Reading Bingo 2016

Book Bingo

It’s Bingo Time! Last year, as prompted by Cleo, from the Cleopatra Loves Books blog, I had a go at Reading Bingo, a game to help highlight some of my reviews from the past year. It’s not my review of the year – that’ll be along on December 31st. I almost typed “obviously” at the end of that sentence but a lot of reviews turn up before then. Not me though…

Back to the Bingo – basically, the Bingo card has twenty five categories – all I have to do is find a book that I’ve reviewed over the past year for each category. Simple…

A Book With More Than 500 Pages

As the Knights Templar series progresses, the books seem to be getting longer. The outstanding Death Ship Of Dartmouth by Michael Jecks clocks in at 512 pages although it does seem to just fly by. A must read entry in a must read series.

A Forgotten Classic

Let’s go for the wonderfully titled Vegetable Duck by John Rhode – and if the Rhode estate is reading this, please let somebody (e.g. Curtis Evans) re-release the Rhode and Burton books as ebooks. They really are a cut above a number of the other lost authors currently being lauded.

A Book That Became A Movie

The Girl On The Train with its “jaw-dropping twist”. By the way, dear reader, if you think that was a twist, then please read something decent – anything by Agatha Christie for example…

A Book Published This Year

Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary, the third in the engrossing Marnie Rome series. Looking forward to Book Four early next year.

A Book With A Number In The Title

The Four Armourers by Francis Beeding – utter rubbish, but it does have a number in the title…

A Book Written By Someone Under Thirty

John Dickson Carr (as Carter Dickson) managed to produce The Unicorn Murders just before hitting the big 3-0.

A Book With Non-Human Characters

Well, there’s plenty of ghosties, ghoulies and long-legged beasties roaming London in Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? by Paul Cornell, probably the best so far in the Shadow Police series.

A Funny Book

Case For Three Detectives by Leo Bruce, a pastiche of Poirot, Wimsey and Brown that, while it gets a little bitchy at times, certainly puts a smile on the reader’s face.

A Book By A Female Author

I have to flag up A High Mortality Of Doves, the outstanding post-WWI mystery from Kate Ellis, that kicks the competition into the dust. A competitor for Book of the Year.

A Book With A Mystery

Rather more challenging to find a book without a mystery – there is one, Fields Of Glory by Michael Jecks. But I’ll pick one at random (literally – I used a random number generator) and got Death Of A Busybody by George Bellairs, one of the British Library re-issues.

A Book With A One-Word Title

Only one book this year falls into this category, a much-overlooked thriller. Painkiller by N J Fountain is a twist-filled thriller, so much more involving and complex than any book about a “Girl”. The paperback is out on 29 December this year – don’t miss it!

A Book Of Short Stories

Serpents In Eden edited by Martin Edwards from the British Library, a set of tales set in the English Countryside.

Free Square

Let’s put Dead Pretty by David Mark in this slot. Book five in a series that goes from strength to strength (and started pretty strongly anyway).

A Book Set On A Different Continent

Nothing outside of Europe or North America, so I’ll go for Death At The Boston Tea Party by Deryn Lake, as it’s a trip to the North American colonies for a series usually based in Georgian England.

A Book Of Non-Fiction.

Certain parts of A Death Of A Red King by Paul Doherty were certainly presented as an academic case, despite being dressed in a fictional tale.

The First Book By A Favourite Author

The not-so-great It Walks By Night by the great John Dickson Carr.

A Book You Heard About Online

Um, most of the them. But I’ll go for Dark Serpent by Paul Doherty as I first heard about it when he emailed me asking if he could dedicate it to me! (Obviously, I said yes…)

A Best-Selling Book

Um, what counts as best-selling? No idea. But pretty sure The Steel Kiss by Jeffrey Deaver would count.

A Book Based On A True Story

The well-researched and never dull Dancing For The Hangman by Martin Edwards, the tale of Dr Crippen.

A Book At The Bottom Of Your TBR Pile

I wasn’t in a rush to read Come Death And High Water by Ann Cleeves that I bought as a kindle bargain, but read it on the train on the way to hear her give a talk. Glad I did too…

A Book Your Friend Loves

Well, let’s go for Death Invites You by Paul Halter, as JJ from The Invisible Event loves that one (as did I).

A Book That Scares You

OK, I know I’ve used The Girl On The Train already, but the popularity of this book scares me. Yes, the characters are interesting but the plot is hackneyed old nonsense and the notion that the obvious suspect isn’t the murderer ISN’T A TWIST! If you want a decent twist, go and read Sharon Bolton or Mark Billingham or any other author who doesn’t hang their entire plot on one point…

A Book That Is More Than 10 Years Old

Again – duh. Let’s take the physics-defying Death On The Riviera by John Bude, from 1952.

The Second Book In A Series

Closed Casket, the second book featuring fake-Poirot by Sophie Hannah (although admittedly, fake-Poirot is doing a better Poirot impression this time round)>

A Book With A Blue Cover

So, for the full house, I’ll go for the Detection Club’s The Sinking Admiral. A fun book, especially THAT chapter…

So, that’s bingo out the way – two years, two full houses. Let’s go for the hat-trick.


  1. Ha ha ha, seems like you were none too enamoured with Girl on the Train then? I wasn’t that impressed either, to be honest, and gave it a 3 star review on CFL, but there you go: my ‘flair’ for what makes a bestseller is clearly way off…


  2. It seems fun so i’ll try to do this bingo in the first half of 2017.

    My first choice is “The Vanished Man” by Jeffery Deaver (600 pages).


  3. I have some ideas, let’s see if I can do it 🙂 I read 7 or 8 books a month so I think it’s possible 🙂

    – « L’homme qui disparait » (The Vanished Man) = 600 pages
    – « Prélude et mort d’Isolde » (The Case of the Gilded Fly) by Crispin is my forgotten classic
    – « Ready Player One » by Ernest Cline, it will be a Steven Spielberg movie next year
    – I will wait for this one
    – « Le problème à trois corps » (The Tree Body Problem) Hugo award winner by Liu Cixin
    – « Rêve de guerre » (= dream of war) by french science fiction writer Thomas Day (he was 30)
    – Obviously it will be a fantasy novel, perhaps « The Dwarves » by Markus Heitz
    – « The Last Dragonslayer » by Jasper Fforde seems funny
    – Lot of choice, I will take « Police at the funeral » by Allingham, she will be my female author
    – So many choice, i’ll see
    – Two choices : the japanese locked room « Irezumi » (Tatoo murder case) by Takagi Akimitsu or the Hugo / Nebula winner « Morwenna » (Among Other) by Jo Walton.
    – I like short stories, perhaps « The Steampunk trilogy » by Paul di Filippo.
    – I’ll wait for my free choice
    – A different continent ? I’ll probably go for Arthur Upfield (never read him) and his aborigene detective Napoleon Bonaparte
    – For the non fiction I have the life of Keith Richards on my bedside table
    – The first book by a favorite author… ?
    – A book I heard about online ? So many.
    – A best selling book ? One from Clive Cussler
    – A book based on a true story ? Not so easy but I’ve the sixth volume of the « Accursed Kings » by Maurice Druon
    – At the bottom of my pile ? So many…
    – A book my friends love ? The right time to try Thursday Next by Jasper Fforde
    – A book that scare me ? I’m a fan of Graham Masterton so perhaps « Wendigo »
    – More than ten years old…It will be easy
    – Second book in a serie ? « Spin » by Robert Charles Wilson was a so good hard SF novel that I think it will be a good idea to read the sequel, « Axis ».
    – « The Egyptian Cross Mystery » by Ellery Queen is very blue (in its french edition)

    I’ll tell you if I have done it 🙂


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