Mystillery Newsletter #12 - August 2021

From The Mystillery

Your host and wife Kathy enjoying coffee and books at Elements Books Coffee Beer in downtown Biddeford, Maine! A bit early for beer but we did a job on the coffee.

Bev Hankins posted her submission/review of Naked Came the Manatee, a round-robin mystery product of 13 Florida writers. This group effort brought to mind that fine compilation from the first year of this challenge: The Missing Challenge Reader Case, in which participants contributed the first lines of their submissions to create this sine qua non mystery story. We hope new challengers will check out its exciting 17 chapters (complete with illustrations) to see how far we have come in our rise to mediocrity.

Bev Hankins has produced her 5000th blog post on My Reader's Block! (The Mystillery, meanwhile, limps along with a paltry 225 blog posts). Read about her thoughts on that accomplishment! Bev submitted 95 books to the M.E. challenge in 2019 (first year of the challenge), 100 in 2020, 104 thus far in 2021. Bev was responsible for getting me into the world of reading challenges - I had no idea they existed and now look what has happened!

Medical Examiner news

LITTLE KNOWN FACT: The Morgue can handle animals. Animals can be counted for this challenge if they meet their demise in your book, provided they meet the same criteria: they have names, and you can cite a cause of death. Thus far challengers have submitted 1 cat, 2 dogs, 1 parrot (Lorenzo, found in Port of Seven Strangers by Kathleen Moore Knight), and Tina Hilbert just submitted some lab rats found in The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley. Tina struggled a bit with getting the toe tags on the tiny rat toes, but she persevered (That looks like a spot of Krazy Glue...).

GO FOR THE GOLD:We hope you are enjoying the new Honorary Badges! They recognize various accomplishments in the Morgue! Each badge is handed off from person to person as earned.


SHORT STORIES: How does a book of short stories fit in the challenge? Short stories are most welcome. If you have a bookful of short stories, you have some options on submitting them: SEARCH ENGINE UPDATED: The search engine had its monthly update this morning (August 1), so your submissions through July 31 can now be found by it. This searches submissions to all Mystillery challenges, but it is only available from the Medical Examiner challenge page. See "Who else examined my book?" at the top of the table.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE between a coroner and a medical examiner?


Medical Examiners: source: National Academy of Medicine

Six Shooter news

EMPTY TARGETS AVAILABLE: You may find it helpful to set up empty targets as you plan your reading. An empty target (specifies an author but with no books read) has no effect on your score. To set one up, you can just submit the form listing the author, leaving the title blank. Or if you have a bunch just send them to your host in an email.


C0NTENTH0MEB0DY (USA) carves notch #8 with author David Baldacci, notch #9 with author Allison Brennan, and notch #10 with author Kevin O'Brien!

Sanacrow (Tennessee) carves notches #9 and #10 with author J D Robb and notch #11 with author Karen Rose!his

Scott Nickels (Nebraska) carves his notch #1 with author Robert Goddard !

Tina Hilbert (Utah) carves her notch #7 with author Alan Bradley !

Bev Hankins of Indiana notches target #4 with author Claude Izner! (Pseudonym of Liliane Korb and her sister Laurence Korb). Bev has completed all four targets she has opened!

SueC (Utah) carves her notch #8 with author Elly Griffiths , notch #9 with author Donna Andrews, and notch #10 with author Alexander McCall Smith

BECOME A SHARPSHOOTER: The sharpshooter badge Sharpshooter Badge is awarded for achieving a score of 1.000 or greater. To achieve that score, you must carve at least one notch in your gun. The All-Compassionate Host has ruled that once the coveted Sharpshooter Badge is earned, it shall remain in effect for the remainder of the Challenge Year, even if subsequent submissions cause the Score to fall below the 1.000 threshold. This is in keeping with the concept that the Badge is an honor, and thus cannot be taken away by Subsequent Events, no matter how dismal.


Beachcomber news

NEW BEACHCOMBER: Welcome to Karen Baroness of Montana, who has started out by filling her Victims beach bag!

Century Club news

No activity at Mystillery Manor in July. The wine cellar is being restocked for a busy fall season!

It seems like the 1920's decade is the most difficult to find - those books are pushing 100 years old! So here are some 1920's mysteries available free from Project Gutenberg. They are in the public domain in the USA. You can read them online or download to your Kindle:

Remember, ALL past reading counts for this challenge - no matter when you read it! Check your bookshelves!

Abra Cadavers news

All players sat in the dugout, chewing gum and spitting in July.

All reading since January 1 all qualifies! Check your Medical Examiner clipboard to review all your 2021 titles!

Come October, when the Abra Cadavers team puts away the bats and balls for the season, The Mystillery plans to open a new off-season game to run alternately with Abra Cadavers, October to April. It is an indoor sport for those cold winter months. This means there will always be a game available year-round for all our challengers!

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