Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Challenge to the Reader Trivia Contest #2

The "So You Think You Know Vintage Mysteries? Trivia Challenge" returns, my fellow detective novel bibliophiles! And I've renamed it "Challenge to the Reader" in honor of the early Ellery Queen novels. As I promised this year is much lighter on obscure authors like Hulbert Footner and John Donavan (aka Nigel Morland) who were never reviewed on my blog (and probably nowhere else either!) I have thoroughly researched these questions and teasers to ensure against possible multiple answers and  blatant errors. I'm knocking on wood that it is trouble free. I'm sure to hear from someone if something slipped by me.

Send your answers via an email to bibliophile61 AT gmail DOT com (and change those capitalized words to the symbols). Make sure the answers use the headings I have labeled each section and are properly numbered within each section. Type TRIVIA CONTEST in the subject area so the email doesn't go to my spam folder. Please also include at least your first name when submitting a contest entry.

Contest closes in three weeks. Make sure to submit your answers no later than midnight (US Central time) on December 16. Prizes for first, second and third place consist of winner's choice from a list of vintage mystery novels taken from the boxes of duplicates and discards in my inventory. No junk books - have no fear. Winners will be notified by email and on this blog on December 18 (or thereabouts).

Feel free to Google to your heart's content, use reference books, this blog and other mystery blogs. I can't stop you anyway. Good luck to all!

UPDATE:  The winners are determined by total number of points. I neglected to point that out.  Point values are now listed in parentheses after each section heading.  Perfect score, therefore, is 110 (including all bonus points).

I. ALTERNATE TITLES (1 point each)

Mystery novels more than any other form of fiction have the curious habit of changing titles as they cross the Atlantic Ocean. Below are titles of books published in England. You must give the renamed title in its American edition.

1. Mr Jelly's Business
2. Vegetable Duck
3. Surfeit of Lampreys
4. The Ten Teacups
5. There Came Both Mist and Snow
6. Why Didn't They Ask Evans?
7. The Hollow Man
8. Find Actor Hart
9. The Box Office Murders
10. Burglars in Bucks

Now do the opposite. Below are the American titles, you supply the British title.

1. The Hand of Fu Manchu
2. Remembered Death
3. Curse of the Bronze Lamp
4. The Crime on the Solent
5. A Wreath for Rivera
6. The Problem of the Green Capsule
7. The Face of the Man of Saturn
8. Dr. Priestley Lays a Trap
9. No Footprints in the Bush
10. Knocked for a Loop

II. EVIDENCE (1 point each)
Match the clue to the book in which it appears.
Answers should take the form of "NUMBER. LETTER" not the other way around.

  1. Handpainted door with recent smears                  A. Too Many Cooks
  2. Bookshop fronting a pornography operation        B. The Case of the Seven of Calvary
  3. Scarab fired from a slingshot (catapult)                C. The Moonstone
  4. Decaying corpse found in a deed box                   D. The Stars Spell Death
  5. A pair of missing boots                                         E. The Chinese Orange Mystery
  6. Doctored pitcher of cocktails                                F. Warrant for X
  7. Recipe for saucisse minuit                                    G. The Big Sleep
  8. Handkerchief embroidered with an H                   H. The Hound of the Baskervilles
  9. Murder victims' clothes turned backwards            I. The Scarab Murder Case
10. Decapitated head found in pot of stew                  J. Murder on the Orient Express
11. An antique automaton                                            K. Smallbone Deceased
12. Cryptic drawing on a slip of paper                         L. Murder Must Advertise
13. An astrological chart                                              M. The Crooked Hinge
14. An Egyptian sarcophagus                                       N. The Deadly Truth (McCloy)
15. A forgotten shopping list                                        O. The Rising of the Moon (Mitchell)

Match the murder method to the book in which it appears. Though there are several obscure titles here a clever sleuth can deduce from the title alone the method employed from the list without ever having read the book. And, of course, you can always read my reviews on this blog.

  1. Victim dragged behind a car                            A. Exit Charlie
  2. Liquid nitrogen sprayed via a shower head     B. The Case of the Velvet Claws
  3. Poisoned in a theater dressing room                C. The Three Taps
  4. Strangulation with blue and pink cords           D. And Then There Were None
  5. Defenestration                                                  E. Cat of Many Tails
  6. Victim shot while in a bathtub                         F. The Judas Window
  7. Natural gas poisoning                                      G. "Lamb to the Slaughter"
  8. Crushed to death by a stone bear                     H. The Grindle Nightmare
  9. Bee stings                                                         I. Murder on Wheels (Palmer)
10. Drowning in a scuttled boat                             J. Rebecca
11. Bludgeoned with a magnum of champagne    K. The Rose Bath Riddle
12. Crossbow                                                     L. Green for Danger
13. Murdered while being operated on                 M. The Clue in the Air
14. Strangled with a lariat                                     N. Vintage Murder (Marsh)
15. Bludgeoned with a hunk of frozen meat         O. A Taste for Honey (Heard)

IV. COMMONALITIES (2 points each)
Aha! And you thought it was easier this year. Once again you are charged with uncovering what each group has in common. First, we have fictional characters.

  1. Todd McKinnon, Charles Latimer, Ariadne Oliver
  2. Sherlock Holmes, Gideon Fell, Nigel Strangeways
  3. Irma, Sumuru, Madame Sara
  4. Pharoah Love, Toussaint Moore, Bubber Brown
  5. Thatcher Colt, Palmyra Pym, Maigret
  6. Lord Peter Wimsey, Hercule Poirot, Bulldog Drummond
  7. Tony Murchison, Daisy Armstrong, Chris Dobie
  8. Saul Panzer, Arnie Walters, Paul Drake
  9. Julie Bailey, Virginia Dodge, Linda Goldenberg Arden
10. Tommy Hambledon, Dr. Palfrey, Colonel Granby

In this second part find the commonality in the books named below:

1. Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts, The Penguin Pool Murder by Stuart Palmer
2. The Scarecrow Murders by Frederick Kummer, Sign of Fear by August Derleth
3. The Shadow of the Wolf by R Austin Freeman, The Murder of My Aunt by Richard Hull
4. Case of the Green Felt Hat by Christopher Bush, The Secret of Bogey House by Herbert Adams
5. Tour de Force by Christianna Brand, The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen
6. Fatal Step by Wade Miller, Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham
7. The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie, Department of Queer Complaints by Carter Dickson
8. Turn of the Table by Jonathan Stagge, He Who Whispers by John Dickson Carr
9. Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie, The Invisible Host by Gwen Bristow & Bruce Manning
10. Traitor's Purse by Margery Allingham, Puzzle for Fiends by Patrick Quentin


Here's a chance to redeem yourself for any errors made in the preceding four sections.
Below are small sections taken from the front panels of some 1st edition dust jackets. Some are well known, some not so well known. Give me the title and author for each book. You earn two points for each correctly identified book/author.

DJ 1
DJ 2
DJ 3

DJ 4
DJ 5

DJ 6
DJ 7

DJ 8
DJ 9
DJ 10


  1. You're a fiend but I can't resist - at least I hope to do a bit better than last year!


  2. I know you will do better, Sergio. Ed McBain, Ross Macdonald, Queen and Carr (quite often) are all in here this year. I really think it's easier -- only a few real stumpers instead of every other question. I even caught a mistake that just corrected this morning.

    If you could do a brief post and link to this on your blog I would be forever indebted to you. Well, maybe not forever, but I'd sure appreciate it.

  3. Oh, John! You are devious. I want to sit down and do this right now....but I can't, I've got to head to bed so I can get up early to start preparing Thanksgiving for the parents tomorrow. I will get a post up for you though (although I really want to be selfish and keep this as much on the down-low as possible so I can have a better chance of winning....). Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    1. Happy Turkey Day to you too, Bev! Thanks for the future plug for the contest. Much appreciated.

  4. Working away....Two regular answers to try and come up with at least a guess for and then on to the bonus round.

  5. The quiz I have always liked. But in order to win I need to complete all the sections I-II-III-IV plus the Bonus Round, or it is not necessary to complete all the sections, but properly bring out some of them? Because the first, I would have completed almost all of it. And I guess, by the Bonus Round, covers several proposals.

    1. It's not necessary to do the Bonus Round, Pietro. You should answer as many questions in parts 1 through 4. The Bonus Round section is only for extra points. The person with the most points will win and that will include any correct answers in the Bonus Round.