Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge


One more reading challenge for 2017, all from Bev at My Reader’s Block. This is a new one to all, though I used to do something similar when challenging myself from month-to-month some years back. I don’t suppose all books from the third-shelf-from-the-left will count as enough of a connection, though. I’ll shoot for the highest level of 12 books in a row for a Capital Offense.

2016 Mt. TBR Final Checkpoint


I successfully hit my goal of 75 books off the TBR pile for the TBR Challenge to reach El Toro, but could probably have reached Mt. Everest with a little more focus in October and November. Here’s the final list:

  1. Tickets for Death by Brett Halliday (3 copies, purchased in 2008, 2009, and 2011)
  2. Assignment Treason by Edward S. Aarons (on TBR pile since 2009)
  3. Broken Shield by Ben Benson (on TBR pile since 2007)
  4. Blow Hot, Blow Cold by Ellery Queen (on TBR pile since prior to 2006)
  5. Day of the Ram by William Campbell Gault (on TBR pile only since 2015)
  6. Nude in Nevada by Thomas B. Dewey (on TBR pile since 2015)
  7. The Price of Murder by John D. MacDonald (2 copies, prior to 2006 and 2007)
  8. Turn on the Heat by A.A. Fair (on TBR pile since 2007)
  9. Castle Skull by John Dickson Carr (purchased in 2015)
  10. Shakedown by Richard Ellington (on TBR pile prior to 2006)
  11. Million Dollar Murder by Edward S. Aarons (on TBR pile prior to 2006)
  12. Stone Cold Blonde by Adam Knight (on TBR pile since 2008)
  13. Swan Song by Edmund Crispin (on TBR pile since ca. 2005)
  14. Death Lights a Candle by Phoebe Atwood Taylor
  15. The Toff Goes to Market by John Creasey
  16. The Silencers by Donald Hamilton
  17. Hunter at Large by Thomas B. Dewey
  18. The Ice-Cold Nude by Carter Brown
  19. Death’s Long Shadow by Jay Barbette
  20. The Corpse Came Calling by Brett Halliday
  21. Joker in the Deck by Richard S. Prather
  22. Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine by Georges Simenon
  23. Dragnet, Case No. 561 by David Knight (Richard S. Prather)
  24. Alibi at Dusk by Ben Benson
  25. The Charred Witness by George Harmon Coxe
  26. Tether’s End by Margery Allingham
  27. The Black Door by Cleve F. Adams
  28. Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie
  29. The Plague Court Murders by Carter Dickson
  30. The Under Dog and Other Stories by Agatha Christie
  31. Little Lulu, Volume 28: The Prize Winner and Other Stories by John Stanley
  32. Mystery in SpaceMystery in Space by Gardner Fox and others
  33. The Frightened Ladies by Ben Benson
  34. Alfred Hitchcock’s Coffin Break
  35. The Best Dr. Thorndyke Detective Stories by R. Austin Freeman
  36. Witness to Death (Saint Mystery Library #2) by Wenzel Brown and others
  37. Blackjacked and Pistol Whipped: A Crime Does Not Pay Primer by Bob Wood and others
  38. Night Train to Paris by Manning Coles
  39. Showcase Presents: The Haunted Tank, Vol. 1 by Robert Kanigher and others
  40. The Running Man by Ben Benson
  41. Slay Ride by Frank Kane
  42. Our Gang Vol. 3, by Walt Kelly
  43. Death in Four Colors by Brandon Bird
  44. Footprints on a Brain: The Inspector Allhoff Stories by D.L. Champion
  45. Seven by John D. MacDonald
  46. High Adventure 98: The Crimson Mask by Norman Daniels
  47. Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon Vol. 6 by Alex Raymond
  48. The Case of the Murdered Model by Thomas B. Dewey
  49. No Footprints in the Bush by Arthur W. Upfield
  50. Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
  51. The Ninth Hour by Ben Benson
  52. Blood on the Stars by Brett Halliday
  53. The So Blue Marble by Dorothy B. Hughes
  54. Death Is a Stowaway by Wesley Price
  55. Milton Caniff’s Steve Canyon: 1952 by Milton Caniff
  56. Grave Danger by Frank Kane
  57. A Taste for Violence by Brett Halliday
  58. House of Terror by Evelyn Berckman
  59. Call for Michael Shayne by Brett Halliday
  60. The Brave Bad Girls by Thomas B. Dewey
  61. A Risky Way to Kill by Richard Lockridge
  62. Murder Sails at Midnight by Marian Babson
  63. Criminal Conversation by Nicolas Freeling
  64. Llana of Gathol by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  65. Pistol Passport by Eugene Cunningham
  66. Kill the Clown by Richard S. Prather
  67. Terry and the Pirates: Flying Ace Dude (Vol. 12, 1940-1941) by Milt Caniff
  68. The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Little Mermaid by Jerry West
  69. Who Killed Madcap Millicent? by Roger Fuller
  70. The Corpse Was No Bargain at All by Hampton Stone
  71. The Flying Eye by Bob McKnight/Never Forget, Never Forgive by Clayton Fox
  72. Fenner by George Harmon Coxe
  73. High Fury by Harry Whittington
  74. Showcase Presents: Wonder Woman Vol. 4
  75. Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge in Only a Poor Old Man (Gladstone Comic Album Series No. 20)
  76. Walt Disney’s Donald and Gladstone (Gladstone Comic Album Series, No. 15)
  77. Walt Disney’s Donald and Daisy (Gladstone Comic Album Series No. 12)
  78. Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Family (Gladstone Comic Album Series No. 21)
  79. Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Adventures Voodoo Hoodoo (Gladstone Comic Album Series No. 16)
  80. Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: Hawaiian Hideaway (Gladstone Comic Album Series No. 11)
  81. Tarzan: Jewels of Opar by Russ Manning
  82. Essential Fantastic Four, Volume 3
  83. Tarzan: The Lost Adventure, Vol. 1 by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Joe R. Lansdale
  84. Tarzan: The Lost Adventure, Vol. 2 by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Joe R. Lansdale
  85. Tarzan: The Lost Adventure, Vol. 3 by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Joe R. Lansdale
  86. Tarzan: The Lost Adventure, Vol. 4 by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Joe R. Lansdale
  87. High Adventure 44: Black Lightning by Robert Sidney Bowen

As for completing the proverbs, here goes:

A stitch in time…[is] A Risky Way to Kill.
Don’t count your chickens…[in the] House of Terror.
A penny saved is….[a] Broken Shield.
All good things must come[to a] Tether’s End.
When in RomeKill the Clown.
All that glitters is notBlood on the Stars.
A picture is worth aA Joker in the Deck.
When the going gets tough, the tough getA Taste for Violence.
Two wrongs don’t make[an] Alibi at Dusk.
The pen is mightier than….[the] Night Train to Paris.
The squeaky wheel gets[a] Shakedown.
Hope for the best, but prepare forDeath’s Long Shadow.
Birds of a feather flockTurn on the Heat.

Thanks Bev.

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.

Mount TBR: Checkpoint #3

Mount TBR 2016

As per Bev’s instructions, here is my check-in information so far.

  1. How high have you climbed?

Well, things have slowed down a bit since finishing the sabbatical and the Golden Age Mystery challenge, but I’m at 71 read out of my goal of 75 TBR books, so almost to Mt. Toro. I’ll still shoot for 100 and Mt. Everest but need to get climbing.

2. Complete ONE (or more if you like) of the following:

 C. Which book (read so far) has been on your TBR mountain the longest? Was it worth the wait? Or is it possible you should have tackled it back when you first put it on the pile? Or tossed it off the edge without reading it all?
I suppose Ellery Queen’s Blow Hot, Blow Cold has been in my pile since the late 1980s, though some of the Agatha Christies have also been around for that long. I am less motivated to read non-series titles, so some other Ellery Queens have been on my shelf since the early 1980s. Even as a kid, I could tell that those late Queens did not fit with the rest of his work, long before the internet and the identification of various ghostwriters. This one, written by Fletcher Flora, was ok, but not a Queen classic. Still, it is good to get it off the shelf.

Mount TBR Mountaineering Checkpoint #2

Mount TBR 2016

Half the year is over and time to check in on the Mount TBR challenge.

1. Tell us how many miles you’ve made it up your mountain (# of books read).  If you’re really ambitious, you can do some intricate math and figure out how the number of books you’ve read correlates to actual miles up Pike’s Peak, Mt. Ararat, etc. And feel free to tell us about any particularly exciting adventures you’ve had along the way.

I’ve finished 60 books off of my TBR pile. My original goal was 75 for Mt. Toro, with the hope to get up Mt. Everest at 100, and I’m well on my way. The first half of the year has been devoted to the Golden Age Mystery Scavenger Hunt, rather than the TBR climb, so I’ll be able to devote more effort to it in the second half of the year, especially since I only have two books left for the Golden Age challenge. I’m trying to be less intent on the Silver Age challenge. Unfortunately, the sabbatical will soon be over.
OR (Counts as both part 1 and 2)
Use titles from your list to complete as many of the following sentences below as you can.  If you haven’t read enough books to give you good choices, then feel free to use any books yet to be read from your piles. I’ve given my answers as examples. Feel free to add or change words (such as “a” or “the” or others that clarify) as needed.

My Life According to Books

  1. My Ex would Blow Hot/Blow Cold (by Ellery Queen)
  2. My best friend is The Joker in the Deck (by Richard S. Prather)
  3. Lately, at work [I’ve been] The Running Man (by Ben Benson)
  4. If I won the lottery, I’d be The Toff (who) Goes to Market (by John Creasey)
  5. My fashion sense [says I’m] Death in Four Colors (by Brandon Bird)
  6. My next ride [will take me on the] Night Train to Paris (by Manning Coles)
  7. The one I love [will] Turn on the Heat (by A.A. Fair)
  8. If I ruled the world, everyone would be The Prize Winner (and Other Stories) (by John Stanley)
  9. When I look out my window, I see No Footprints in the Bush (by Arthur Upfield)
  10. The best things in life are [at] The Tavern by the Seine (by Georges Simenon)