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Moonlight Reader

Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.

Currently reading

Capital Crimes: London Mysteries: A British Library Crime Classic (British Library Crime Classics)
Martin Edwards
Progress: 105/410 pages
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen Fry

Weekend happenings

I have had a lovely 3 day weekend so far - I had Friday off because of today's Veteran's Day holiday. I had a quilt that I wanted to finish, and this seemed like an opportune time to download the new full cast audio production of Murder on the Orient Express and check it out!


So, I finished the quilt. This is a Christmas quit that I made for my daughter. I fell in love with the panel that is the focus of the quilt. I backed it in a grey and red buffalo check flannel that is cozy as all get out! It's in the washing machine right now, to get all crinkly, sweet smelling and soft!


So, here a couple of pics of the quilt in the wild - well, at least in my backyard!




The audiobook was just OK. I actually preferred the straight up Dan Stevens recording - the narrator who vocalized Poirot didn't work for me at all. I don't think I would recommend it. However, it will still work for Square 7 - St. Lucia's Day - because snow is a critical element of the plot!

My Festive Sixteen!


All right! I have been very busy this weekend, putting my upstairs back together! This is pretty much the first chance I've had to sit down and contemplate the new game. I will track my progress here!


My plan for today are to just identify a few of the tasks/books to work on this week to get me started!




4. Penance Day: read Dead Man's Ransom by Ellis Peters.


Category Plans:


Square 1: November 1st:

All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos / Calan Gaeaf


Book themes for Calan Gaeaf: 
Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft –OR– read a book with ivy or roses on the cover, or a character’s name/title of book is/has Rose or Ivy in it.


My plan for this one is to read The Dire King by William Ritter, which involves witchcraft & magic.


Tasks for Calan Gaeaf: If you’re superstition-proof, inscribe your name on a rock, toss it in a fire and take a picture to post –OR– Make a cozy wintertime dish involving leeks (the national plant of Wales) and post the recipe and pictures with your thoughts about how it turned out.


I am either going to do the toss the rock in the fire thing, or I am going to make potato leek soup. Not sure which!

Square 2: November 5th:
Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night/Fireworks Night) / Bon Om Touk (Cambodian Water Festival). 


Tasks for Bon Om Touk: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle), or if you're living on the sea or on a lake or a river, post a picture of your favorite spot on the shore / banks / beach / at the nearest harbour.


I have a house rented at the Oregon coast between Christmas and New Year, so I'll be posting a picture from that vacation to fill this task!

Square 3: November 11th:
St. Martin’s Day (5th) / Veterans’ Day / Armistice Day (11th)


Book themes for St. Martin’s Day: Read a book set on a vineyard, or in a rural setting, –OR– a story where the MC searches for/gets a new job. –OR– A book with a lantern on the cover, or books set before the age of electricity. –OR– A story dealing with an act of selfless generosity (like St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar).


For this one, I am going to reread The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett - this is one of my favorite books, and there is a scene in it that reduces me to tears every time I read it, when Sara finds a sixpence, uses it to buy buns because she is so hungry, and then she gives them away to an even hungrier, poorer little girl.


Tasks for St. Martin’s Day: Write a Mother Goose-style rhyme or a limerick; the funnier the better. –OR– Take a picture of the book you’re currently reading, next to a glass of wine, or the drink of your choice, with or without a fire in the background. –OR– Bake a Weckmann; if you’re not a dab hand with yeast baking, make a batch of gingerbread men, or something else that’s typical of this time of the year where you live. Post pics of the results and the recipe if you’d like to share it.


I am going to bake a gingerbread cake, and serve it with whipped cream, and it shall be glorious.

Square 4: November 22nd and 23rd (COMPLETED):
Penance Day (22nd) / Thanksgiving (23rd)


Book themes for Penance Day: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher, priest or other representative of the organized church as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).


This is going to have to be a Brother Cadfael - I am on book 9, Dead Man's Ransom.

Square 5: December 3rd and following 3 Sundays:


Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.


Book themes for Advent: Read a book with a wreath or with pines or fir trees on the cover –OR– Read the 4th book from a favorite series, or a book featuring 4 siblings.



The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a lifelong favorite of mine, which features 4 siblings, so I am strongly considering re-reading it.

Square 6: December 5th-6th and 8th:
Sinterklaas / Krampusnacht (5th) / St. Nicholas Day (6th) / Bodhi Day (8th)


Tasks for Sinterklaas / St. Martin’s Day / Krampusnacht: Write a witty or humorous poem to St. Nicholas –OR– If you have kids, leave coins or treats, like tangerines, walnuts, chocolate(s) and cookies [more common in Germany] in their shoes to find the next morning and then post about their reactions/bewilderment.  ;)  If you don’t have kids, do the same for another family member / loved one or a friend.


I know exactly what I am going to do for this task! My daughter left a pair of shoes at home when she headed back to college, so I am going to fill them with coins, treats, nuts and chocolates and ship them to her to arrive on 12/6 with a card that explains the origins of Sinterklaas! I will do the same thing for my son, at home! I will post pictures, because this is going to be really fun!

Square 7: December 10th & 13th:
International Human Rights Day (10th) / St. Lucia’s Day (13th)

Square 8: December 12th - 24th:
Hanukkah (begins 12th, ends 20th) Las Posadas (begins 16th, ends 24th)

Square 9: December 21st:
Winter Solstice / Mōdraniht / Yuletide / Yaldā Night

Square 10: December 21st:
World Peace Day / Pancha Ganapati begins (ends 25th)

Square 11: December 21st-22nd:
Soyal (21st) / Dōngzhì Festival (22nd) (China)

Square 12: December 23rd
Festivus / Saturnalia ends (begins 17th)

Square 13: December 25th
Christmas / Hogswatch

Square 14: December 25th
Dies Natalis Solis Invicti / Quaid-e-Azam’s Day

Square 15: December 25th-26th:
Newtonmas (25th) / St. Stephen's Day/Boxing Day (26th)

Square 16: December 26th-31st:
Kwanzaa (begins 26th, ends 31st) / New Year’s Eve / Hogmanay / St. Sylvester’s Day / Watch Night

Square 4! Penance Day Read

Dead Man's Ransom - Ellis Peters

This is my first filled square for the 16 Tasks game. I decided to do:


Book themes for Penance Day: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher, priest or other representative of the organized church as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).


This is 9th in the Brother Cadfael series, and our erstwhile detective/medieval monk and herbalist, must determine who murdered Sheriff Gilbert Prestcote once he is returned from Wales as part of a prisoner exchange. The prisoner, the young, brash Welsh noble Elis, has managed to fall in love with Prestcote's daughter, Melicent, who returns his affections. Once Prestcote is murdered, suspicion falls on Elis.


This is very standard fare for a Brother Cadfael mystery. Cadfael must determine who killed the Sheriff using the tools at his disposal in the 12th century (which is to say, some cloth fibers and the strong compulsion based upon religious norms to unburden oneself before dying). It isn't the strongest entry in the series, but Melicent and Elis were likeable, although their instalove made me eyeroll a bit.


The end of the book was so abrupt that I wondered if something had gone wrong with my download, however. The story just . . . ends. And then a preview of the next book in the series begins. For that, I give it 3 1/2 stars.

We're done here! Blackout + Halloween bingo ends at midnight!

Well, another game of Halloween bingo comes to an end! The game 

officially concludes at midnight tonight, along with the month of October!


I hope you had as much fun as I did!



My final bingo card:



I will update my tracking post later today - I haven't done it for a while - to wrap up my game!



Bingo Call: 10/31

Last Call!



American horror story: horror, set in the USA.

The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season: Year 2



Themis-Athena and Murder by Death have stepped in to take on this little game! The fun begins on 11/1/17. Keep your eye on their blogs!



Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!

I'm just putting this here


And you can just wait to find out why.

Creative block, remodeling and work. Oh my!

So, I know that I promised an updated version of The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season, but I am struggling. I have creative block, and I'm not able to come up with any ideas for the tasks. This is likely because we are in the midst of a minor remodel (new floors/paint upstairs) which means that things are totally disorganized and crazy and I spend most of my time shifting furniture from one room to another, or with a paint brush in my hand. Finally, work is killing me.


This is a long explanation for not having anything for you guys! I'm not sure I'll be able to get it put together over the weekend because of all of the above. I may replay the old version myself, since I didn't get much accomplished last year with Booklikes being in the crapper most of the time, or if someone wants to take on the update, I will happily surrender responsibility!

Bingo Call: 10/27


Classic horror: horror that was published prior to 1980

Bingo Call: 10/23


The dead will walk: basically, zombies



The Reveal: The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:


I know I said I wasn't going to reveal the full game until tomorrow, but with Halloween Bingo coming to a close, I just can't wait anymore! The game runs from November 1, 2016 through January 2, 2017.


This one is just for fun! Activities/reads can be gathered in any order - you don't need to complete any individual task before moving on to the next. We have come up with 12 festive tasks for you to undertake - each task has two options for completion. One of the tasks is reading related, the other is an activity. You can fulfill the task by doing one task, but feel free to do both if they catch your fancy. 


This game isn't really prize focused, but there will be a drawing on January 2, 2016 for a prize, with everyone who completes the twelve tasks eligible to win!


Task the First: The Winter Wonderland:



- Read a book that is set in a snowy place.

- If you are lucky enough to live in a snowy place, or even if you aren't, take a walk outside and post a picture of something pretty you encountered on your way.!


Task the Second: The Silent Nights:



- Read a book set in one of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland and/or Denmark), where winter nights are long!

- Get your hygge on! Hygge is a Danish concept that relates to being content and cozy. Put on your fuzziest socks, light a candle, and spend some time (reading) in front of the fireplace or your coziest nook. Post a picture if you want!


Task the Third: The Holiday Party:



- Read a book where a celebration is a big part of the action. Examples would include holiday parties, country house hunting/weekend parties, weddings, etc.

- Make something that is considered party food where you are from, and post a picture of it on booklikes.


Task the Fourth: The Gift Card:


- Read a book that you either received as a gift or have given as a gift.

- Give a book to a friend and post a picture of the wrapped present.


Task the Fifth: The Kwanzaa:



- Read a book written by an African-American author or set in an African country.

- Make a small donation to a charitable organization that operates in Africa.


Task the Sixth: The Hanukkah:


- Let the dreidel choose a book for you: create a list of four books, and assign a dreidel symbol to each one (Nun = miracle; Gimel = great; He = happened; Shin = there, i.e. Israel). Google "spin the dreidel," and a dreidel comes up for you to spin. Give it a spin and read the book that the dreidel chooses! 

- Make a traditional Hanukkah food like doughnuts or potato latkes. Post a picture, or tell us how they turned out!


Task the Seventh: The Christmas:




- Read a book set during the Christmas holiday season.

- Grab your camera (or your phone) and set up a Christmas bookstagram-style scene with favorite holiday reads, objects or decorations. Possibly also a cat. Post it for everyone to enjoy!


Task Eighth: The Movie Ticket




- Read a book that has been adapted to a holiday movie.

- Go see a new theater release this holiday season (during November/December. This does not have to be a holiday movie, so yes, Fantastic Beasts will qualify).


Task the Ninth: The Happy New Year



- Every year you get a little bit older! Read a coming of age novel or any old favorite comfort read to start the new year right.

- If you're feeling brave, post a holiday picture of yourself from your childhood or misspent youth.


Task the Tenth The Holiday Down Under



- Read a book set in Australia or by an Australian author,  or read a book you would consider a "beach read".

- Christmas crackers are a traditional part of an Australian Christmas. Buy some (or make your own) to add to your festivities and share some pictures!


Task the Eleventh: The Polar Express



- Read a book that involves train travel (such as Murder on the Orient Express).

- Read a classic holiday book from your childhood (to a child if you have one handy) or tell us a story about a childhood Christmas you'd like to share.


Task the Twelfth: The Wassail Bowl



- Read a book set in the UK, preferably during the medieval or Victorian periods (for those of us doing the Merlin read-along, the Crystal Cave works for this task).

- Drink a festive, holiday beverage, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Take a picture of your drink, and post it to share - make it as festive as possible!


We hope you will join us in the fun!

Bingo Call: 10/19

Reading progress update: I've read 42%.

The Dower House Mystery - Patricia Wentworth

So far, this book is completely charming! The main character, Amabel, is plucky and kind. Her daughter, Daphne is a bit of a snot, but she's gone off to Egypt, so that's fine. Amabel has agreed to spend six months in the Dower House, an opportunity to make 200 pounds, in order to stave off the rumors that it's haunted. Because she needs the 200 pounds to send self-centered Daphne to Egypt, where she plans to catch herself a wealthy husband.


Her solicitor's reaction when she told him to take the tenancy for her:


“Mr. Berry”—her tone took on a teasing shade—“you’re not going to tell me that you believe in ghosts!” The dark eyes twinkled.


“Not in the day-time,” said Mr. Berry briskly. “Not in the day-time, and not in this office, nor in Piccadilly Circus, or The Criterion, or Victoria Station. In all these places, my dear lady, I can count on myself to be a complete and confirmed sceptic. Pooh, I say.” He blew out his cheeks. “Ghosts? Nonsense, humbug, nerves! But”—he wagged an impressive forefinger—“put me at midnight in a lonely country house, with the rain coming down, black panelling on the walls, damp under the floors, and a fine smell of mildew in the air, and I don’t say that I mightn’t see ghosts with the best of ’em. That’s the mischief of it.”


Amabel also has been carrying a torch for Julian Forsham for approximately 20 years. He was her first love, but she was engaged to someone else at the time that they met, so like the self-sacrificing, genuinely nice person that she is, she kept the engagement. He never married.


You can see where this is going, right? Because, as it happens, the Dower House is part of the Forsham family holdings, although Julian is the younger son. And he just happens to be back in England after being on the Continent doing something science-y for a number of years.


Anyway, so far we've had an adorable meeting between Amabel and Julian that is just full of unsatisfied yearning. And long nights of ghostly dogs, cats, breaking windows, and everything else that a haunted house could have. 


I don't know what is going on with the "ghosts," but I am absolutely positive that Amabel and Julian are going to get their happy ending.

Halloween Bingo: Updates

I'm up to four bingos with the Romantic Suspense call.


First card is blacked out! Now it's just how much of that second card I can fill by the end of the game!




1. Ghost; 2. Cozy Mystery; 3. In the Dark, Dark Woods; 

4. Horror; 5. Locked Room Mystery; 

6. Murder Most Foul; 7. Witches; 8. Werewolves

9. Modern Masters of Horror; 10. Terrifying Women; 11. Diverse Voices

12. Haunted Houses; 13. Serial/Spree Killer; 14. Terror in a Small Town

15. Aliens; 16. Darkest London; 17. Gothic

18. 80's Horror19. Classic Noir; 20. Chilling Children

21. Magical Realism 22. Romantic Suspense

23. Vampires




Called + Read:


Cozy Mystery: Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer. Read 9.2.17 (320 pages)

GhostThe Looking-Glass Portrait by Linda Hilton. Read 9.4.17 (391 pages)

In The Dark, Dark Woods: Endless Night by Agatha Christie. Read 9.7.17 (303 pages)

Locked Room Mystery: Miraculous Mysteries: Locked Room Murders and Impossible Crimes by Martin Edwards (351 pages)

Murder Most Foul: Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey (288 pages)

Genre: Horror: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (512 pages)

Free Space: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards. Read 9.17.17 (357 pages)

Terrifying Women: Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie. Read 9.20.17 (304 pages)

Witches: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Read 9.25.17 (652 pages)

Serial/Spree Killer: The Alienist by Caleb Carr. Read 9.26.17 (498 pages).

Terror in a Small Town: The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie. Read 9.17.17 (299 pages)

Haunted House: Greygallows by Barbara Michaels. Read 9.29.17 (352 pages)

Diverse Voices: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older. Read 10.2.17 (326 pages).

Darkest London: Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch. Read 9.6.17 (396 pages)

Gothic: Listen For the Whisperer by Phyllis Whitney. Read 9.11.17 (299 pages)

Classic Noir: The Bride Wore Black by Cornell Woolrich. Read 9.1.17. (191 pages)

Chilling Children: Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan. Read 9.17.17 (240 pages)

Magical Realism: Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle (416 pages)

Romantic Suspense: Columbella by Phyllis Whitney. Read 9.16.17 (276 pages)


Read + Waiting for a Call


Monsters: Chaos Choregraphy by Seanan McGuire. Read 9.2.17. (368 pages)

Amateur Sleuth: A Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. Read 9.11.17 (108 pages)

American Horror StoryThe Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. Read 9.16.17 (201 pages) (this is my wild card)

Country House Murder: The Crime at the Black Dudley by Margery Allingham. Read 9.22.17 (224 pages)

Supernatural: Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire. Read 10.5.17 (368 pages)

Classic Horror: Carmilla by Sheridan LeFanu (61 pages) 


Second Card (Blackout Only)




Darkest London: Murder in Piccadilly by Charles Kingston. Read 9.29.17 (320 pages)

Murder Most Foul: Murder at the Museum by John Rowland. Read 10.1.17 (272 pages).

Terrifying Women:  Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie. Read 10.4.17 (352 pages)

Locked Room: Murder of a Lady by Anthony Wynne. Read 10.7.17 (288 pages)

Gothic: The Secret Woman by Victoria Holt. Read 10.7.17 (379 pages)

Ghost: Woman Without A Past by Phyllis Whitney. Read 10.10.17 (352 pages)

Romantic Suspense: Dream of Orchids by Phyllis Whitney. Read 10.14.14 (279 pages)

Free Square: Above Suspicion by Helen MacInnes. Read 10.13.14 (337 pages)


Currently Reading:


Country House Mystery: The Dower House Mystery by Patricia Wentworth


Total pages read for bingo: 10680

Bingo Call: 10/15

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 218 pages.

The Dower House Mystery - Patricia Wentworth

Giving another Patricia Wentworth a try - this isn't a Miss Silver mystery, but the plot summary sounded deliciously ghost-y!


They meet again in the dusk of a ruined garden. Amabel Grey hasn’t laid eyes on Julian Forsham in twenty years, not since she gave him up—the man she’d fallen passionately in love with—for the fiancé who needed her. Now an unexpected circumstance brings the British widow and the world-famous scientist together again.
Amabel’s nineteen-year-old daughter, Daphne, has been invited to join her friends—and the boy she adores—on a trip to Egypt. But she needs two hundred pounds from her mother. George Forsham is offering that exact sum to anyone willing to stay six months at Dower House, the centuries-old estate in the English countryside where Amabel and Julian first met. The fact that the overgrown, sadly neglected house is rumored to be haunted doesn’t deter Amabel. Until strange things start happening . . .
The mewing of a cat that doesn’t exist, the sound of flapping wings, someone crying in the dark. Are restless spirits walking the night? Or is there a rational explanation? Plunged into deadly danger, Amabel could lose her second chance with the man she never stopped loving.