Reading Challenges 2017

With the clock counting down ever nearer towards the year new, it is time for me to reflect on how well I did with the two reading challenges I participated in, hosted by Bev Hankins at My Reader’s Block.

The first of these was a new one to me: Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge (instructions to be found via link). I went for the hardest level of linking 12 books in a row and by the end of January I had reached a chain of 19. Instead of doing the sensible thing and patting myself on the back for a job well done, I decided to see how long I could keep going … and by the end of the year I reached the grand total of a chain of 168 books.

Thankfully having kept a record of my monthly chains (and how each month joins on from the previous) in my Book of the Month posts, I do not need to present my chain in full. Below are the posts charting my links between January and November:












And these are this month’s links:

It was interesting taking part in this challenge, coming up with links, sometimes between books which were quite radically different from one another. It was surprising to find books sharing similar character names, when the names in question are like Perdita, Marchmont and Sigismund. At other times I had to turn the authors themselves for the links such as writers sharing the same year or month of birth/death and in one case two writers who both experienced breast cancer.

The second challenge I participated in was the Vintage Scavenger Hunt Mystery, which I have participated in before. This year I managed to complete all of the Gold card categories and 53 of the Silver card categories, making a grand total of 128 categories completed, which is a personal best for me. Though I am somewhat a victim of my own success as Bev requires blog participates to post a summary of the categories they completed, which of course means I have a long list to do. To make it slightly more entertaining I have added the odd picture here and there of my pets enjoying the festive holidays.

  1. Full Skeleton: Voyage into Violence by Lockridge
  2. Shadowy or Ghostly Figure: Tenant for Death by Hare
  3. Written Document: Death and Letters by Daly
  4. Knife: Look Your Last by Strange
  5. Body of Water: The Widow’s Cruise by Blake
  6. Any Piece of Furniture: The Body on Page One by Ames
  7. Bottle/Glass for Drinking: Two Bottles of Relish by Lord Dunsany
  8. Statue: The Piccadilly Murder by Berkeley
  9. Bird: Vulture in the Sky by Downing
  10. Chandelier/ Candle etc.: The Layton Court Mystery by Berkeley
  11. Boat: Murder in Trinidad by Vandercook
  12. Broken Object: Murder is a Collector’s Item by Dean
  13. Painting/ Photograph: The Spinster’s Secret by Gilbert
  14. Nurse: The Patient in Room 18 by Eberhart
  15. Telephone: With a Bare Bodkin by Hare
  16. Suit of Armour: A Blunt Instrument by Heyer
  17. Jewellery of Any Sort: Latter End by Wentworth
  18. Curtain/s: The Hanging Captain by Wade
  19. Castle or Ruins: Death on Tiptoe by Ashby
  20. Hat: The Canvas Dagger by Reilly
  21. Cigarette or Pipe: Master of the Day of Judgement by Perutz
  22. Blonde (woman or man): The Case of the Platinum Blonde by Bush
  23. Blue Object: Scarweather by Rolls
  24. Fog/Mist: The Valley of Fear by Doyle
  25. Musical Instrument: Overture to Death by Marsh
  26. Skeletal Hand or Skull: Death Points the Finger by Levinrew
  27. Train: Murder Has Motive by Duncan
  28. Spooky House/Mansion: The Trouble at Turkey Hill by Knight
  29. Revolver: The Adventuress by Reeve
  30. Any Other Weapon: Here Comes the Chopper by Mitchell
  31. Bottle of Poison: A Puzzle in Poison by Berkeley
  32. Clock/Timepiece: The Haunted Lady by Rinehart
  33. Dog: Dumb Witness by Christie
  34. Any Other Animal: The Waikiki Widow by Sheridan
  35. Car/Truck: Rumble Murders by Eliot
  36. Carriage/Wagon: Serpents in Eden, ed. By Edwards
  37. Bloodstains: Death in High Heels by Brand
  38. Staircase: Some Must Watch by White
  39. Doctor: The Dutch Shoe Mystery by Queen
  40. Typewriter: Murder in Pastiche by Mainwaring
  41. Flower/s: Suddenly at his Residence by Brand
  42. Glove: Long arm of the Law, ed. By Edwards
  43. Door: The Danger Within by Gilbert
  44. Graveyard: Crime at Diana’s Pool by White Church
  45. Magnifying Glass: No Tears for Hilda by Graves
  46. Playing Cards: Casino For Sale (1938) by Brahms and Simon
  47. Red Head (woman or Man): Murder, Maestro, Please by Ames
  48. Red Object: My True Love Lies by Offord
  49. Suitcase/Briefcase: The Murdered Banker  by De Angelis
  50. Spider or Spiderweb: Golden Spiders by Stout
  51. Rope/ Hangman’s Noose: Dr Priestley Investigates by Rhode
  52. Blunt Instrument: Cold Blood by Bruce
  53. Damsel in Distress: Arrest the Bishop by Peck
  54. Hand Holding Weapon: The Lyttleton Case by Morris
  55. Dead Body: The Case of the Perjured Parrot by Gardner
  56. Food: Exit a Star by Knight (carrot advert on back cover)
  57. Library or a Book: Cats Don’t Need Coffins by Olsen (back cover)
  58. Cat: Smallbone Deceased by Gilbert
  59. Map or Chart: Death from a Top Hat by Rawson
  60. Plane: Death in the Clouds by Christie
  61. Holiday Decoration: And Four To Go by Stout
  62. Newspaper: Murder in Moscow by Graves
  63. Policeman: Enter Sir John by Dane and Simpson
  64. Building (Other Than A House): Was it Murder? by Hilton
  65. Camera: The Camera Clue by Coxe
  66. Performer: No Mourning for the Matador by Ames
  67. Snow/Snowy Scene: Dark Days by Conway
  68. Tree: Family Matters by Rolls
  69. Tombstone: The Eames-Erskine Case by Fielding
  70. Moon: They Came To Baghdad by Christie
  71. Flashlight: Death Walks in Eastrepps by Beeding
  72. Brunette (Man or Woman): Death in Berlin by Kaye
  73. Green Object: Continental Crimes ed. By Edwards
  74. Mask: X v. Rex by Macdonald
  75. Butler/Maid/Servant: The House of the Arrow by Mason (Spine image)

Silver Card

  1. Shadowy or Ghostly Figure: Evidence of Things by Daly
  2. Written Document: Enter Murderers by Slesar
  3. Knife: Death by Request by John
  4. Body of Water: Foreign Bodies ed. By Edwards
  5. Any Piece of Furniture: Murder on the Blackboard by Palmer
  6. Bottle/Glass for Drinking: The Black Coat by Little
  7. Bird: Keep it quiet by Hull
  8. Boat: Too Much Water by Hamilton
  9. Broken Object: The Willow Pattern by Gulik
  10. Painting/ Photograph: Murder in the Mews by Reilly
  11. Nurse: Locked Doors by Rinehart
  12. Jewellery of Any Sort: A Taste of the Unexpected by Dahl
  13. Hat: Mr Priestley’s Problem by Berkeley
  14. Cigarette or Pipe: The Ingenious Mr Stone by Player
  15. Blonde (woman or man): The Man in the Tricorn Hat by Ames
  16. Blue Object: Seven Dead by Farjeon
  17. Skeletal Hand or Skull: Ye Olde Book of Locked Room Conundrums ed. By JJ
  18. Train: Somebody at the Door by Postgate
  19. Spooky House/Mansion: Blood Upon the Snow by Lawrence
  20. Revolver: Death Takes a Wife by Gilbert
  21. Any Other Weapon: Vanishing Point by Wentworth
  22. Bottle of Poison: The Case of the Late Pig by Allingham
  23. Clock/Timepiece: Crime Gentlemen Please by Ames
  24. Any Other Animal: A Dying Fall by Wade
  25. Car/Truck: The Power House by Buchan
  26. Carriage/Wagon: Death of a Commuter by Bruce
  27. Bloodstains: Family Skeleton by Disney
  28. Staircase: Sleeping Murder by Christie
  29. Flower/s: Death at the Dog by Cannan
  30. Glove: Duet of Death by Lawrence
  31. Door: Landscape with Corpse by Ames
  32. Red Head (woman or Man): Four Days Wonder by Milne
  33. Red Object: Anonymous Footsteps by O’Connor
  34. Suitcase/Briefcase: The Shapes of Sleep by Priestley
  35. Blunt Instrument: Murder in the WPA by Williams
  36. Damsel in Distress: Riddle of a Lady by Gilbert
  37. Dead Body: The Sleeping Car Murder by Japrisot
  38. Food: Heir Presumptive by Wade
  39. Library or a Book: The Weight of the Evidence by Innes (Back cover)
  40. Cat: The Judge is Reversed by Lockridge
  41. Holiday Decoration: Dancing Death by Bush
  42. Newspaper: I’ll Grind Their Bones by Roscoe
  43. Policeman: Police at the Funeral by Allingham
  44. Building (Other Than A House): The End of the Web by Sims
  45. Performer: A Bullet for the Ballet by Brahms and Simon
  46. Snow/Snowy Scene: Portrait of a Murderer by Meredith
  47. Tree: Case for Sergeant Beef by Bruce
  48. Tombstone: The White Alley by Wells
  49. Moon: The Hours Before Dawn by Fremlin
  50. Flashlight: Still Waters by Lorac
  51. Brunette (Man or Woman): The Rynox Mystery by Macdonald
  52. Green Object: Crime Out of Mind by Ames
  53. Mask: The Black Iris by Little

Next year I have just joined up for the one challenge: Just the Facts Ma’am, participating at Gold and Silver levels.

Hopefully tomorrow I will have my end of the year blog post ready, so stay tuned…


    • Yes he is our oldest family dog. He’s 14/15 years old now so the additional coat apart from making him look festive, does help to keep him warm in the colder months. I think in that photo he was very intently looking at the hand holding a treat out of shot of the camera.


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