2020 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

bookshelf art morgue sign Medical Examiner Reading Challenge bookshelf art



Welcome to the Morgue, where we have yet to have a customer complain. We currently have 14 Medical Examiners on staff. You may refer to their autopsy notes by clicking on their clipboards below. Please remember, if your gurney is out of toe tags, go get another box from the supply closet. Sticky notes are not acceptable substitutes, they fall off too easily and wind up on the wrong bodies. We have an inspection coming up and we cannot afford any more mix-ups like last time.

sorted by toe tags issued
Medical Examiner Toe Tags issued Books read TTPB* Autopsy notes Personal effects
Rick Mills
29 7 4.14 Blogger Goodreads PaperBack Swap
New Jersey
25 6 4.16
Tari Hann
21 15 1.40 blog by Wordpress Goodreads
19 5 3.80 Goodreads
Bev Hankins
15 3 5.00 Blogger Goodreads
12 4 3.00 Goodreads
Susan Jensen
12 2 6.00 Blogger Goodreads
Traci L.
8 4 2.00 Blogger Goodreads
4 1 4.00 Goodreads
Jane Reads
South Carolina
3 2 1.50 Blogger Goodreads
Kari Woods
3 1 3.00
2 1 2.00
Avid Series Reader
New Mexico
2 1 2.00 Goodreads
0 0 0.00 Goodreads
  Help wanted          
  Help wanted          

indicates vital statistics and autopsy notes updated

* TTPB = Toe Tags Per Book (average). This is a measure of how lethal your reading preferences are.


How to:

  1. No advance signup needed.
  2. Read a murder mystery. Note the victim(s) and cause(s) of death.
  3. 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.
  4. This page does not update in real time. Your submission generates an email to the Chief Medical Examiner, who will fill in the data.


  1. Challenge IS OPEN NOW and through Dec 31 2020.
  2. Formats: Print books, audio books, radio dramatizations, or e-books may be used.
  3. 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).

  4. 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.
  5. Bloggers are welcome to copy the toe tag image from the header (or any image that catches your fancy) for your blog.
  6. Cross-entries from other challenges are encouraged, whatever that means.
  7. For more details on what counts and what doesn't, see the FAQ page.


More challenges

Click to go to Reading Challenge Addict


medical examiner 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.

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Your host, Rick MillsThe Mystillery