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 .
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Vintage Scattergories 2021: My Sign-Up
1. Colorful Crime: A book with a color or reference to color in the title
Gold: Behind the Green Door by Mildred A. Wirt  (2/26/21)
Silver: Blue Octavo by John Blackburn  (3/12/21)
2. Murder by the Numbers:
Gold: Death of a Millionaire by G.D.H. & Margaret Cole  (1/4/21)
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.)
Gold: The Boomerang Clue by Agatha Christie  (2/21/21)
4. Leave It to the Professionals: A book featuring cops, private eyes, secret service, professional spies, etc.
Gold: Gently in the Sun by Alan Hunter  (4/5/21)
Silver: The Coconut Killings by Patricia Moyes  (3/22/21)
5. Jolly Old England: A mystery set in the United Kingdom
Gold: Bodies from the Library: Lost Tales of Mystery & Suspense by Agatha Christie & Other Masters of the Golden Age by Tony Medawar (ed) [2018, but all stories pre-1960] (3/10/21)
Silver: Crimson Snow by Martin Edwards (ed) [2016, but all stories pre-1990] (1/13/21)
6. Yankee Doodle Dandy: A mystery set in the United States
Gold: Dead, Man, Dead by David Alexander  (3/7/21)
Silver: The Cannibal Who Overate by Hugh Pentecost  (2/14/21)
7. World Traveler: A mystery set in any country except the U.S. or U.K.
Gold: Murder in the Calais Coach (aka Murder on the Orient Express) by Agatha Christie (1934) [events take place from Syria to Yugoslavia (present-day Croatia)] (1/30/21)
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 or by reference
Gold: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier  (2/24/21)
11. Malicious Men: A book with a man in the title--either by name or by reference
Gold: The Listerdale Mystery by Agatha Christie (1934) [Lord Listerdale] (2/7/21)
Silver: Death & the Dutch Uncle by Patricia Moyes  (1/18/21)
12. Murderous Methods: A book with a means of death in the title (The Noose, 5 Bullets, Deadly Nightshade, etc.)
Gold: Murdock's Acid Test by George Harmon Coxe  (4/19/21)
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)
Gold: The Sands of Windee by Arthur W. Upfield  (5/3/21)
15. Cops & Robbers: A book that features a theft rather than murder
Gold: Raffles (The Amateur Cracksman) by E. W. Hornung  (1/28/21)
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
Gold: Mr. Smith's Hat by Helen Reilly  (4/7/21)
19. Murder on the High Seas: A mystery involving water
Gold: The Floating Admiral by The Detection Club  (1/17/21)
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.
Gold: Murder Goes to College by Kurt Steel  (4/8/21)
Silver: Hallowed Murder by Ellen Hart  (1/26/21)
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
Gold: Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie  (3/31/21)
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.
Gold: Murder in 3 Acts by Agatha Christie  (3/25/21)
25. A Mystery by Any Other Name: Any book that has been published under more than one title
Gold: Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective (aka Parker Pyne Investigates)  (3/8/21)
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)
Gold: Accent on Murder by Frances & Richard Lockridge (Captain Heirmich & Sergeant Forniss  (5/6/21)
Silver: Murder by the Book by Frances & Richard Lockridge (Pam & Jerry North)  (5/5/21)
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)
Silver: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carré  (2/20/21)
30. The Old Bailey: A courtroom drama mystery OR a mystery featuring a judge, lawyer, barrister, district attorney
Silver: Smooth Justice by Michael Underwood  (4/25/21)
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.
Gold: Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu [serialized in Dublin University Magazine, 1864] (2/22/21)
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)
Silver: The Venetian Blonde by A. S. Fleischman (5/3/21)
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.
Gold: The African Poison Murders by Elspeth Huxley (Canadian detective, now in East Africa)  (4/21/21)
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.)
Gold: Death of a Busybody by George Bellairs (Harold Blundell)  (4/10/21)
Silver: An Ad for Murder by John Penn (Palma Harcourt & Jack H.Trotman)  (4/18/21)
37. Hobbies Can Be Murder: A mystery that involves a hobby in some way: stamp, coin, book collecting, etc; knitting; birdwatching; hunting; etc.
Gold: Murder in the Bookshop by Carolyn Wells (rare book collecting)  (4/17/21)
38. Snatch & Grab: Read the first book you pick up off your shelf or TBR stack/s
Gold: Look Behind You, Lady by A.S. Fleischman  (5/1/21)
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
Gold: The Adventure of the Peerless Peer by Philip Jose Farmer (1974) [really bad Sherlock Holmes pastiches] (2/28/21)
Silver: Mr. President, Private Eye by Martin H. Greenberg & Francis M. Nevins, Jr. [eds] (1988) [features real historical figures] (1/22/21)