Another successful Halloween Bingo is in the books for me! I still have two finished squares to be called, but I’ve blacked out my card.
This year, I did a lot less planning and a lot more flying by the seat of the pants with my reading. I did miss the planning a tiny bit, but with my big vacation, and my daughter’s wedding, things were pretty crazy. I’m just happy I managed to get the blackout!
Overall, I had a lot of fun with the game. This is probably my favorite reading game of the year, and I will be hosting it as long as both BL & I continue on the same plane of existence!
Film at 11: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. This was a reread for me. I can’t call this book beloved because it’s so horrifying that it’s a struggle to read. But, I wanted to reread it before the release of the sequel, and I’m glad I did. Atwood really does know how to scare the shit out of us all.
Magical Realism: All The Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle. This was one of my favorite bingo reads of the year, with it’s take on the brutality and misogyny of Catholic history in Ireland. It’s deeply feminist and I highly recommend it to fans of magical realism.
Modern Noir: Fallen by Karin Slaughter. I do love the Will Trent novels by Karin Slaughter, in spite of their overwhelming violence.
Dark Academia: The Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie. I had planned to read Gaudy Night for this one, but got sidetracked, so I listened to the Hugh Fraser narration. Even though this isn’t one of Poirot’s stronger mysteries, I love Miss Bulstrode and the setting, so it’s a personal favorite. I also watched the Poirot adaptation, with Harriet Walter as Miss Bulstrode, and am reminded, again, what a stunning actress she is.
International Woman of Mystery: Shadow on the Fens by Joy Ellis. This was one of the Nikki Galena mysteries, as I had run out of Jackman and Evans. I can’t say that I loved it the way that I love Richard Armitage’s narration of the four (soon to be five!) Jackman and Evans books, but it was enjoyable.
Creepy Crawlies: Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon. This was my first read of Halloween Bingo, and it was a really good one. I will definitely read more of this series.
Spellbound: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. I reread three (maybe four) of the Mercy Thompson books for the game. This is my second favorite UF series, behind Kate Daniels.
Darkest London: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. Another reread, set in London, with a Jack the Ripper copy-cat terrorizing the city. Also ghosts.
In the Dark, Dark Woods: The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. Meh. A disappointment.
Paint it Black: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. I read the two remaining Gillian Flynn books that I’d never read. Very disturbing.
Gothic: The Singing Stones by Phyllis Whitney. I barely remember this one. Whitney is always good fun, though. There was a weird re-incarnation subplot that jarred.
Classic Horror: The Murders in the Rue Morgue by E.A. Poe. A great choice for classic horror – locked room mystery, suitably puzzling.
Free square: Hunted on the Fens by Joy Ellis. Another Nikki Galena.
A Grimm Tale: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs (transfiguration spell to Deadlands). Another Mercy Thompson. This one features vampires.
13: The Mystery on Cobbett’s Island by Kathryn Kenney. This was the 13th Trixie Belden mystery. I checked it out of the library – it’s not one of the best of the Trixies, but getting the gang back together is always comforting.
Country House Mystery: The Hollow by Agatha Christie. The Angkatells are a trainwreck. This is really more of a straight up psychological study, and Poirot seems out of his element, but it’s a good choice for the category.
Fear Street: Help Wanted by Richie Tankersley Cusick. I meant to read a few more of these Cusick mysteries, but didn’t get to them. Not horrible, but not great, either.
Locked Room Mystery: Murder on the Oxford Canal by Faith Martin (transfiguration spell to Murder Most Foul). Downloaded for free from the KU. Sort of meh, but I’m sufficiently interested to give the series a couple more chances.
Relics and Curiosities: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman. The prequel to Practical Magic. I love the way that Alice Hoffman writes.
Psych: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Gillian Flynn’s imagination is a dark place.
Cryptozoologist: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. The first Mercy Thompson. Solid beginning to a belove series.
Black Cat: Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (transfiguration spell to Shifters). Another Mercy Thompson.
Sleepy Hollow: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. I mean, Tom Mison narration. That is all.
New Release: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. A really good sequel, that delves into the backstory of Gilead while telling the story of how the regime fell.
Baker Street Irregulars: One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus. Basically the Breakfast Club with a murder. A fun YA mystery.