Monday, January 1, 2024

2023 Vintage Scavenger Hunt wrap-up


This is my wrap up post for Bev Hankins' 2023 Vintage Scavenger Hunt challenge. I participated in the Gold (pre-1960) version. Bev lists 90 items to be on the hunt for during the year.

During 2023, I read exactly 100 books, rushing a bit on the last one to get it in to my Goodreads challenge before it ended. Most of the books I read came from my own shelves, with a scattering of Kindle titles. Of that 100, I found 50 had cover images that met the challenge. 

I do not select titles to read just to satisfy challenges - I use my own haphazard way of picking titles off the shelves to read: When I finish a book, I slip a corner cut from an envelope over a page, and note the month/year. I have found after ten years I have generally forgotten the plot details and solution of any given book (except The Murder of Roger Ackroyd), so I look for a book which hasn't been under the reading lamp for ten years!

Then I check it against the challenge requirements. Most of my books do not have dust jackets, so I look online to find it. My best resource is

Then I put the book details on this spreadsheet which I invite you to check. The green lines indicate a book matching the challenge. The "Cover" links will take you to either my review (with a cover image) or just the cover image alone if I did not review it.

I enjoyed the 2023 gold challenge - and will be back for the 2024 version. Thanks, Bev, for hosting!

Rick Mills

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Mystery Marathon 2024

Mile / Pages / Author / Title

1 / 167 / Anthony Gilbert / A Case for Mr. Crook

2 / 182 / Margery Allingham / Flowers for the Judge

3 / 327 / Edgar Wallace / Blue Hand

4 / 192 / Manning Coles / No Entry

5 / 167 / Rex Stout / Silent Speaker

6 / 307 / Mignon Eberhart / The White Dress

7 / 153 estimated / Herman Petersen / The House in the Wilderness

8 / 303 / Frank L. Packard / The Gold Skull Murders

9/ 311 / Edgar Wallace / The Green Ribbon

10 / 100 / Edgar Wallace / The Red Aces

11 / 214 / Carter Dickson / The Curse of the Bronze Lamp

12 / 171 / Erle Stanley Gardner / The Case of the Blonde Bonanza

13 / 290 / Mignon G. Eberhart / The Pattern

14 / 184 / Leslie Charteris / The Saint in Pursuit

15 / 324 / Frances Noyes Hart / The Bellamy Trial

16 / 315 / Helen Reilly / Murder in the Mews

17 / 272 / John Rhode / Murder at Bratton Grange

26.2 / 14 / Arthur Conan Doyle / The Case of Black Peter

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

2024 Vintage Scavenger Hunt

Bev Hankins at My Reader's Block is sponsoring the 2024 Vintage Scavenger Hunt. The challenge page is located here

The goal is to find as many objects on the scavenger hunt list as possible on the covers of the mystery books you read. I am working the Golden Age era. Here is the list:

Progress will be recorded on this spreadsheet.  

2024 Color Coded Reading Challenge

This challenge, hosted by Bev Hankins,  is located here.  

Read in previous challenges

Read nine books in the following categories:

1. A book with "Blue" or any shade of Blue in the title/on the cover.
Blue Hand by Edgar Wallace, 1925
Mystery of the Blue Train - Agatha Christie
The Blue Horse of Taxco by Kathleen Moore Knight

2. A book with "Red" or any shade of Red in the title/on the cover.
Red Aces by Edgar Wallace, 1929
Case of the Crimson Kiss - Erle Stanley Gardner
The Red Mass by Valentine Williams

3. A book with "Yellow" or any shade of Yellow in the title/on the cover.
The Case of the Blonde Bonanza - Erle Stanley Gardner
The Case of the Lame Canary - Erle Stanley Gardner
The Yellow Room by Mary Roberts Rinehart

4. A book with "Green" or any shade of Green in the title/on the cover.
The Green Ribbon - Edgar Wallace (1930)
Case of the Green Eyed Sister - Erle Stanley Gardner
The Jade Venus by George Harmon Coxe

5. A book with "Brown" or any shade of Brown in the title/on the cover.
Case of the Borrowed Brunette - Erle Stanley Gardner
The Bronze Hand by Carolyn Wells (1925)

6. A book with "Black" or any shade of Black in the title/on the cover.
The Adventure of Black Peter by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1903-4
Black Orchids - Rex Stout
The Ebony Bed Murder by Rufus Gillmore (1932)
Acts of Black Night by Kathleen Moore Knight (1938)

7. A book with "White" or any shade of White in the title/on the cover.
The White Dress by Mignon G. Eberhart
The White Cockatoo by Mignon G. Eberhart
White Rider by Leslie Charteris

8. A book with any other color in the title/on the cover (Purple, Orange, Silver, Pink, etc).
The Gold Skull Murders - Frank L. Packard (1931)
Case of the Gold Diggers Purse - Erle Stanley Gardner
The False Purple by Sydney Horler (1932)

9. A book with a word/image that implies color in the title/on the cover
The Pattern - Mignon G. Eberhart
 (Rainbow, Polka-dot, Plaid, Shadow, Paint, Ink, etc).
Miss Paisley on a Diet by John Pierce (1969) 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones Challenge

This is just a personal challenge, to see how many of the Haycraft Queen Cornerstone mysteries I have (highlighted in yellow) and those I have read (highlighted in green). RM

Thursday, March 30, 2023

2023 Abra Cadavers


 The 2023 Abra Cadavers game is located here.

Get a Single by reading one book. 
  Miles Burton, The Hardway Diamonds Mystery (Mystery League #10)

Get a Double by reading two books by a second author
Anna Katherine Green, The Circular Study
Anna Katherine Green, XYZ: A Detective Story

Get a Triple by reading three books by a third author 
John Dickson Carr, The Man Who Couldn't Shudder
John Dickson Carr, The Sleeping Sphinx
John Dickson Carr, The Emperor's Snuff Box

Get a Home Run by reading four books by a fourth author.
Martha Grimes, Rainbow's End (Richard Jury #13)
Martha Grimes, The Case Has Altered (Richard Jury #14)
Martha Grimes, The Stargazey (Richard Jury #15)
Martha Grimes, The Lamorna Wink (Richard July #16)

You have hit for the Cycle once you complete a single, double, triple, AND a home run.

• Get a Foul by giving up on a foul one with the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish)

Get a Bunt by reading a short story.
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Empty House

Get a Stolen Base by stealing (reading) a book which has been submitted to any of our previous or current challenges - in any year - by someone else. 
Margery Allingham, The Fear Sign, read by Bev Hankins, 2023.

Strike Out when a book strikes out of your house (out to the library, loaned out, mailed out, given away, sold, thrown out, audiobook taken outdoors for a walk, book taken elsewhere to read, etc.)
Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Fiery Fingers

Saturday, December 3, 2022

2023 Reading The Mystery League


I am challenging myself to read through the entire series of The Mystery League during 2023. (The last time I did this was 2017). Read all about the League at this blog. Titles below are linked to synopses/reviews. Titles completed are highlighted in green.

  1. The Hand of PowerEdgar Wallace, 1930
  2. The Curse of Doone. Sydney Horler, 1930
  3. The House of Sudden Sleep. John Hawk, 1930
  4. Jack O'LanternGeorge Goodchild, 1930
  5. Mystery of Burnleigh Manor. Walter Livingston, 1930
  6. The Invisible Host. Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning, 1930
  7. The Day of Uniting. Edgar Wallace, 1930
  8. The Monster of Grammont. George Goodchild, 1930
  9. The House of Terror. Edward Woodward, 1930
  10. The Hardway Diamonds Mystery. Miles Burton, 1930
  11. Peril. Sydney Horler, 1930
  12. The Maestro Murders. Frances Shelley Wees, 1931
  13. Turmoil at Brede. Seldon Truss, 1931
  14. Death Walks in Eastrepps. Francis Beeding, 1931
  15. The Secret of High Eldersham. Miles Burton, 1931
  16. The Gutenberg Murders. Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning, 1931
  17. The Merrivale Mystery. James Corbett, 1931
  18. The Tunnel Mystery, J. C. Lenehan, 1931
  19. The Mystery of Villa Sineste, Walter Livingston, 1931
  20. The Hunterstone Outrage, Seldon Truss, 1931
  21. Murder in the French Room, Helen Joan Hultman, 1931
  22. Bungalow on the Roof, Achmed Abdullah, 1931
  23. The False Purple. Sydney Horler, 1932
  24. Two and Two Make Twenty-Two. Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning, 1932
  25. For Sale - MurderWill Levinrew, 1932
  26. The Ebony Bed Murder, Rufus Gillmore, 1932
  27. Spider House, Van Wyck Mason, 1932
  28. The Mardi Gras Murders. Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning, 1932
  29. The Stingaree Murders. W. Shepard Pleasants, 1932
  30. Death Points a Finger. Will Levinrew, 1933
  31. * Death Hold the Key / Scotland Yard Can Wait. David Frome

* #31 was planned to be Death Holds the Key by David Frome. The League did not survive to publish it. It was later published by Grosset and Dunlap under the title Scotland Yard Can Wait.