Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge 2018

Sherlock and Watson

One of the reading challenges that took the most planning last year was the Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge from Bev at My Reader’s Block. I’m still working on finishing this year’s challenge, but it was such fun to set up that I’ve decided to try it again for next year. As Bev describes the challenge, the goal is

Follow the Clues Challengeto follow a set of clues furnished by the mystery books you read to create a body of evidence to support a book court case. Each book clue should lead you to your next read. The connection can be anything at all from author names to motive for murder to type of mystery (police, procedural, espionage, romantic thriller, etc.) to an item on the cover, but you must be able to make your case to the jury on your detective logic. I would prefer that you not read eight books from the same author and use the author/series/character/ etc. as the clue link. An example: If the first book I read is by Agatha Christie, then the next book could be by Elizabeth Daly, who has often been referred to as the “American Christie.” If the Daly book is Arrow Pointing Nowhere, then my next book could be The House of the Arrow by A.E.W. Mason….and so on.

There are several levels of participation:
Infraction — six books read in a single chain of evidence
Misdemeanor — eight books read in a single chain of evidence
Felony — ten books read in a single chain of evidence
Capital Offense — twelve books in a single chain of evidence

I’m going to try and read at the Capital Offense level, linking twelve books together in a chain of evidence. These are the books and clues I have assembled for this reading challenge:

The case begins when the Tripwire (by Lee Child), a single thin thread of wire, is triggered. That thread of wire is the clue that leads to Rumpole and the Golden Thread (by John Mortimer). It’s the color that’s important, which is the clue that leads to another book with color, The Red House Mystery (by A.A. Milne). See the initials of the title T.R.H.M.? They are the clue to another book with the exact same initials, The Roman Hat Mystery (by Ellery Queen). This time it’s the author that keeps the chain of evidence going, as the royalty of Queen’s last name leads to a royal lady, The Lost Empress (by Steve Robinson), which takes place in England. England is the key piece of the puzzle that leads to the native country of secret service agent 007, James Bond, in Live and Let Die (by Ian Fleming). Bond’s nemesis is SMERSH, a Russian counterintelligence agency, and the ties to Russia lead to a murder set in Russia in Crime and Punishment (by Fyodor Dostoevsky), which was translated from Russian into English. The translation’s the next key, and the chain continues with a book translated from Spanish, The Shadow of the Wind (by Carlos Ruiz Zafón), whose main character is named Daniel. The name Daniel connects the evidence to Daniel Silva, author of The Kill Artist (by Daniel Silva). Artists have taste, and kill artists have A Morbid Taste for Bones (by Ellis Peters), the next link in the chain. The author’s last name Peters is the next clue and leads to Lord Peter Views the Body (by Dorothy Sayers). The body ends up being One Corpse Too Many (by Ellis Peters), and thus we have linked all the clues together and solved the crime. Case Closed.

Or it will be, as soon as I read all those books!

See my progress in following these clues on my 2018 Reading Challenges page.

Deacon Nick

Nick Senger is a husband, a father of four, and a Catholic school teacher, vice principal and technology coordinator. He taught junior high literature and writing for over 25 years, and has been a Catholic school educator since 1990. In 2001 he was named a Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the National Catholic Education Association.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: