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.

Reading progress update: I've read 40%.
Their Lost Daughters - Joy Ellis

This is just an estimate of my progress, because I am listening to the audiobook, narrated by:


Image result for richard armitage


Richard Armitage.


His narration is perfection and the book itself is so engaging that I can barely stop listening long enough to eat. And work. And sleep.


Please, BBC, adapt this for one of your amazing crime series, like Vera with Brenda Blethyn, starring Richard Armitage. I might actually expire from happiness.

2019 Halloween Bingo Group Read

By Acclamation!



I hope you can join us!


This is a reminder that the group read book is a wild card and can fulfill any square!

Poll for the Barbara Michaels Read

Vote here!


Which Barbara Michaels book should we read for Halloween Bingo
The Wizard's Daughter
The Master of Blacktower
The Wings of the Falcon
Created with SurveyMaker


 I am up for any of them - all of them are available in the U.S. for kindle.

Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: Favorite Horror Reads
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller The Little Stranger - Sarah Waters Uncle Silas - Victor Sage, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood Dracula - Bram Stoker Flowers in the Attic - V.C. Andrews Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier, Sally Beauman The Monstrumologist - Rick Yancey

I am reposting my "10 Essential Horror Books (by a non-horror reader)" post for this prompt! My knowledge of horror fiction is quite limited, and what little horror I read, I read in September & October.


I do not read horror because I am a chicken, so while all of these books are "horror," they are not gory horror, or really, even, that scary. Most of them are more in the vein of "psychological horror," which might mean "horror for wusses," I don't know. Anyway, here we go:


1. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I read this book almost every October at some time during Halloween bingo, that's how much I love it. Bradbury's language is so evocatively gorgeous that I can almost taste it. 


2. & 3. are both by Shirley Jackson: We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House. There's just something about Shirley, you guys. She, like Hill House, is just a bit off - the floors slant and the doors don't close quite right, and she gets right to the heart of the stuff that scares the shit out of me.


4. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters: is it a ghost story or isn't it a ghost story? Is the house haunted or isn't the house haunted? Is the narrator reliable or isn't the narrator reliable. Who the hell knows?


5. Uncle Silas by Sheridan LeFanu: as I said in my review, this book is a heaping platterful of Victorian whatthefuckery. It's awesome.


6. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: what, you say, that's not horror? The fuck it isn't people. A dystopia built around legalized rape and coerced gestation? It's either horror or it's America. 


7. Dracula by Bram Stoker: trite, I know. But this book is amazing, and should always be experienced by listening to the full cast audiobook. It will change your perception completely.


8. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews: I read this book when I was an impressionable adolescent and am still creeped out by it. Totally fucked up.


9. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey: "Snap to, Will Henry." This is YA horror, and is gross, terrifying and enthralling. Seriously, I love this book. The rest of the series is pretty good, too, but this book stands alone in awesomeness. 


10. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: I know that people think that this book is a romance, but (like in the case of Wuthering Heights) they are WRONG. This book is horror. It's a gorgeously written, utterly engrossing, tale of a woman who is gaslighted by household staff after accidentally marrying a rich man - with a great house - who murdered his wife. I could also put this under the category of suspense, and maybe I will. 


I know, this list of essential horror is sadly lacking in *real* horror authors, like Stephen King. But he's way too scary for me! 

Halloween Bingo Pre-Party: most anticipated reads
Beloved - Toni Morrison The Testaments - Margaret Atwood

I haven't had a lot of time to really dig into my Halloween bingo reading plans, but these two books are definitely part of them!


Lillelara has brilliantly nominated Beloved for the group read, which sounds fantastic to me. The only potential downside is that a lot of the people who might ordinarily participate may already have read this one...


As I posted yesterday, I'll also be reading something by Barbara Michaels. I've read at least one of her gothics for every Halloween Bingo game!


I'm really enjoying seeing what other players are also planning on reading!

For my fellow Barbara Michaels readers
The Master of Blacktower - Barbara Michaels Witch - Barbara Michaels, Barbara Michaels Wings of the Falcon - Barbara Michaels, Elizabeth Peters

I am definitely reading a Barbara Michaels this year for Halloween Bingo (it will be the 4th year in a row). Is anyone up for a buddy read? These three are promising, although I am up for pretty much anything that I haven't already read!

Buddy Read for Halloween Bingo!

The Halloween Bingo buddy read is typically one of our most successful Booklikes buddy reads of the year.


Our past reads have included:


Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Carmilla by Sheridan LeFanu

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett


For new players, the rule is that participation in the group read functions as a "wild card," and you can use the book for any square.


This year, I am proposing one group read, to begin on Friday, 10/3/19. 


I'll take nominations over the weekend, through 8/11/19 @ midnight (or before I get up on Monday). Once we get a batch of nominations, we'll narrow it down with a series of polls, if necessary.


The most important thing is to try to make sure that the book is widely available - it should be sourceable through bookstores and libraries. This can be hard to do, since we have players literally around the globe, but do your best!


Thread to organize the group read can be found here


You can post your nomination in a comment, or on the thread.

Seasonal themes activated!

In preparation for Halloween bingo, I've changed my name and avatar to their seasonally appropriate analogues, and given my blog a new look!

Bingo card request thread is open!

My 2019 Bingo Card!




You can request yours



Updated 2019 Halloween Bingo Updates and Scheduling and Links




For any prospective new players:


Halloween Bingo is the flagship reading game on BL - it's the first one that OB & I cohosted, all the way back in 2016, so this will be the fourth time that we've played! 


I am working on this years categories, which will be selected from the last three bingo games, along with - assuming that my creativity doesn't fail me - a few new ones! Some things don't change, though, and the seasonal focus on horror, mystery, supernatural, thrillers and suspense remains from year to year.


Autumn is the time that we break into our store of gothic tales, our books about witches and wizards and werewolves and zombies, ghost stories and haunted houses and dark, stormy nights. 


As we move into Halloween bingo season, if years past are any indication, you will see a lot of activity as this year's categories are revealed, the cards are created, reading lists begin to pop up again, and players start posting about their reading plans.


The planned schedule:


8/1/19: As I announced yesterday, I will be drawing the prize winners from last years game of bingo. You can find that post here.


In addition, there is an explanation of the rules changes and the new "transfiguration spell" here.


8/2/19 - 8/9/19: Reveal of the 2019 new card spaces:


1. Film at 11

2. King of Fear

3. Dystopian Hellscape

4. Truly Terrifying

5. Dark Academia

6. Psych

7. International Woman of Mystery

8. Paint It Black

9. Stranger Things

10. Stone Cold Horror


8/9/19: All 61 squares revealed on my blog, with links to booklists.


1-18 (new squares & horror squares) here.

19-38 (mystery & supernatural squares) here.

39-61 (multi-genre squares) here.


Thread on BL bingo group open for card requests!


8/10/19: The last day of Booklikes-opoly.



8/30/19: Early reading begins. All players can pre-start one book, which can be used to fill a square so long as it is not finished by 9/1/19.


9/1/19: First call and play officially commences


10/31/19: Last call and game ends


This is my favorite part of the reading year. Join us if you've not played before and I promise you will have fun! I can hardly wait!

Booklikes-opoly 2019 - wrapped up!

Game Updates



Game Play


Bank: $114.00 

Novelty cards currently in my pocket: Robot


Bank Transactions:


5/20/19: Beginning balance, $20.00

5/22/19: Palace of Treason, +$5.00

5/24/19: Family Matters, +$3.00

5/24/19: Pass Go, +$5.00

5/31/19: The Moonstone, +$3.00

5/31/19: A Fatal Inversion, +$5.00

6/2/19: The Division Bell Mystery, +$3.00

6/2/19: Pass Go, +$5.00

6/9/19: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, +$3.00

6/9/19: Below the Clock, +$3.00

6/9/19: A Local Habitation, +$3.00

6/11/19: A Passage to India, +$3.00

6/13/19: A Great Deliverance, +5.00

6/13/19: Pass Go, +$5.00

6/15/19: My Cousin Rachel, +$3.00

6/17/19: The Colour of Murder, +$3.00

6/30/19: Wolf Hall, +$5.00

6/30/19: The Glass Devil, +$3.00

7/2/19: Pass Go, +5.00

7/15/19: Well-Schooled in Murder, +$5.00

7/15/19: A Fountain Filled With Blood, +$3.00

7/15/19: Out of the Deep I Cry, +$3.00

7/15/19: Bring Up the Bodies, +$5.00

7/15/19: The Key to Rebecca, +$3.00 (used cat card)

7/15/19: Pass Go, +$5.00

7/18/19: Pass Go, +$5.00

7/27/19: A Plague on Both Your Houses, +$3.00 

7/27/19: The Secret History, +$5.00 (used race car)

8/9/19: The Winter Mantle, +$5.00 (used cat card)


Total: $127.00





With Halloween Bingo gearing up, I am deep in the throes of organizing that game. Note to self: no games that extend into August ever again. 


I finally finished up The Winter Mantle, which is 512 pages, and is therefore worth $5.00. That's my final book of the game, which means that I end the game with a total of $132.00 in my bank, and holding the robot card.


The rest of my game play is after the page break.


-read more-
All 61 squares revealed: 39 through 61

The remaining, non-genre specific squares - you can read anything that is horror, mystery, suspense or supernatural that otherwise fits the square prompt.




39. Thirteen (13): any book that relates to bad luck, superstition, or the number 13, either in the title/book/series/page count. Booklist linked here.

40. A Grimm Tale:  any fairy tale or retelling of fairy tales, folklore, legends, etc. Book list linked here.

41. Aliens: any mystery, horror, suspense or supernatural book that includes aliens, either here on earth, or in space. Book list linked here.




42. Creepy Carnivals:  horror/mystery/supernatural set in or concerning a carnival, amusement park, or other party/festival - think Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Joyland by Stephen King or Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie; Book list linked here.

43. Creepy Crawlies: this is a throw back from 2016! Books with bugs, snakes, spiders, worms and other things that slither, scuttle or crawl, includes viruses and other parasites. Book list linked here.

44. In The Dark, Dark Woods: a mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book in which the forest/woods plays a significant role, or which has a forest/woods on the cover. Book list linked here.




45. Darkest London: mystery, horror, supernatural, or suspense set in London. Book list linked here.

46. Demons: Any book involving demons, demonic possession or other such elements. Book list linked here.

47. Diverse voices: written by an author of color. Book list linked here




48. Doomsday:  anything related to the end of the world, doomsday cults, or a post-apocalypse world. Book list linked here.

49. Fear the Drowning Deep: books with sea-related elements: sea creatures, ships, and sharks. Book list linked here

50. Full Moon: a book with an image of the moon on the cover, the word moon in the title, or where a full moon figures prominently in the story. Book list linked here




51. Gothic: any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. Book list linked here.

52. Grave or Graveyard: Books that have a grave or graveyard on their covers, in their titles, or any book primarily set in a graveyard. Book list linked here.

53. Halloween: This is a combination of the "pumpkin" and the "halloween" squares from 2016. so, any book set on halloween or has halloween in the title or that has a pumpkin on the cover, or in the title, etc.. will work for this square. Book lists linked here: pumpkins and halloween




54. Monsters: This square covers any crytpozoological or mythological creature that isn't a vampire, werewolf, or demon. Or zombie. Book list linked here.

55. New Release: mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural that was published after 10/31/18.

56. Read by Flashlight or Candlelight: Back by popular request! Any mystery, suspense, supernatural or horror book - the trick here is to spend an hour or so reading by flashlight or candlelight. Take a picture and share it with us, if you want to!




57. Relics and Curiosities: concerning magical, supernatural or haunted objects, such as spell-books, talismans or swords; Book list linked here.

58. Sleepy Hollow: this is the new version of set in New England, with a shout-out to that most New England of all stories, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Book list linked here

59. Free square: Our friend, Poe, is back for his fourth outing!




60. Black Cat: We haven't seen this square since our first bingo game, back in 2016! Any book that has a black cat in the title, on the cover, or in the story. Book list linked here.

61. It Was A Dark and Stormy Night: This is another throwback to 2016 - any book that takes place on "a dark and stormy night." Book list linked here.


All 61 squares revealed: 19 through 38

The Mystery & Supernatural squares!


The Mystery Squares:




19. Genre: Mystery: anything that fits into the mystery genre. Book list linked here.

20. Amateur Sleuth: this mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement. This can include retired police officers and private detectives. Book list linked here.

21. Baker Street Irregulars: mystery that involves children/teens in crime solving. Book list linked here.






22. Classic Noir: mysteries published prior to 1980 with noir elements, including authors like Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich and Dashiell Hammett. Book list linked here.

23. Country House Mystery:  a closed circle murder set during a gathering like a house party. Book list linked here.

24. Cozy Mystery:  a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Book list linked here.




25. Genre: Suspense: anything that fits into the suspense genre. Book list linked here.

26. Locked Room Mystery: a subgenre of detective fiction in which a crime (almost always murder) is committed in circumstances under which it was seemingly impossible for the perpetrator to commit the crime or evade detection in the course of getting in and out of the crime scene. Book list linked here.

27. Modern Noir:  mystery with noir elements, including authors like James Ellroy, Ian Rankin, anything that falls generally under the category of Nordic Noir, Tartan Noir, Granite Noir, etc; Book list linked here.





28. Romantic Suspense: any romance which has a significant sub-plot that involves mystery, thriller or suspense; also gothic romance. Book list linked here.

29. Serial/Spree Killer: a sub-genre of crime fiction that involves the detection of serial or spree killers. Book list linked here.

30. Murder Most Foul: any murder mystery. Book list linked here.


The Supernatural Squares:




31. Cryptozoologist: any supernatural creature, from Ammit to Ziz. Check out the book lists for monsters, vampires, shifters, or deadlands.

32. Deadlands:  elements of the undead - zombies, wights, vampires and other revenants; Book list linked here.

33. Ghost Stories: any story involving ghosts or hauntings - includes haunted houses. Book list linked here.




34. Magical Realism: a style of fiction that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements Book list linked here.

35. Shifters: werewolves, skin-walkers and all other therianthropes. Book list linked here.

36. Spellbound: books containing witches, warlocks, sorcerors and witchcraft; Book list linked here.




37. Supernatural: mystery, suspense or horror books which include elements that defy current understanding of the natural world, including magic, witchcraft and/or crypto-zoological aspects. Book list linked here.

38. Vampires: vampires, preferably non-sparkly, in all of their glorious fictional permutations. Book list linked here.

All 61 squares revealed: 1 through 18

All of the new squares (and scares) have been revealed, and I got these posts put together over the past few days, so I'm ready to reveal ALL OF THE SQUARES!


Buckle up, butter cup.


A note on book lists: where we have already got a working book list, I've linked to it. However, word of clarification: the rules have changed a bit in the last 3 years - so not every book on the booklists is necessarily a horror, supernatural, mystery or suspense book. If it shows up on a booklist it has been approved for game play on that space and is "grandfathered in" to eligibility.


The new categories don't have a book list associated with them yet.


I am going to do this in three posts, because they are going to be very long! You've seen the 9 new squares:




1. Dark Academia: Any mystery, suspense, supernatural or horror that takes place at a school - high school, college, boarding school, etc.

2. Dystopian Hellscape: This is a multi-genre square! Any book that relates to the fictional depiction of a dystopian society, such as The Handmaid's Tale or The Hunger Games, would qualify! 

3. International Woman of Mystery: This one is fairly obvious and is a twist on the "Terrifying Women" of years past - the only question is what does "international" mean? Basically, it means international to you - the reader. I'm in the U.S., so "international" means women mystery authors from Europe, South America, Asia, etc...




4. Psych: Psychological thrillers, plot twists and suspense, unreliable narrators and other mind-fuckery. And, as an aside, any Halloween Bingo book that takes place within or related to an insane asylum, haunted or otherwise, would qualify!

5. Truly Terrifying: Non-fiction that has elements of suspense, horror or mystery, including true crime, both contemporary and historical. Examples would be The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, or The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. If you have another idea, run it by me - just remember that it has to fit into the general Halloween Bingo criteria of mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural!

6. Paint It Black: Any book with a cover that is primarily black or has the word black in the title, was written by a black author, or relates to rock and roll music.





7. Stranger Things: this is a twist on the past 80's Horror square with elements of the television show  - any horror that has supernatural elements, portal/parallel universes, government plots gone awry or is set or was written in the 1980's. 

8. Film at 11:  The idea for this new space comes courtesy of Linda Hilton! Generally, in order to qualify for Halloween bingo, all books must fit into one of the general genres of horror, mystery, suspense or supernatural. This space is filled by any Halloween bingo book that has been adapted to film or television. For extra fun, you can watch the adaptation - although this is an optional add on!

9. King of Fear: You can read anything written by Stephen King or Joe Hill, or recommended by Stephen King (as long as the recommendation is otherwise eligible for Halloween Bingo). 


The "horror" squares:




10. Genre: Horror: Anything that qualifies as horror. Book list linked here.

11. Southern Gothic: horror set in the Southern part of the United States; Book list linked here

12. Modern Masters of Horror: horror published in or after 2000. Book list linked here. See horror booklist - notes identify sub-categories.




13. Fear Street: 1980's and 1990's vintage pulp-style series horror, targeted to teens, such as Point Horror, Fear Street and horror fiction that is written/published primarily for a YA or MG audience. Examples would include The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. Book list linked here

14. Terror in a Small Town: any horror book where the action primarily occurs in a small town or village. Examples would include: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, It by Stephen King. Book list linked here

15. Slasher Stories: books that share the tropes of classic slasher movies: teen characters, indestructible killers and/or multiple victims. Book list linked here




16. Classic Horror: horror fiction that was published prior to 1980; Book list linked here

17. American Horror Story: horror set in the United States. See horror booklist - notes identify sub-categories.

19. Stone Cold Horror: this is a late addition because I had too much YA horror, so I combined a couple of categories into Fear Street & needed something else for the horror genre! Horror that takes place primarily in a winter/cold/snow type setting. 



New Space #9



Stranger Things: this is a twist on the past 80's Horror square, with elements of the television show - any horror that has supernatural elements, portal/parallel universes, government plots gone awry, or is set or was written in the 1980's.

New square #8.5


Well, I ended up needing one more new square, because I had too much YA focused horror. I combined a two squares into one (you'll see it all tomorrow), so I figured I'd give this one an "official" reveal tonight! This one is: horror that takes place or is set during the winter/snow/cold weather - The Shining, I'm looking at you...

currently reading

Progress: 40%
The Lake House: A Novel - Kate Morton
London - Edward Rutherfurd