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.

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

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

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

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

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


Kate said...

Great idea for a quiz. Certainly taxes the little grey cells. It is easier for titles which I have read and reviewed on the blog. Look forward to seeing the answers next week.

Bev Hankins said...

Thanks, Kate!

There's a few more obscure titles that I've found in my used book hunts. I know I'm probably missing some more well-known ones that simply haven't made it to my read or owned shelves yet...

J F Norris said...

Got almost all of these since I've read nearly every single one! I own copies of all but seven of them. Three I've never heard of. MIDNIGHT section was the toughest for me. I knew only the Stout and Kersh titles and guessed on the others. Checked Hubin's Crime Fiction Bibiliography and I was right! Never heard of Thorne Lee. By process of elimination he (?) must've written The Monster of Lazy Hook. Is that a juvenile mystery? Sounds like one...or a thriller from a pulp magazine. But I know you tend not to read that kind of story

Bev Hankins said...

John: It doesn't surprise me at all that you've read nearly all and have heard of all but three. I can rarely stump you. :-)

The Monster of Lazy Hook I picked up on a whim once on a visit to my hometown's used bookstore. Haven't gotten round to reading it yet, but here's the blurb from the cover:

In swift succession, three men — all leading citizens of the little California coastal town of Lazy Hook — vanished without a trace. All three had been connected with the late Spencer Van Dyke, eccentric millionaire, who though he died of natural causes had managed to surround his death with many-sided mystery. What had Spencer Van Dyke done with the huge sum of cash withdrawn from his bank shortly before his death? What was the meaning of the fantastic poem he caused to be engraved on his marble gravestone? Why had he bequeathed the vast and dilapidated Van Dyke mansion to his hermit butler? Had he come from beyond the grave to spirit away Lyman Hobbs, his undertaker, Henri Picard, his lawyer, and Peter Ramsey, the local editor?

J F Norris said...

Love it! Exactly the kind of book I was obsessed with when I first got into vintage mysteries. Very Carr-like. Just found an article about Lee (whose real name is Thornton Shiveley) at Mystery File. Fascinating reading on a very obscure writer. Bill Pronzini, of course, wrote the piece that has all sorts of fun biographical info supplied by Shiveley himself. It must've come from a pulp magazine article. Bill and I seem to have the most knowledge these days about the unsung writers of American mysterydom. I'll have to keep an eye out for Thorn Lee's handful of books.

Bev Hankins said...

I thought it looked pretty good. We'll see when I get round to it.