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?


  • (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

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