|2019 Medical Examiner Mystery Reading Challenge|
- What happens at the end of the year? A new 2020 challenge page will be posted. The gurneys and instruments will be cleaned and sterilized. The 2019 challenge page (this one) will remain online for your reference. - RM
- How do we handle a book of short stories? If multiple authors, just provide the editor's name as the author. Add up the various deaths for your toe tags. For the first line, just pick the one you like best. - RM
- Suppose the culprit (or accomplice) is warned by somebody, either in an official or unofficial capacity, that their deeds are known and they are soon to be apprehended (this information might be true or might just be false - in the sense of laying a trap or extracting a confession) and the culprit kills herself, then do we treat it as murder or suicide? Do we issue a toe-tag? The situation you describe (suicide by the killer) does fit, as it is a consequence of the investigation. Select the cause of death in the usual manner. This same situation occurs in the book I am just finishing: The Origin of Evil by Ellery Queen. Once the killer is identified, he quickly kills himself. I think this may be the lazy Author's way of bringing a book to an end quickly without bothering with the arrest and prosecution of the criminal. It is a common ending in the Philo Vance novels by S. S. Van Dine ( my S. S. Van Dine blog ) as well, you can pretty much expect it to occur at the end. He was criticized for overusing it. - RM
- In many mysteries we find a line or two, in the end, regarding the fate of the villains: So and so was given life-imprisonment, So and so was hanged etc. Do we then issue a toe-tag for those hanged too? Certainly, if you have a body and a name, you can issue a Toe Tag. Not for the life imprisoned, though. Patience, grasshopper. - RM
- Suppose the death is not intended but the man got involved in a fight, got pushed, hit his head and died, and the other person (the 'accidental' murderer) disposed of his body, or dies in an unrelated accident, do we still make out a death certificate for him? Yes, that counts, it is part of the plot. The body still showed up in your morgue and needs a toe tag. - RM
- A murder takes place in the past and has little bearing on the case being investigated in the present, does that count? A robbery took place, a man was shot dead as the robbers escaped, only to be caught and imprisoned. The mystery mainly deals with the recovery of the stolen goods, after a decade. Long-ago deaths are referred to frequently. Let's use this as a guide: You need a name and a cause of death to fill out the Toe Tag!
- Sophia was convicted of shooting her barista, Arabica Simpson, for messing up her coffee order. - COUNTS, NAMED and CAUSE OF DEATH cited
- While in the Chicago mob, Dwayne drowned 7 guys in the bay for messing up his alibi.- DOES NOT COUNT (CAUSE OF DEATH cited, but victims not named)
- He murdered his wife's asthmatic lover, Elmont Q. Thorpmeister III for messing up their relationship. - DOES NOT COUNT (NAMED, but no CAUSE OF DEATH cited).
- Any questions? Email me at email@example.com. Thank you for participating!