The Halloween Creatures Book Tag

Rules:

Answer all prompts.
Answer honestly.
Tag 1-13 people.
Link back to this post. ( For me it was SnoopyDoo!)
Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)<
Have fun!

 

Witch

A Magical Character or Book

Terry Pratchett’s witches, particularly Granny Weatherwax. And DEATH (preferably in his Hogfather incarnation). No contest.

 

 

Werewolf

The Perfect Book to Read at Night

Any- and everything by Agatha Christie.

 

Vampire – A Book that Sucked the Life Out of You – and Frankenstein – A Book that Truly Shocked You

Joint honors in both categories to two novels chronicling civil war and genocide in two African countries, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (Nigeria / Biafra) and Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love (Sierra Leone). Both of them are, in their own way, the literary equivalent of a gut punch that leaves you gasping for air in huge, big gulps. And both are, for that and many other reasons (characters, writing, the whole package) unforgettable in all the right ways.

The Devil

A Dark, Evil Character

Umm … the original blood sucker? (I don’t much go in for the sparkly variety.) And, of course, Tom Riddle aka Voldemort … and the dementors. Those creatures are vile.

 

Zombie

A Book that Made You “Hungry” for More

Dorothy L. Sayers’s Peter Wimsey & Harriet Vane tetralogy, particularly Gaudy Night. While I can totally see that (and why) for Sayers there really was no easy follow-up to Busman’s Honeymoon, I’d still have loved to see how she herself would have framed Peter and Harriet’s married life and continuing investigations … instead of having to rely on another author’s attempts to pick the bones of Sayers’s sketchy drafts.

Gargoyle

A Character that You Would Protect at All Cost

Hmm. This one was difficult, because one of the things that I like about my favorite characters — and pretty much any and all of them, and across all genres — is that they are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, even in the face of adversity. But I guess if you’re up against evil incarnate and you’re looking at the one group / fellowship of people who actually stand at least a minute chance of facing up to it, a little extra protection can’t go awray.

Along the same lines, Harry Potter, Dumbledore’s Army, and most of the teachers at Hogwarts.

Ghost

A Book that Still Haunts You

I could easily have used Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and Aminatta Forna’s The Memory of Love for this category all over again — as well as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (see below) and, to a minimally lesser extent its sequel, The Testaments. I didn’t want to do that, so I decided to go with Clea Koff’s The Bone Woman — not just for its content as such, though, but because I have seen cases related to the very ones that she describes up, close and personal … and short of actually being the victim of human rights violations yourself, there are few things as devastating and haunting as working with victims, or otherwise being involved in the aftermath.

Demon

A Book that Really Scared You

I reread Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale last year before moving on to The Testaments, and it scared the living daylights out of me; possibly even more than when I read it for the first time many years ago — not least because events in the past couple of years have shown just how realistic Atwood’s dystopia is, and how little it takes for society to slide down that particular slippery slope.

Skeleton

A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With

You mean other than each and every TSTL character ever created?

OK, let’s go with the two protagonists of what I’ve come to dub my fall 2017 headless chicken parade — Giordano Bruno in S.J. Parris’s Heresy (essentially for not bearing any demonstrable likeness to the historical Giordano Bruno, who would probably have sneared at his fictional alter ego in this particular book / series), and Albert Campion in Margery Allingham’s Traitor’s Purse, for losing not only his memory but also the better part of his essential character makeup as a result of being coshed over the head.

Mummy

A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time

Well, the likes of Hamlet, Pride & Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes have already made their point as far as “timeless” is concerned, so it feels kind of pointless to pick a classic here.

That being said, I hope one day the time will come for people to scratch their heads and wonder what all the fuss was about, but right now — there hasn’t been a book in a long time that challenged stereotypes (gender, race, class, writing styles, younameit) in the way that Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other has. It’s the reality check we all urgently needed, and a book that can’t ever possibly have too many readers … now and for the foreseeable future.

Creepy Doll

A Cover too Scary to Look At

That of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary — because I really do NOT want to think about the possibility of my pets ever turning into zombies, revenants or the like, or otherwise taking on similarly murderous qualities. And that is precisely what this cover makes me do.

 

The Monster Mash

It’s Fun to Be with Friends on Halloween!
Tag Your Friends!

Anyone and everyone who wants to do this, I hope if you are reading this and have not done it you will. It’s fun, and outside of Halloween Bingo, nothing says bookish Halloween like tying a few of your reads to a roundup of Halloween creatures! 🙂

Halloween Bingo 2020: TA’s Game Preparation Post

Note

When updating this post during the game, the books actually selected will be highlighted in bold print and with a check mark (√) next to them.

Updates

Spell invoked: Bingo Flip with Lora — STONE COLD HORROR replaced by READ BY FLASHLIGHT OR CANDLELIGHT

Also, as our game hosts have made it clear that (like in most previous years) the center square won’t be called (but rather, can be claimed as soon as we’ve read a book for it), I’ll be adding a fourth marker for that square (read = called), featuring Charlie’s brother Sunny!

 

The Card

My Markers


Read             Called                   Read & Called   Read = Called

 

The Spell Pack

Authors (and books) possibly to be used with Amplification Spell:
Preet Bharara: Doing Justice
Roseanne A. Brown: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Hannah Crafts: The Bondwoman’s Narrative
Edwidge Danticat: Krik? Krak!, Breath, Eyes, Memory
Emma Donoghue: The Sealed Letter, Kissing the Witch
Aminatta Forna: The Devil That Danced on the Water
Gabriel García Márquez: Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude), El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No one Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories)
Nino Haratischwili: Die Katze und der General
Marie-Elena John: Unburnable
Orhan Pamuk: My Name Is Red
Various Authors: Trinidad Noir
Oksana Zabuzhko: The Museum of Abandoned Secrets

Wild Card Author:
Agatha Christie

Possible squares for Bingo Flip and / or Transfiguration Spell:

Bingo Flip:
  
Spell invoked: Bingo Flip with Lora –“Stone Cold Horror” replaced by “Read by Flashlight or Candlelight”.

 

The Squares

SLEEPY HOLLOW
Most likely:
Alice Hoffman: The River King

Alternatives:
Stephen King: Pet Semetary, Misery, Shawshank Redemption, Carrie, The Talisman
Robert B. Parker: The Godwulf Manuscript, School Days, Chance, Hush Money, Small Vices
Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford: The Amber Gods and Other Stories
Ellery Queen: Calamity Town
Sofie Ryan: The Whole Cat and Caboodle
Donna Tartt: The Secret History
Joel Townsley Rogers: The Red Right Hand

 

FILM AT 11
Most likely:
Ellis Peters: The Devil’s Novice

or: Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped

Alternatives:
Marie Belloc Lowndes: The Lodger
R.D. Blackmore: Lorna Doone
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
Raymond Chandler: The Little Sister
Erskine Childers: The Riddle of the Sands
Agatha Christie: Endless Night, The Pale Horse, Curtain, Halloween Party
Ann Cleeves: The Crow Trap
Michael Crichton: The Great Train Robbery
Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist, Bleak House, David Copperfield
Alexandre Dumas: The Three Musketeers
T.S. Eliot: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
Michael Ende: Die unendliche Geschichte
Thomas Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Peter Høeg: Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Victor Hugo: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Craig Johnson: The Cold Dish
Stephen King: Misery, Shawshank Redemption, Carrie, The Talisman
Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird
Dennis Lehane: Shutter Island
Philip MacDonald: The List of Adrian Messenger
Mario Puzo: The Godfather
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter series
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, Richard III
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Joan D. Vinge: Ladyhawke
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray
R.D. Wingfield: A Killing Frost

 

SOUTHERN GOTHIC
Most likely:
Sharyn McCrumb: The Ballad of Tom Dooley

Alternatives:
Hannah Crafts: The Bondwoman’s Narrative
Carolyn G. Hart: Death on Demand
Michael McDowell: Blackwater
Herman Melville: The Confidence-Man
Julie Smith: Louisiana Hotshot
Various Authors: New Orleans Noir

 

MURDER MOST FOUL
Most likely:
Michael Connelly: The Night Fire

or: Jason Goodwin: The Janissary Tree
or: Anna Katharine Green: The Leavenworth Case
Oo. Robert van Gulik: Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee
or: Margaret Millar: The Listening Walls

Alternatives:
Gary Corby: The Ionia Sanction
Deborah Crombie: Dreaming of the Bones
Martin Edwards (ed.), Various Authors: Setting Scores or The Measure of Malice (British Library Crime Classics anthologies)
Ian Fleming: Goldfinger or Moonraker
Graham Greene: The Confidential Agent
Ellen Kushner: Swordspoint
Donna Leon: The Jewels of Paradise, The Golden Egg, Friends in High Places, or Fatal Remedies
Mystery Writers of America Presents: Odd Partners
George Pelecanos: Hard Revolution
Otto Penzler (ed.), Various Authors: The Big Book of Female Detectives
Ian Rankin: Rebus Audio Box Set 1
Ruth Rendell: Some Lie and Some Die, A Demon in My View, Thirteen Steps Down, Harm Done, A Sight for Sore Eyes, End in Tears, Simisola, Road Rage, A Dark Blue Perfume and Other Stories, An Unkindness of Ravens, Shake Hands Forever, A Guilty Thing Surprised, or The Speaker of Mandarin
J.D. Robb: Naked in Death
Georges Simenon: Maigret: Die spannendsten Fälle
Various Authors: Classic Crime Short Stories (audio collection)
Various Authors: Classic Railway Murders (audio collection)

… or any of the murder mysteries listed as options for other squares on my card.

 

SPELLBOUND
Most likely:
Naomi Novik: Spinning Silver

Alternatives:
Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy Tales
J.M. Barrie: Peter Pan
Roseanne A. Brown: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Lois McMaster Bujold: The Curse of Chalion
Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
Emma Donoghue: Kissing the Witch
Michael Ende: Die unendliche Geschichte
Stephen Fry: Heroes
Neil Gaiman: Fragile Things
Tessa Gratton: The Queens of Innis Lear
Robert Jordan: The Eye of the World
Stephen King: Carrie, The Talisman
Katherine Kurtz: Deryni Rising
Ursula K. Le Guin: A Wizard of Earthsea
Anne McCaffrey: Dragonsong
Alexander McCall Smith (ed.): The Girl Who Married a Lion (African Folk Tales)
Vonda N. McIntyre: Dreamsnake
Christopher Paolini: Inheritance
Terry Pratchett: Jingo, Maskerade, Small Gods, BBC Dramatizatons (Mort, Wyrd Sisters, Guards! Guards!, Eric, Small Gods, Night Watch)
Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter books
William Shakespeare: Macbeth
Mary Stewart: The Last Enchantment
Michael J. Sullivan: Theft of Swords
Judith Tarr: Alamut, The Isle of Glass
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Children of Húrin, Tales from the Perilous Realm
Aimée & David Thurlo: Second Sunrise
Various Authors: Magicats
Joan D. Vinge: Ladyhawke
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Janny Wurts: Stormwarden

 

INTERNATIONAL WOMAN OF MYSTERY
Most likely:
Marie-Elena John: Unburnable

Alternatives:
Margaret Atwood: Alias Grace, The Robber Bride
Roseanne A. Brown: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Hannah Crafts: The Bondwoman’s Narrative
Edwidge Danticat: Krik? Krak!, Breath, Eyes, Memory
Emma Donoghue: The Sealed Letter, Kissing the Witch
Sarah Dunant: Blood & Beauty
Tana French: Broken Harbour
Nino Haratischwili: Die Katze und der General
Hannah Kent: Burial Rites
Barbara Nadel: Land of the Blind
Edna O’Brien: House of Splendid Isolation, The Little Red Chairs
S.J. Rozan: China Trade
Julie Smith: Louisiana Hotshot
Oksana Zabuzhko: The Museum of Abandoned Secrets

 

TERROR IN A SMALL TOWN
Most likely:
Michael Jecks: The Malice of Unnatural Death

or: Ann Cleeves: Red Bones
or: Peter Grainger: Songbird or But for the Grace
or: Cyril Hare: Death Walks the Woods or Untimely Death
or: Michael Jecks: The Templar’s Penance, The Mad Monk of Gidleigh, The Chapel of Bones, or The Butcher of St. Peter’s

Alternatives:
Rennie Airth: River of Darkness
Margery Allingham: Blackkerchief Dick
Margaret Atwood: Alias Grace
Simon Beaufort: Deadly Inheritance
Francis Beeding: Death Walks in Eastrepps
E.C. Bentley: Trent’s Own Case
R.D. Blackmore: Lorna Doone
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
Carol Carnac: Crossed Skies
John Dickson Carr: Castle Skull
Erskine Childers: The Riddle of the Sands
Agatha Christie: Endless Night, The Pale Horse, Curtain, Halloween Party
Ann Cleeves: The Crow Trap
Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White
Lesley Cookman: Murder in Midwinter
Matthew Costello, Neil Richards: Cherringham
Hannah Crafts: The Bondwoman’s Narrative
Edmund Crispin: The Case of the Gilded Fly
Brian Flynn: The Billiard-Room Mystery
Tana French: Broken Harbour
Elizabeth George: A Place of Hiding, Careless in Red, This Body of Death
Anthony Gilbert: Death in a Fancy Dress
Friedrich Glauser: Wachtmeister Studer
J.M. Gregson: Murder at the Nineteenth
Nino Haratischwili: Die Katze und der General
Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Carolyn G. Hart: Death on Demand
Reginald Hill: A Clubbable Woman
Alice Hoffman: The River King
Marlon James: A Brief History of Seven Killings
P.D. James: Unnatural Causes, Devices and Desires
Ianthe Jerrold: Let Him Lie
Marie-Elena John: Unburnable
Craig Johnson: The Cold Dish
Mons Kallentoft: Midwinter Sacrifice
Mary Kelly: The Spoilt Kill
Hannah Kent: Burial Rites
Stephen King: Pet Semetary, Misery, Shawshank Redemption, Carrie
Elizabeth Kostova: The Historian
Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
John Le Carré: A Murder of Quality
Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird
Dennis Lehane: Shutter Island
E.C.R. Lorac: Murder in the Mill-Race, Fire in the Thatch
Sharyn McCrumb: The Ballad of Tom Dooley
Michael McDowell: Blackwater
Michael McGarrity: Tularosa
Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies
Patricia Moyes: The Sunken Sailor
Gil North: The Methods of Sergeant Cluff
Edna O’Brien: House of Splendid Isolation, The Little Red Chairs
Ellis Peters: The Devil’s Novice
Joyce Porter: Dover One
Amanda Quick: The Girl Who Knew too Much
Ellis Peters: The Devil’s Novice
Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford: The Amber Gods and Other Stories
Ellery Queen: Calamity Town
Ruth Rendell: A New Lease of Death
Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Circular Staircase
Peter Robinson: Gallows View, Wednesday’s Child
Priscilla Royal: Tyrant of the Mind
James Runcie: Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death
Sofie Ryan: The Whole Cat and Caboodle
Diane Setterfield: Once Upon a River (?)
Mary Stewart: This Rough Magic
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Julian Symons: The Colour of Murder, The Players and the Game, The Plot Against Roger Rider
Donna Tartt: The Secret History
Aimée & David Thurlo: Second Sunrise
Joel Townsley Rogers: The Red Right Hand
Various Authors: Magicats
Various Authors: Feline Felonies
Various Authors: Trinidad Noir
Patricia Wentworth: Lonesome Road
T.H. White: Darkness at Pemberley
R.D. Wingfield: A Killing Frost

 

TRULY TERRIFYING
Most likely:
Kathryn Harkup: Death by Shakespeare

Alternatives:
Preet Bharara: Doing Justice
Humphrey Carpenter: The Inklings
John Curran: Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks, Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making
Judith Flanders: The Invention of Murder
Aminatta Forna: The Devil That Danced on the Water
Neil Gaiman: The View from the Cheap Seats
Christopher Hibbert: The Borgias and Their Enemies
Sebastian Junger: The Perfect Storm
Ulrich Lampen (ed.): Die NS-Führung im Verhör
Adrienne Mayor: The Poison King
W. Stanley Moss: Ill Met by Moonlight
Terry Pratchett: A Slip of the Keyboard
Friedrich Reck-Malleczwewen: Tagebuch eines Verzeifelten
Philippe Sands: East West Street
Julian Symons: The Tell-Tale Heart: The Life and Works of Edgar Allen Poe
Bob Woodward: The Last of the President’s Men, The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat

 

AMATEUR SLEUTH
Most likely:
Anthony Gilbert: Death in Fancy Dress

or: Philip Gooden: The Salisbury Manuscript
or: Mary Kelly: The Spoilt Kill
or: Priscilla Royal: Tyrant of the Mind

Alternatives:
Margery Allingham: More Work for the Undertaker, Coroner’s Pidgin
Simon Beaufort: Deadly Inheritance
Lauren Belfer: City of Light
E.C. Bentley: Trent’s Own Case
Nicholas Blake: Minute for Murder, The Beast Must Die
Jan Burke: Eighteen
Christopher Bush: The Perfect Murder Case
John Dickson Carr: It Walks by Night, Castle Skull
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Return of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow
Michael Connelly: Fair Warning
Lesley Cookman: Murder in Midwinter
Edmund Crispin: The Case of the Gilded Fly
Jeffery Deaver: The Bone Collector, The Cold Moon
Francis Durbridge: Paul Temple
Brian Flynn: The Billiard-Room Mystery
R. Austin Freeman: The Adventures of Dr. Thorndyke, The Cat’s Eye
Jacques Futrelle: The Thinking Machine at Work
Elizabeth Gaskell: Mary Barton
Elizabeth George: A Place of Hiding
Michael Gilbert: Death in Captivity
Robert Goddard: Sea Change
Sue Grafton: A Is for Alibi
Cyril Hare: Death Walks the Woods, Untimely Death
Carolyn G. Hart: Death on Demand
Peter Høeg: Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Anthony Horowitz: The Word is Murder, The House of Silk
Ianthe Jerrold: Let Him Lie
Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Laura Lippman: By a Spider’s Thread
Philip MacDonald: X v. Rex, The List of Adrian Messenger
Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies
Orhan Pamuk: My Name Is Red
Robert B. Parker: The Godwulf Manuscript, School Days, Burt Reynods Reads: Chance / Hush Money / Small Vices
Ellis Peters: The Devil’s Novice
Ellery Queen: Calamity Town, The Chinese Orange Mystery
Amanda Quick: The Girl Who Knew too Much
Clayton Rawson: The Great Merlini
Candace Robb: The Riddle of St. Leonards’
Gillian Roberts: Caught Dead in Philadelphia
Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Circular Staircase
S.J. Rozan: China Trade
James Runcie: Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death
Sofie Ryan: The Whole Cat and Caboodle
Frank Schätzing: Tod und Teufel
Julie Smith: Louisiana Hotshot
Mary Stewart: This Rough Magic
Jay Stringer: Ways to Die in Glasgow
Barbara Vine: Asta’s Book
Edgar Wallace: The Four Just Men
Patricia Wentworth: Lonesome Road

 

RELICS AND CURIOSITIES
Most likely:
Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies

Alternatives:
Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy Tales
J.M. Barrie: Peter Pan
Alexandre Dumas: The Three Musketeers
Sarah Dunant: Blood & Beauty (?)
Michael Ende: Die unendliche Geschichte
Neil Gaiman: Fragile Things
Philip Gooden: The Salisbury Manuscript
Peter Høeg: Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Stephen King: The Talisman
Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Anne McCaffrey: Dragonflight
Robin McKinley: The Hero and the Crown, The Blue Sword
Naomi Novik: Spinning Silver
Orhan Pamuk: My Name Is Red
Christopher Paolini: Inheritance
Robert B. Parker: The Godwulf Manuscript
Ellis Peters: The Devil’s Novice
Ian Rankin: Knots and Crosses
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter books
S.J. Rozan: China Trade
William Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice
Michael J. Sullivan: Theft of Swords
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

GENRE: HORROR
Most likely:
Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White

or: Edgar Allan Poe: The Raven & Annabelle Lee

Alternatives:
Marie Belloc Lowndes: The Lodger
R.D. Blackmore: Lorna Doone
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
Agatha Christie: Endless Night
J.J. Connington: Nordenholt’s Million
Stephen King: Pet Semetary, Misery, Shawshank Redemption, Carrie, The Long Walk, The Talisman
Michael McDowell: Blackwater
Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford: The Amber Gods and Other Stories
Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

DYSTOPIAN HELLSCAPE
Most likely:
J.J. Connington: Nordenholt’s Million

Alternatives:
Ben Elton: Identity Crisis
Stephen King: The Long Walk, The Talisman
Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies
Ian Rankin: Westwind
James Tiptree Jr.: Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

 

CENTER (RAVEN) SQUARE
Read: Agatha Christie: The Thirteen Problems

 

 

 

 

 

FULL MOON
Most likely:
W. Stanley Moss: Ill Met by Moonlight
or: Patricia Moyes: The Sunken Sailor

Alternatives:
Margery Allingham: Blackkerchief Dick (?)
Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy Tales (?)
Jeffery Deaver: The Cold Moon
Victor Hugo: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Robert Jordan: The Eye of the World
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Mary Stewart: The Last Enchantment
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Barbara Vine: The Blood Doctor
Joan D. Vinge: Ladyhawke

 

THIRTEEN
Most likely:
Margery Allingham: More Work for the Undertaker
or: Terry Pratchett: Small Gods

 

 

 

 

  

Spell invoked: Bingo Flip with Lora — STONE COLD HORROR replaced by READ BY FLASHLIGHT OR CANDLELIGHT

Read: Colin Dexter: The Dead of Jericho

Ugh. I’m going to have to give this one some further thought — currently it’s looking like a candidate for the application of one of my spell cards.

(This is going to be was a spur-of-the-moment selection … it’s not like my book pool (of everything BUT horror) is in danger of running low, after all!

 

PSYCH
Most likely:
Nicholas Blake: The Beast Must Die

or: Vera Caspary: Laura
or: C.S. Forester: Payment Deferred or Plain Murder
or: Tana French: Broken Harbour
or: Patricia Highsmith: Ripley Under Ground
or Michael Jecks: The Chapel of Bones or The Mad Monk of Gidleigh
or: Donna Tartt: The Secret History

Alternatives:
Charles Warren Adams: The Notting Hill Mystery
Rennie Airth: River of Darkness
Margaret Atwood: Alias Grace, The Robber Bride
Francis Beeding: Death Walks in Eastrepps
Marie Belloc Lowndes: The Lodger
Jay Bonansinga: The Sleep Police
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
Christopher Bush: The Perfect Murder Case
John Dickson Carr: It Walks by Night, Castle Skull
Jane Casey: The Burning
Agatha Christie: Endless Night
Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White
Michael Connelly: Fair Warning
J.J. Connington: Nordenholt’s Million
Lesley Cookman: Murder in Midwinter
Hannah Crafts: The Bondwoman’s Narrative
Jeffery Deaver: The Bone Collector, The Cold Moon
Emma Donoghue: The Sealed Letter
Sarah Dunant: Blood & Beauty
Joy Ellis: They Disappeared
Ben Elton: Identity Crisis, The First Casualty
Hugh Fraser: Harm
Neil Gaiman: Fragile Things
Elizabeth George: What Came Before He Shot her, This Body of Death, Believing the Lie
Nino Haratischwili: Die Katze und der General
Thomas Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Cyril Hare: Untimely Death
Peter Høeg: Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Alice Hoffman: The River King
Roy Horniman: Kind Hearts and Coronets (aka Israel Rank)
Anthony Horowitz: The Word is Murder, The House of Silk
Richard Hull: Excellent Intentions
P.D. James: Unnatural Causes, Devices and Desires, A Certain Justice
Ianthe Jerrold: Let Him Lie
Marie-Elena John: Unburnable
Hannah Kent: Burial Rites
Stephen King: Pet Semetary, Misery, Carrie, The Talisman
Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
John Le Carré: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Tailor of Panama, Our Kind of Traitor
Dennis Lehane: Shutter Island
Philip MacDonald: X v. Rex, The List of Adrian Messenger
James MacManus: Black Venus
Val McDermid: Insidious Intent
Vonda N. McIntyre: Dreamsnake
Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies
Herman Melville: The Confidence-Man
Margaret Millar: An Air That Kills, Beast in View
Jo Nesbø: Macbeth
Anne Perry: Seven Dials, Southampton Row
Ellis Peters: The Devil’s Novice
Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford: The Amber Gods and Other Stories
Steven Price: By Gaslight
Amanda Quick: The Girl Who Knew too Much
Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho
Ian Rankin: Knots and Crosses
Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Circular Staircase
Priscilla Royal: Tyrant of the Mind
Diane Setterfield: Once Upon a River
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Richard III
Julie Smith: Louisiana Hotshot
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Julian Symons: The Colour of Murder, The Players and the Game, The Plot Against Roger Rider
Aimée & David Thurlo: Second Sunrise
Joel Townsley Rogers: The Red Right Hand
C.J. Tudor: The Taking of Annie Thorne
Various Authors: Helsinki Noir
Various Authors: Los Angeles Noir
Various Authors: New Orleans Noir
Various Authors: Trinidad Noir
Barbara Vine: The Blood Doctor, Asta’s Book, A Dark-Adapted Eye
Minette Walters: Disordered Minds
Sarah Waters: The Paying Guests
Patricia Wentworth: Lonesome Road
Mary Westmacott: Giant’s Bread, The Burden
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray
R.D. Wingfield: A Killing Frost
Oksana Zabuzhko: The Museum of Abandoned Secrets

 

DOOMSDAY
Most likely:
A.S. Byatt: Ragnarok

Alternatives:
J.J. Connington: Nordenholt’s Million
Robert Jordan: The Eye of the World
Stephen King: The Long Walk, The Talisman
Anne McCaffrey: Dragonflight
Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies
Ian Rankin: Westwind
Candace Robb: The Riddle of St. Leonards’
James Tiptree Jr.: Her Smoke Rose Up Forever
Catherynne M. Valente: Space Opera
Janny Wurts: Stormwarden

 

BLACK CAT
Most likely:
T.S. Eliot: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

Alternatives:
Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
Nino Haratischwili: Die Katze und der General (?)
Stephen King: Pet Semetary
Sofie Ryan: The Whole Cat and Caboodle
Saki: Tobermory (?)
Various Authors: Magicats
Various Authors: Feline Felonies

 

DIVERSE VOICES
Most likely:
Marlon James: A Brief History of Seven Killings

Substitution:
Aimée & David Thurlo: Second Sunrise √

Alternatives:
Preet Bharara: Doing Justice
Roseanne A. Brown: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
Hannah Crafts: The Bondwoman’s Narrative
Edwidge Danticat: Krik? Krak!, Breath, Eyes, Memory
Aminatta Forna: The Devil That Danced on the Water
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude), El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No one Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories)
Nino Haratischwili: Die Katze und der General
Marie-Elena John: Unburnable
Orhan Pamuk: My Name Is Red
Oksana Zabuzhko: The Museum of Abandoned Secrets

 

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT
Most likely:
Christianna Brand: Fog of Doubt
Brian Flynn: The Billiard-Room Mystery
Dennis Lehane: Shutter Island
Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford: The Amber Gods and Other Stories

Substitution:
Patricia Moyes: The Sunken Sailor

Alternatives:
Margery Allingham: Blackkerchief Dick (?)
R.D. Blackmore: Lorna Doone
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
A.S. Byatt: Ragnarok
John Dickson Carr: It Walks by Night, The Hollow Man
Vera Caspary: Laura
Erskine Childers: The Riddle of the Sands (?)
Agatha Christie: Endless Night, The Pale Horse
Ann Cleeves: Red Bones
Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White
Michael Connelly: The Night Fire (?)
Edwidge Danticat: Krik? Krak!
Jeffery Deaver: The Cold Moon
Charles Dickens: Bleak House
David Dodge: To Catch a Thief
Sarah Dunant: Blood & Beauty (?)
Francis Durbridge: Send for Paul Temple
Nino Haratischwili: Die Katze und der General
Thomas Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Peter Høeg: Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Victor Hugo: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Michael Jecks: The Butcher of St. Peter’s, The Mad Monk of Gidleigh
Robert Jordan: The Eye of the World
Sebastian Junger: The Perfect Storm
Stephen King: Pet Semetary, Carrie
Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
John Le Carré: The Tailor of Panama
Val McDermid: Insidious Intent
Medieval Murderers: The Lost Prophecies
W. Stanley Moss: Ill Met by Moonlight
Jo Nesbo: Macbeth
Edgar Allan Poe: The Raven & Annabelle Lee
Terry Pratchett: Small Gods, BBC Dramatizatons (Mort, Wyrd Sisters, Guards! Guards!, Eric, Small Gods, Night Watch)
Steven Price: By Gaslight
Christopher Priest: The Prestige (?)
Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho
Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Circular Staircase
Diane Setterfield: Once Upon a River (?)
William Shakespeare: Macbeth, King Lear
Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped
Mary Stewart: The Last Enchantment
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Michael J. Sullivan: Theft of Swords
Aimée & David Thurlo: Second Sunrise
Joel Townsley Rogers: The Red Right Hand
Joan D. Vinge: Ladyhawke
Edgar Wallace: The Four Just Men, The Terror
Janny Wurts: Stormwarden

 

PAINT IT BLACK
Most likely:
James MacManus: Black Venus

Substitution:
Julie Smith (ed.) & Various Authors: New Orleans Noir

Alternatives:
Margery Allingham: More Work for the Undertaker, Coroner’s Pidgin, Blackkerchief Dick
Vera Caspary: Laura
Roseanne A. Brown: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Michael Connelly: The Black Echo
Hannah Crafts: The Bondwoman’s Narrative
Edwidge Danticat: Krik? Krak!, Breath, Eyes, Memory
Francis Durbridge: Send for Paul Temple
C.S. Forester: Payment Deferred
Aminatta Forna: The Devil That Danced on the Water
Jacques Futrelle: The Thinking Machine at Work
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude), El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No one Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories)
Kathryn Harkup: Death by Shakespeare
Taylor Jenkins Reid: Daisy Jones and the Six
Marie-Elena John: Unburnable
Elizabeth Kostova: The Historian
George R.R. Martin (ed.), Various Authors: Dangerous Women
Mario Puzo: The Godfather
Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho
Ian Rankin: Knots and Crosses, Watchman
Michael J. Sullivan: Theft of Swords
Donna Tartt: The Secret History
Various Authors: Helsinki Noir
Various Authors: Los Angeles Noir
Various Authors: Trinidad Noir
T.H. White: Darkness at Pemberley

 

NEW RELEASE
Most likely:
Joy Ellis: They Disappeared

or: Roseanne A. Brown: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
or: Michael Connelly: Fair Warning

Alternative:
Martin Edwards (ed.), Various Authors: Setting Scores

 

 

GENRE: SUSPENSE
Most likely:
Patricia Highsmith: Ripley Under Ground

or: Patricia Highsmith: Carol
or: John Lanchester: Fragrant Harbour
or: Derek B. Miller: Norwegian by Night

Alternatives:
Ken Follett: Eye of the Needle
Maurice LeBlanc: Arsène Lupin versus Herlock Sholmes
John Le Carré: A Perfect Spy, The Little Drummer Girl, The Russia House, The Honorable School Boy, Call for the Dead, The Secret Pilgrim, or Absolute Friends
Mary Westmacott: Unfinished Portrait or Absent in the Spring

… or virtually any and all of the mysteries, horror and fantasy books listed as options for the other squares on my card.

 

DARKEST LONDON
Most likely:
Christianna Brand: Fog of Doubt

or: Charles Warren Adams: The Notting Hill Mystery
or: Sarah Waters: The Paying Guests

Alternatives:
Marie Belloc Lowndes: The Lodger
Nicholas Blake: Minute for Murder
Anthony Boucher: The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1
Christopher Bush: The Perfect Murder Case
John Dickson Carr: Death Watch
Jane Casey: The Burning
Agatha Christie: The Pale Horse
Rory Clements: Martyr
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Return of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow
Michael Crichton: The Great Train Robbery
Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist, Bleak House, David Copperfield
Emma Donoghue: The Sealed Letter
Francis Durbridge: Paul Temple — Complete Radio Collection, Volume 1
Ken Follett: A Dangerous Fortune
C.S. Forester: Plain Murder
Andrew Forrester: The Female Detective
R. Austin Freeman: The Adventures of Dr. Thorndyke, The Cat’s Eye
Robert Goddard: Sea Change
Anthony Horowitz: The Word is Murder, The House of Silk
P.D. James: A Certain Justice
Philip MacDonald: X v. Rex, The List of Adrian Messenger
Arthur Morrison: Martin Hewitt, Investigator; Detective Stories
John Mortimer: Rumpole and the Reign of Terror
Anne Perry: Seven Dials, Southampton Row, A Sudden Fearful Death
Steven Price: By Gaslight
Christopher Priest: The Prestige
Ruth Rendell: Portobello
John Rhode: The Paddington Mystery
Stella Rimington: Dead Line
Barbara Vine: The Blood Doctor, Asta’s Book
Edgar Wallace: The Four Just Men, The Terror
Oscar Wilde: Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories, The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

Halloween Bingo 2019: Tracking Post — Blackout! (And bingos Nos. 12 and 13.)

 

Many thanks to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for hosting this game for the fourth year in a row, bigger and better than ever before!

Witih today’s call, I’ve blacked out my card, in addition to collecting my final bingos (nos. 12 and 13).

Somewhat to my surprise, after completing my books for my official bingo card at the end of September, I even managed to read enough extra books to put together a supplemental inofficial card throughout the month of October, so this year’s game has really exceeded my wildest expectations in every conceivable way!

 

My Official 2019 Bingo Card:

Weekly Status Updates and Reviews:

First Week
Second Week
Third Week
Fourth Week

 

The Books:

International Woman of Mystery: Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments – finished September 29, 2019.
Locked Room Mystery: Clayton Rawson: Death from a Top Hat – finished September 23, 2019.
Murder Most Foul: Michael Gilbert: Smallbone Deceased – finished September 13, 2019.
Psych: Sofi Oksanen: Fegefeuer (The Purge) – finished September 17, 2019.
Read by Flashlight or Candle Light: The Lady Detectives: Four BBC Radio 4 Crime Dramatisations – finished September 20, 2019.

DeadLands: Terry Pratchett: Monstrous Regiment – finished September 26, 2019.
Fear the Drowning Deep: Delia Owens: Where the Crawdads Sing – finished September 25, 2019.
Relics and Curiosities: Patricia Wentworth: Eternity Ring – finished September 10, 2019.
Dark Academia: James Hilton: Was It Murder? – finished September 1, 2019.
Modern Noir: Joy Ellis: The Guilty Ones – finished September 21, 2019.

Ghost Stories: Nina Blazon: Siebengeschichten – finished September 1, 2019.
Gothic: Peter Ackroyd: Hawksmoor – finished September 9, 2019.
Free (Raven) Space: Agatha Christie: The Regatta Mystery and Other Stories – finished September 7, 2019.
Truly Terrifying: Bob Berman: Earth-Shattering – finished September 12, 2019.
Amateur Sleuth: Priscilla Royal: Wine of Violence – finished September 5, 2019.

Cryptozoologist: Terry Pratchett: Guards! Guards! – finished September 18, 2019.
Diverse Voices: Toni Morrison: Beloved – finished September 22, 2019.
Black Cat: Jim Butcher: The Aeronaut’s Windlass – finished September 16, 2019.
Creepy Crawlies: Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Gods of Jade and Shadow – finished September 7, 2019.
Country House Mystery: Anthony Rolls: Scarweather – finished September 14, 2019.

Spellbound: Zen Cho: Sorcerer to the Crown – finished September 6, 2019.
A Grimm Tale: Ellen Datlow & Terry Windling (eds.): The Wolf at the Door and Other Retold Fairy Tales – finished September 4, 2019.
Creepy Carnivals: Fredric Brown: The Dead Ringer – finished September 12, 2019.
Paint It Black: Trudi Canavan: The Magicians’ Guild – finished September 20, 2019.
Cozy Mysteries: Margery Allingham: The White Cottage Mystery – finished September 19, 2019.

 

My Square Markers

 

Called but not read

Read but not called

Read and Called

Center Square: Read and Called

 

The Extra Squares / Card and Books:

13: Rex Stout: And Be a Villain
Supernatural: Jennifer Estep: Kill the Queen
New Release: Sara Collins: The Confessions of Frannie Langton
Genre: Mystery: Catherine Louisa Pirkis: The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective
Romantic Suspense: Georgette Heyer: The Unfinished Clue
Terror in a Small Town: Ann Cleeves: Raven Black
Halloween: Agatha Christie: Hallowe’en Party
Monsters: Terry Pratchett: Pyramids
Shifters: Joan D. Vinge: Ladyhawke
Sleepy Hollow: Dennis Lehane: The Given Day
Film at 11: J.B. Priestley: An Inspector Calls
In the Dark, Dark Woods: Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
Free (Raven) Square: Various Authors: The Rivals: Tales of Sherlock Holmes’ Rival Detectives
Grave or Graveyard: Kathy Reichs: Grave Secrets
Genre: Suspense: Tony Medawar (ed.) & Various Authors: Bodies from the Library 2
Southern Gothic: Sharyn McCrumb: The Unquiet Grave
Baker Street Irregulars: Joanne Harris: Gentlemen & Players
Darkest London: J.V. Turner: Below the Clock
Magical Realism: Joanne Harris: Chocolat
It was a dark and stormy night: Peter May: The Lewis Man
Full Moon: Edmund Crispin: Glimpses of the Moon
King of Fear: John Le Carré: Absolute Friends
Serial / Spree Killer: Steven Kramer, Paul Holes & Jim Clemente: Evil Has a Name
Classic Noir: Patricia Highsmith: Strangers on a Train
Classic Horror: Matthew G. Lewis: The Monk

Note: With regard to the extra squares, I added the image for the relevant square for every book completed (= “read”); and I am using my “called” markers for the main card to indicate “called and read”.

 

My Spreadsheet:

My Book Preselections Post: HERE

 

My Transfiguration Spells

Not used.

 

My “Virgin” Bingo Card:

Posted for ease of tracking and comparison.

 

 

Original post:
http://themisathena.booklikes.com/post/1942220/halloween-bingo-2019-tracking-post

Bingo call: 10/5/19 – Halloween

Reblogged from: Moonlight Murder

 

Halloween: This is a combination of the “pumpkin” and the “halloween” squares from 2016. so, any book set on halloween or has halloween in the title or that has a pumpkin on the cover, or in the title, etc.. will work for this square. Book lists linked here: pumpkins and halloween.

Non-genre-specific square.

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1963740/bingo-call-10-5-19

All 61 squares revealed: 39 through 61 (Non-Genre-Specific Squares)

Reblogged from: Moonlight Reader

 

The remaining, non-genre specific squares – you can read anything that is horror, mystery, suspense or supernatural that otherwise fits the square prompt.

  

39. Thirteen (13): any book that relates to bad luck, superstition, or the number 13, either in the title/book/series/page count. Booklist linked here.

40. A Grimm Tale:  any fairy tale or retelling of fairy tales, folklore, legends, etc. Book list linked here.

41. Aliens: any mystery, horror, suspense or supernatural book that includes aliens, either here on earth, or in space. Book list linked here.

  

42. Creepy Carnivals:  horror/mystery/supernatural set in or concerning a carnival, amusement park, or other party/festival – think Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Joyland by Stephen King or Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie; Book list linked here.

43. Creepy Crawlies: this is a throw back from 2016! Books with bugs, snakes, spiders, worms and other things that slither, scuttle or crawl, includes viruses and other parasites. Book list linked here.

44. In The Dark, Dark Woods: a mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book in which the forest/woods plays a significant role, or which has a forest/woods on the cover. Book list linked here.

  

45. Darkest London: mystery, horror, supernatural, or suspense set in London. Book list linked here.

46. Demons: Any book involving demons, demonic possession or other such elements. Book list linked here.

47. Diverse voices: written by an author of color. Book list linked here.

  

48. Doomsday:  anything related to the end of the world, doomsday cults, or a post-apocalypse world. Book list linked here.

49. Fear the Drowning Deep: books with sea-related elements: sea creatures, ships, and sharks. Book list linked here.

50. Full Moon: a book with an image of the moon on the cover, the word moon in the title, or where a full moon figures prominently in the story. Book list linked here.

  

51. Gothic: any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. Book list linked here.

52. Grave or Graveyard: Books that have a grave or graveyard on their covers, in their titles, or any book primarily set in a graveyard. Book list linked here.

53. Halloween: This is a combination of the “pumpkin” and the “halloween” squares from 2016. so, any book set on halloween or has halloween in the title or that has a pumpkin on the cover, or in the title, etc.. will work for this square. Book lists linked here: pumpkins and halloween.

  

54. Monsters: This square covers any crytpozoological or mythological creature that isn’t a vampire, werewolf, or demon. Or zombie. Book list linked here.

55. New Release: mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural that was published after 10/31/18.

56. Read by Flashlight or Candlelight: Back by popular request! Any mystery, suspense, supernatural or horror book – the trick here is to spend an hour or so reading by flashlight or candlelight. Take a picture and share it with us, if you want to!

  

57. Relics and Curiosities: concerning magical, supernatural or haunted objects, such as spell-books, talismans or swords; Book list linked here.

58. Sleepy Hollow: this is the new version of set in New England, with a shout-out to that most New England of all stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Book list linked here.

59. Free square: Our friend, Poe, is back for his fourth outing!

 

60. Black Cat: We haven’t seen this square since our first bingo game, back in 2016! Any book that has a black cat in the title, on the cover, or in the story. Book list linked here.

61. It Was A Dark and Stormy Night: This is another throwback to 2016 – any book that takes place on “a dark and stormy night.” Book list linked here.

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1933535/all-61-squares-revealed-39-through-61

Donna Andrews: Lord of the Wings



A Halloween entry in Donna Andrews’s long-running series featuring Caerphilly, VA artisan blacksmith and volunteer town events organizer Meg Langslow — what could possibly be more fitting for this bingo square?

Caerphilly (that’s CaerPHILLY to you reporters if you don’t want to have the locals screaming at their TVs at the top of their voices) has decided to join the Halloween festival craze and is going at it hammer and tongs.  Mayor Shiffley is supposed to have an assistant organizing the festivities, but she’s more bossy than efficient (and vanishes halfway through the event, to boot), so unsurprisingly the whole thing lands in Meg’s lap all over again.  Unfortunately, some evilminded soul has decided to hijack the festivities for their own purposes, so soon enough Meg, the Mayor and Chief Burke have two real corpses on their hands, the local would-be vampire (formerly: the police department’s forensic pathologist) is carted off to hospital with a near-fatal head wound administered with a blunt object, the town is beset by scavenger hunters who seem to stop at very little in pursuit of a computer game called “Vampire Colonies II” created by the software company of Meg’s brother Rob, Mutant Wizards; and a group of live action role playing vampires have converged on the town with who knows what agenda of their own. — Meanwhile, Meg’s grandfather has added a bat cave to the local zoo (which is run by him), has managed to tame a bunch of ravens to stick to him more or less like sown to his wizard cloak with fine thread and croak “Nevermore” and similar Halloween’ish things, realistic-looking body parts show up in the zoo’s lion’s den and Florida alligator swamp areas (they are soon revealed as part of the scavenger hunt pranks, however) — and in the middle of the festivities, a former heavy metal drummer of Scandinavian origin comes into his own again, which promises great things for the subsequent year’s Halloween.

As an installment in the series that is set against the backdrop of a major holiday I didn’t love this quite as much as Andrews’s recent Meg Langslow Christmas books (Duck the Halls and The Nightingale Before Christmas) — perhaps because unlike Christmas, Halloween is the sort of holiday where you more or less expect a certain amount of craziness anyway; so oddly, it didn’t offer quite as much opportunity for Andrews’s comic genius to shine as the Christmas setting, where the contrast between the expectation of a supremely peaceful holiday (certainly in a small town setting at least!), and the chaos engendered by the intrusion of violent crime and various pranks seems to work a bit better — at least for me — than in a setting that, like Halloween, must have had Andrews walking a fine tightrope practically all the time in order not to have things going over the top.  But this is ultimately nit-picking … first and foremost, at now over 20 entries (of which this is no. 19), I’m happy to see that the series is still going so strong at all!

Agatha Christie: Hallowe’en Party


One of Christie’s final Poirot novels, and one of the few books that stand out favorably among her final books overall.  There is the odd passage here and there where Christie reveals that she really was not – nor did she seem to want to be – in touch with the England of the 1960s, but the mystery itself is finely-crafted and holds up well; even if Christie in part revisits familiar ground (but then, she frequently did that).

Poirot is summoned to a village some 40 miles from London (in Miss Marple territory, it would seem in fact) by his friend, crime novelist (and Agatha Christie stand-in) Ariadne Oliver, after a young girl has been found murdered at a Halloween party that Miss Oliver happens to have attended.  The dead girl, during the preparations for the party, had proclaimed that she had once witnessed a murder – and though everybody is quick to declare her to have been a braggart and a liar who was probably just trying to impress the celebrity novelist in attendance, Poirot is reluctant to agree with that judgment, arguing that someone obviously took her words at face value and chose to kill her rather than running the risk of discovery.