|2020 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge|
- We regret to inform you of the passing of author Mary Higgins Clark on January 31, in Naples, Florida. She was 92. See this article for her biography. We just discovered this when posting Kiss the Girls and Make them Cry for Traci L.
- Looking for a good Mardi Gras read? Try The Mardi Gras Murders by Gwen Bristow and Bruce Manning (Mystery League, 1932). One of the murders has a victim on a Mardi Gras parade float, inside a round glass "fishbowl" sphere. He is shot, but the glass is not broken! If you haven't heard of the Mystery League and its 30 titles (1930-1933) check out my introduction and title list.
Morgue:Welcome to the Morgue. We currently have 14 overworked Medical Examiners on staff. You may refer to their autopsy notes by clicking on their clipboards below.
BUREAU of VITAL STATISTICS as of MON FEB 24 2020 @ 8 PM EST
sorted by toe tags issued. highest stats shown in red.
Medical Examiner Toe Tags issued Books read TTPB* Autopsy notes Personal effects Tari Hann
71 43 1.65 Rick Mills
59 15 3.93 Jjean
48 14 3.42 Bev Hankins
45 13 3.46 Rretzler
40 13 3.07 sk888888
38 11 3.45 Susan Jensen
33 4 8.25 Deanie
25 3 8.33 Traci L.
23 13 1.76 Jane Reads
3 2 1.50 Kari Woods
3 1 3.00 Nessa
2 1 2.00 Avid Series Reader
2 1 2.00 Ahcop
0 0 0.00 Help wanted Space available!
indicates vital statistics and autopsy notes updated on the date indicated
* TTPB = Toe Tags Per Book (average). This is a measure of how lethal your reading preferences are.
- You are the Medical Examiner, and your goal is to issue as many Toe Tags as you can during 2020, by reading murder mysteries and documenting the cause of death of the unfortunate victim(s).
- No advance signup needed.
- Read a murder mystery. Note the victim(s) and cause(s) of death.
- Submit one Death Certificate per book, identifying the Cause(s) of Death of the victim(s). Any death (accidental, natural causes, homicide, suicide) counts, as long as the person is significant enough to be named in the book.
- This page does not update in real time. Your submission generates an email to the Chief Medical Examiner, who will review the data and submit it to the Department of Vital Statistics.
- Challenge IS OPEN NOW and through Dec 31 2020.
- Formats: Print books, audio books, radio dramatizations, or e-books may be used.
- You get one Toe Tag per victim. What counts? If the person is significant enough to be given a name, and includes a cause of death you can cite, then it counts. Examples:
- 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 Nasturtium 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 wealthy lover, Elmont Q. Dresden-Thorpmeister III for programming the TV to only play Hallmark Christmas movies. - DOES NOT COUNT (NAMED, but no CAUSE OF DEATH cited).
- Reviews: You do not need to write reviews, but you are welcome to. If you supply a link to your blog or Goodreads review, I will link to it.
- Bloggers are welcome to copy the toe tag image from the header (or any image that catches your fancy) for your blog.
- Cross-entries from other challenges are encouraged, whatever that means.
- For more details on what counts and what doesn't, see the FAQ page.
- Toe Tags will be counted for prizes on or about Dec. 31 2020. A running tally is shown above. Top Ten Toe Taggers Treat Themselves To a (used but still with exciting words) book. See the prize list for details.
- 2020 Murder Mystery Bingo Reading Challenge
- 2020 Six Shooter Mystery Reading Challenge
- Bev Hankin's 2020 Reading Challenges
Harry Perkins, the Medical Examiner, was a tall, thin, bony-faced individual who moved with a certain lanky grace. He radiated homely efficiency, and regarded corpses with detatched impartiality. His hobby was trout fishing.
Erle Stanley Gardner in The D.A. Holds a Candle, 1938.
The Medical Examiner arrived while I was still standing there. I saw his gay little car come in, and he himself emerge, dapper as usual. I have sometimes thought that his bright car and his dandied dress were a sort of defense which he set up against what was often a gruesome business.
Mary Roberts Rinehart in Miss Pinkerton, 1932.
The Medical Examiner, a cheerful man with a roly-poly figure, came in briskly, bobbed his head, beamed, threw down his black bag, unloosened the dead hands, propped the body into a sitting position, and addressed himself to Kelly. "Officer, would you be so kind as to hold up his head while I make my examination?"
Edward J. Doherty in The Broadway Murders, 1929.
"You get to looking at dead people through a microscope and you'll never be satisfied with anything," the Medical Examiner objected. "Things never do check out in real life. I've seen lots of deaths that couldn't be explained ... but you learn to take cases for granted after a while."
Erle Stanley Gardner in The D.A. Calls It Murder, 1937.