Moonlight Snow

Moonlight Snow

Halloween bingo 2018 was a rousing success - now join the party for the 24 Tasks of the Festive Season: A Bookish Advent!

A Quick Update!

I've been on a bit of an online break - a palate cleanser, so to speak! I had a three day weekend for Veteran's Day (U.S.) and spent most of the weekend puttering about my house working on my huge decluttering project, which has become a markedly smaller decluttering project given how much success I've had! I've cleared out drawers and cleared off shelves galore, filled the trash bin for the weekly pick up, and dropped a load at the Goodwill trailer!


I also read a few books, which I will be trying to slot into my 24 Tasks post, once I have the time to sit down and take a long look at the tasks!


Sabriel by Garth Nix: a reread of an old favorite.

Envious Casca by Georgette Heyer: Christmas mystery, and was a reread.

Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher: my favorite holiday novel, this is a comfort read for me, and I reread it almost every year. 

The Case Is Closed by Patricia Wentworth: second Miss Silver mystery.


I've also been dipping into my three Christmas mystery anthologies:


Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries - Various Authors,Martin Edwards Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries - Various Authors,Martin Edwards The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries - Otto Penzler 



And reading a lot of short stories as they take my fancy. No real rhyme or reason to how I am choosing the story of the evening.


I've just started Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, as my hold finally came up at the library. It is a bit of a door stopper of a book, and so far, I like Matthew less than ever.

Voting with my coffee


I'm in Oregon, vote by mail state, so I voted this morning over coffee. I'll drop the ballot at the ballot drop near my office. This was my son's first election since he turned 18, and he was so excited to vote - when his ballot came in the mail he danced with joy.

Moonlight Snow's 2018 Bookish Advent Tracking Post


I will be tracking my bookish advent season here! This post is likely to become quite long, so the most recent task will be on the dashboard, and the older tasks will be after the page break!




Task 2: Guy Fawkes Day


Book: Read a political thriller: Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie


Points: +1

-read more-
3 Stars
Somewhere between Baghdad and Frankfurt
Destination Unknown (Signature Editions) - Agatha Christie

I liked this one less than I liked They Came To Baghdad, but much more than I liked A Passenger to Frankfurt. It's still a late Agatha thriller, which means that it has problems, but it wasn't awful.


"Peters said gloomily: “I suppose it always comes to the same thing in the end. A madman who believes he’s God.”


There is something so naive about Christie's thrillers - I think that early in her career, her youth and charm insulated her from the ugliness of geopolitics, and late in her career, her wealth served in the same way. It's interesting to me that the body count is often lower in the thrillers than it is in the straight up murder mysteries. She doesn't seem to even remotely grasp the actuality of the violence of espionage and political intrigue.


Destination Unknown lacks the romping charm of the Bundle Brent thrillers, or The Secret Adversary, but still requires a suspension of disbelief upon which it fails, ultimately to deliver. The main character, Hilary Craven, is likable and brave. There are wheels turning within wheels turning within wheels, but at the end of the day, the entire machine sort of breaks down.


Anyway, this is a lower tier Christie, but didn't hit rock bottom.

Agatha Christie completion update

I'm catching up a few reading projects, so I thought I would go through and identify which of the very few full-length Christie mysteries I have left:


Why Didn't They Ask Evans

N or M

Death Comes As The End

Destination Unknown

The Pale Horse

By The Pricking of My Thumbs


Postern of Fate

Sleeping Murder


That's actually more than I thought, although I am aware that some of them are true clunkers - I've heard nothing good about Postern of Fate.


I also have several of the short story collections left, including Harley Quin & Parker Pyne.


I also haven't read the books she published under the Mary Westamacott name, which are a bit difficult to find, but are by no means unobtainable. 


Giant's Bread

Unfinished Portrait

Absent in Spring

The Rose and the Yew Tree

A Daughter's A Daughter

The Burden


And I definitely want to track down the three Detection Club stories:


The Floating Admiral

Ask a Policeman

Six Against the Yard



Reading progress update: I've read 58%.
Destination Unknown (Signature Editions) - Agatha Christie

This is an odd book. It does remind me a lot of Passenger to Frankfurt, but, at least so far, it isn't nearly as awful as that one. Although it was really the ending that blew up that book, so there is still time.


Christie had a really bizarre obsession with the "elites" basically starting their own society to take over the world. Her late thrillers - They Came To Baghdad, Passenger to Frankfurt, and now this one, remind me a bit of Rand's Atlas Shrugged, although Christie definitely frames hers as cautionary tales, while Rand basically glorifies the idea of (her formulation) "the makers" abandoning "the looters" to death and starvation. 


Destination Unknown doesn't have the charm of They Came to Baghdad, at least not so far. Hilary Craven (interesting name choice, there) lacks the manic pixie dream girl charm of Victoria Jones, being of a more serious, less effervescent, character.


At this point, though, Passenger to Frankfurt represents the execrable nadir of Christie novels for me, so anything that is, even slightly, less awful will be okay.

1 Stars
Just not my cup of tea
Stealing Snow - Danielle  Paige

I love a good fairy tale retelling, and recall enjoying Paige's first published novel, Dorothy Must Die.


This was just not good. Fortunately, I checked it out of the library, because had I bought it, I would have been annoyed. I read the first 40%, and then skipped to the end.


There is a love-rhombus. Not one, not two, but three love interests for the main character. Ugh.


One star because the cover is pretty. 

Dia de los Muertos

Task 1:  Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice.




Zee brillant Hercule Poirot

zolves murders with great gusto

zee leetle grey cells

at detection excel

beneath his black chapeau


Miss Silver on sale for U.S. kindle readers

I was doing my usual Amazon trolling and noticed that Open Road has (finally) put most of the Miss Silver titles on sale for $2.99, with the exception of: Wicked Uncle, which is still priced at $7.99, and Grey Mask, which is $9.07.


I would heartily recommend skipping Grey Mask completely, to be honest. It's the weakest one I've read by far, and it's not necessary to read it in order to enjoy Miss Silver.



So, to my fellow Miss Silver fans - Tigus, Themis-Athena and anyone else who has an opinion - which books should I for sure buy? I already own:


Grey Mask (#1)

The Case is Closed (#2)

Lonesome Road (#3)

Poison in the Pen (#29)

Latter End (#11)

The Eternity Ring (#14)

The Clock Strikes Twelve (#7)

The Girl in the Cellar (#32)


Let me give a seasonal plug to The Clock Strikes Twelve, which is delightful, and is set on New Years Eve!




My now expanded Miss Silver Collection: (new books are in bold)


Grey Mask (#1)

The Case is Closed (#2)

Lonesome Road (#3)

In The Balance (#4)

The Chinese Shawl (#5)

Miss Silver Deals with Death (#6)

The Clock Strikes Twelve (#7)

The Key (#8)

She Came Back (#9)

Dark Threat (#10)

Latter End (#11)

The Eternity Ring (#14)

The Catherine Wheel (#15)

Through the Wall (#19)

Ladies Bane (#22)

Vanishing Point (#25)

Poison in the Pen (#29)

The Girl in the Cellar (#32)


I've got the complete set all the way through #11.

More Golden Age kindle sale news

I have never read E.R. Punshon, but there are also a few of his Bobby Owen books free right now:


Helen Passes By

It Might Lead Anywhere

The House of Godwinsson

Secrets Can't Be Kept

Diabolic Candelabra (greatest title ever)


I bought them all.







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



Just when you thought Halloween was done and dusted … there’s the Tasks of the Festive Season!



Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue – or something like that could be this year’s motto.  As in, some holidays that have been part of the game from the start.  Some new holidays.  Some tasks “borrowed” (and tweaked) from previous editions of the game.  Some new tasks – lots of them, actually.  Something blue in the card image (and, um, hidden in the tasks).


Something for everybody, we hope.


A new card image – we’ve made it an Advent calendar this year.  A new twist to the game format.


24 squares.  100's of options and ways to complete them.  (Not that you have to do all of them, mind … as always, 1 per square is enough.)  2 months.  3 game hosts*.  2 days to go until kick-off.


We’re excited!!  Are you?




* MurderByDeath (me), Themis-Athena's Garden of Books, and Moonlight Madness

Reblogged from Murder by Death
Festive holiday reading!

So, the festive season is nearly upon us! I am planning on reading a few new holiday mysteries this year, and I'm wondering if anyone else is planning on some festive reads, too!


So far on my schedule are the following new reads:


Portrait of a Murderer: A Christmas Crime Story - Anne Meredith Tied Up In Tinsel - Ngaio Marsh The Raven In The Foregate - Ellis Peters



I will also be dipping into my Black Lizard short story collection:


The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries - Otto Penzler 


And a few rereads:


Hercule Poirot's Christmas: A Hercule Poirot Mystery - Agatha Christie A Christmas Party - Georgette Heyer The Santa Klaus Murder - Mavis Doriel Hay



I will also reread my usual holiday staple by Rosamund Pilcher


Winter Solstice - Rosamunde Pilcher


Is anyone else a fan of Christmas mysteries and do you have any suggestions for me? Also, if anyone wants to buddy read any of these with me, let me know in the comments!




Halloween Bingo is coming to an end!

Tomorrow is Halloween!



I hope everyone has had a great time playing Halloween bingo!


It may take a little bit of extra time to pull the prize drawings together, because OB

has been a bit under the weather.


I've been working hard on the handmade prizes, but they won't be ready for a while yet - but the winners will definitely receive everything in time to enjoy it for the next Halloween bingo season!


Happy Halloween Eve!

Bingo Call: 10/29/18

Bingo Call: 10/25/18