2016 Scavenger Hunt Wrap-Up

Thanks to the sabbatical in 2016, I completed the Golden Age Vintage Cover Scavenger Hunt for 75 books, plus 37 more on the Silver Age Scavenger Hunt, for a total of 112 books.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2016-07-05

Golden Age Scavenger Hunt

  1. Full Skeleton – Stewart Sterling – Where There’s Smoke (1946)
  2. Shadowy Figure – Henry Kane – Death for Sale (1957)
  3. Ghostly Figure – Manning Coles – Night Train to Paris (1952)
  4. Knife – Rex Stout – Bad for Business (1940)
  5. Body of Water – Edward S. Aarons – Assignment Treason (1956)
  6. Coffin – The Spider – Mayor of Hell (1936) and Fangs of the Dragon (1942)
  7. Bottle/Glass for Drinking – Edward S. Aarons – Assignment Treason (1956)
  8. Statue – Paul Ernst – The Bronze Mermaid (1952)
  9. Bird – Craig Rice – The Sunday Pigeon Murders (1942)
  10. Chandelier/Candle/Etc. – Phoebe Atwood Taylor – Death Lights a Candle (1932)
  11. Boat – Rex Stout – Double for Death (1939)
  12. Broken Object – Rex Stout – The Broken Vase (1941)
  13. Painting/Photograph – Ed Lacy – Visa to Death (1955)
  14. Nurse – Brett Halliday – Call for Michael Shayne (1949)
  15. Telephone – Kelley Roos – Ghost of a Chance (1947)
  16. Artist/Art Equipment – Brandon Bird – Death in Four Colors (1950)
  17. Jewelry of Any Sort – Henry Kane – Trinity in Violence (1955)
  18. Just One Person – Thomas B. Dewey – Hue and Cry (1944)
  19. Castle or Ruins – John Dickson Carr – Castle Skull (1931)
  20. A Hat – D.L. Champion – Footprints on a Brain (2001)
  21. Cigarette or Pipe – David Knight – Dragnet, Case No. 561 (1956)
  22. A Blonde – Adam Knight – Stone Cold Blonde (1951)
  23. A Blue Object – Dorothy B. Hughes – The So Blue Marble (1940)
  24. A Yellow Object – A.A. Fair – The Bigger They Come (1939)
  25. Musical Instrument – Ngaio Marsh – Overture to Death (1939)
  26. Skeletal Hand – Wesley Price – Death Is a Stowaway (1933)
  27. Skull – George Harmon Coxe – The Charred Witness (1942)
  28. Spooky House/Mansion – Evelyn Berckman – House of Terror (1957)
  29. Revolver – J.F. Hutton – Dead Man Friday (1948)
  30. “Evil” Eyes – Ben Benson – The Ninth Hour (1956)
  31. Bottle of Poison – Agatha Christie – Death Comes as the End (1944)
  32. Clock/Timepiece – Carter Dickson – The Plague Court Murders (1934)
  33. Dog – Edward S. Aarons – Million Dollar Murder (1950)
  34. Any Other Animal – Phoebe Atwood Taylor – Mystery of the Cape Cod Players (1933)
  35. Car/Truck – William Campbell Gault – Day of the Ram (1956)
  36. Carriage/Wagon – R. Austin Freeman – The Best Dr. Thorndyke Detective Stories (1973)
  37. Bloodstains – Various, Blackjacked and Pistol-Whipped (2011)
  38. Staircase – Jay Barbette – Death’s Long Shadow (1953)
  39. Doctor – R. Austin Freeman – John Thorndyke’s Cases (1909)
  40. Typewriter – A.A. Fair – Turn on the Heat (1940)
  41. Fishing Gear – Georges Simenon – Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine (1931)
  42. A Town Scene – Richard Ellington – Shakedown (1953)
  43. Two People – Margery Allingham – Tether’s End (1958)
  44. Graveyard – Gypsy Rose Lee – Mother Finds a Body (1942)
  45. Magnifying Glass – Agatha Christie – The Under Dog and Other Stories (1951)
  46. Playing Cards – W.T. Ballard – Dealing Out Death (1948)
  47. A Red-Head – Frank Kane – Grave Danger (1954)
  48. A Red Object – Leslie Charteris – The Saint and Mr. Teal (1933)
  49. Object of Any Other Color – Brett Halliday – A Taste for Violence (1949)
  50. Spider or Spiderweb – Elisabeth Sanxay Holding – Net of Cobwebs (1945)
  51. Rope/Hangman’s Noose – Edmund Crispin – Swan Song (1947)
  52. Blunt Instrument – Henry Kane – Edge of Panic (1950)
  53. “Damsel in Distress” – John D. MacDonald – The Price of Murder (1957)
  54. Hand Holding Weapon – Craig Rice – Home Sweet Homicide (1944)
  55. Dead Body – Thomas B. Dewey – The Case of the Murdered Model (1954)
  56. Food of Some Sort – John Creasey – The Toff Goes to Market (1942)
  57. Library or Book – Brett Halliday – The Corpse Came Calling (1942)
  58. Cat – Edward S. Aarons – Catspaw Ordeal (1950)
  59. Map or Chart – Brett Halliday – Blood on the Stars (1948)
  60. Plane – Arthur Upfield – No Footprints in the Bush (1940)
  61. Christmas Tree/Decoration – Henry Kane – Homicide at Yuletide (1951)
  62. Any other Holiday Object – Rufus King – Holiday Homicide (1940)
  63. Policeman – Ben Benson – Broken Shield (1955)
  64. Building (other than house) – Thomas B. Dewey – The Brave, Bad Girls (1956)
  65. Camera – Brett Halliday – Tickets for Death (1941)
  66. Performer – Robert H. Kelston – Kill One, Kill Two (1958)
  67. A Country Scene – Ben Benson – The Running Man (1957)
  68. More Than Two People – Frank Kane – Slay Ride (1950)
  69. A Tombstone – Agatha Christie – Murder at the Vicarage (1930)
  70. Moon – Agatha Christie – Murder in the Mews (1937)
  71. Flashlight – Cleve F. Adams – The Black Door (1941)
  72. A Brunette – Fredric Brown – The Wench Is Dead (1955)
  73. A Green Object – Ben Benson – Alibi at Dusk (1951)
  74. A Mask – Norman Daniels, High Adventure 98 – The Crimson Mask (2008)
  75. Weirdest Item You’ve Seen – Wenzel Brown and others – Witness to Death (1959)


Silver Age Scavenger Hunt

  1. Shadowy Figure – W.T. Ballard – The Seven Sisters (1962)
  2. Knife – Talmage Powell – With a Madman Behind Me (1961)
  3. Body of Water – Basil Heatter – Virgin Cay (1963)
  4. Coffin – Alfred Hitchcock’s Coffin Break (1974)
  5. Bottle/Glass for Drinking – Bob McKnight – Homicide Handicap (1963)
  6. Statue – Jerry West – The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Little Mermaid (1960)
  7. Bird – Thomas B. Dewey – Can a Mermaid Kill? (1965)
  8. Chandelier/Candle/Etc. – Frank Kane – Maid in Paris (1966)
  9. Boat – Marian Babson – Murder Sails at Midnight (1975)
  10. Broken Object – Richard Lockridge – A Risky Wall to Kill (1969)
  11. Painting/Photograph – William Cox – Death Comes Early (1961)
  12. Telephone – Thomas B. Dewey – Hunter at Large (1961)
  13. Jewelry of Any Sort – George Harmon Coxe – Fenner (1971)
  14. Just One Person – William Campbell Gault – Vein of Violence (1961)
  15. A Hat – Thomas B. Dewey – Nude in Nevada (1965)
  16. A Blonde – John Creighton – The Blonde Cried Murder (1961)
  17. Musical Instrument –William Campbell Gault – County Kill (1962)
  18. Skull – Nicolas Freeling – Criminal Conversation (1965)
  19. Spooky House/Mansion – Richard Stark – The Outfit (1963)
  20. Revolver – Richard Stark – The Hunter (1962)
  21. Any Other Animal – Bob McKnight – Kiss the Babe Goodbye (1960)
  22. Car/Truck – J.M. Flynn – The Hot Chariot (1960)
  23. A Town Scene – Louis Trimble – The Dead and the Deadly (1963)
  24. Two People – Ben Benson – The Frightened Ladies (1960)
  25. Playing Cards – Richard S. Prather – Joker in the Deck (1964)
  26. A Red-Head – Hampton Stone – The Corpse Was No Bargain At All (1968)
  27. A Red Object – Ellery Queen (Fletcher Flora) – Blow Hot, Blow Cold (1964)
  28. Object of Any Other Color – Talmage Powell – The Girl’s Number Doesn’t Answer (1960)
  29. “Damsel in Distress” – Clayton Fox – Never Forget, Never Forgive (1961)
  30. Dead Body – Spencer Dean – Credit for a Murder (1961)
  31. Building (other than house) – W.T. Ballard – Pretty Miss Murder (1961)
  32. A Country Scene – Richard Wormser – Drive East on 66 (1961)
  33. More Than Two People – Donald Hamilton – The Silencers (1962)
  34. Flashlight – Bob McKnight – The Flying Eye (1961)
  35. A Brunette – Carter Brown – The Ice Cold Nude (1962)
  36. A Green Object – Roger Fuller – Who Killed Madcap Millicent? (1964)
  37. A Mask – Richard S. Prather – Kill the Clown (1962)

Uff da.

J.F. Hutton – Dead Man Friday (1948)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Revolver
Date Finished: July 4, 2016

Also published as Too Good to Be True and The Dolphin Mystery.

A troubleshooter for a big business executive gets involved with a complicated mystery as a number of seemingly unrelated murders all somehow involve his boss. The Saturday Review of Literature apparently wrote, “Refreshingly different kind of sleuth, working against a colorful background and some mighty odd people…with diverting byways that don’t hurt the plot.” The sleuth is very likable and the oddity of the individuals is interesting. The only difficulty is that I read this over a number of sittings, rather than all at once, and it was a little difficult to keep a few of the characters straight. The mystery itself is revealed through a very obvious clue, so there isn’t much suspense at the final reveal. Still, a likable mystery.

I thought the revolver category would be an easy one, so saved it toward the end. It was tougher than expected, however, as most of these hardboiled paperbacks from the 1950s featured automatics, not revolvers, though I see one other participant has credited an automatic for her revolver category. Not quite the same thing.

And one to go:

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2016-07-04

Thomas B. Dewey – The Brave, Bad Girls (1956)

The Brave, Bad Girls

Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Building (other than house)
Date Finished: June 30, 2016
TBR #60

Mac is called in to protect a young woman from two goons. Those goons quickly separate Mac from the woman and rough him up. Called in to another case, he is asked to help a young teacher clear her name against a witch-hunting school board member. Eventually tracking down the first young woman, he finds her alone in an apartment with a dead man who appears to be the estranged husband of the schoolteacher. Mac hides the girl away and does not call the cops in, leading to much trouble later between him and the cops, as he tries to figure out how these two cases are related. I’m not doing the summary justice, but there are many different plot turns here and quite a lot of action and misdirection. This is all very well done, of course, being a Thomas B. Dewey novel, written during his prime period, and includes all the necessary Mac melancholia, kindness, independence, and humanity. I could add more, but this is a great book, five out of five.

The 1985 cover doesn’t do justice to the 1956 style as neither Mac nor the two women look nowhere near as classic or classy as they should. And, of course, the John Hancock Center was not built until 1965-1969, so isn’t really representative of Mac’s Chicago. Still, there it is on the cover and counts for the Building category.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2016-06-30

Brett Halliday – Call for Michael Shayne (1949)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Nurse
Date Finished: June 29, 2016
TBR #59

Another Michael Shayne mystery so close on the heels of the last one, but I was trying to read them in order and get to this nurse cover, as it was the only one I had to fit that category. Here a man wakes up in a boarding house room with no memory of the last two weeks. And, as usually happens, there is a corpse next to him. What has happened in the last two weeks and did he murder this man? He turns to Michael Shayne to find out. The trail leads to some supposed friends of his who threw the going away bash that led to this, along with two dead women and a nurse who is more than she seems.

This one moves along very quickly and is a strong mystery. Shayne is back in Miami, with a side trip to Key West. Lucy Hamilton and Tim Rourke are nowhere to be seen, and may be back in Kentucky taking care of the business from A Taste for Violence. Halliday really hit his peak with these late 1940s mysteries, before getting more formulaic as he handed them over to ghostwriters.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2016-06-29

Evelyn Berckman – House of Terror


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Spooky House/Mansion
Date Finished: June 28, 2016
TBR #58

A young lawyer gets involved with an extended family going through a dispute over an inheritance, mainly due to falling in love with the daughter of one of the feuding sisters. After a nurse is found murdered within the old family mansion, now home to the other sister and family, that daughter becomes a nurse within that house to investigate the strange events.

This is all a bit convoluted, and the romance angle is highly stressed here, but yet is believable and doesn’t turn out as expected. The suspense is somehow lacking for all the sneaking around in the spooky house at night, but it does hold your interest. I was afraid at first that this would developed into a dreary HIBK mystery, but it never does.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2016-06-28

Brett Halliday – A Taste for Violence (1949)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Object of Any Other Color
Date Finished: June 27, 2016
TBR #57

“Michael Shayne in Kentucky!”

In the 17th Michael Shayne mystery, he leaves his usual haunts of Miami or New Orleans to head to a Kentucky mining town to investigate the murder of a young mine owner. The miners are all out on strike, so the town is in turmoil, and it is also run by a brutal police force and other corrupt interests. With the two factions, there are a variety of possible motives and suspects, including the dead man’s wife, brother, and general manager. Thankfully, Shayne is somewhat sympathetic to the miners, even though we don’t get to meet any directly, and also even though he takes money directly from the mine owners’ organization. In an somewhat unusual way of cleaning up the town, he gets himself appointed police chief and also takes over the local newspaper. This is definitely a change of pace for Shayne and is a welcome one from his usual battles with the Miami Beach police chief.

The object of any other color (other than blue, red, green, or yellow) is Shayne’s pink necktie, though I’m not sure that really goes with his brown suit and red hair.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2016-06-27

Frank Kane – Grave Danger (1954)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Redhead
Date Finished: June 24, 2016
TBR #56

“Johnny Liddell tangles with mobsters, molls, and murder!”

Unfortunately there isn’t much mystery involved with the murders. Johnny gets upset that mobsters rough up him and his secretary Pinky so he goes after all organized crime in New York City. All by himself. And, not to spoil it, but he succeeds, of course. Really far fetched and the scope of it all is just too much for 191 pages. This is very much a straight-forward tough-guy P.I. series, and it just seems to be wearing thin with me. I probably should take a break from them.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2016-06-24