Mt. TBR 2017 – Wrap-up


A successful climb up Mt. Everest was achieved with more than 100 books read off of the To Be Read pile. It looks like I messed up the numbering on my posts around #31 and then back the other way around #86, so it all evened out. Here’s the final tally of all 108:

  1. Donald Hamilton – The Menacers (1968)
  2. John D. MacDonald – The Empty Trap (1957)
  3. Michael Gilbert – The Empty House (1978)
  4. Earl Derr Biggers – The House Without a Key (1925)
  5. Stanley Ellin – The Key to Nicholas Street (1952)
  6. Edwin Lanham – Murder on My Street (1957)
  7. Vechel Howard – Murder on Her Mind (1959)
  8. Margery Allingham – The Mind Readers (1965)
  9. Richard Wormser – The Body Looks Familiar (1957)
  10. Richard S. Prather – Over Her Dear Body (1959)
  11. Agatha Christie – The Body in the Library (1942)
  12. Doris Miles Disney – Room for Murder (1955)
  13. Valentine Williams – The Portcullis Room (1934)
  14. Maxwell Grant – London Crimes/Castle of Doom
  15. Lionel Davidson – The Chelsea Murders (1978)
  16. J.S. Fletcher – The Cartwright Gardens Murder (1926)
  17. Bone Vol. 5 Rock Jaw, Master of the Eastern Border
  18. Bone Vol. 6 Old Man’s Cave
  19. Leslie Ford – Road to Folly (1940)
  20. Bone Prequel: Rose
  21. Bone Vol. 7 Ghost Circles
  22. Bone Vol. 8 Treasure Hunters
  23. Bone Vol. 9 Crown of Horns
  24. Bone Handbook
  25. Samuel A. Krasney – Death Cries in the Street (1955)
  26. William L. Stuart – Night Cry (1948)
  27. Popeye: The Great Comic Book Tales of Bud Sagendorf (2010)
  28. William P. McGivern – Night Extra (1957)
  29. Donald Hamilton – Night Walker (1954)
  30. Christopher Bush – The Case of the Running Man (1958)
  31. Helen Reilly – The Canvas Dagger (1956)
  32. Adam Knight – Knife at My Back (1952)
  33. John Godey – Killer At His Back (1948)
  34. Philip McCutchan – Bluebolt One (1965)
  35. Ellery Queen Jr – The Blue Herring Mystery (1954)
  36. Arthur Upfield – The Mystery of Swordfish Reef (1939)
  37. Edward S. Aarons – Assignment Silver Scorpion (1973)
  38. Fredric Davies – The Cross of Gold Affair (1968)
  39. John Stephen Strange – Catch the Gold Ring (1955)
  40. Lindsay Hardy – The Nightshade Ring (1954)
  41. Phoebe Atwood Taylor – The Perennial Boarder (1941)
  42. The Detection Club – Crime on the Coast and No Flowers By Request (1953/1954)
  43. John D. MacDonald – The Beach Girls (1959)
  44. Agatha Christie – Third Girl (1966)
  45. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Complete Newspaper Dailies, Vol. 1, 1929-1930
  46. Little Lulu, Vol. 6: Letters to Santa
  47. Little Lulu, Vol. 7: Lulu’s Umbrella Service
  48. Richard Lockridge – Twice Retired (1970)
  49. Brett Halliday – Never Kill a Client (1962)
  50. Agatha Christie – And Then There Were None (1940)
  51. Michael Innes – One Man Show (1952)
  52. Frank Kane – Two to Tangle (1965)
  53. Little Lulu, Vol. 26: The Feud and Other Stories
  54. Phoebe Atwood Taylor – Three Plots for Asey Mayo (1942)
  55. Brett Halliday – Fourth Down to Death (1970)
  56. G.T. Fleming-Roberts – Death’s Five Faces (1941)
  57. Brett Halliday – Six Seconds to Kill (1970)
  58. William P. McGivern – Seven Lies South (1960)
  59. John Dickson Carr – The Nine Wrong Answers (1952)
  60. Richard Lockridge – The Tenth Life (1977)
  61. Louis Trimble – Till Death Do Us Part (1959)
  62. John D. MacDonald – Death Trap (1957)
  63. Hugh Pentecost – Kingdom of Death (1960)
  64. Ngaio Marsh – Death at the Bar (1940)
  65. Alfred Hitchcock’s Death Can Be Beautiful (1972)
  66. John Creasey – Death in Cold Print (1961)
  67. Hank Janson – Cold Dead Coed (1964)
  68. Frank Kane – Red Hot Ice (1955)
  69. Edward S. Aarons – Assignment White Rajah (1970)
  70. Lou Cameron – Before It’s Too Late (1970)
  71. Agatha Christie – Murder After Hours (1946)
  72. Frank Kane – Time to Prey (1960)
  73. Helen MacInnes – Pray for a Brave Heart (1955)
  74. Frank Gruber – The Whispering Master (1947)
  75. Agatha Christie – Ordeal By Innocence (1958)
  76. The Spider – Pulp Doubles 11
  77. Lawrence Block – No Score (1970)
  78. Robert Wallace – Murder City (1934)
  79. Agatha Christie – A Holiday for Murder (1938)
  80. Thomas B. Dewey – My Love Is Violent (1956)
  81. Jerry West – The Happy Hollisters and the Mystery of the Golden Witch (1966)
  82. Thomas B. Dewey – A Sad Song Singing (1963)
  83. Carter Brown – Blonde on a Broomstick (1966)
  84. George Harmon Coxe – Murder with Pictures (1935)
  85. Agatha Christie – The Seven Dials Mystery (1929)
  86. Edward S. Aarons – Girl on the Run (1954)
  87. Basil Cooper – The Dossier of Solar Pons (1979)
  88. Carter Brown – The Hammer of Thor (1965)
  89. Lawrence Block – Make Out With Murder (1974)
  90. Brett Halliday – Lady Be Bad (1969)
  91. Edward S. Aarons – Assignment Sulu Sea (1964)
  92. Nick Carter – Operation Snake (1969)
  93. Jerry West – The Happy Hollisters and the Punch and Judy Mystery (1964)
  94. Nick Carter – The Katmandu Contract (1975)
  95. John T. Phillifent – The Corfu Affair (1967)
  96. P.D. James – Cover Her Face (1962)
  97. J.J. Marric – Gideon’s March (1962)
  98. Carter Brown – Had I But Groaned (1968)
  99. E.X. Ferrars – In At the Kill (1978)
  100. Edward S. Aarons – Assignment the Girl in the Gondola (1964)
  101. Nick Carter – The Death’s-Head Conspiracy (1973)
  102. J.J. Marric – Gideon’s Ride (1963)
  103. Agatha Christie – The Clocks (1963)
  104. Lawrence Sanders – Tales of the Wolf (1986)
  105. Maj Sjowall-Per Wahloo – Murder at the Savoy (1970)
  106. P.D. James – A Mind to Murder (1963)
  107. Margery Allingham – Mr. Campion’s Farthing (1969)
  108. J.J. Marric – Gideon’s Power (1969)

The second part of the wrap up is to complete the following phrases with book titles from the above list:

A stitch in time…(is) Time to Prey
Don’t count your chickens… (with) A Mind to Murder
A penny saved is…. (the) Road to Folly
All good things must come…Before It’s Too Late
When in Rome… Catch the Gold Ring
All that glitters is not… The Cross of Gold Affair
A picture is worth a…Sad Song Singing 
When the going gets tough, the tough get… No Score
Two wrongs don’t make… Two to Tangle
he pen is mightier than…. (a) Knife at My Back
The squeaky wheel gets… In at the Kill
Hope for the best, but prepare for… The Nine Wrong Answers
Birds of a feather flock…And Then There Were None

J.J. Marric – Gideon’s Power (1969)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Chandelier/Candle/Etc.
TBR #108
Date Finished: December 31, 2017

Commander George Gideon and his entire Scotland Yard staff of detectives, or most of them, investigate sabotage at London power plants, a furniture company fire, and a child abuser/rapist/killer. The first two turn out to be related as Gideon seemingly deals less with the politics involved, and his inner turmoil, as opposed to others in this series.

Although Gideon jumps at his conclusions fairly quickly and wraps up major conspiracies against the U.K. in 160 pages, still this is a rather suspenseful and entertaining mystery, though from an administrative angle throughout.

And that finishes the Vintage Cover Scavenger Hunt and 2017.

Vintage Silver Scavenger 2017-12-31

Margery Allingham – Mr. Campion’s Farthing (1969)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Spooky House/Mansion
TBR #107
Date Finished: December 30, 2017

A Russian scientist, Vassily Kopeck (Kopeck=Farthing, get it?) disappears after being at a Victorian reenactment house. Much clamor ensues. Campion becomes involved because he is now all about the secret service and other stuff happens. Bleah.

What the heck. If an author was running on fumes anyway, let her die and don’t try and keep going a series that has no inspiration or cleverness left. Here Margery Allingham’s husband, Youngman Carter, tries to prove that he has talent, too. No, he does not. A convoluted mess that starts off fairly well, but just bogs down and goes nowhere. Poor Campion. You deserved better than this. No suspense and the only mystery is why bother.

Vintage Silver Scavenger 2017-12-30

P.D. James – A Mind to Murder (1963)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Statue
TBR #106
Date Finished: December 27, 2017

The cold and officious administrator of a London psychiatric clinic is murdered in the medical records room. Only the staff of the clinic had the opportunity to commit the murder and Superintendent Adam Dalgleish of Scotland Yard must sort through their characters and their motives to find the killer.

The murder happens fairly quickly in this one, so there is much more focus on the investigation and on Dalgleish than there was in the first one of this series, Cover Her Face. The ending is a surprising switch, but not terribly clever. Dalgleish’s morose and self-critical character is the draw, I suppose, as is the other well-rounded characters. I guess I’ll have to keep reading these.

Vintage Silver Scavenger 2017-12-27

Maj Sjowall-Per Wahloo – Murder at the Savoy (1970)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Food of Some Sort
TBR #105
Date Finished: December 26, 2017

A Swedish business tycoon is murdered by an unidentified man during a corporate dinner at a restaurant in Malmö. No one recognized him and, although various motives could be found among the corporate underlings attending the dinner, no connections are found indicating guilt. Martin Beck is called in from Stockholm to assist the local police in their investigation.

This is an interesting look at a police investigation and at Sweden in the late 1960s. The reader is not challenged to unravel the mystery, as the killer is not even a character in the novel until he becomes the prime suspect. Rather, this is a character study of various police officers who are struggling with, against, and for their jobs and their calling. Beck is identified by the cover marketeers as the detective, but he is just one of several featured here. It is not terribly fast moving, but it is very well done.

Vintage Silver Scavenger 2017-12-26

Lawrence Sanders – Tales of the Wolf (1986)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Written Document
TBR #104
Date Finished: December 24, 2017

These thirteen short stories, originally published in 1968 and 1969 in Swank magazine, feature Wolf Lannihan, insurance investigator, as he looks into various crimes for which insurance companies are on the hook. Being in Swank, Wolf manages to hook up in most of the stories, regardless of the innocence or guilt of his “friend.” The stories are well written, with sufficient tough guy stuff and humor, and fast moving enough to fit with a dozen to two dozen pages. I’d never read anything by Lawrence Sanders before, but would be willing to do so if the pacing was similar.

Vintage Silver Scavenger 2017-12-24

Agatha Christie – The Clocks (1963)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Clock
TBR #103
Date Finished: December 23, 2017

A young typist is called to the home of a blind teacher. There she discovers the body of a unidentified man. In the room are several clocks that the owner claims are not hers. The police are unable to identify the victim or a motive. A British secret agent, looking for a foreign agent among this block of houses, brings the case to Hercule Poirot, who proceeds to solve it from his armchair.

As Poirot points out, the mystery here is rather simple with elaborate items, such as the clocks, brought in simply to confuse the issue. It would have been much more interesting if Christie could have imparted some meaning to their presence. Poirot hardly appears here, while the agent, Colin Lamb, and the police, carry much of the action. Poirot brings the panache in his few chapters that the rest of this mystery is lacking, though competently told.

Vintage Silver Scavenger 2017-12-23