Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pretty self-explanatory.  I have an e-reader that I don't use very much.  This challenge is perfect as it will "force" me to start reading e-books.  I do have a lot of books downloaded on my Nook, but I haven't read any yet.  Most of them are short stories - which will be great for this challenge, since the books can be any length!

I am shooting for "CD" level - 10 ebooks.


VINTAGE MYSTERY Reading Challenge 2012

I'm picking the Murderous Miscellany category

I'll be reading 1 mystery book from each theme!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This challenge is to read a book who's title starts with each letter of the alphabet.

I'm tweaking it for myself - mine will all be mysteries.

(That's how I roll!)


I'm participating in this challenge which lists different 'items' that must be in the book's title.

I'm tweaking this for myself - all books I read will be mysteries!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This challenge is to read books set in each state.

Tweaking this for myself - all my choices will be mysteries!

MEN IN UNIFORM Reading Challenge 2012

C'mon - who doesn't love a man in uniform?

I'm shooting for "Chief"
(16+ books)

It can be a policeman, firefighter, paramedic, doctor, veterinarian,  Army, Navy, Marine Corp., etc. – As long as the book's leading man wears some sort of uniform, it counts.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I'm shooting for "Shamus Who Has Seen It All" level:

The Whodunit: The classic crime puzzle. The story generally revolves around determine who committed the crime, and potentially apprehending them. Some Whodunits, called "fair play mysteries", will include all of the clues available in the text so that a careful reader can solve the crime on his or her own.

Locked Room Mystery: Like the Whodunit, there is a puzzle (crime) to solve. However in this instance, the crime has taken place under impossible circumstances, such as in a locked room or on an island with no way to exit or enter.

Cozy: The nice person's mystery. Often the crime, particularly if it's violent, occurs off scene. Sex and language are on the cleaner side. Humor is a common feature of the cozy.

Hard-Boiled/Noir: Often cynical, bleak or realistic, hard-boiled and noir stories often focus more on the characters involved instead of the crime. Violence and sex are not downplayed.

The Inverted Detective Story: In this style of story, the person perpetrating the crime is known up front. The point of the story is to see how (or if) the detective goes about solving the crime and how the perpetrator reacts to the investigation.

The Historical Whodunnit: Simply put, this is a mystery set in a historical setting. Often the mystery has some historical significance and features detection methods that are appropriate for that era.

The Police Procedural: Instead of featuring a independent detective, the police are investigating the crime in these stories. They often focus on the actual methods that police officers use to solve crimes.

The Professional Thriller: This kind of mystery involves a professional who is not involved directly in law enforcement, such a lawyer or doctor, who nonetheless finds themselves investigating a crime.

The Spy Novel: Related to the other professional mysteries, spy novels focus on intelligence operatives as they work to prevent or avenge some criminal plot. Spy novels can feature either in fantastic or realistic settings.

Caper Stories: While other crime and mystery stories look at the aftermath of crimes, caper stories feature criminals as the lead characters. The story usually details the planning and commission of a crime.

The Psychological Suspense: In these stories, the detective story takes on a psychological component.

Spoofs and Parodies: Spoofs and parodies make light of crime fiction, often with the goal of commenting on the conventions of the genre. Many feature famous characters, e.g. Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Philip Marlowe, or pastiches of those characters.

The Merely Mystery Reading Challenge will last the entire year (January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012), giving participants a chance to read at their own pace. In addition, to make things easy, participants can complete one of two levels. One is for those of you who want a more relaxed challenge while the other is for those more serious about exploring the various sub-genres:

Down on Her/His Luck Gumshoe - Read two or more books falling into any of the above sub-genres. Each book can be from the same sub-genre or can be varied among the different sub-genres. You pick the combination and the number of books.

Shamus Who Has Seen It All - Read at least one book from each of the sub-genres for a total of 12 books. If you are feeling ambitious, read more than one book from each sub-genre.

I'm participating in the Cruisin' thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2012.

I'm shooting for "Super Sleuth" level
(read 13 or more cozies in 2012)

Friday, December 23, 2011


(The Fourth Doctor - my personal favorite)


Twas the night before Doomsday, but all through outer space,

Not an enemy was visible, nothing seemed out of place.

The weapons were stored in the Tardis with care,

In hopes the White Guardian soon would be there.

My companions were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of jelly babies danced in their heads.

And Romana in her trench coat and I in my vest,

Knew that the Sontarans would soon make us stressed.

When out in the cosmos, there arose such a clatter,

I grabbed the sonic screwdriver to investigate the matter.

Away to the Earth, I materialized in a flash,

Levered open the door and prepared to be brash.

The moon was a crescent, hung low in the sky,

As our Intel claimed Sutekh soon would be by.

When what to my bulging, brown eyes should appear,

But a terrified Tegan, atremble with fear.

Next a convoy of trucks, clearly from UNIT,

Led by my friend, Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart.

Then the Daleks and Cybermen formed into groups,

So I whistled and shouted and yelled for my troops.

Now Nyssa! Now Leela! Now Sarah Jane Smith!

Come Adric! Come Harry! (Tegan was miffed.)

To the battleground forming, we must hatch a plan,

We need Benton and Yates and every last man.

As the Robot and Krynoid joined in with the Zygons,

The Time Lords chimed in “let bygones be bygones”

So into the mix we put up a good fight,

With temporal traps, gold dust and just plain old might.

As I gathered my forces with a big toothy smile,

K9 passed us by, to help out for a while.

And then into the fray, the Master appeared,

That consummate bad guy, the one that’s most feared.

The Master is here, my companions all cried!

Now head for the control room to stay safe inside.

We must think of a way and finally defeat him,

Or the galaxy faces a future most grim.

The Master harrumphed, as wily as a fox,

And gathered his minions around the police box.

His eyes – how they twinkled, his open mouth droll,

And the beard of his chin was as jet black as coal.

I reached in my pocket for something to do,

Pulled out a yoyo and racked my brain for a clue.

My scarf was in knots, my stomach it roiled,

We will find a way, the Master must be foiled.

Think quickly, Doctor! all my cohorts exclaim.

There must be a way to remove him from the game.

Just how to eliminate him is subjective,

To divide and conquer is our main objective.

Now the Master calls out, he wishes a truce,

It’s good news to hear, since K9’s out of juice.

I open the door and allow him inside,

Then set the controls to embark on a ride.

From deep within, the death knell reverberates,

The meaning is clear, a Time Lord regenerates.

Right at this moment, there’s no time to stand by,

But for whom the bell tolls, the Master or I?


Sunday, December 18, 2011




Friday, December 16, 2011


I have always wanted to find a site that listed mystery conventions & conferences.  

Can't find one, so I decided to compile a list myself.

It is by no means a complete list -

If you find any other conventions or conferences, please let me know & I will be happy to include it. 

Click on the "Conventions" button to see the list.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Nothing says "Happy Holidays"

better than a cheery

downtown Chicago decoration!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Ella Westin wants to marry
but her wedding day gets a bit hairy.
With murder afoot and motives unclear,
Ella investigates with only one fear,
the number one suspect is the man she calls dear.

She must prove the innocence of her groom
before the wedding march turns a sad tune.
She makes it to the church, the killer still masked,
her hair’s been fixed but her boss is aghast.
They’ll arrest Joe if she doesn’t act fast.

I hope I’ve piqued your interest with this slightest look
but for the full story, you’ll have to buy the eBook.
Just go to Smashwords or
(and while you’re there, look for my mom).

Don’t be on the fence
it’s a mystery short for 99 cents
or if you’re British, a mere 86 pence.

And when you’re finished reading,
when you’re done with the ride,
plunk down another 99 cents
on Honeymoon Homicide.

I think you’ll be pleased, you got your money’s worth
and a laugh or two, you’re mired in mirth
so keep your eyes out for books by Oberth!

I'm delighted to be included in the blog tour of this very talented author, Jennifer Oberth.  Jennifer has published Married to Murder & Honeymoon Homicide this year.  She has many more books in the works; continuing the Ella Westin series with Toxic Train; a new series: Georgia meets Virginia, The Georgia H mystery series, featuring a chef and the crazy woman sleuth she cooks for; and the Masked Rider series, featuring Ella Westin's descendents.  Watch for her new releases!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011








Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Giveaway Hop

I am participating in this Holiday Giveaway Hop

The prize will be a copy of my e-book "Who Murdered the Ghost?"   There will be 2 lucky winners who will each receive a copy of the e-book.

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment with a way for me to contact you for notification if you are the winner.

(If I don't have a way to contact you, you wiill be disqualified and another name will be drawn.)

If you become a follower of my Blog - you receive 2 extra entries.

The contest runs December 2 through December 6, 2011.

Winners to be announced on Dead Herring Blog on December 7, 2011.
Good luck to you all!!

Click below for the next stop on the Giveaway Hop


Check below for a complete list of participants