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Topic: 2010 Mystery Challenge - HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY HALLOWEEN! - #7

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Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Subject: 2010 Mystery Challenge - HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY HALLOWEEN! - #7
Date Posted: 12/4/2009 7:34 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,733
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 HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY HALLOWEEN! Read a mystery where a holiday is part of the plot. (Any holiday will do!)

All discussion about the book or author for this challenge will be conducted in this topic.

Date Posted: 12/4/2009 11:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Help! I need some ideas for this challenge?  Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Tammy

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 10:07 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,962
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Tammy, I see from your wishlist that you enjoy some cozies. You can look on cozy-mystery.com and there is a holiday theme section with tons of books. Most of Leslie Meier's books are based on holidays.



Last Edited on: 12/6/09 2:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 12/5/2009 10:18 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Graves "Wreck the Halls" and  Fluke's "The Candy Cane Murder" come immediately to mind as they are sitting here, lol. Connie's site will give you more than you ever dreamed there could be.  

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
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Mary V. Welk has a few Christmas books and I don't think they are cozies. Ngaio Marsh's Tied Up in Tinsel looks interesting.

Patricia Cornwell-The Scarpetta Factor takes place during the Christmas holiday.



Last Edited on: 12/6/09 11:22 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/5/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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There's also Hercule Poirot's Christmas (also published as Holiday for Murder).  Also Agatha Christie's Halloween Party (admittedly, not her best) And if you like the Hamish Macbeth books, Death of a Snob takes place over Christmas.  I didn't know before I read it a couple of weeks ago - I wish I had saved it for the challenge!

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 11:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Every book in the Chris Bennett series by Lee Harris has a holiday in the title so that might be a good place to look.  I've read the first book in the series and liked it quite well.  I'm reading "The Yom Kippur Murder" for this challenge.  Yom Kippur is a holiday and it happens to be the next book in the series!  It's a win-win situation for me.

Date Posted: 12/6/2009 10:15 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Also check out Stop You're Killing Me...they have a genre, location, theme, etc index!

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 9:52 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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Poisoned Tarts by G. A. McKevett. Halloween theme!

Date Posted: 12/9/2009 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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If you have a short attention span...Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe And Four to Go - 4 shorts, one for Christmas, one for Easter, one for 4th of July...

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
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I just finished my book for this challenge, Valentine Murder by Leslie Meier. Being Valentine's Day is going to be here this weekend made it even more interesting. I really enjoy Lucy Stone and wish I could visit her town of Tinker's Cove. It sounds like the just the perfect New England town to settle down in. It really helps when you can connect with the main character and her family. Great series!

Date Posted: 2/11/2010 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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So I had to reorganize where I was going to place my books for this challenge. . . the result being the book I thought I was reading for Historical Mystery I ended up putting in the holiday category. . . it was really good, so I figured I'd mention it here too, even though I already talked about it on the other thread. . .

A Free Man of Color, by Barbara Hambly, is the first in her Benjamin January series. January is a colored man (and Hambly specifies that she uses the terms as they were defined at the time it is set: in other words, "colored" specifically refers to a person who is half white, half black) who was a doctor in Paris but has returned home to New Orleans after his wife's death and gets pulled into investigating the murder of another colored woman, a notorious mistress to one of the powerful creoles (French descended whites). It's set during Carnival (that's the holiday) right after the Louisiana Purchase gave New Orleans to the fledgling U.S.A. Hambly writes well and does extensive historical research -- all the information about the interplay between American, Creole, and Colored societies was fascinating -- and January is a wonderful protagonist. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series!

Date Posted: 2/11/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Phoenix - you just totally solved my holiday book quandary! Thanks!

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 2/12/2010 6:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,733
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I just finished a Christmas Visitor by Ann Perry. Really more of a novella than a novel. Simple story with simple murder. I notice more authors putting out these small books. I think it is a money making plot:) Okay not great for the book.

Alice

Date Posted: 2/21/2010 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Just finished Silent in the Sanctuary by Raybourn, the second installment in the Lady Julia Grey mystery series, set in the late 1880s. When I picked this up to read, I didn't know that it would fit into this category, but to my pleasant surprise, it does. Lady Julia and her two brothers who have been sojourning in Italy are summoned home to Sussex by their father for the Christmas holidays. What ensues is murder and thievery in a snow-bound abbey -- complete with plum pudding, holly, and Boxing Day antics.

For the most part, I loved it -- the romantic tension between Lady Julia and Brisbane sparkles and the dialogue, ripostes, repartee, and narration are often hilarious. I did think some of the plot far-fetched and silly -- but, as I often find with mystery series, I care less about the mystery itself than about the characters -- and I so enjoy Raybourn's characters. I've already put the next in the series on reserve at the library and can hardly wait to pick it up. (Note: I would recommend reading the first book, Silent in the Grave, before embarking on this one.)

Date Posted: 4/4/2010 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
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This is the only category for which I still don't have a book. I'm hoping maybe this fall when the new Christmas books come out I may come up with something. If all else fails, I do have one of those Mary Higgins Clark Christmas mysteries on my TBR.

Date Posted: 4/5/2010 8:57 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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I am currently reading my book for this category which is set over the 12 days of Christmas in 1354 in Cambridge, UK. It's A Killer in Winter by Susanna Gregory and so far I'm finding it really interesting to read about the holiday traditions back in those days--which is my favorite historical time period. Will report back when I'm done...which may be a few days, as it's my "bedside book" so usually only read a chapter a night, and Gregory's mysteries are 500 page monstrosities with tiny print. LOL

Ok, I enjoyed this. The holiday didn't directly influence the murder mystery but the "twelve days of Christmas" provided a lot of interesting information and details.

Cheryl



Last Edited on: 4/14/10 5:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/29/2010 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
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I finished the book Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle on April 15th. It was centered around Christmas and Santa was even the victim!

Mary (mepom) -
Subject: HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY HALLOWEEN
Date Posted: 5/18/2010 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
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I just finished Raven Black a thriller by Ann Cleeves. Cleeves won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award for this book. The ending was such a surprise, which is necessary for me in a mystery. I recommend this thriller without a doubt. .Cleeves' Detective Jimmy Perez has been compared to Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse. This mystery in a remote hamlet in the Shetland Islands is an unforgettable series debut. Her next novel with the character Jimmy Perez is White Nights. Thanks to the person that recommended Cleeves.

This book will be used for the mystery challenge for the "Have a Holly Jolly Halloween.' The holiday is not a US holiday,but the "UP-HELLY-Aa (Fire Festival) at the end of January, in Lerwick (Shetland Islands,Scotland, UK) when a full-sized model of a Norse longship is dragged through the town in a torchlight procession and then burned. Multiple murders before and after the festival are the mystery.

Mary



Last Edited on: 7/6/10 11:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2010 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,300
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I don't know why I didn't think of using The Gates by John Connolly for this topic any sooner. It is a bit paranormal, but a mystery nontheless and it focuses on Halloween:

Just finished "The Gates" by John Connolly and what a kick! For anyone who likes Christopher Moore, I'd say that this book is a must read. An 11 yr old boy (Samuel)and his dog (Boswell),discover some nefarious goings-on at the neighbor's house - they are trying to open the gates of hell! He tries to warn people but of course, the adults don't believe him, so he has to shoulder the responsibility of fixing this problem himself.

The above was my take on this book when I completed it in August,wink