Vintage Mystery Challenge 2019

This page records how I did with the pre-1960 challenge issued by My Reader’s Block and includes non-Agatha Christie books. I have achieved Golden Master Detective. Many thanks to Bev for running the challenge. I’ve enjoyed taking part over the last two years but won’t be taking part in 2020 as I want to be able to read what I want when I want and not be constrained by the categories – purely a reflection on myself and not the challenge.


An academic: The Weight of the Evidence by Michael Innes

An actor/actress: Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie

Main sleuth is a professional: Maigret’s Doubts by Georges Simenon

In the medical field: Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie

A journalist/writer: The Mad Hatter Mystery by John Dickson Carr

An artist/photographer: Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie

Vicar/religious figure: Nine Times Nine by Anthony Boucher

Watson narrator: The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung

Librarian/bookstore owner/publisher: The Colour of Murder by Julian Symons

Lawyer/barrister/judge: The Seat of the Scornful by John Dickson Carr


Person’s name in the title: Alias Basil Willing by Helen McCloy

Number in the title: Towards Zero by Agatha Christie

Colour in the title: The Black Spectacles by John Dickson Carr

An animal in the title: The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin

Means of murder in the title: With a Bare Bodkin by Cyril Hare

Written by more than one person: The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen

Comic/humourous novel: Duck Season Death by June Wright

Inverted mystery: The Murder of My Aunt by Richard Hull

Includes letters/diary extracts/similar: The Documents in the Case by Dorothy L. Sayers and Robert Eustace

Title with a literary allusion: Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie


During a recognised holiday: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Set in Victorian era: The Perfect Crime by Israel Zangwill

Time/date in the title: A Night of Errors by Michael Innes

Timing of crime is crucial: Death-Watch by John Dickson Carr

During a weather event: An English Murder by Cyril Hare

Set during First or Second World War: N or M? by Agatha Christie

Set pre-1800: Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie

During a trip/vacation: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

During a performance of any sort: When the Wind Blows by Cyril Hare

During a special event e.g. birthday, village fete: Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie


At a country house: The Hollow by Agatha Christie

Capital city: Murder by Matchlight by E. C. R. Lorac

On an island: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

At a school: Through a Glass, Darkly by Helen McCloy

Set in a small village: Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie

In a hospital/nursing home: The Dutch Shoe Mystery by Ellery Queen

Any outdoor location: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery by Leonard Gribble

Any country except UK or US: Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie

At a theatre/circus/other place of performance: The Case of the Seven of Calvary by Anthony Boucher

In a locked room: The Three Coffins by John Dickson Carr


Death by drowning: Murder in the Mill-Race by E. C. R. Lorac

Crime involved fire/arson: The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie

Death on wheels: Crooked House by Agatha Christie

Death by strangulation: The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie

Death by knife/dagger: Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie

Death by shooting: One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie

Death by blunt instrument: Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie

Unusual murder method: The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

At least two deaths with different means: The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

Death by poison: Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie


It won an award of any sort: Death in Captivity by Michael Gilbert

It made a “best of” list: Suicide Excepted by Cyril Hare

Author’s first/last name begins with the same letter as yours: The Crooked Hinge by John Dickson Carr

Author from your country: The Labours of Hercules by Agatha Christie

Out of your comfort zone: Dine with Murder by Michael Halliday

Author not from your country: The Devil’s Caress by June Wright

A character has a job similar to yours: Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer

Has been read/reviewed by a fellow challenger: Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert

Simon says: The List of Adrian Messenger by Philip MacDonald

Book made into TV programme/film/play: Murder in the Mews by Agatha Christie






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