Moonlight Murder

Moonlight Murder

Welcome to the Fourth Annual game of Halloween bingo! This is the time of year to read horror and mystery, scary books with gothic themes and other dark fiction.

4 Stars
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
The Rules of Magic: A Novel - Alice Hoffman

This prequel to Practical Magic was released two Halloween Bingos ago, and I had planned to read it then, but didn't want to spend the $12.99 to buy it for my kindle, and the library list was dozens of holds long so I back-burnered it.


While I was casting about for something to read for the Spellbound square, I remembered that I had wanted to read this, so I looked on library2go and lo and behold, it was available without a wait. Downloaded at 5:00, finished at 8:30.


I really enjoyed it, and returning to the world of the Owens clan was delightful. It's been years since I read Practical Magic, or anything by Alice Hoffman, and I was reminded by The Rules for Magic how much I enjoy her story-telling and her use of magical elements.


This book will fill many squares as well, and I decided to use it for Relics and Curiosities instead of Spellbound, since it is generally easier to fill broader squares versus narrower ones. There is a grimoire that plays a prominent part of the book, which fits with the category. In addition, there is a Black Cat named Wren, for anyone looking to fill that square. There are also some events that occur on Halloween, so it would satisfy that one, and, off the top of my head, it would also fit Full Moon, Sleepy Hollow, Fear the Drowning Deep, and Magical Realism.

Moonlight Murder's 2019 Bingo Tracking Post

Update: 9/18/19


I am back from vacation and updating my card! This was a highly active vacation, so I didn't get a ton of reading done and I am far away from a bingo! This is probably the slowest start I've ever had for Halloween Bingo, & I definitely have some catching up to do!






Category name in bold: called

Book title in bold: read

Book title in italics: currently reading

Planned books in parentheses



Film at 11: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Magical Realism: All The Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle.

Modern NoirFallen by Karin Slaughter

Dark Academia: Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

International Woman of Mystery: Shadow on the Fens by Joy Ellis



Creepy Crawlies: Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon


Darkest London: 

In the Dark, Dark Woods: (Odd and True by Cat Winters)

Paint it Black:



Gothic: The Singing Stones by Phyllis Whitney

Classic Horror:

Free square: Hunted on the Fens by Joy Ellis

A Grimm Tale: (The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden)




Country House Mystery:

Fear Street:

Locked Room Mystery:

Relics and Curiosities: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Psych: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn




Black Cat: Black Cat Crossing by 

Sleepy Hollow: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

New Release: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Baker Street Irregulars:


My markers:



Read but not called: uncarved pumpkin

Called but not read: orange frame

Read & called: carved pumpkin



Bingo call: 9/19/19

5 Stars
Stunning, gorgeous and powerful
All The Bad Apples - Moïra Fowley-Doyle

I fell in love with Moira Fowley-Doyle's style when I read her first book, The Accident Season. I enjoyed her second book as well.

This book blew me away.

Ireland's troubled and abusive history + queer kids + feminism + rage + reproductive rights + magical realism.

Gorgeous words and a powerful story. Highly recommended.


Read for the Magical Realism square of Halloween Bingo 2019.

Bingo Calls!

Catch up on the bingo calls here!


 9/1: Ghost Stories; 9/2: 9/2/19: Genre: Horror; 9/3/19: Creepy Crawlies; 

9/4/19: Amateur Sleuth; 9/5/19: American Horror Story; 9/6/19: Dystopian Hellscape; 9/7/19: Fear Street; 9/8/19: Black Cat; 9/9/19: Relics and Curiosities; 

9/10/19: A Grimm Tale; 9/11/19: Stranger Things; 9/12/19: Creepy Carnivals;

9/13/19: Country House Mystery; 9/14/19: Classic Horror; 9/15/19: Supernatural;
9/16/19: Psych; 9/17/19: Darkest London; 9/18/19: Cozy Mystery







Bingo call: 9/17/19

Bingo call: 9/15/19

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 501 pages.
Gaudy Night - Dorothy L. Sayers

A much anticipated re-read for Dark Academia!


Bingo call: 9/13/19

Bingo call: 9/11/19

Waving hello!

I won't be around much for the next week or so - we're on the family vacation! I'll be checking in briefly, but I probably won't post much.

Bingo call: 9/9/19

Bingo call: 9/7/19

A brief update on Jack



My sweet boy crossed the rainbow bridge this afternoon at 4:30 PST. It's been coming for awhile as you know. He stopped eating 3 days ago and the time had come to do what was right by him, and ease his passing.


We were able to have a vet tech come to the house, and he passed gently, surrounded by the friends who loved him best. I will always be grateful for the extra time we had he with him. He was almost 14 when he left us for the last time.




Here he is, young and strong.

2.5 Stars
A weak installment
Shadow over the Fens (DI Nikki Galena #2) - Joy Ellis

This is the weakest of any of the books by Ellis that I've read so far. The mystery made very little sense and the characters were pretty universally behaving like idiots (except for Cat). 


The Nikki Galena books are not nearly as good as the Jackman & Evans books - but they were her starting place and she's improved a lot as a story teller in the interim. I'm not giving up on Nikki Galena, and I'll be curious to see the series develop.

5 Stars
Legend of Sleepy Hollow (audible edition)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving, Tom Mison

2019: I skipped listening to this one the last couple of years, so it's with great delight that I've returned to it for the "Sleepy Hollow" square on my bingo card. My 2016 and 2013 updates are below.


As an aside, the new boy that I mention in the 2014 updates is now my daughter's fiancee and will become my son-in-law in just over a month!






I'm doing my yearly listen to this wonderful narration of Irving's classic tale of humor and horror.


“He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.”


This is my third time through, and it is just as wonderful as the first time I listened. Actually, it might even be more wonderful, because it has taken on that patina that only the best and most comforting of reads ever acquires!





Yes, that is Tom Mison, who plays Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow - one of my absolute favorite television shows.


Several weeks ago, someone pointed me in the direction of a free audible version of Washington Irving's classic short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (title links to audible page), brilliantly read by Tom Mison.


I had a chance to actually listen to the story on Friday, when I had a several hour drive to pick up my daughter at college and bring her home for the weekend. I am not sure that I had ever actually read this classic story, although I do remember seeing a play that had been adapted from the story. 


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a fantastic listen, with its arcane and beautiful language, read in Mison's buttery British voice. If you are a fan of the show, there is an enhancement in hearing him, with his agile and gorgeous voice, doing the reading (it always amazing to me how much a good narrator adds to the experience of listening to a story).


This isn't horror, though. It is gently comedic slice of American life stuff - the narrator tells the story of Ichabod Crane, gangling school-master and social climber, humorously, making a bit of fun of him. There are meditations on geography, local ghost stories, farming, teaching, women, and, most of all, food. Ichabod is more than a little obsessed with filling his belly, so the discussions of pie and cake are seemingly endless. The end is amusing, and just vague enough to make one wonder.


I loved it. My daughter - who was riding with me - was less amused, taking the position that out of the one hour and fifteen minute story, the last five minutes was the only part that really mattered. Of course, she spent most of the ride texting a new boy with whom she is smitten, and she doesn't really like pie, so who asked her anyway?


It is only an hour and fifteen minutes long, and is totally free on audible. I found it completely delightful.


In 2019, I will be using this one for: