2019 Medical Examiner Mystery Reading Challenge

bookshelf art Medical Examiner Reading Challenge bookshelf art



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.
  4. Try to accumulate the most toe tags, as shown in the Dept. of Vital Statistics (below).
  5. Please note 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. The challenge is open for business! Challenge runs Jan 1 - Dec 31 2019. Plenty of time to jump in!
  2. Formats: Print books, audio books, 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, then it counts. (You need a name to fill out the Toe Tag!) Examples:
    • Ten years ago, he was convicted of murdering his barista, Trevor Simpson, for messing up his coffee order. - COUNTS
    • Ten years ago, when in the Chicago mob, he dumped 7 guys in the bay for messing up his alibi.- DOES NOT COUNT
  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. If you do not blog, you can just type your mini-review in the box on the form.
  5. Bloggers are welcome to copy the toe tag image from the header for your blog.
  6. Cross-entries from other challenges are encouraged.


Dept. of Vital Statistics:

Examiner Location Toe Tags issued
sk888888 New Jersey 172
Bev Hankins Indiana 111
Rick Mills Maine 109
Tari Hann Ohio 53
Avid Series Reader New Mexico 52
Ahcop India 49
Susan Jensen Arizona 28
LuAnn Braley Kentucky 2


morgue sign

Welcome to the Morgue. In a hurry? Try our new convenient drive-thru! Drop body (feet first please) in Chute A or Chute B. Please be sure to attach your contact information in case we have questions.

We currently have 8 Medical Examiners on staff. You may refer to their clipboards below.

The Morgue was last hosed down on WED MAY 22 @ 11 AM EDT.

Examiner's clipboard: Ahcop

Author (links to bio) Title (links to review) Asph Drown Fall Fire Hit Pois Shot Stab Other Toe Tags
Victor Bayley House of Hatred               1
Francis Beeding
(John Palmer)
The Black Arrows             4   5
Francis Beeding
(John Palmer)
Death in Four Letters               3
Francis Beeding
(John Palmer)
The Norwich Victims               3
Francis Beeding
(John Palmer)
The League of Discontent               2
Francis Beeding
(John Palmer)
No Fury           5
Francis Beeding
(John Palmer)
Take it Crooked                 1
Josephine Bell All is Vanity                 1
Victor Bridges Dusky Night               2
Victor Bridges The Happy Murderers                 1
Victor Bridges It Happened in Essex             2
J. Jefferson Farjeon Sinister Inn               3
Anthony Gilbert Out for the Kill               2
Anthony Gilbert A Question of Murder               2
P.M. Hubbard The Dancing Man                 2
Charlotte Jay A Hank of Hair               2
Harry Stephen Keeler Two Strange Ladies                 2
E. Baker Quinn Death is a Restless Sleeper               2
Anthony Webb Verdict Without Jury                 2
B.G. Williamson Death Stalks the Ward           3       3
Jeremy York Yesterday's Murder             3

Examiner's clipboard: Avid Series Reader

Author (links to bio) Title (links to review) Asph Drown Fall Fire Hit Pois Shot Stab Other Toe Tags
M.C. Beaton
(Marion Chesney)
Death of a Prankster               2
Veronica Black Vow of Evil           4
Rhys Bowen
(Janet Quin-Harkin)
In Like Flynn               3
Jacklyn Brady (Sherry Lewis) Arsenic and Old Cake                 1
Jacklyn Brady (Sherry Lewis) Cake on a Hot Tin Roof                 1
Philip R. Craig Vineyard Enigma                 2
Joan Druett Shark Island             4
Kathy Lynn Emerson Face Down Under the Wych Elm                 2
Monica Ferris Knitting Bones                 1
Charles Finch A Death in the Small Hours               2
Sue Grafton Y is for Yesterday           3     4
Caroline Graham The Killings at Badger's Drift           3   5
Martha Grimes The Knowledge                 2
Charlaine Harris Shakespeare's Trollop             4
B. B. Haywood Town in a Wild Moose Chase                 1
Christine Kling Mourning Tide             4
Steve Martini Compelling Evidence               2
Mary Roberts Rinehart The After House               3   3
David Rosenfelt Open & Shut               2
Shirley Tallman The Cliff House Strangler             3

Examiner's clipboard: Bev Hankins

Author (links to bio) Title (links to review) Asph Drown Fall Fire Hit Pois Shot Stab Other Toe Tags
Francis Beeding
(John Palmer)
Murdered: One by One           5
George Bellairs
(Harold Blundell)
The Dead Shall Be Raised               4
George Bellairs
(Harold Blundell)
Death of a Quack               2
Agatha Christie The Man in the Brown Suit               2
Agatha Christie Murder on the Links               2
Agatha Christie The Mysterious Affair at Styles                 1
Agatha Christie The Secret Adversary                 2
Bill Crider A Knife in the Back               2
Martin Edwards Gallows Court 3   3 2 2 2 4 18
Elizabeth Ferrars The March Hare Murders             3
Guy Fraser-Sampson A Whiff of Cyanide               2
Guy Fraser-Sampson A Death in the Night                 1
Emile Gaboriau Monsieur Lecoq         5
James B. Hendryx Blood of the North           3     4
Georgette Heyer Behold, Here's Poison                 2
Jack Higgins Night of the Fox             4
David A. Kaufelt The Winter Women Murders               3
H.R.F. Keating Is Skin Deep, Is Fatal               2
Susan Ella MacNeal Mr. Churchill's Secretary           5
Ngaio Marsh Died in the Wool                 1
Ngaio Marsh Final Curtain                 2
Ngaio Marsh Opening Night                 2
Ngaio Marsh Spinsters in Jeopardy                 1
Ngaio Marsh A Wreath for Rivera                 1
Hugh Pentecost
(Judson Philips)
Where the Snow Was Red               3
Craig Rice The Lucky Stiff       2     6     8
Dorothy L. Sayers Clouds of Witness                 1
Dorothy L. Sayers Lord Peter Views the Body             4
Dorothy L. Sayers Murder Must Advertise     3     5
Dorothy L. Sayers Whose Body?                 1
Dorothy L. Sayers Strong Poison                 1
Eric Shepherd Murder in a Nunnery                 1
Elizabet M. Stone Murder at the Mardi Gras           4
Akimitsu Takagi No Patent on Murder                 1
June Thomson The Secret Files of Sherlock Holmes               4
Dornford Yates Blind Corner               2

Examiner's clipboard: LuAnn Braley

Author (links to bio) Title (links to review) Asph Drown Fall Fire Hit Pois Shot Stab Other Toe Tags
Nicole Ellis Brownie Points for Murder               2

Examiner's clipboard: Rick Mills

Author (links to bio) Title (links to review) Asph Drown Fall Fire Hit Pois Shot Stab Other Toe Tags
John Dickson Carr (Carter Dickson) The Lost Gallows                    
Leslie Charteris The Last Hero                 2
Agatha Christie And Then There Were None     4   11
Frederick C. Davis Deep Lay the Dead               2
Mignon Eberhart Speak No Evil             4
A. A. Fair
(Erle Stanley Gardner)
Bedrooms Have Windows           3     3
A. A. Fair
(Erle Stanley Gardner)
Give 'Em the Ax                 1
A. A. Fair
(Erle Stanley Gardner)
Kept Women Can't Quit                 1
Robin Forsythe The Ginger Cat Mystery             4
Erle Stanley Gardner Case of the Negligent Nymph               2
Sydney Horler The Black Heart                 1
Kathleen Moore Knight Birds of Ill Omen             3
Kathleen Moore Knight Death Blew Out the Match                 2
Kathleen Moore Knight Footbridge to Death               2
Kathleen Moore Knight Stream Sinister             4
Kathleen Moore Knight The Tainted Token               3
Kathleen Moore Knight The Wheel That Turned           5
Herman Petersen Murder R.F.D.             4
Ellery Queen The House of Brass             3
Ellery Queen The Origin of Evil                 2
Ellery Queen The Perfect Crime                 1
Ellery Queen The Roman Hat Mystery                 1
Mary Roberts Rinehart The Window at the White Cat           3     4
Rex Stout And Be a Villain               3
Rex Stout Might As Well Be Dead             4
Rex Stout Too Many Clients             3     3
Rex Stout Trouble in Triplicate
3 novellas
        6     9
Rex Stout Where There's a Will               2
Lawrence Treat Q As In Quicksand             4
Carolyn Wells The Come Back                 1
Carolyn Wells Deep Lake Mystery                 1
Carolyn Wells Face Cards                 2
Carolyn Wells Feathers Left Around                 2
Carolyn Wells In The Onyx Lobby                 1
Carolyn Wells Vicky Van                 1
Valentine Williams The Fox Prowls   4     3 11

Examiner's clipboard: Sk888888

Author (links to bio) Title (links to review) Asph Drown Fall Fire Hit Pois Shot Stab Other Toe Tags
Cristina Alger The Banker's Wife               3
M. J. Arlidge Pop Goes The Weasel             7
David Baldacci Long Road to Mercy             4
Dan Brown Angels & Demons             3
Alafair Burke The Better Sister                 1
James Lee Burke New Iberia Blues       14
Raymond Chandler The Big Sleep               2
Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston Verses For The Dead             10
Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke You Don't Own Me                 1
Robin Cook Pandemic               1
E. J. Copperman Dog Dish of Doom               1
E. J. Copperman Night of the Living Deed               2
Jane Harper The Lost Man
See Review #6
Charlaine Harris Poppy Done To Death                 1
Greer Hendricks An Anonymous Girl                 2
Colleen Hoover Verity                 1
Anthony Horowitz The House of Silk         13
Catherine Ryan Howard The Liar's Girl             9
Owen Laukkanen The Forgotten Girls             6
Owen Laukkanen The Professionals
See Review #1
            10     10
Owen Laukkanen Kill Fee             15
Owen Laukkanen Criminal Enterprise               14
Owen Laukkanen The Stolen Ones               17
Owen Laukkanen The Watcher in the Wall         11
Alex Michaelides The Silent Patient                 1
Louise Penny Kingdom of the Blind
See Review #4
William Ritter Jacaby                 3 3
J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts) Connections In Death             4
James Rollins Crucible             4     4
Maj Sj÷wall The Locked Room                 2
Donald Westlake The Ax
See Review #3

Examiner's clipboard: Susan Jensen

Author (links to bio) Title (links to review) Asph Drown Fall Fire Hit Pois Shot Stab Other Toe Tags
Taylor Adams No Exit           3   5
Fiona Barton The Suspect               2
Vivien Chien Death By Dumpling                 1
Lexie Elliott The Missing Years               2
Lena Gregory Scone Cold Killer                 2
Lena Gregory Murder Made to Order                 1
Jane Harper The Lost Man                 1
Diane Les Becquets The Last Woman in the Forest           5   7
Sophie Littlefield The Missing Place                 1
Megan Miranda The Last House Guest                 1
Jess Montgomery The Widows                 1
S. C Perkins Murder Once Removed               2
Deanna Raybourn A Dangerous Collaboration               2

Examiner's clipboard: Tari Hann

Author (links to bio) Title (links to review) Asph Drown Fall Fire Hit Pois Shot Stab Other Toe Tags
Ellery Adams A Killer Plot             3
Ellery Adams The Whispered Word             3
Joy Avon In Peppermint Peril             3
Bree Baker Live and Let Chai                 2
Lucy Burdette (Roberta Isleib) A Deadly Feast               2
Maymee Bell (Tonya Kappes) Batter Off Dead                 1
Bethany Blake A Midwinter's Tail                 2
Melissa Bourbon (Ramirez) Pleating for Mercy                 1
V. M. Burns The Novel Art of Murder               2
Camilla Chafer Jeopardy in January                 1
Carolyn Chambers Clark Candy, Murder & Me                 2
G.G. Collins Dead Editor File                 2
Elisabeth Crabtree The St. Valentine's Day Cookie Massacre                 2
Vicki Delany A Scandal in Scarlet             3
Alex Erickson Death by Coffee                 1
Jessica Fletcher / Donald Bain Gin & Daggers               2
Amanda Flower Death and Daisies                 1
Sally Goldenbaum How to Knit a Murder                 1
Julia Henry Pruning the Dead                 1
Diane Kelly Dead as a Door Knocker                 1
Libby Klein Restaurant Weeks Are Murder                 1
Judi Lynn The Body in the Attic               2
Judi Lynn The Body in the Wetlands               4
Wendy Meadows Snowy Misery                 2
Leslie Meier Christmas Carol Murder                 1
Nancy J. Parra A Case of Syrah, Syrah               2
Nancy J. Parra Seven Deadly Zins               2
S.C. Perkins Murder Once Removed                 1
Chelsea Thomas Candy Apple Killer                 2
Asph = asphyxiation, hanging, strangling, air deprivation
Drown = drowning
Fall = from height, or pushed
Fire = fire, bomb, or explosion
Hit = by fists, object, or vehicle
Pois = poison, poison gas, poison dart, drugs, snake venom, carbon monoxide
Shot = by gun, arrow, other projectile
Stab = by knife, other sharp object
Other = natural causes, other

Some high body count suggestions:

Keep an eye out for these books. They will rack up a lot of toe tags quickly.


Want more challenges?

Click to go to Reading Challenge Addict

Home website counter