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Topic: 2013 Mystery Challenge How Ya Doin'?

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Geri (geejay) -
Subject: 2013 Mystery Challenge How Ya Doin'?
Date Posted: 6/8/2013 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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I was looking at the lists for some ideas for the color category.  That's always been a toughy for me.  Quite a few folks have almost finished the challenge and it's not six months yet.  Some are doing it again.  Becky and I must have picked some good caegories to clean up the TBR piles!

Soon it'll be time to think of 2014!  Any suggestions?

 



Last Edited on: 7/27/13 1:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/8/2013 8:28 PM ET
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Have three books to go in the regular categories but have done none in the second bonus category.  Like most of the categories.  However, I'd like to see the over 400 page one dropped and the one older than you.  Why not simply have a vintage mystery category?  A couple of free choice would be fun!



Last Edited on: 6/8/13 8:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 6/8/2013 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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I finished the main challenge but haven't gotten too far on the sub-challenges. I have spent a lot of time getting the Game Of Thrones books out of the way, I'm on the last one. They are all 1000 page tomes. Once I finish this one I'll be back to mysteries.

 

I'm supposed to be doing the NF and Biography challenges and I haven't gotten very far on either one. Finishing those is doubtful. So much I want to read, too few eyes! I need another set somewhere, or a twin.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/9/2013 8:29 AM ET
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R.E.K. good suggestions!  I had a bit of trouble with the over 400 pager myself.  I could easily find a 364 but it was a struggle to find something with over 400 pages.  Of course if I got my hands on Stephen King's tome 11/23/63 that would be another tale to tell.  wink  Another struggle was finding something older than me.  I had to go back to the easy picks, Agatha Christie which I've read more than once.  I did find one that wasn't an Agatha that was a year older than me thanks to one of the other members doing the challenge.

I like the idea of a vintage mystery.  I could easily find something written more than 25 years ago that would qualify.  For that matter we could make it an historical mystery like an Anne Perry.  Many authors do mysteries from the 1800 and 1900s. 

We could do a bonus category of Free Choice.  Maybe five or six categories.  Choose one or all, your choice and then have something like pick these:

1.  Five succesive letters of the alphabet and read books with titles that begin with those letters.  I sure wouldn't want to make it the whole alphabet. 

2.  Five books from different states.  That should be an easy one.  Maybe make it a bit tougher by saying one from the east coast, one from the west coast type thing.  Five countries is tougher.  I seldom read that many boks that aren't US, Canadian or UK.  I know others do I just don't.    

3.  Set a goal to reduce your TBR any number from 1 to 100.  Total or monthly? 

4.  Or something with series since so many of read them.  Get caught up with one, start a new one.  Maybe try another series written by a favorite author.  One pops into my head that simply doesn't seem to appeal to me but I've never tried it either!  So many things!   

I'm making notes of the suggestions.  I remeber someone was asking for a straight thriller category when the 2013 challenge was posted.

Gads Barb, I'd most likely still be reading the first thousand pager!!!    . 

Date Posted: 6/9/2013 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
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I am behind on the mystery challenge.  I had hoped to be reading a lot after my disc fusion surgery, but I cannot hold a book high enough for long enough to read any substantial amount right now.  It is difficult to look down with the cervical collar I have to wear.  I am working on Cookbook Collector, which doesn't fit this challenge.  And, like Barb, I read some of the Game of Thrones series, only the first two so far, but they are big books.  In the next two weeks, I hope to finish the book I am on (which will fit for the Literature challenge), and then start on a bunch of cozies that will count here.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 6/9/2013 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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I've been reading them on the kindle Geri, mine is a basic model and only has percentage - no page numbers, and you're not holding a massive book, so it's less intimidating. You don't get the same overwhelming feeling of having so far to go.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/9/2013 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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Barb, now that makes sense!  Maybe I'll get 11/23/63 that way.  It's a bit of a struggle for me to hold "fat"books.  I do have a couple of things to prop them on but it's not the same as holding the darn thing. 

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 6/10/2013 12:15 AM ET
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I had the paperback of the first one and had to give it up. Between having to pull it open constantly to see the words that were disappearing into the fold which caused hand pain and the small print I would never have made it. Tried the Kindle, man what a difference. Much, much easier.

Date Posted: 6/10/2013 10:00 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
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400 pages wasn't that hard for me...have been reading Karin Slaughter and most of her's are 400 pgs + and just started a Peter James that is 610 pgs!  But, I agree with the  "older than me" category...when you are ancient, it's hard!!!  Like the vintage idea better.  Also like the state idea...that could be fun.  Have been thinking about trying your personal challenge, Geri...one from every state.

I've gotten thru the 2013 Challenge once and have the books to go thru it a second time.  Doubt if I make it three or four times like some over-achievers we know!!!  wink ... Shift+R improves the quality of this image. CTRL+F5 reloads the whole page.

 

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 6/10/2013 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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Rex Stout published his first Nero Wolfe book in 1934. You can't be older than that!

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/11/2013 8:44 AM ET
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It's not so much I can't find one older than me, it's finding one I haven't read several times already.  Sherlock Holmes was started in the 1800s.

We have an over-acheiver working on the challenge?  Who?  devil

Marla I was surprised when I looked at the books I read this year to find I had read quite a few from different states.  At one point I swear all the books seemed to be taking place in South Carolina.  I've already read something from about half the states without really making an effort to find a book from "somewhere" else.  I have almost all the rest on my TBR.  I just have to find one from Nebrasak and North Dakota.

I had been thinking of changing the older than me category to reading an historical and reminding everyone that antiques in cars and furniture is anything more than 25 years ago.  Not the publication date, find a book that takes place in another era.  I just finished one that took place in 1933 so it would qualify.  Have to discuss the wording with my partner in crime Becky.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 6/11/2013 12:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
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I've come across a few Victorian set mysteries lately. Haven't read any yet but they look like fun.

Date Posted: 6/11/2013 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
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I like the challenge, which has made me focus on some authors I hadn't even heard of, e.g., Earl Emerson for the firefighter challenge. I'm also trying another Susan Conant for the animal category. I had read a couple of her books shortly after they were published, and then lost a taste for fiction in any category. I don't think the legal beagle is particularly hard to accomplish, with Connelly, Grisham, Fairstein, etc., easily available.

If someone is having trouble finding a mystery written before you were born mystery, how about The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, or an anthology of Poe mysteries: Murders in the Rue Morgue, Mystery of Marie Roget, The Gold Bug, etc.

I'm not much into the paranormal anymore. I enjoyed Barbara Michaels's Witch, The Shadow Walkers, etc., but I think I've read all of them now. Vampires don't really do it for me. Only about 1 in 10 of the mysteries I read would be considered cozy.

There's a category for exotic places, i.e., outside U.S. How about a future bonus category of mysteries set in 10 different U.S. states/cities, or 5 different foreign countries.

I currently have 27 books on my TBR pile, and not all of them are eligible for the challenge. But I hope to complete the challenge before year end - including the paranormal and DIY.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/12/2013 6:08 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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Good suggestions Mary.  I'm making notes.  I did think of five different states - rather regions than specific states but could make it five regions of the U.S. and say if you'd rather do foreign countries pick five of those.  It would be the bonus catagory so we can be flexible.

For paranormal have you tried Heather Graham?  They're more romance type but they have ghosts.  She also has a pretty good vampire series.  I liked the first one, Night of the Wolves the most.  It takes place in Texas in 1830.  I was really into that story.  It's not vampires stalking victims in alleyways.  In fact at first because of the title I thought it was gonna be werewolves.  You really get a "feel" for being in Texas before the Civil War.  Or, I did anyway.

The books for the challenge don't have to be cozies, just mysteries.  Seems like I'm reading too many cozies lately.

 

Date Posted: 6/12/2013 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
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Same here, Geri...can find books written before I was born; it's finding one I haven't read and that  I can get a copy that always causes some problems when this category appears.  Trying to play fair and not re-read a book.

Was listening to a jazz version of Route 66 last night and thought, hmmm, that could be interesting...find books set in the towns/cities along Route 66.  Might have to try that.  (And, I realize some of you will have no idea what I'm talking about...the theme song from the old TV show Route 66).

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/13/2013 8:56 AM ET
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Oh!  Love the idea of Route 66!  I'd have to reasearch where it was.  I know in the southwest but it went from here to there and if it weren't for the interstate it would still be the way to go.  I do know it's still a viable way to travel but I think it "fades" in and out. 

Marla and I watched the show.  Hmmm, Martin Milner and George Maharis in a Corvette.  Two handsome dudes!  I looked the TV show was filmed all over the country.  Story line two guys traveling Route 66 also known as The Mother Road.  on TV from 1960-1964, sigh. 

Date Posted: 6/13/2013 11:39 PM ET
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Even tho I should have been old enough to be beyond that sort of thing, I had a mad crush on George Maharis!!!

Geri...Just ran across a book...Rage Against the Dying/Becky Masterman...ex-FBI agent still haunted by a serial killer known as the Route 66 Killer!  Put it on my WL.  Am #49, but the copies from Amazon are still a bit pricy. 



Last Edited on: 6/14/13 12:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/14/2013 3:48 AM ET
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Marla we were in direct competition as far as George Maharis goes!  Darn Rage Agaiinst the dying is coming out in January in the UK as a paperback.  Amazon here doesn't have the ISBN and I can't put it on my wish list either. 

Date Posted: 6/14/2013 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
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Geri, my family and I traveled Route 66 from Chicago to LA back in 1957. It went down Illinois, crossed the Mississippi into Missouri then cut through Arkansas into Oklahoma, across the Panhandle of Texas and then straight across New Mexico into Arizona and then to California.

Some of the names of cities I remember are:

  • Joplin, MO
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Amarillo, TX
  • Santa Rosa, NM
  • Winslow, AZ

We got stuck in the Great Blizzard of March 1957 in the Panhandle of Texas, spent 3 nights in the courthouse in a little town called Vega, after being towed twice. Life Magazine did a huge story on the blizzard, which wiped out 1/3 of the cattle in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. Snow drifts reached 15-30 feet in places. For me as a 6-year-old it was an adventure I'll never forget.

Date Posted: 6/14/2013 6:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
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Spent some time yesterday evening trying to find books set in some of the Route 66 towns/cities.  The major ones...Chicago, St. Louis, Okla City, Albuquerque, LA...are easy, the others not so much.  Did find one for Tulsa (two actually, but had read the other one) and San Bernadino.  Now I am determined, just not sure how to find them.  Tried SYKM and here with no real results.  Why do I get into these ridiculous "quests"? frown ... Shift+R improves the quality of this image. CTRL+F5 reloads the whole page.

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/14/2013 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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Mary that sounds like the trip of a lifetime!  Wow!

Marla, you find 'em and by golly we'll include it for 2014!  SYKM has the states but not the towns or cities?  Darn!

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/16/2013 7:04 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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I have read 8 of 12 in the main challenge. none if color bonus and 3 of 6 in bonus.  I tend not to read older books so I am not sure I will get the older than me one done, and alone with the award winner. I don't watn to buy a book just for that category.

Ideas for Next year

-New to you country- read a book set in a country that you have not read a mystery in before

-Read a book from a state that you want to visit

-Read a YA mystery

-read a a thriller

-Favorite author - Read one of your favorite authors and tell us about the author maybe we we can try the author too.

-Read a book with more than 50 WL

-Read a book that the author's name has one of your initials

-trains/plane/automobiles/boats - read a book that has one of those in title or a lot of plot take place in one

- Bonus - a book from 6/7 continents

That is enough brain exercise for one morning.

 

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/16/2013 7:28 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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Great suggestions Alice!  I feel like you about buying a book to fit a challenge category.  I'm never happy with that!

The color category is always difficult for me.  Like the planes and trains thing.  Well, they're all good!

Keep the ideas coming everyone!

Date Posted: 6/16/2013 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
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Great ideas, Alice!  Well, except for the "thriller" category...my least favorite type of mystery.  But, that is sort of in the mind of the reader.  Read what I would call a Brit police procedural recently, but the book flap called it a "thriller"!  I always have trouble with the "award winners" category, too.  I have actually read 2-3 of them...last year!!  LOL

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 6/16/2013 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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I found I had an award winner I didn't know I had until I tried to find something on SYKM.

The genre is mystery & thriller and as you say Marla, thriller is in the mind of the reader.  I'm reading Video Kill and I had to stop because it was keeping me awake!  Called mystery and I'd say thriller.

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