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 101
Bev Hankins Indiana 58
Rick Mills Maine 49
Tari Hann Ohio 46
Ahcop India 33
Avid Series Reader New Mexico 32
Susan Jensen Arizona 11
LuAnn Braley Kentucky 2


Welcome to the Morgue. We hope you will enjoy your visit. Please wipe your feet.

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

The Morgue was last mopped up on WED MAR 20 @ 3 PM 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 Norwich Victims               3
Francis Beeding
(John Palmer)
The League of Discontent               2
Josephine Bell All is Vanity                 1
Victor Bridges Dusky Night               2
Victor Bridges The Happy Murderers                 1
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 Death of a Prankster               2
Veronica Black Vow of Evil           4
Rhys Bowen In Like Flynn               3
Jacklyn Brady Cake on a Hot Tin Roof                 1
Joan Druett Shark Island             4
Sue Grafton Y is for Yesterday               4
Martha Grimes The Knowledge                 2
Charlaine Harris Shakespeare's Trollop             4
Christine Kling Mourning Tide             4
Steve Martini Compelling Evidence               2
David Rosenfelt Open & Shut               2

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 Murder on the Links               2
Agatha Christie The Mysterious Affair at Styles                 1
Agatha Christie The Secret Adversary                 2
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
Jack Higgins Night of the Fox             4
David A. Kaufelt The Winter Women Murders               3
Ngaio Marsh Died in the Wool                 1
Ngaio Marsh Final Curtain                 2
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
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
Frederick C. Davis Deep Lay the Dead               2
Mignon Eberhart Speak No Evil             4
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
Sydney Horler The Black Heart                 1
Kathleen Moore Knight Footbridge to Death               2
Kathleen Moore Knight Stream Sinister             4
Kathleen Moore Knight The Tainted Token               3
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 Where There's a Will               2
Lawrence Treat Q As In Quicksand             4
Carolyn Wells Deep Lake Mystery                 1
Carolyn Wells The Come Back                 1
Carolyn Wells In The Onyx Lobby                 1
Carolyn Wells Vicky Van                    

Examiner's clipboard: Sk888888

Author (links to bio) Title (links to review) Asph Drown Fall Fire Hit Pois Shot Stab Other Toe Tags
M J Arlidge Pop Goes The Weasel             7
David Baldacci Long Road to Mercy             4
Dan Brown Angels & Demons             3
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
Catherine Ryan Howard The Liar's Girl             9
Owen Laukkanen The Professionals
See Review #1
            10     10
Owen Laukkanen Kill Fee             15
Owen Laukkanen Criminal Enterprise               14
Alex Michaelides The Silent Patient                 1
Louise Penny Kingdom of the Blind
See Review #4
J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts) Connections In Death             4
James Rollins Crucible             4     4
Maj Sjowall 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             5
Fiona Barton The Suspect               2
Lena Gregory Scone Cold Killer                 2
Lena Gregory Murder Made to Order                 1
Jess Montgomery The Widows                 1

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
Maymee Bell Batter Off Dead                 1
Bethany Blake A Midwinter's Tail                 2
Melissa Bourbon Pleating for Mercy                 1
VM 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
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
Chelsea Thomas Candy Apple Killer                 2
Asph = asphyxiation, strangling, air deprivation
Drown = drowning
Fall = from height, or pushed
Fire = fire, bomb, or explosion
Hit = by object or vehicle
Pois = poison, drugs, snake venom, carbon monoxide
Shot = by gun, arrow, other projectile
Stab = by knife, other sharp object

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?

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