Rekha at The Book Decoder is hosting the British Crime Classics Challenge again this year. The rules are simple — read British mysteries written before 1965, but this year, we have themes.
- Read a book by your favourite author. Easy peasy, mac and cheesy. Discovered a new favourite author and dying to read the whole series? Or, are you planning to re-read a book (or series)? Bring on the complete-lists. – The Hollow by Agatha Christie
- Read a book by an author new to you: There are loads of hidden gems out there waiting to be discovered. Molly Thynne, Brian Flynn, Dorothy Bowers, or <insert author name here>, take your pick.
- A Favorite Detective: Oh well, don’t we have a long list when it comes to favourite detectives? I do! Read a book featuring your favourite detective. Or, if you are like me, give all your favvies a chance. After all, we have survived the pandemic!
- A Favorite Amateur Sleuth: Don’t we love amateur sleuths? I cannot wait to re-read AC’s Miss Marple. What about you?
- A Re-read: Read a book years ago and planning to read it again?
- Death by Strangulation | Death by Poison | Death by Drowning | Death by Stabbing: Do I need to say more? Choose one for each or choose any one.
- The curious case of the missing documents: War time, documents gone missing and the detective is called to investigate/retrieve before it is too late. Tick-tock-tick-tock!
- A Mystery set in a Foreign Land: The detective/amateur sleuth solving a case in a Foreign Land, talk about vacation gone bad!
- A Mysterious Journey: Murder on the Orient Express or 4.50 from Paddington, pick a mystery that is set on a mode of transport, or a mystery that occurs on a mode of transport and is solved at a future date (Eg: In 4.50 from Paddington, Mrs Gillicuddy witnesses a crime on a train that’s running parallel to hers.)
- Spooky Doobie Doo: Creaky stairwell, crooked house or haunted by poltergeists, what spooks you the most?
- Locked Room Mystery | Trapped on an island: What can be better than a murder in a locked room mystery or a set of people trapped on an island with a killer in their midst?
- Cliched tropes: It is always the spouse! No wait, inheritance! Can it be the jilted lover? Or, was it a love triangle? The cliched trope list is long. Take your pick.
Pick a theme and read as many books as you want. Or, choose one book for each theme. Or, pick as many themes as you wish and read a book for each. The choice is yours. You can always go back to reading the mystery classics without following any theme. I’m going to try to read a book for each theme. The hasthtag is #BritishCrimeClassicsChallenge.