2021 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

forensics sign Medical Examiner Reading Challenge textbooks

Welcome to the 2021 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge! Your goal as Medical Examiner is to issue as many Toe Tags as you can during 2021, by reading murder mysteries and documenting the cause of death of the unfortunate victim(s). Just read a book and submit your first Death Certificate to join.
Dec 1: Here is Mystillery Newsletter #16 for December.
Nov 29: Susan Jensen (Arizona) ties her 400th toe tag to slip the Squishy Scarlet Sponge away from Avid Series Reader. Susan still holds the Bent Brass Bone Saw for most recent 300th as well.
Nov 27: Tina Hilbert (Utah) and Jjean (Missouri) jointly take the new Massive Magnesium Magnifier award, just instituted for most recent 500th toe tag!
Nov 22: At our current average rate of 869 Toe Tags written per month, we are expecting to exceed 10,000 for this year! Last year only 2719 were written.


Welcome to the Morgue. We have a full staff of 37 competent Medical Examiners ready to examine your mystery readings. You may refer to their autopsy notes by clicking on their clipboard icons.

Honorary badges are conferred to autopsy leaders as follows. Each badge is handed off from person-to-person as earned.

Who else examined my book? Enter Author or Title:

BUREAU of VITAL STATISTICS updated WED DEC 1 2021 @ 9.00 am EST convert
sorted by toe tags issued. highest stats highlighted in green. 2nd highest in yellow.
Medical Examiners
3 7
Toe Tags tied
9 7 0 6
/ Books read
1 7 8 0
= TPB*
5. 4 5
Personal effects
Sanacrow Tennessee
Groaning Golden Gurney (most toe tags @ 1243)
1243 121 10.27 Goodreads profile
C0NTENTH0MEB0DY USA 1219 123 9.91 Blog Goodreads profile
Laura Marlane Nebraska 1140 102 11.17 Goodreads profile
Bev Hankins Indiana
Slippery Silver Scalpel (most books @ 185)
Bulging Bronze Body Bag (most authors @ 124)
778 185 4.20 Blog Goodreads profile
OutsmartYourShelf The United Kingdom 752 133 5.65 Goodreads profile
Tracy New York 661 103 6.41 Goodreads profile
Jjean Missouri
Massive Magnesium Magnifier (500th toe tag)
573 105 5.45 Goodreads profile
Tina Hilbert Utah
Massive Magnesium Magnifier (500th toe tag)
549 103 5.33 Blog Goodreads profile
SueC Utah 464 101 4.59 Goodreads profile
Avid Series Reader New Mexico 448 73 6.13 Blog Goodreads profile PaperBack Swap bookshelf
Susan Jensen Arizona
Squishy Scarlet Sponge (400th toe tag)
Bent Brass Bone Saw (300th Toe Tag)
401 74 5.41 Blog Goodreads profile
Rick Mills Maine 355 114 3.11 Blog Goodreads profile PaperBack Swap bookshelf
Scott Nickels Nebraska 343 61 5.62 Goodreads profile
Traci L. Illinois
Floppy Fuschia Forceps (200th toe tag)
205 115 1.78 Blog Goodreads profile
Erika California
Lavender Lab Coat (100th toe tag)
184 34 5.41 Goodreads profile Instagram
Guatemala Paula Texas 112 30 3.73 Blog Goodreads profile
Jen Alaska 101 15 6.73
sk888888 New Jersey 96 24 4.00 Goodreads profile PaperBack Swap bookshelf
Simone C Alabama 70 32 2.18
Tara Illinois 55 18 3.05 Goodreads profile PaperBack Swap bookshelf
Karen Baroness Montana 46 34 1.35 Blog Goodreads profile
BobbeyM Texas 36 10 3.60 Goodreads profile
Kirstin B. Massachusetts 33 27 1.22 Goodreads profile
Shannon The Netherlands 22 4 5.50 Goodreads profile Instagram
DrDoom Alberta 20 4 5.00 Goodreads profile
Sarah Whitten Texas 19 2 9.50
Tari Hann Ohio 17 8 2.12 Blog Goodreads profile
Cheyenne McQuain Upstate New York 16 6 2.66 Goodreads profile
Leonie Koch New York 16 5 3.20
Penelope Piebaker Ohio 15 5 3.00 Goodreads profile
Dr. Kate Michigan 11 6 1.83
Anna Marten Wisconsin 10 4 2.50 Goodreads profile
Angel Nebraska 6 1 6.00 Goodreads profile
Rachel Roy Vermont 5 2 2.50 Blog Goodreads profile
Sharon Angle-Boyer North Carolina 3 1 3.00 Blog Goodreads profile
Laura United Kingdom 2 1 2.00 Goodreads profile
Brandi Wyoming 1 1 1.00 Goodreads profile

Key to symbols
Moved up
New or updated today
Honorary badge
High column stat
2nd place column stat
Tracker page
Goodreads profile
Paperback Swap bookshelf

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

How to:

  1. No advance signup necessary.
  2. Read a murder mystery. Note the victim(s) and cause(s) of death. If unsure what counts, see the Frequent Autopsy Questions (FAQ) page.
  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. See the Frequent Autopsy Questions (FAQ) page for examples.
  4. 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 Bureau of Vital Statistics; as summarized above. Generally, you should see your submission posted within 24 hours. If you do not see it, click the REFRESH button on your web browser to reload the page.


  1. This challenge is open from Jan 1 2021 - Dec 24 2021.
  2. Genres: You get to decide what is a 'mystery'. Traditional murder mysteries, thrillers, police procedurals, romances, all are welcome.
  3. Formats: Print books, audio books, radio dramatizations, or e-books may be used.
  4. 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. For more details on what counts and what doesn't, see the Frequent Autopsy Questions (FAQ) page.
  5. 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.
  6. Bloggers are welcome to copy the toe tag image from the header (or any image that catches your fancy) for your blog.



medical examiner

M.E.'s notebook:

At this moment Doctor Dorenus, the Medical Examiner, a brisk, nervous man with a jaunty air, was ushered in by one of the detectives I had seen in the drawing room. "What are your friends trying to do, Sergeant?" he asked, eyeing the inert body in the chair. "Wipe out the whole family?" Without waiting for an answer to his grim pleasantry he went to the windows and threw up the shades with a clatter. "You gentlemen all through viewing the remains? If so, I'll get to work."

S. S. Van Dine, writing in The Greene Murder Case, 1928

Need more challenges?

        Click to go to Reading Challenge Addict        

Your host: Rick MillsThe MystilleryThe Mystillery Blog • email: rickmills@gmail.com • twitter: @rickmills9 • Supporter of