Sunday, December 30, 2018

2019 Just the Facts, Ma'am Challenge


This challenge is found here. I am reading from the Golden Age of mysteries (published prior to 1960).  Read all about it and join in! 

  • Constable: 6 books/1 per category. COMPLETE
  • Detective Sergeant: 12 books/2 per category: COMPLETE
  • Inspector: 18 books/3 per category: COMPLETE
  • Inspired Amateur: 24 books/4 per category: COMPLETE
  • Chief Inspector: 30 books / 5 per category: COMPLETE
  • Superintendent: 36 books / 6 per category: COMPLETE
  • Chief Superintendent: 42 books / 7 per category: Underway!


My goal level will (hopefully) increase as the books get read... In 2018 I attained Chief Inspector level at 24 books. Seems to be some inflation at work here, this year it takes 30 books to get to the same level :-)



Photo from Grand Valley State University Police Academy by Rick VanGrouw




click to enlarge

Titles below are links to my reviews.



WHO - 6


  • (Academic): Deep Lay the Dead by Frederick C. Davis (1942), in which our detective Rigby Webb is a Professor of Mathematics
  • (Professional): Vicky Van by Carolyn Wells (1917), in which our main sleuth and narrator is lawyer Chet Calhoun.
  • (Medical): Juggernaut by Alice Campbell (1928), in which a sketchy doctor - in need of money - teams up with a young trophy wife to hasten the passing of her wealthy husband; until his nurse catches on.
  • (Journalist/Writer): The Man Without Nerves by E. Phillips Oppenheim (1934), in which our detective assumes the career of a Journalist/Writer as a cover story.
  • (Artist): The Ginger Cat Mystery by Robin Forsythe (1935), in which our amateur detective much prefers painting landscape scenes.
  • (Watson Narrator): Might As Well Be Dead by Rex Stout (1956), with Archie Goodwin as narrator


WHAT - 7


  • (Color in title): The Black Heart by Sydney Horler (1928)
  • (Animal in title): Birds of Ill Omen by Kathleen Moore Knight (1948)
  • (Means in title): Give 'Em the Ax by A. A. Fair (1944) 
  • (More than one author): The Finishing Stroke by Ellery Queen (1958), comprising authors Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee.
  • (Inverted): Phantom Lady by William Irish, in which the main character has already been tried and convicted to death as the story opens
  • (Includes letters): The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen (1929), in which letters are used as a basis for blackmail.
  • (Literary allusion): The Origin of Evil by Ellery Queen (1951), in which the title is a takeoff of Darwin's The Origin of Species, which plays a role in the plot.



WHEN - 6



  • (Time in title): Before Midnight by Rex Stout (1955)
  • (Timing of crime is crucial): The Perfect Crime by Ellery Queen (1942), in which several events, including the murder, occur over a span of 10 minutes; and analysis of the sequence of the events reveals the murderer.
  • (World War II): Speak No Evil by Mignon Eberhart (1940), in which the victim is a dealer in war materiel; prior to US entry into the war.
  • (Trip/vacation): Death Blew Out the Match by Kathleen Moore Knight (1935), in which murder occurs on the narrator's summer vacation to Penberthy Island in Massachusetts.
  • (Performance): I Can Find My Way Out by Ngaio Marsh (1946) in which an actor is killed in his dressing room while a play is being performed.
  • (Special event): Stream Sinister by Kathleen Moore Knight (1945), in which murder and mayhem occurs centered around a birthday celebration for one of two twins - but has one come back from the dead?



WHERE - 7

  • (Country House): Face Cards by Carolyn Wells, which is set at Clearman Court, the ancestral Clearman home in Connecticut.
  • (On an island): Footbridge to Death by Kathleen Moore Knight (1947), which occurs on Penberthy Island off Massachusetts. (Note - started the book in Dec 2018, so the review post has that date on it, finished it in Jan 2019)
  • (Small village): Q As In Quicksand by Lawrence Treat (1947), which is set in Gobelin, Pennsylvania
  • (Other country): The Come Back by Carolyn Wells (1921), in which the first half of the book takes place in Labrador, Canada.
  • (Outdoor): The Wheel That Turned by Kathleen Moore Knight (1936), in which the climactic and final murder scene takes place at a water wheel on the outside of an old mill
  • (Place of performance): And So To Murder by Carter Dickson (1940), in which all action takes place on a sound stage at a motion picture studio.
  • (Locked room): Deep Lake Mystery by Carolyn Wells (1928)


HOW - 7


  • (drowning): The D. A.'s Daughter by Herman Petersen (1943), in which the main character dies when her car plunges into a river. Re-read in 2019, blog post is from 2018 reading.
  • (strangulation): Murder R.F.D. by Herman Peterson (1942) in which one of the victims is strangled with hosiery.
  • (knife): In The Onyx Lobby by Carolyn Wells (1920)
  • (shooting): The Last Hero by Leslie Charteris (1930)
  • (Unusual method): Instead of Evidence by Rex Stout (1949), a novella contained in Trouble in Triplicate; in which the murder weapon is an exploding cigar.
  • (2 deaths by different means): The Tainted Token by Kathleen Moore Knight (1939), two victims are stabbed, one falls to his death.
  • (Poison): And Be a Villain by Rex Stout (1948), in which two victims are poisoned by cyanide.

WHY - 7


2019 Alphabet Soup Challenge - Author Edition

This challenge is found here. The goal is to read 26 books of your choice during 2019: each author's name (first or last) starting with a different letter of the alphabet. Read all about it and join in! Here is my inspirational statement for you:

[I] Always Begin Carefully Dissecting Every Forgotten Good [book] Hoping I Just Keep Literally [finding] My Next [book] On Paper. [Reading] Quotas Really Stink [but] They Ultimately Vanish With X’s [checked off on my] Yearly Zen-like [reading list].

My titles highlighted in green are completed
My title highlighted in yellow is under the reading lamp right now
My titles shown in grey are upcoming reads

25 of 26 complete!

Titles below are links to my reviews.

My 2019 Alphabet Soup bowl:

* short story, could not locate full length book by a "U" author.



Please visit my reading blogs:

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2019 Alphabet Soup Challenge


This challenge is found here. The goal is to read 26 books of your choice during 2019: each one starting with a different letter of the alphabet. Read all about it and join in! Here is my inspirational statement for you:

[I] Always Begin Carefully Dissecting Every Forgotten Good [book] Hoping I Just Keep Literally [finding] My Next [book] On Paper. [Reading] Quotas Really Stink [but] They Ultimately Vanish With X’s [checked off on my] Yearly Zen-like [reading list].

My titles highlighted in green are completed
My title highlighted in yellow is under the reading lamp right now
My titles shown in grey are upcoming reads

26 of 26 complete!

Titles below are links to my reviews.

My 2019 Alphabet Soup bowl:

* From the rules: For those pesky Q, X AND Z titles then the word that starts with the challenge letter can be anywhere in the title.


Please visit my reading blogs: