2017 Vintage Mystery Challenge Wrap-Up

2016 Vintage Scavenger HuntI’m sneaking in one more post before the end of the year to wrap up my Vintage Mystery Cover Scavenger Hunt challenge, hosted by Bev at My Reader’s Block. The goal was to read at least six vintage mysteries published before 1960 (for the gold level, which is the one I participated in) and to find one of the following objects on each book’s cover:

2017-vintage

Here are the books I read and the objects I found:

Death of My AuntFive Red Herrings, The
Lady Molly of Scotland YardBullet in the Ballet, APenhallow
Z Murders, TheCase for Three Detectives

1. C.H.B. Kitchin, Death of My Aunt (1929) – curtains
2. Dorothy L. Sayers, The Five Red Herrings (1931) – painting
3. Baroness Orczy, Lady Molly of Scotland Yard (1910) – hat
4. Caryl Brahms and S.J. Simon, A Bullet in the Ballet (1937) – performer
5. Georgette Heyer, Penhallow (1942) – bottle/glass for drinking
6. J. Jefferson Farjeon, The Z Murders (1932) – train
7. Leo Bruce, Case for Three Detectives (1936) – dead body

My favorite read for this challenge was Case for Three Detectives, a spot-on parody of three of the most famous detectives of Golden Age fiction! My least favorite was Penhallow, which is relentlessly depressing and also not a good mystery. But overall, I liked what I read for this challenge and look forward to participating in the 2018 vintage mystery challenge as well!

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Bout of Books 18 Wrap-up

Bout of Books 18

Bout of Books 18 concluded yesterday, and I’m counting my readathon a success! I was hoping to read two books from start to finish, and I did: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne and Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley. (I also finished Crosstalk by Connie Willis.) I really enjoyed all three books I read this past week! Additionally, I wanted to participate in at least one Twitter chat, and I ended up doing both. So I’m very happy with my progress and will almost definitely be back for Bout of Books 19 in May. If you participated this time around, what did you read?

2016 Vintage Mystery Challenge Wrap-up

2017 Vintage Scavenger HuntHappy New Year, everyone! I’m so excited to get started on the 2017 Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt, but before I do that, I should probably post my 2016 wrap-up! Here’s what I read for the 2016 challenge, along with the items I “found” for the scavenger hunt:

1. Georgette Heyer, No Wind of Blame – cigarette
2. Alan Melville, Quick Curtain – performer
3. Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison – bottle of poison
4. Christopher St. John Sprigg, Death of an Airman – plane
5. Alice Tilton, Beginning with a Bash – blunt instrument
6. Georgette Heyer, Envious Casca – brunette

No Wind of BlameQuick CurtainStrong Poison
Death of an Airmanbeginning-with-a-bashenvious-casca

If you also participated in this challenge, don’t forget to add your wrap-up post here!

Bout of Books 15 Wrap-up

Bout of Books

Well, another Bout of Books has come and gone! Sadly, I didn’t read as much as I’d hoped — my goal was 1,000 pages, and I only read 226! *blush* But at least I read something, right? I think part of my problem was that I alternated between two sizable books: Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, which is just a brick, and Frances de Pontes Peebles’ The Seamstress, which is a slow-moving historical saga of 600+ pages. Don’t get me wrong; both books are good — War and Peace, in particular, is a very pleasant surprise! But they couldn’t quite hold my focus for sustained periods of time. I would have been better off with shorter books; then I’m sure I would have gotten a lot closer to my goal. I also participated in almost every challenge, which was fun as always. Looking forward to the next installment of Bout of Books in May! 🙂

Vintage Mystery Bingo Wrap-up

Vintage Challenge 2015Since 2015 is now behind us, it’s time to say goodbye to the 2015 Vintage Mystery Bingo challenge at My Reader’s Block. I completed my goal of one straight-line Bingo by filling in the L column with the following books:

  1. Book set in the entertainment world -> FREE SPACE -> Book set in England/U.S.: Dorothy L. Sayers, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (set in London)
  2. Book made into a movie/TV show: John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps (most famously adapted by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935)
  3. Book with an amateur detective: Dorothy L. Sayers, Unnatural Death (featuring aristocratic sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey)
  4. Man in the title: E.C. Bentley, Trent’s Last Case (protagonist is Philip Trent)
  5. Academic mystery: T.H. White, Darkness at Pemberley (first section of the book involves a locked-room murder at Cambridge)
  6. Involves a mode of transportation: Mavis Doriel Hay, Murder Underground (victim is strangled in a London Underground station)

And for a little bonus, I also read Cyril Hare’s An English Murder, which fits nicely in the “country house mystery” square.

Vintage Golden Card 2015

As always, this was a really fun challenge for me. I think the Sayers books and Trent’s Last Case were my favorite reads, but I didn’t really have any clunkers. If you participated in this challenge, did you read any of the same books? What were your favorite reads of the challenge?

R.I.P. X Wrap-up

Art courtesy of Abigail Larson.
Art courtesy of Abigail Larson.

I’ve fallen so far behind on blogging (11 reviews behind, you guys!) that I forgot to do my wrap-up post for R.I.P. X! But better late than never, right? I ended up reading four books that fit within the challenge guidelines, thus completing Peril the First. Here’s what I read:

  1. Dorothy L. Sayers, Unnatural Death
  2. Deanna Raybourn, A Curious Beginning
  3. Rainbow Rowell, Carry On
  4. Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows

I liked all the books, more or less, although A Curious Beginning was probably my least favorite (the heroine was far too modern). Six of Crows was my favorite for sheer entertainment value, and I also liked Carry On more than I was expecting to. Yet another fun year for this challenge, and I’m sure I’ll be participating again next year!

Once Upon a Time IX Challenge Wrap-up

once upon a time ixWell, I forgot to mention that the Once Upon a Time IX event at Stainless Steel Droppings ended last Sunday, June 21! The challenge was to read at least one book within the genres of fantasy, fairy tales, mythology, and/or folklore. I committed to reading one book but actually read three:

  1. Juliet Marillier, Dreamer’s Pool
  2. Kiersten White, Illusions of Fate
  3. Naomi Novik, Uprooted

I really enjoyed all of these books, but Uprooted is the standout — it will undoubtedly end up on my top 10 books of the year! I haven’t had a chance to write my review yet, but trust me: if you like fairytale-inspired fantasy with a kickass heroine and a slow-burning romance, you should definitely read this book!

If you participated in this challenge, what books did you read? Which were your favorite and least favorite? Did you discover any great new authors or books to recommend?

Jazz Age January Wrap-up

2015 jazz age januaryWow, this first month of 2015 has just flown by! And with the end of the month comes the end of Jazz Age January, a challenge hosted by Books Speak Volumes in which participants were asked to read at least one book about or set during the 1920s. I only managed to read one book for this challenge — The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine — but I really enjoyed it! I also obtained a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Flappers and Philosophers, which I unfortunately didn’t get around to reading. But maybe now I’ll save it for next year’s challenge! 🙂 Did you participate in Jazz Age January? If so, what did you read?

2014 Historical Fiction Challenge Wrap-up

And finally, I completed the 2014 Historical Fiction Challenge at Historical Tapestry.

2014 historical fiction challenge
Participants were asked to read historical fiction from any subgenre: YA, romance, mystery, and fantasy were all fair game. I chose the Ancient History level, which set a goal of 25 books, and here’s what I read:

1. Mary Miley — The Impersonator
2. Julia Quinn — Just Like Heaven
3. Elizabeth Hay — Late Nights on Air
4. Alan Bradley — The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
5. Georgette Heyer — The Spanish Bride
6. Ellis Peters — The Raven in the Foregate
7. Elizabeth Blackwell — While Beauty Slept
8. Kathryn Miller Haines — The Girl Is Murder
9. Hannah March — The Complaint of the Dove
10. Kate Quinn — Mistress of Rome
11. Lauren Owen — The Quick
12. Ismail Kadare — Broken April
13. Sharon Kay Penman — The Sunne in Splendour
14. Juliet Marillier — Blade of Fortriu
15. Jessica Brockmole — Letters from Skye
16. Elizabeth Wein — Rose Under Fire
17. William Ritter — Jackaby
18. Robin LaFevers — Mortal Heart
19. Lauren Willig — That Summer
20. Caryl Brahms & S.J. Simon — No Bed for Bacon
21. Rhys Bowen — Naughty in Nice
22. Baroness Orczy — I Will Repay
23. Sara Gruen — Water for Elephants
24. Jennifer Robson — Somewhere in France
25. Carlos Ruiz Zafón — The Shadow of the Wind
26. Lauren Willig — The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla
27. Ashley Weaver — Murder at the Brightwell
28. Shusaku Endo — Silence
29. Roberto Ampuero — The Neruda Case
30. Diane Setterfield — Bellman & Black
31. Kate Lord Brown — The Beauty Chorus
32. Anthony Doerr — All the Light We Cannot See
33. Rose Lerner — In for a Penny
34. Charles Finch — The Laws of Murder
35. Rhys Bowen — The Twelve Clues of Christmas
36. Kate Ross — The Devil in Music

As always, check out my Review Index page for more info on any of these books. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, so it’s always fun to give myself an excuse to read it! 🙂