Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Challenge Completed: Vintage Mystery

Host: My Reader's Block

Name: Vintage Mysteries
Dates: Jan - Dec
# Target Books: 8 - 16
Limitations: Mysteries published BEFORE 1960
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What I read:

1. Final Curtain by Ngaio Marsh (1947) qualifies as #4 leave it to the professionals
2. The Cape Cod Mystery by Phoebe Atwood Taylor (1931) qualifies as #3 amateur night
3. Why Shoot a Butler by Georgette Heyer (1933) qualifies as #23 the butler did it...or not
4. The Case of the Late Pig by Margery Allingham (1948) qualifies as #8, dangerous beasts
5. Hamlet, Revenge by Michael Innes (1937) qualifies as #13 staging the crime
6. Peril at End House by Agatha Christie (1932) qualifies as #33 international detectives
7. Lord Edgware Dies (aka Thirteen at Dinner) (1933) qualifies as #11, a book with a man in the title
8. Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy Sayers (1928) qualifies as #14 scene of the crime
9. The Daughter of Time. (Inspector Grant #5). Josephine Tey. 1955 qualifies as #35 authors who wrote under a pseudonym
10. The Red Box. Nero Wolfe. (Nero Wolfe #4) 1936. qualifies as #1 a book with a color in the title
11. Envious Casca. Georgette Heyer. 1941. qualifies as #16 a locked-room mystery
12. Strong Poison. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1930 qualifies as #27 as psychic phenomenon*
13. The Five Red Herrings. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1931. qualifies as # 2 murder by the numbers
14. A Blunt Instrument by Georgette Heyer (1938) qualifies as #12 murderous methods
15. The Case of the Cautious Coquette by Erle Stanley Gardner (1949) qualifies as #10 a book with a woman in the title
16. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (1937) qualifies as #18 murder on the high seas
17. Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie (1935) qualifies as #19 planes, trains, and automobiles
18.The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham (1929) qualifies as #17 country house murder
19. The Rubber Band. (Nero Wolfe #3) Rex Stout. 190 pages. qualifies as #6 mystery set in USA
20. They Found Him Dead. Georgette Heyer. 1937. Sourcebooks. 325 pages qualifies as #5 mystery set in Britain
21. Behold, Here's Poison. Georgette Heyer. 1936/2009. Sourcebooks. 330 pages. qualifies as #34 mystery someone else has already read
22. The League of Frightened Men. Rex Stout. 1935. Bantam. 320 pages. qualifies as #25 dynamic duos
23. Clouds of Witness. Dorothy L. Sayers. 1926/1966. Avon. 224 pages. qualifies as #22 repeat offender, starring favorite detective
24. The Case of the Worried Waitress: A Perry Mason mystery. Erle Stanley Gardner. 1966. 151 pages. qualifies as #29 Old Bailey

Mission read & match mystery categories:

1. Colorful Crime: a book with a color or reference to color in the title
2. Murder by the Numbers: a book with a number, quantity in the title
3. Amateur Night: a book with a "detective" who is not a P.I.; Police Officer; Official Investigator (Nurse Keate, Father Brown, Miss Marple, etc.)
4. Leave It to the Professionals: a book featuring cops, private eyes, secret service, professional spies, etc.
5. Jolly Old England: one mystery set in Britain

6. Yankee Doodle Dandy: one mystery set in the United States
7. World Traveler: one mystery set in any country except the US or Britain
8. Dangerous Beasts: a book with an animal in the title (The Case of the Grinning Gorilla; The Canary Murder Case; etc.)

9. A Calendar of Crime: a mystery with a date/holiday/year/month/etc. in the title (Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Holiday Homicide, etc.)
10. Wicked Women: a book with a woman in the title--either by name (Mrs. McGinty's Dead) or by reference (The Case of the Vagabound Virgin)
11. Malicious Men: a book with a man in the title--either by name (Maigret & the Yellow Dog) or by reference (The Case of the Haunted Husband)
12. Murderous Methods : a book with a means of death in the title (The Noose, 5 Bullets, Deadly Nightshade, etc).

13. Staging the Crime: a mystery set in the entertainment world (the theater, musical event, a pageant, Hollywood, featuring a magician, etc)
14. Scene of the Crime: a book with the location of the crime in the title (The Body in the Library, Murder at the Vicarage, etc.)
15. Cops & Robbers: a book that features a theft rather than murder 
16. Locked Rooms: a locked-room mystery
17. Country House Criminals: a standard (or not-so-standard) Golden Age country house murder
18. Murder on the High Seas: a mystery involving water 
19. Planes, Trains & Automobiles: a mystery that involves a mode of transportation in a vital way--explicitly in the title (Murder on the Orient Express) or by implication (Death in the Air; Death Under Sail) or perhaps the victim was shoved under a bus....
20. Murder Is Academic: a mystery involving a scholar, teacher, librarian, etc.  OR set at a school, university, library, etc.
21. Things That Go Bump in the Night: a mystery with something spooky, creepy, gothic in the title (The Skeleton in the Clock, Haunted Lady, The Bat, etc.)
22. Repeat Offenders: a mystery featuring your favorite series detective or by your favorite author (the books/authors you'd read over and over again) OR reread an old favorite
23. The Butler Did It...Or Not: a mystery where the butler is the victim, the sleuth....(gasp) the criminal....or is just downright memorable for whatever reason. 
24. A Mystery By Any Other Name: any book that has been published under more than one title (Murder Is Easy--aka Easy to Kill [Christie]; Fog of Doubt--aka London Particular [Christianna Brand], etc.)
25. Dynamic Duos: a mystery featuring a detective team--Holmes & Watson, Pam & Jerry North, Wolfe & Goodwin, or....a little-known team that you introduce to us.
26. Size Matters: a book with a size or measurement in the title (Death Has a Small Voice, The Big Four, The Weight of the Evidence, etc.)
27. Psychic Phenomena: a mystery featuring a seance, medium, hypnotism, or other psychic or "supernatural" characters/events
28. Book to Movie: one vintage mystery that has appeared on screen (feature film or TV movie).
29. The Old Bailey: a courtroom drama mystery (Perry Mason, anyone? Witness for the Prosecution...etc.) OR a mystery featuring a judge, lawyer, barrister, D.A., etc.
30. Serial Killers: Books that were originally published in serial format, probably from the pulp era.  Frank Packard's works come to mind.
31. Killed in Translation: Works that originally appeared in another language and have been made available in English (works published in English post-1960 would be acceptable, provided the original was published pre-1960).  Georges Simeon's works come to mind. OR If your native language is not English, then works that originally appeared in English and have been made available in your native language (same dating rules apply).
32.  Blondes in Danger:  A variation on "Colorful Crime".  Books that feature a blonde in the title role, like The Blonde Died First, or Blonde for Danger.
33. International Detectives.  A variation on "World Traveler" but instead of the crime being set in another country, the detective is not from the US or UK.   This may include Hercule Poirot as well as such notables as Judge Dee,
34. Somebody Else's Crime:  Read one book that someone else has already reviewed for the Vintage Mystery Challenge. 
35. Genuine Fakes: Authors who wrote under a pseudonym (Josephine Tey [Elizabeth Mackintosh]; Nicholas Blake [Cecil Day Lews]; etc)

36. Hobbies Can Be Murder: A mystery that involves a hobby in some way: stamp or coin collecting; knitting (a la Patricia Wentworth's Miss Silver); bird watching; hunting (particularly the British hunt); scrapbooks; etc.  [thanks to S from Snaps and Snippets for the idea]

37. Get Out of Jail Free: This is a freebie category.  One per customer.  You tell me what special category the book fits ("It's got an awesome cover!"..."First book I grabbed off my shelf") and it counts.  Only thing I won't take is "It's a Vintage Mystery!"--that's a given. :-)

*Strong Poison does feature a seance. It's all pretend, the work of Miss Climpson. But it's so memorable and it works really well. And I'm unlikely to ever ever read any mystery where it's presented as "real."

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Bev Hankins said...

Congratulations, Becky! Outstanding list...and way over the 16 needed for an automatic prize. Send me an email at phryne1969 AT gmail DOT com if you'd like to claim it.

Becky said...

Bev, Hi! I claimed a prize when I reached sixteen but kept reading anyway!