature film or TV)
30. The Old Bailey: A courtroom dram mystery OR a mystery featuring a judge, lawyer, barrister, district attorney
31. Serial Killers: Books that were originally published in serial format (from the pulp era) OR a book that includes three or more deaths--all committed by the same person.
32. Killed in Translation: A work that originally appeared in another language and has been made available in English--original publication date determines Gold or Silver Age--OR if your native language is not English, then a work that originally appeared in English which you read in your native language.
33. Blondes in Danger: A variation on "Colorful Crime." A book that features a blonde in the title (The Blonde Died FirstThe Case of the Black-Eyed Blonde) or another shade of hair color (The Case of the Substitute Brunette)
34. International Detectives: A variation on "World Traveler"--but instead of the crime being set in another country, the detective is not from the U.S. or U.K.
35. Somebody Else's Crime: Read a book that someone else has already read for the challenge.
36. Genuine Fakes: Read a book by an author who wrote under a pseudonym (Josephine Tey [Elizabeth Mackintosh]; Nicholas Blake [Cecil Day Lewis]; etc.)
37. Hobbies Can Be Murder: A mystery that involves a hobby in some way: stamp, coin book collecting, etc; knitting; birdwatching; hunting; etc.
38. Snatch & Grab: Read the first book you pick up off your shelf or TBR stack/s
39. I've Got You Covered: Pick a book to read based on the cover
40. Get Out of Jail Free: One per customer. You tell me what special category the book fits and it counts

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Virtual Mount TBR Challenge 2021

 

image credit--ST:The Next Generation holodeck with Capt. Picard

We're ready for another year of the Virtual Mount TBR Reading Challenge. This challenge, a sister site to the Mount TBR Challenge is for folks who have a long "wish-list" of TBRs and who would like a chance to tackle those mountains. The strategy and general set-up is the same as for the regular Mount TBR--but you don't own the books. Heard about a great book from a friend, took note of the title, and then never got around to reading it? Saw a book online that you thought sounded intriguing but you keep putting off ordering it up from the library? You borrowed a book from somebody and need an extra push to read it and return it? This is the place for you!

Challenge levels:
Mount Rum Doodle: Read 12 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Crumpit: Read 24 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Munch: Read 36 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
White Plume Mountain: Read 48 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Stormness Head: Read 60 books from you Virtual TBR/Wish List Library
Mount Mindolluin: Read 75 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Seleya: Read 100 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Olympus: Read 150+ books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library

In keeping with the virtual nature of the challenge, all mountains are fictional (reference in comments below). How many do you recognize? The only one shared by both TBR challenges is Olympus--both fictional and on Mars. However, since I don't know actual heights, I have arbitrarily assigned levels.

The Rules:
~This challenge is only for books you do not own. They may be borrowed from the library, a friend, found on a free e-book site (like Project Gutenberg), or anywhere else that allows you to temporarily "checkout" the book. Also--unlike Mount TBR--there is no date limit on your wish list. If you see a book that strikes your fancy after January 1 and want to grab it from the library, etc. then go for it.

~Once you choose your challenge level you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find you are on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are welcome to upgrade. All books counted for lower mountains carry over towards the new peak.

~Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2021. You may count any "currently reading" book that you begin prior to January 1--provided you have 50% or more of the book to finish when January 1 rolled around. Exception: if you participated in the 2020 Virtual Mount TBR and did not finish a book in time to count it towards that challenge, then you may count it as your first step of 2021 regardless of how much you had left to read.

~Rereads may count if you have not yet counted it for a Virtual Mount TBR Challenge.

~You may count "Did Not Finish" books provided they meet your own standard for such things; you do not plan to ever finish it; and you move it off your virtual mountain.

~Books may be used for other challenges as well.

~A blog and reviews are not necessary to participate. If you have a blog then please post a challenge sign-up and link that post (not your home page) in the form below. Non-bloggers may skip that question on the form, provide a link to another media site for tracking--OR, if you are a member of Goodreads, you may join the challenge there. Feel free to sign up HERE (link coming soon) if that's where you want to participate.

~If you post on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media about the challenge or books read, please use #VirtualMountTBR2021.

~The headquarters link in the left-hand side-bar will be fully updated at the beginning of January.



Mount TBR Challenge 2021

 

January 2021 kicks off the tenth year for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge and, despite climbing like mad and conquering Mount Everest on the regular each year, I still have mountain ranges to climb. And miles of bookcases to read before I sleep (or something like that). I just can't resist a good old fashioned used bookstore (though they are become rarer and rarer) or the community Hoosier Hills Food Bank Book Sale which adds to the mountains as fast as I knock books off. And, somehow, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled both my trips to my favorite used bookstore and the community book sale, my mountain range seems to be just as vast as ever. 

So, once again, I plan to concentrate on reading primarily from my own books in the coming year. Perhaps this year I will actually plant a flag on Mount Olympus...but my declared goal will remain Mount Everest. Please join me in knocking out some of those books that have been waiting for attention for weeks...months...even years.

Challenge Levels:

Pike's Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancounver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro*: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s (*aka Cerro El Toro in South America)
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

The Rules:
*Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books. You are welcome to voyage further and conquer taller mountains after your commitment is met. All books from lower mountains carry over towards the next peak.

*Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2021

*You may sign up at any time--no matter when you see this challenge. All qualifying books read after January 1st count.

*Books must be owned by you prior to January 1, 2021--items requested or ordered prior to January 1, may count even if they arrive in the new year. No library books~. If you're looking for a library book challenge or one that counts books on your non-owned TBR list, then please see Mount TBR's sister challenge: the Virtual Mount TBR Challenge.
   ~The ONLY exception to the library rule: If you own the book in any form and have a reason to check out a version from the library instead, then you may count it. For example--if you own a hard copy, but are planning on taking a trip where listening to the audio version would be a great way to knock out a book while you drive, then by all means check out the audio version and have a wonderful trip! Please check with me if you have questions.

*Rules for Rereads: Any reread may count, regardless of how long you've owned it, provided you have not counted it for a previous Mount TBR Challenge.

*Audiobooks and E-books may count provided they are yours prior to January 1. ARCs are also fine.

*You may count any "currently reading" book that you begin prior to January 1--provided you had 50% or more of the book left to finish when January 1 rolled around. I will trust you all on that. The only exception is if you have participated in Mount TBR in 2020 and were unable to finish the book in time for the final Check-in Post. Then--if you finish the book post-January 1, you may count it as your first step of the new challenge.

*You may count "Did Not Finish" books provided they meet your own standard for such things, you do not plan to ever finish it, and you move it off your mountain [give it away, sell it, remove from e-resources, etc.]. For example, my personal rule (unless it's a very short book) is to give it 100 pages. If I decide I just can't finish it and won't ever, then off the mountain it goes and I count it as a victory--the stack is smaller!

*Books may be used to count for other challenges as well.

*Feel free to submit your list in advance or to tally them as you climb. 

*A blog and reviews are not necessary to participate. If you have a blog, then please post about the challenge and link that post (not your home page) in the form below. My link provider has limited the number of link "parties" I can have open at a time--so I will be using Google forms for all my sign-up links this year. Non-bloggers may enter their names only without a blog link OR members of Goodreads are welcome to join the Goodreads group HERE

*If you post on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media to log a book, please use #MountTBR2021.

* As I have in the past, I will have a headquarters link in the left hand side-bar which will offer links to this original post, monthly review links, and the final wrap-up. I will update it at the beginning of the new year The Headquarters will also have a link to a list of our climbing crew with their commitments. 

Happy climbing!


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Calendar of Crime Reading Challenge 2021

photo credity: Ellery Queen's Calendar of
Crime (Signet edition)

Ready for another year of mysterious months and dangerous days? I'm pleased to sponsor the 2021 edition of the Calendar of Crime. Just a reminder that this mystery-based challenge allows readers to include any mystery regardless of publication date. If it falls in a mystery category (crime fiction/detective novel/police procedural/suspense/thriller/spy & espionage/hard-boiled/cozy/etc.), then it counts and it does not matter if it was published in 1892 or 2021. 




The Rules
~Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2021. All books should be read during this time period. Sign up at any time. If you have a blog, please post about the challenge. Then sign up via the form below and please make the url link to your challenge post and not your home page. If you don't have a blog, links to an online list (Goodreads, Library Thing, etc.) devoted to this challenge are acceptable OR you may skip that question.

~All books must be mysteries. Humor, romance, supernatural elements (etc.) are all welcome, but the books must be mysteries/crime/detective novels first.

~Twelve books, one representing each month, are required for a complete challenge. Each month comes with several categories (see chart above) that may be selected to fulfill the month's reading. If you would like the excel version of the chart to use or have any questions about fulfilling a category, please email me at phryne1969 AT gmail DOT com. I also have a spreadsheet of DOBs for authors on my TBR and read list (at least all that I could track down). You can email me for that list as well.

~To claim a book, it must fit one of the categories for the month you wish to fulfill. Unless otherwise specified, the category is fulfilled within the actual story. for instance, if you are claiming the book for December and want to use "Christmas" as the category, then Christmas must figure in some way in the plot. Did someone poison the plum pudding? Did Great-Uncle Whozit invite all the family home for Christmas so he could tell them he plans to change his will?

~The "wild card" book is exactly that. If July is your birth month (as mine is), then for category #9 you may read any mystery book you want. It does not have to connect with July in any way--other than a July baby chose it. The other eleven months, you must do the alternate category #9 if you want to fulfill that slot.

~Book title categories: "The," "A," and "An" do not count as the first word. 

~Books may only count for one month and one category, but they may count for other challenges (such as my Vintage Scattergories Mystery Challenge). If it could fulfill more than one category or month, then you are welcome to change it at any time prior to the final wrap-up.

~Books do not have to be read during the month for which they qualify. So--if you're feeling like a little "Christmas in July" (or May or...), then feel free to read your book for December whenever the mood strikes.

~To sign-up, please fill out the form below.

~A wrap-up post/comment/email will be requested that should include a list of books read and what category they fulfilled. [Example: January: The House of Sudden Sleep by John Hawk (original pub date January 1930)]

~The headquarters link in the left-hand sidebar will be updated in January for 2021 for easy access to this original challenge post, monthly review link-ups, and the final wrap-up. The final wrap-up link will not go live until the end of 2021, so please save your notification until that time. 

~If you post to Facebook, Instagram, or other social media about the challenge, please use #CalendarOfCrime2021.



Read It Again, Sam 2021

 


For those of you who love to revisit old friends in the book world, I present another round with Sam at the piano for all your reading music needs. While not quite as popular as the Color Coded Challenge, this one still has its devotees.

Rules:
~Challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2021. And any book read after January 1 counts regardless of when you sign up.

~Levels:

   Déjà vu: Reread 4 books
   Feeling Nostalgic: Reread 8 books
   A Trip Down Memory Lane: Reread 12 books
   Living in the Past: Reread 16+ books


~Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at leas that many books. If you find that you're lost in a nostalgic haze and want to tackle a higher level, then you are welcome to upgrade. You cannot change down, however.

~Crossovers with other challenges are fine.

~To Sign Up (now that my linky provider has limited the number of "parties" I can host): If you have a blog, please post about the challenge on your site and post a link to your sign-up in the comments below. you may also post a link to a Goodreads or Library Thing list, etc. If you do not have a blog and cannot comment below, then please send me an email at phyrne1969 AT gmail DOT com and I will add you myself.

~If you would like to post review links, you may do that here as well.


Color Coded Reading Challenge 2021

 


Once again the categories will be more open--the color may either be named in the title or it may appear as the dominant color for the cover of the book. For "implies color" the image implying color should dominate the cover--for instance a large rainbow, a field of flowers, or the image of a painter. Get ready for a rainbow of reading in 2021. 

General Rules:
~Challenge runs from January 1 through December 31, 2021 and any book read after January 1 may count regardless of when you sign up. You may sign-up any time.

~Read nine books in the following categories:
1. A book with "Blue" or any shade of Blue in the title/on the cover.
2. A book with "Red" or any shade of Red in the title/on the cover.
3. A book with "Yellow" or any shade of Yellow in the title/on the cover.
4. A book with "Green" or any shade of Green in the title/on the cover.
5. A book with "Brown" or any shade of Brown in the title/on the cover.
6. A book with "Black" or any shade of Black in the title/on the cover.
7. A book with "White" or any shade of White in the title/on the cover.
8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, etc).
9. A book with a word/image that implies color in the title/on the cover (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Shadow, Paint, Ink, etc).

~Crossovers with other challenges are fine.

~To Sign Up (now that my linky provider has limited the number of "parties" I can host): If you have a blog, please post about the challenge on your site and post a link to your sign-up in the comments below. You may also post a link to a Goodreads or Library Thing list, etc. If you do not have a blog and cannot comment below, then please send me an email at phryne1969 AT gmail DOT com and I will add you myself.

~At the beginning of the new year, I will put up posts for review links for each color category and the sidebar image will be updated to the new challenge links.

Vintage Scattergories: Vintage Mystery Challenge 2021


2021 marks the ten-year anniversary of the Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge. I began the celebration this year with a Vintage Mystery Extravangaza which included a look back on all of the variations of the challenge over the years. In order to mark a decade of mystery challenging, I decided to go back to the early days and revive the Vintage Scattergories edition. Once again, I'm offering a bit of a smorgasbord with a huge selection of categories to choose from. Your mission, should you wish to accept it, will be to fulfill at least eight of the categories in a single vintage era and, as always, you are welcome to complete all categories and both eras if you would like. You are also welcome to be creative with the categories as long as you can make a good case for how your book fits.

General Rules:

~Challenge runs from January 1, 2021 through December 31st, 2021. Any books read January 1 or later may count regardless of sign-up date.

~To complete the challenge you must read at least eight books that fulfill eight of the categories listed. All eight books must be from a single vintage era (see descriptions below).

~All books must be from the mystery category (crime fiction, detective fictions, espionage, etc.). The mystery/crime must be the primary feature of the book--ghost stories, romance, humor, etc. are all welcome as ingredients, but must not overshadow the mystery element.

~Each book may count for only one category within the challenge--but you are welcome to use books read for this challenge for other challenges as well.

~For the purposes of the challenge, Golden Age mysteries must have been first published before 1960. Golden Age short story collections (whether published pre-1960 or not) are permissible provided all of the stories in the collection were originally written pre-1960. Please remember some of our Golden age authors wrote well after 1959--so keep an eye on the original publication date and count them appropriately. Silver Age mysteries may be first published from 1960-1989 (inclusive). Again, Silver Age short story collections published later than 1989 are permissible provided none of the stories are first published later than 1989. Yes, I admit my dates are arbitrary (and personal to me) and may not exactly meet standard definitions of Golden or Silver Age.

~If you have a blog please post about the challenge and a little about your commitment--if you're going for Silver or Gold...or perhaps both. Then sign up using the form below. Please use the url link for your challenge post and not your home page. Those without blogs may leave that blank or enter the url for a Goodreads or Library Thing list, etc.

~If all goes well, I plan to offer prizes. I hope to be able to sponsor a drawing among all successful participants as well as provide a prize to our most ambitious reader--the one who reads the most books. 

Categories:
1. Colorful Crime: A book with a color or reference to color in the title
2. Murder by the Numbers: A book with a number or quantity in the title
3. Amateur Night: A book with a detective who is not a P.I.; Police Officer; or other official investigator (Nurse Keate, Father Brown, Miss Marple, etc.)
4. Leave It to the Professionals: A book featuring cops, private eyes, secret service, professional spies, etc.
5. Jolly Old England: A mystery set in the United Kingdom
6. Yankee Doodle Dandy: A mystery set in the United States
7. World Traveler: A mystery set in any country except the U.S. or U.K.
8. Dangerous Beasts: A book with an animal in the title
9. A Calendar of Crime: A mystery with a date/holiday/year/month/etc. in the title
10. Wicked Women: A book with a woman in the title--either by name (Mrs. McGinty's Dead) or by reference (The Case of the Vagabound Virgin)
11. Malicious Men: A book with a man in the title--either by name (Maigret & the Yellow Dog) or by reference (The Case of the Haunted Husband)
12. Murderous Methods: A book with a means of death in the title (The Noose, 5 Bullets, Deadly Nightshade, etc.)
13. Staging the Crime: A mystery set in the entertainment world (theatre, musical event, pageant, Hollywood, etc)
14. Scene of the Crime: A book with the location of the crime in the title (The Body in the Library, Murder at the Vicarage, etc)
15. Cops & Robbers: A book that features a theft rather than murder
16. Locked Rooms: A locked-room mystery
17. Impossible Crimes: Any other impossible crime (locks not necessary)
18. Country House Criminals: A standard (or not-so-standard) Golden Age-style country house murder
19. Murder on the High Seas: A mystery involving water
20. Planes, Trains, & Automobiles: A book with a mode of transportation in the title
21. Murder is Academic: A mystery involving a scholar, teacher, librarian, etc. OR set at a school, university, library, etc.
22. Things That Go Bump in the Night: A book with something spooky, creepy, gothic in the title (The Skeleton in the Clock; Haunted Lady; The Bat; etc)
23. Repeat Offenders: A mystery featuring your favorite series detective or by your favorite author or reread an old favorite
24. The Butler Did It...Or Not: A mystery where the butler is the victim, the sleuth...(gasp) the criminal...or is just downright memorable for whatever reason.
25. A Mystery by Any Other Name: Any book that has been published under more than one title (Murder Is Easy--aka Easy to Kill [Christie]; Fog of Doubt--aka London Particular [Christianna Brand], etc.)
26. Dynamic Duos: A mystery featuring a detective team (Holmes & Watson; Pam & Jerry North; Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin, or a little-known team that you introduce to us)
27. Size Matters: A book with a size or measurement in the title (Death Has a Small Voice; The Big Four; The Weight of the Evidence; etc.)
28. Psychic Phenomena: A mystery featuring a seance, medium, hypnotism, or other psychic or "supernatural" characters/events
29. Book to Movie: A book that has appeared on screen (feature film or TV)
30. The Old Bailey: A courtroom dram mystery OR a mystery featuring a judge, lawyer, barrister, district attorney
31. Serial Killers: Books that were originally published in serial format (from the pulp era) OR a book that includes three or more deaths--all committed by the same person.
32. Killed in Translation: A work that originally appeared in another language and has been made available in English--original publication date determines Gold or Silver Age--OR if your native language is not English, then a work that originally appeared in English which you read in your native language.
33. Blondes in Danger: A variation on "Colorful Crime." A book that features a blonde in the title (The Blonde Died First; The Case of the Black-Eyed Blonde) or another shade of hair color (The Case of the Substitute Brunette)
34. International Detectives: A variation on "World Traveler"--but instead of the crime being set in another country, the detective is not from the U.S. or U.K.
35. Somebody Else's Crime: Read a book that someone else has already read for the challenge.
36. Genuine Fakes: Read a book by an author who wrote under a pseudonym (Josephine Tey [Elizabeth Mackintosh]; Nicholas Blake [Cecil Day Lewis]; etc.)
37. Hobbies Can Be Murder: A mystery that involves a hobby in some way: stamp, coin, book collecting, etc; knitting; birdwatching; hunting; etc.
38. Snatch & Grab: Read the first book you pick up off your shelf or TBR stack/s
39. I've Got You Covered: Pick a book to read based on the cover
40. Get Out of Jail Free: One per customer. You tell me what special category the book fits and it counts--the only thing I won't accept is "It's a vintage mystery!" The genre/time period is a given.




2021 Beachcomber Reading Challenge

 


Rick has changed up his bingo challenge--taking us from the bingo hall to the beaches of Maine in a quest for items to place in our mystery beach bags. The cabanas of the Beachcombers Reading Challenge are waiting and beachcombers can fill their bags from now until December 31, 2021. For full details, check out the link.


I'm in and already at the beach!

Weapons
Rope:
Falling Object:
Poison, etc:
Motor Vehicle (wreck):
Fire:
Hand Gun:
Knife: Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon (10/18/20)
Rock, Brick, etc: Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon (10/18/20)
Axe/Hatchet:
Pointy object:
Motor Vehicle (struck by):
Motor Vehicle (carbon monoxide):
Free Square: 
Drowning/water/ice: 
Bomb/Explosion:
Push/Fall:
Fright/heart attack:
Pillow/smother/etc:
Animal attack/bite:
Dagge:
Medicine/drugs:
Household object:
Hands/fists:
Rifle/shotgun:
Stocking/scarf/etc:

Crime Scenes
Boat:
Library/bookstore:
Kitchen/bakery:
Pathway/forest:
Airplane/airport:
Lake/ocean:
Alley/mews:
Lawn:
Basement:
Attic:
Bar/store/restaurant:
Cliff/roof/high place:
Free square:
Taxi/bus:
Train/subway:
Stairs:
Hotel:
Street/sidewalk:
Island:
Swimming pool/spa/jacuzzi:
Garden/park/gazebo:
Home or business office:
Bedroom:
Bathtub/Shower/Bathroom:
Beach/shoreline: Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon (10/18/20)

Detectives
A:
B: Det. Dave Batterby [Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon] (10/18/20)
C: 
D:
E:
F:
G:
H: Det. Sid Hale [Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon] (10/18/20)
I: 
J: Det. Inspector Ben Jurnet [Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon] (10/18/20)
K: Det. Jack Ellers [Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon] (1018/20)
L:
Free Square:
M:
N:
O:
P/Q:
R:
S:
T:
U:
V:
W: Sgt. Bowles [Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon] (10/18/20)
XYZ: PC Wyatt [Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon] (10/18/20)
XYZ:
 
Victims:
A:
B:
C: Annie Chance [Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon] (10/18/20)
D:
E:
F:
G:
H:
I: 
J:
K:
L:
Free Square:
M:
N:
O:
PQ:
R: 
S:
T:
U:
V:
W:
XYZ: Joey Corvin [Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon] (10/18/20)
XYZ: Andy Barge [Death of a Warrior Queen by S. T. Haymon] (10/18/20)