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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 02/27/17

Reading challenge

Today out of the blue I was invited to participate in the My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge. Although I've pretty much sworn off reading challenges, I decided to check this one out because the invitation was personalized, written by another cat lover, and is a fan of Remington Steele. The challenge also happens to be run by a blogger living in Winnipeg.

Well, Winnipeg, happens to be around the corner (err, around two or three of the Great Lakes, depending on which way you go) from where we're hoping to move. Besides, that, the only reading challenge I've participated in consistently for the last many years is run by a friend living in Yellow Knife, it seems fitting that I say yes to another Canadian run reading challenge, yes?

Besides, I've just dipped my toe into the Murdoch Mysteries and there's six more to go. No, but in all seriousness, I do love reading mysteries.

The challenge runs from February 1 to January 31. So I'm starting the challenge a month behind schedule!

What I've read:

2017-18 reviewed books

  1. Except the Dying by Maureen Jennings
  2. Knit Your Own Murder
  3. Peril in Paperback by Kate Carlisle
  4. The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala by Laura DiSilverio
  5. Vampires on the Run by C.M. Surrisi
  6. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley
  7. Brownies and Broomsticks by Bailey Cates
  8. Iron Ties by Ann Parker
  9. Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton
  10. Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson
  11. Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett
  12. Thyme of Death by Susan Wittig Albert
  13. Rosemary Remembered by Susan Wittig Albert
  14. Bookmarked For Death by Lorna Barrett
  15. Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
  16. Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti by Bailey Cates
  17. Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman
  18. Bookplate Special by Lorna Barrett

Comments (6)

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Comment #1: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 12:02:42

Carolyn @ RIEDEL Fascination

Wow Sarah, I am thrilled you accepted my invitation and if a personal touch makes an impact on you; imagine my pleasure to see such a nice write-up for me!!!! I am so glad many of the same things matter to you too and that I resonate with you through them. Welcome! Please know this is a whole year which is just beginning. You have missed no activities or discussion articles

I see there is a lot to enjoy in the efforts you make at your blog too, which uses a comment box that dial-up internet can manage! If you want to run your reading list starting in January, go ahead. The benefit is knowing you can take your time closing off after new year's, even if you want to follow the calendar year. I myself am too busy to finish reviews or add links from November (my birthday!) to the new year and like to get reading in down to the wire. Couldn't be happier to have you in one of my four reading themes. If you find more of your reading matches my others, you and your subscribers need only jump in. Yours truly, Carolyn.

Comment #2: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 09:30:02


I know. I have until the end of January next year. There's still plenty of time to read and review.

Comment #3: Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 09:09:12

Carolyn @ RIEDEL Fascination

A funny observation! I prefer "standard" adult mysteries to the "cozy", light offshoots but two of those I loved most had a knitting theme.... and I don't knit or do any sewing crafts! Barbara Bretton's paranormal mystery series was fabulous enough to be the makings for movies and the wonderful premise did not go as long as it should have.

Comment #4: Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 09:44:09


I like the cozies because they tend to be shorter than other types of mysteries. They make good reading material during lunchtime.

Comment #5: Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 11:43:30

Carolyn @ RIEDEL Fascination

We get the feel of things, don't we? Mysteries up to 1980 finished before 250 pages (and pre-1970s music was 2:00 minutes). 1980 until now the "cozy" diminutive is 300 pages as you say and so is "standard adult mystery" but many authors in the latter hit 350. If a novel is at 450, which I believe is what we call "a chunkster", I get suspicious of a wordy author. I'll be clear that I'm elated if a story and writing that I am loving lasts long and is in-depth. But I brace myself to see if long ones are rightfully weaving an in-depth adventure and hope page count isn't in superfluity. Same thing with music: you want a great song, particularly a danceable song, to give us a good run!

Comment #6: Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 12:35:00


Not all music pre-1970s was 2 minutes long. Back in the days of early recorded music — the standard cylinder recording could hold two minutes of sound. Radio, of course, liked shorter versions of songs to squeeze in more advertisements but there were still plenty of other music being produced that were longer than 2 minutes. The 78 could hold up to 4 minutes of music per side depending on the diameter of the disc. So big band songs tend to run three to four minutes. That didn't stop classical music from running longer — such as Rhapsody in Blue which tops out at nearly sixteen minutes. The LPs that came out later gave more time per side and the modern "album" was born. Shorter versions of songs were made for radio edits to accommodate advertising.

I picked up "cozy" as a term for a certain subset of mysteries from my friends int he UK. I use it more for thematic contents, than size of book. I like the formulaic aspects for times when I can't concentration on a more complex book.