2018 Halloween Book Bingo

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Joy Ellis: Jackman and Evans & Matt Ballard Series

    As a new discovery, this is a carry-over from 2018, when Ellis’s Their Lost Daughters completely knocked me sideways during Halloween Bingo.  I’ve since read her entire Jackman & Evans series — my favorite entries still being Their Lost Daughters as well as, coming very close, book 4 of the series, The Guilty Ones […]

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Six Characters Who Made a Career Change

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – Mawlid, Task 4: Muhammad was a merchant before becoming a religious leader.  List 5 books on your shelves in which a key character makes / undergoes a radical career change.   1. Brother Cadfael: A career change can hardly get any more radical than going from crusading soldier to […]

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Three Moonlighting Book Characters

24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 – Bon Om Touk, Task 4: Which are your 3 favorite books where a key character is “moonlighting”?   Three moonlighting characters: 1. Dr. John Watson:  The good doctor actually has a full-time practice as an MD — which doesn’t stop him from routinely going sleuthing with London’s self-declared “only […]

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My Favorite Books of 2018

24 Festive Tasks: Door 9 – Thanksgiving, Task 1: List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better.   2018 was an excellent reading year for me, both in terms of quantity and quality — yet, […]

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Georgette Heyer: Penhallow

On the face of it, your classic country house mystery, country estate and horse farm in Cornwall and all; but Heyer wrote this as a contract breaker, and boy, does it ever show.  Neither seekers after romance and after knights in shiny armour nor seekers of a genteel country house atmosphere need apply here, and […]

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Literature Reviews

Joy Ellis: Their Lost Daughters

Why, oh why did anybody think that this book’s title (!!) needed an appendage such as “a gripping crime thriller with a huge twist” on Amazon (and likely thus also on every other site that draws its feed from Amazon and where there aren’t any librarians to do away with this sort of nonsense) in […]

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Sharyn McCrumb: The Ballad of Frankie Silver

Holy hell St. Maloney, what a book.  Part of McCrumb’s Ballad series set in the Appalachian Mountains, this is the story of two executions — and the convicts sentenced to death in each case, as well as their (purported) crimes and the lawmen called upon to witness their executions.  In modern times, Sheriff Spencer Arrowood […]

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Jennifer Wright: Get Well Soon

Epidemics are horrible. Well, duh …   In substance, I don’t really have a whole lot to add to my one ill-humored status update on this book.  This is the book-form equivalent of a cross-breed between tabloid journalism and a series of superficial, but opinionated and self-centered blog posts: short on bonafide science, history, and […]

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Georgette Heyer: Penhallow — Reading Progress Update: 120 of 833 Minutes

A very different Heyer — more a social study than a cozy mystery (and certainly no romance in sight as yet, either).  The victim-to-be is still with us, and going by Golden Age standards, he has to be one of the most loathsome and deserving murder victims yet.  It’s a miracle he’s managed to survive […]

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Jennifer Wright: Get Well Soon — Status Update: 107 of 336 Pages

    This reads like a series of blog posts by an overconfident twentysomething with an only superficial grasp of both history and medicine / science, who won’t, however, let her lack of in-depth knowledge and research keep her from jumping to unsupported conclusions by the dozen. (All of which being said with profound apologies […]

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John Dickson Carr: The Hollow Man

THE Locked Room Mystery to End All Locked Room Mysteries Seriously, this is the book where John Dickson Carr, the master of locked room mysteries, pulls out all the stops.  And he tells us as much right from the start: “To the murder of Professor Grimaud, and later the equally incredible crime in Cagliostro Street, […]

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