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Topic: Halfway point--MYSTERY CHALLENGE

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Subject: Halfway point--MYSTERY CHALLENGE
Date Posted: 6/25/2011 10:33 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Here we are!  The end of the second quarter is soon upon us and that means the 2011 Mystery Challenge is nearly half over.  I know there are people who have finished the challenge and others who have barely begun but there is STILL TIME!!  You can even join today if you want to!  You can choose to do the main challenge or perhaps only the bonuses. Just grab a pile of books and jump in.

Use this thread to check in and tell us how things are going.  Do you have a favorite book of the challenge?  Are you stuck?  Are there categories that you just can't stand?  Do you still need a book to fulfill a title? Have you found a new subgenre that you love?  Tell us all about it!

Date Posted: 6/25/2011 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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For a while there I tried to ration out the challenge books so they would last longer, but now I just want to get it done--I'm sure there'll be other challenges to keep me busy later! I have 6 books to go, 2 in each section.  The only book that hasn't been chosen yet is for the North America category, I purposely didn't choose a European or a NA book figuring I read so many random mysteries anyway one of them would fit for each of those two.  Well, it worked for the European, but not for NA, I'm going to have to actually look for a book for that one.  Almost all the books I pick up and say "that looks great, I'll read that next" are British!  I guess that even with my attempt to branch out into other countries they are still by far my favorites.

I'm noticing a weird side effect, now when I finish a book that isn't on any of challenge lists I have to remind myself that I don't have to go report it in my totals!  My first thought on finishing a book now is "I get to cross another one off my list"!


Date Posted: 6/25/2011 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/30/2006
Posts: 929
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I've finished 8 of the 12 main categories, no colors, and am on the third continent book. I will finish the main category section but probably won't the bonus categories. I'm determined not to acquire any more books this year other than those already on my wish list or next in series that I already follow. I've tried several NTM authors which I always enjoy branching out a little from what I normally read. The only series that I may continue at a later date is the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. My favorite challenge book thus far was Mad Mouse  by Chris Grabenstein. My least favorite, A Bad Day's Work by Nora McFarland. A fun challenge!

Date Posted: 6/25/2011 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/21/2005
Posts: 103
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I'm halfway through the challenge with 13 books read.  I'm taking a short break from the challenge but I'll be back to it in a couple of weeks.  I need to find an author born in New York and an orange titled book that is a stand alone or isn't 3rd or higher in a series.  I also still have to find Australia and Asia books.

I haven't disliked any of the books so far but the one I liked the least would have to be Dark Winter by William Dietrich.  So far, I've discovered 2 new to me authors that I'll definitely read more of (Alan Bradley and Louise Penny) and re-kindled 2 series that I hadn't read in a while (Janet Evanovich and Kate Collins).  I'm looking forward to the rest of the challenge because I will be starting 2 series that I've wanted to start for a while (Laura Childs' Teashop and Alexander McCall Smith's #1 Ladies Detective Agency) and I hope to discover a couple more new to me authors that I enjoy.

I hope everyone is enjoying the challenge as much as I am!

Date Posted: 6/26/2011 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 1/18/2009
Posts: 415
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I have finished the 12 main categories, am currently reading my last color (Wild Indigo by Sandi Ault) and have Asia, South America & Europe to go.  I am purposely trying to read something non-British for the last category. 

Favorite new-to-me author so far is definitely Caroline Graham.  My husband & I are slowly working our way through all the Midsomer Murder DVDs (borrowing from the library).  These are British TV shows based on Caroline Graham's characters.

Least favorite author was probably Sarah Andrews (In Cold Pursuit - Antarctic mystery). I had trouble keeping all the characters straight and it seemed like not much happened until the last 10 pages.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 6/26/2011 10:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 42,396
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I have 3 to go in main challenge although I could swear I read one of the new to category or at least I was thinking about it.  I have an Agatha Christie book for the Golden ages to read.

I think I have South America to go for continents I do have a book. Not doing the color challenge don't have enough books for it.


Date Posted: 6/26/2011 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I am nearly through with the challenge but I figure I have plenty of time so I've slowed down a bit and I've been reading a lot of non-challenge books lately. 

In the main challenge, I am currently reading One Was a Soldier for the "one, two, three" category which leaves only the "cozy" category to complete.  I am awaiting the second Darling Dahlia book by  Susan Wittig Albert.  The publication date is July 5th so I don't have long to wait!

For the rainbow bonus I am currently reading my "yellow book" and my "violet" book is waiting for me at the library.  That leaves only green and I haven't chosen a book for that one yet.  I think I have one on my list but I'm not going to read it as it is the second in a series and I've not yet read the first one.  I'll keep looking!

I've read five continent books which is the extent of the bonus though I am also reading a book set in Argentina which will give me six continents if I decide to finish the book.  It's called Needle in a Haystack by Ernesto Mallo, I believe.  It is very political and I am not very versed in the politics of Argentina in the 70s.  I only know things were bad. Not sure if I'll read an Antarctica book.

I think I have been most pleased with my new acquaintance with Dr. Siri in the coroner's series by Colin Cotterill. I have the rest of the books on my WL and i am anxiously waiting for them to appear in my mailbox!  The book that I read for the "we're practically twins" category was awful.  Bleh.  Not my cup of tea at all.

Date Posted: 6/26/2011 11:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I have the main challenge completed and was happy with all the books I read for that part...discovered some excellent new-to-me authors (Bryan Gruley, Cornelia Read, Tom Rob Smith, & James Church) and revisited some old friends. The only one of the 12 I was less than enthusiastic about was my Great White North choice...an obscure book written about the Northwest Territories some years back that sounded promising, but fizzled badly.

I am struggling with the color bonus...still have red, yellow, orange, green and violet left. I have books assigned for red, green and violet...orange being my biggest bugaboo with 3 failed tries so far.

The continent one I anticipate finishing except antarctica, but I still have 2 or 3 of those left.


Date Posted: 6/27/2011 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 485
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I have been enjoying the challenge!  I've started quite a few books that didn't do it for me, but I don't let that bother me - I kind of enjoy sampling books.  I have 4 of the main categories left, but I'm about half-way through two of those categories.  I have two continents left and I think I'll be able to finish that bonus, but I've only read one color book, so I'm not sure about if I'll complete that one.  I'd say that I struggled most with the Canadian author category.  For whatever reason I can't seem to settle on one!  I have two more from the library that I can give a try and they look promising.  My favorite book so far is Death at Crane's Court by Eilis Dillon (continent category)  my least favorite was Shoes to Die For by Laura Levine (also continent).  I, too, have discovered new authors I'd like to read more from including Robert van Gulick and Elizabeth Daly.  Thanks for this interesting challenge, LeeAnne!