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text 2018-10-31 14:30
Moonlight Madness 2018 Bingo - It's a Wrap!

Another game of Halloween bingo in the books, folks! I hope that everyone had as much fun as I did this year! 


Classic Horror; Cryptozoologist; Cozy Mystery; New Release; Southern Gothic, Terrifying Women, A Grimm Tale, Modern Masters of Horror, Creepy Carnivals, Relics and Curiosities; Murder Most Foul; Genre: Suspense; Supernatural; Ghost Stories; Shifters; 13; Terror in a Small Town; Darkest London, Gothic, Genre Horror, Fear the Drowning Deep; Spellbound; Country House Mystery, Deadlands, Romantic Suspense, Slasher Stories; Modern Noir, Baker Street Irregulars





Called + read (white cat)


Classic Horror: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

New Release: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Cryptozoologist: Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire

Southern Gothic: The Ballad of Frankie Silver by Sharyn McCrumb

Terrifying Women: The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

Free Square: Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz

A Grimm Tale: Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier

Relics and Curiosities: The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett

Creepy Carnivals: Madball by Frederic Brown

Diverse Voices: Black Water Rising by Attica Locke

Shifters: Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz (wild card)

Supernatural: The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss

Ghost Stories: The Walker in the Shadows by Barbara Michaels

13: The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie

Terror in a Small Town: The Lost Island by Phyllis Whitney

Genre: Suspense: Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz

Doomsday: Never Say Die by Anthony Horowitz (wild card)

Gothic: Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels

Fear the Drowning Deep: The Sea King's Daughter by Barbara Michaels.

Spellbound: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Deadlands: Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris

Slasher Stories: I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan

Country House Mystery: Penhallow by Georgette Heyer

Baker Street Irregulars: The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer

Modern Noir: Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith




Since we listened to four Alex Rider books on my vacation, I am using Anthony Horowitz as my wild card author!


I ended up getting two bingos on my second card, which was my goal for the second half of the game! As usual, I did sort of peter out towards the end of the game. 







Terror in a Small Town: The Saltmarsh Mystery by Gladys Mitchell

Darkest London: The Silkworm by Robert Galbrait (JK Rowling)

Spellbound: Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

Murder Most Foul: The Eternity Ring by Patricia Wentworth

Amateur Sleuth: The Devil at Saxon Wall by Gladys Mitchell

Terrifying Women: Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie

Gothic: The Brooding Lake by Dorothy Eden

Genre: Suspense: The Waiting Sands by Susan Howatch

Country House Mystery: The Clock Strikes Twelve by Patricia Wentworth

Modern Noir: Career of Evil by J.K. Rowling (writing as Robert Galbraith)

Free Space: Fire in the Thatch by E.C.R. Lorac

Ghost Stories: The Clockmaker's Daughter

13: Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie

Cozy Mystery: Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet

New Release: Sadie by Courtney Summers


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text 2018-10-25 19:25
Halloween Bingo 2018: Blackout!

(Also, bingos Nos. 12 & 13 ...)



The Books:

Country House Mystery: Georgette Heyer: Penhallow (Ulli Birvé audio)

Cryptozoologist: Patricia A. McKillip: The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (Dina Pearlman audio)

Romantic Suspense: Susanna Kearsley: A Desperate Fortune (Katherine Kellgren audio)

Terrifying Women: Mary Roberts Rinehart: Locked Doors (Anne Hancock audio)

Terror in a Small Town: Joy Ellis: Their Lost Daughters (Richard Armitage audio)



A Grimm Tale: Angela Carter: The Bloody Chamber (Emilia Fox / Richard Armitage audio)

Genre: Horror: Michael McDowell: Gilded Needles (R.C. Bray audio)

Gothic: Daphne du Maurier: Rebecca (3 audio versions, narrated by Anna Massey, Emma Fielding, and Emilia Fox)

Murder Most Foul: Anthony Berkeley: The Wychford Poisoning Case (Mike Grady audio)

Doomsday: Jennifer Wright: Get Well Soon



13: The Detection Club: Verdict of 13 (anthology)

Supernatural: Neil Gaiman: Norse Mythology (audio version, narrated by the author)

Free Space: Mavis Doriel Hay: Murder Underground (Patience Tomlinson audio)

Amateur Sleuth: Fredric Brown: The Fabulous Clipjoint

Southern Gothic: Sharyn McCrumb: The Ballad of Frankie Silver (audio version, narrated by the author)



Ghost Stories: Charles Dickens: The Ghost Stories, Vol. 1 (Phil Reynolds audio)

Cozy Mystery: Alan Bradley: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Emilia Fox audio)

New Release: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling): Lethal White (Robert Glenister audio)

Diverse Voices: Walter Mosley: White Butterfly (Michael Boatman audio)

Creepy Carnivals: Angela Carter: Nights at the Circus (Adjoa Andoh audio)



Fear the Drowning Deep: Daphne du Maurier: Frenchman's Creek (John Nettles audio)

Classic Horror: Edith Wharton: Ghosts: Edith Wharton's Gothic Tales (audio version, various narrators)

Darkest London: Andrew Taylor: The American Boy (Alex Jennings audio)

Genre: Suspense: M.P. Shiel: Prince Zaleski and Cummings King Monk

Relics and Curiosities: Terry Pratchett: The Colour of Magic (Nigel Planer audio)



My Square Markers and "Virgin" Bingo Card:

"Virgin" card posted for ease of tracking and comparison.



Read but not called


Called but not read


Read and Called





Wild Card Author: Neil Gaiman




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text 2018-10-21 23:30
Reading progress update: I've read 67 out of 198 pages.
Hallowe'en Party - Agatha Christie

Inspector Spence is in this one - I had forgotten that he made an appearance here! And, one of the villagers just told Poirot that she heard of him from her old friend Miss Bulstrode, from Meadowbank School in Cat Among the Pigeons.


It's like old home week!


I just love Agatha Christie. 

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text 2018-10-21 22:48
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 336 pages.
Hallowe'en Party - Agatha Christie

This is a reread, but I couldn't resist. I sold books back to Powell's today - a disappointing total, tbh, only $84.00 in credit, but I snagged a Berkley paperback from 1991 for $4.50 while I was there. I'm holding onto the credit for my daughter's Christmas trip home and we will go have a delightful spree!


Anyway, this is a comfortable old Agatha, featuring Ariadne Oliver, my favorite recurring character.


"I don't think she was a very nice girl," said Mrs. Oliver, "not one you'd want to talk to much. She was the sort of girl who shows off and boasts. It's a rather tiresome age, I think. It sounds unkind what I am saying, but--"


"It is not unkind in a murder to say what the victim was like," said Poirot. " It is very, very necessary. The personality of the victim is the cause of many a murder..."

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review 2018-10-21 18:10
The Tale of Birdie Bell
The Clockmaker’s Daughter - Kate Morton

Even though Kate Morton could, as a general rule, use a good editor to tighten up her stories (they are pretty consistently more than 500 pages long, which is long for this style of book), I nonetheless love her books. She is almost a genre unto herself - a cross between the ghost story, historical fiction, women's fiction, mystery, often with a tinge (sometimes more than a tinge) of gothic. Settling in with a Kate Morton novel is a long country ramble, not a sprint - a delightful, leisurely trek through an England that barely exists. She polishes off the rough edges and leaves something very pretty behind.


The Clockmaker's Daughter has multiple narrative voices - that of Birdie, who exists timelessly within Birchwood House. This one is more frankly a ghost story than most of her books, with Birdie's voice narrating events occurring in Birchwood House after her death. The central mystery of the book relates to what happened to Birdie, also known as Lily Millington, on the day that a murder occurred at Birchwood House. The fates of the various people, including Lily, are obscured and revealed through the entire story.


The second primary narrative voice is Elodie, a young, engaged archivist who stumbles on a old satchel that belonged to the artist Edward Radcliffe, who owned Birchwood House at the time that the murder occurred. In the satchel is a sketchbook, with a sketch of a house - Birchwood House - that stirs in her a memory of a bedtime story told to her by her mother, an accomplished cellist. This whole element of the story didn't really work for me, because it's difficult for me to believe that the description of a house from a bedtime story would be detailed enough to be identified from a sketch, but it's really just a vehicle to keep the story moving forward.


There are other narrators who are given their own voices - Lucy Radcliffe, Edward's sister, who inherited Birchwood House on his death. Ada Loveday, who was a student at the girl's school that Lucy opened after Edward's death. Lucy is the one who really knows what happened that day, and the revelation comes from her at the end of the book. It's a rather shocking ending that has left me thinking about the book.


If you are a fan of Susanna Kearsley and Lucinda Riley, Kate Morton might be right up your alley, although she is rather less romance focused than Kearsley, at least. I love her books, though, and enjoyed settling in with this one. The length, for me, is an upside not a downside - I love a thick, doorstopper of a book.


I read this for New Release, although it would fit in Country House Mystery, Ghost Story and Murder Most Foul. I don't think it has quite enough gothic elements to qualify for that square, although there are Mortons that do, especially The Distant Hours. 

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