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2019 Around the Globe Challenge > Margaret's Around the Globe Challenge 2019

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message 1: by Margaret (last edited Jan 22, 2020 06:00PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments I’m going for Level #4: Globetrotter - 35+ books in all 8 regions I've completed: Level #3: Explorer - 25 to 35 books in 6 to 8 regions.

Margaret's 2019 Around the Globe Challenge
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com


Here's where I've been:

Asia
1. Japan - Tattoo Murder Case
2. India - The Widows of Malabar Hill
3. Sri Lanka - Trouble in Nuala
4. China - The Golden Hairpin
5. Singapore - The Frangipani Tree Mystery

Middle East, North Africa Greater Arabia
1. Egypt - Donkey-Vous: A Mamur Zapt Mystery
2. Turkey - The Janissary Tree
3. Jordan - Appointment with Death
4. Iraq - Murder in Mesopotamia

Europe
1. United Kingdom - Tyrant of the Mind
2. Sweden - Death Awaits Thee
3. Germany - The Council of Twelve
4. Republic of Ireland - Holy Orders
5. France - The Rhetoric of Death
6. Russia - The Holy Thief
7. Spain - Death of a Nationalist
8. Austria - A Death in Vienna
9. Poland - Death in Breslau: An Eberhard Mock Investigation
10. Italy - A Private Venus: A Duca Lamberti Noir

North America
1. USA - Death of a Dyer
2. Mexico - The Dead Girls
3. Canada - Except the Dying

Central America and the Caribbean
1. St. Lucia - The St. Lucia Island Club: A John Le Brun Novel, Book 5
2. Guatemala - The Merchant of Death: A Mayan Mystery
3. Jamaica - Speak No Evil

South America
1. Bolivia - City of Silver: A Mystery

Sub-Saharan Africa
1. South Africa - The Song Dog
2. Kenya - Mark of the Lion
3. Eritrea - Kagnew Station

Australia and Oceania
1. Australia - Flying Too High
2. New Zealand - Colour Scheme
3. Solomon Islands - Devil-Devil


message 2: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. United Kingdom & Northern Ireland
C. Tyrant of the Mind (Medieval Mystery, #2) by Priscilla Royal


message 3: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 01:35PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. United Kingdom & Northern Ireland
C. Tyrant of the Mind

D. Completed March 2, 2019
I enjoyed this book - especially the change in setting from the first in the series. I liked learning about the way the household was structured physically and how people lived alongside each other. This is a good series with interesting characters.


message 4: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 03:15PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Asia
B. Japan
C. Tattoo Murder Case (Soho crime) by Akimitsu Takagi


message 5: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 01:35PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Asia
B. Japan
C. Tattoo Murder Case

D. Completed March 20, 2019
I was really excited to read this book. It was written just after World War II. You learn about the Japanese perspective on the war and other things (sushi tattoos!!). The characters and the story were compelling and the influence of American film noir and hard-boiled detectives already visible. A beautiful and moving book that goes far beyond the American books that influenced it - this left me wanting to read more by this author.


message 6: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 03:15PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Asia
B. India
C. The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry, #1) by Sujata Massey


message 7: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 01:36PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Asia
B. India
C. The Widows of Malabar Hill

D. Completed March 25, 2019
I have read Sujata Massey's books before and enjoyed them. This was the first in a new series and provides a fascinating look into early 20th century Bombay society and Parsi culture. I'm not sure how plausible some of the action was, but I enjoyed the book and plan to read more in the series.


message 8: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 03:15PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Sweden
C. Death Awaits Thee by Maria Lang


message 9: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 01:36PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Sweden
C. Death Awaits Thee

D. Completed March 31, 2019
I loved this book. It is not the first in the series, but the author manages to convey what is necessary to understand the characters' backstories. This series is known for going where other series at the time did not dare to go (lesbians, cheating wives, etc.). The protagonist was so classy and adult in that 1950s way while being so conflicted. The characters were much more fully realized in this slim novel than in many novels twice its size. Although everything is set around the mystery and the protagonist was trying to figure out what was going on, her personal conflict is what really drove the story. Often called the Agatha Christie of Sweden, Maria Lang wrote numerous novels from 1949-1990; many were turned into films. However, this book hit me in a very different way than Agatha Christie's books do - the only real similarity is that they are both pioneers in mystery writing in their respective countries. I'm looking forward to reading Maria Lang's earlier novels once the global challenge is over!


message 10: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 03:14PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. North America
B. USA
C. Death of a Dyer (Will Rees, #2) by Eleanor Kuhns


message 11: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 01:36PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. North America
B. USA
C. Death of a Dyer

D. Completed April 7, 2019
I have been enjoying this series. It is well-written and covers a time period when people in the US were still coming together in a nation. In this book, the author takes a brief, but relatively nuanced look at slavery in the post-revolutionary war north and at the treatment of free Blacks and women (of all ancestries). There are also hints at how those who supported revolution deal with those with deep ties to England. The whole book has the feel of coming change that not everyone is happy about. Add into the mix a mystery and a brief look at the history of dyeing and you have a book that is enjoyable on multiple levels. This is an author who knows how to build characters and worlds. Do the characters sometimes seem a little anachronistically modern? Yes, but not in a jarring way. AND, if you read the short stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne, you will see that there were men and women who had some surprisingly modern views on women's roles and men's treatment of them. Our understanding of the past is often more colored by more restrictive later eras (e.g., Victorian). The Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne
So, was the mystery intriguing? Yes, but I love this book for the characters, the setting, and the weaving/dyeing.


message 12: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 03:14PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Germany
C. The Council of Twelve (The Hangman's Daughter, #7) by Oliver Potzsch


message 13: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 01:37PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Germany
C. The Council of Twelve

D. Completed April 16, 2019
I love this series. However, I felt that they had been flagging in the last few books and the plot more convoluted. This was also convoluted, but still a lot of fun. Set in Munich in the 1600s, the book documents the socioeconomic strata of the times. Magdalena, as always, is in on the action, but her younger sister Barbara also plays a large role. Was it a realistic plot? Probably not, but if you read the whole series, you will enjoy seeing where and what the Kuisl family are doing this time. I hope that this is not the last book in the series.


message 14: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 03:13PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Asia
B. Sri Lanka
C. Trouble in Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries #1) by Harriet Steel


message 15: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 01:37PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Asia
B. Sri Lanka
C. Trouble in Nuala

D. Completed April 20, 2019
I enjoyed this book. I was a little skeptical at first as the protagonist is a bit of a colonial apologist, but I enjoyed it as I went on. Despite having a Sri Lankan protagonist, it is still very much a cozy British-style mystery. I was encouraged by some reviews by Sri Lankan readers who found the cultural depictions accurate.


message 16: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 03:13PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Australia and Oceania
B. Australia
C. Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2) by Kerry Greenwood


message 17: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Australia and Oceania
B. Australia
C. Flying Too High

D. Completed April 23, 2019
Like all the Phryne Fisher books, this is a fun, rather lighthearted read, even when the subject might be a bit heavy.


message 18: by Margaret (last edited May 16, 2019 03:13PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Australia and Oceania
B. New Zealand
C. Colour Scheme (Roderick Alleyn, #12) by Ngaio Marsh


message 19: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments Margaret Lewis
A. Australia and Oceania
B. New Zealand
C. Colour Scheme

D. Completed April 30, 2019
Although Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand, only four of her novels are set there. This is one of them. As one of the Queens of the Golden Age of Crime, Marsh's writing is superb. One can almost smell the stench and feel the steam of the hot springs, mud pots, and geothermal features that serve as the setting in this book. While serving up a superb Alleyn mystery complete with rumors of spies, Marsh inserts her take on the British diaspora and British-Maori relations. While I know that many prefer some of her other Alleyn mysteries more, I love this book and feel that it has more of Marsh in it than many of the others. And, of course, Marsh is such a superb writer that whether you think she is at the top of her game or not with this one, it will still be better written than most mysteries that you read today.


message 20: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Sub-Saharan Africa
B. South Africa
C. The Song Dog (Soho Crime Series) by James McClure


message 21: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Sub-Saharan Africa
B. South Africa
C. The Song Dog

D. Completed May 6, 2019

I first went to South Africa to do research in 1993, not long after Nelson Mandela was released from prison, but before he became president the following year. The South Africa I encountered back then was in transition, but I was surprised how little it had changed from what was depicted in this book set in 1962. Granted, McClure published this prequel to his popular Kramer and Zondi series the year before I arrived. However, his depiction of the attitudes of Afrikaners and English to the various African and Asian populations living in the area match what I experienced in '93, even if the language had been cleaned up a bit (at least in front of an American) by the time I arrived. McClure does an excellent job of conveying the incredible subtlety of Africans having to work for, live alongside, and survive the whites. That said, I saw radical change in South Africa; it became a society that far outpaced my own in its humanity to all. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series to better place in context the changes that I have seen over the years visiting the country and how South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission could have such a powerful positive impact. As for the mystery, I enjoyed that as well. This was my first Kramer and Zondi, but I understand that long-time fans really enjoyed seeing how the two of them got together. Even without that background, I enjoyed it, too!


message 22: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Ireland
C. Holy Orders (Quirke #6) by Benjamin Black


message 23: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Ireland
C. Holy Orders

D. Completed May 10, 2019
The Quirke novels always remind me of certain Scandinavian mysteries: deeply flawed men (often heavy drinkers) surrounded by women who sigh a lot. I enjoy both. While this novel seemed to be lower ranked than some of the earlier books in the series, I thought it was much better than a few of its predecessors.


message 24: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Sub-Saharan Africa
B. Kenya
C. Mark of the Lion by Suzanne Arruda


message 25: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Sub-Saharan Africa
B. Kenya
C. Mark of the Lion

D. Completed May 15, 2019
The same year that I went to South Africa, I went to Kenya for the first time. I've been back about 15 times, as my research focuses on fossils found in Kenya. Needless to say, I was excited, but worried as I approached this book. I worried that it was going to be an over-the-top heroine with some cobbled together caricatures of British colonials and Maasai. A few pages in, I was hooked even if the writing was occasionally rough-seeming after reading Marsh and Black. Is the heroine over-the-top? Well, yeah, a little. Are the others caricatures? That one is a little more difficult...there were a lot of true characters in early 20th century Kenya who sometimes seemed more like caricatures than real people, particularly when viewed by today's more sober standards. I particularly liked Arruda's refusal to drop some of the most famous individuals into the various things going on (although she takes the time to make social excuses for them, which is fun). I've also stayed in the hotel many times where much of the early action is set. She's done a good job of presenting it the way it was when I first got there, although I think she could have added in a little more local descriptions in Nairobi. The mystery was a little meh and the action sometimes became a little overly complicated, but I truly enjoyed her feel for Tsavo and the other areas outside of Nairobi that she described. Was she missing some things that I think of as quintessential early 20th century Kenya? Yes, but maybe that was her point. An enjoyable, light read....along the lines of Phryne Fisher, but without the sex scenes.


message 26: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. France
C. The Rhetoric of Death by Judith Rock


message 27: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) | 1678 comments Mod
Wow! You are doing fantastically with the challenge, Margaret!


message 28: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments Lauren wrote: "Wow! You are doing fantastically with the challenge, Margaret!" Thanks, Lauren!! I'm having a lot of fun with this - nothing like virtual travel!!


message 29: by Margaret (last edited Jun 06, 2019 08:32AM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. France
C. The Rhetoric of Death

D. Completed May 21, 2019
This book hit me at the right time and place as I had been researching the many moves my ancestors made around Europe to avoid religious persecution. Set in France in 1686, much of the main character's inner turmoil reflects the return of increased tension between the ruling Catholics and the more-or-less in hiding Protestants. The author brings the time period to life and gives us a look into a different part of society than other historical mysteries. Sure, there are many mysteries set within a religious house, school, or monastery, but I can guarantee that none have ever dealt with the peculiarly French version of Jesuit schools that included costuming and musical numbers. The author really captures the joie de vivre of the ruling class and their penchant for extravagance right alongside the lives of everyday Parisians. Within roughly 100 years, the increasing disconnect between the extravagant monarchy and their citizens would lead to the toppling of the ruling class. This book inadvertently provides some insight into how that disconnect occurred through the observations of Maitre du Luc and those around him. Despite it's dark theme, there is a lot of joy and beauty in this book. Highly recommended.


message 30: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Russia
C. The Holy Thief (Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, #1) by William Ryan


message 31: by Margaret (last edited Jun 06, 2019 08:34AM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments Margaret Lewis
A. Europe
B. Russia
C. The Holy Thief

D. Completed May 25, 2019
This book was a fascinating look at post-Revolution Russia as the scales were beginning to fall from the eyes of those who had believed in the revolution, but who had not benefited hugely from it. Religious conflict is a component of the book, as with the previous book that I read, but here the conflict is due to the eradication of the Russian Orthodox religion and its power within the country. Woven throughout in the background is the situation of Russian Jews and the rise of various political leaders and organizations. For those of us with little knowledge of Russian beliefs and prejudices, the author skillfully uses contextual clues and rarely relies on the kinds of long asides that can make a book drag (but which don't in this book). I found this book fascinating and compelling; I was brought to tears at least once.


message 32: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Middle East, North Africa, and Greater Arabia
B. Egypt
C. Donkey-Vous A Mamur Zapt Mystery by Michael Pearce


message 33: by Margaret (last edited Jul 05, 2019 12:00PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments Margaret Lewis
A. Middle East, North Africa, and Greater Arabia
B. Egypt
C. The Donkey-Vous

D. Completed May 30, 2019
I read several books in this series a decade or more ago, but had stopped for some unknown reason. Given the challenge, this seemed a good time to revisit them. I remembered a little from the previous books, but this book got me up to speed pretty quickly with all of the main characters. While I still can't remember why I stopped reading the series, I found this installment to be fairly superficial. You get a sense of the difference in attitude of the French and British administrators and the status of Greeks in Egypt. However, I felt that every time things were getting interesting, the author veered away to something else. After much waffling all over the place, the actual resolution of the mystery seems rather abrupt, although I did enjoy how one bit was wrapped up (don't want to give any spoilers). The main characters were likeable, but not particularly compelling (and the compelling secondary characters were not made use of). I remember that not being the case in at least one other book in this series, though. However, once again, I think I'll put this series aside.


message 34: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Middle East, North Africa, and Greater Arabia
B. Turkey
C. The Janissary Tree (Yashim the Eunuch #1) by Jason Goodwin


message 35: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Middle East, North Africa, and Greater Arabia
B. Turkey
C. The Janissary Tree

D. Completed June 6, 2019.
I really enjoyed this book. The setting and protagonist were very different from typical historical mysteries. I know very little about the history of Turkey and felt that I learned quite a lot in an enjoyable way about this book. The only drawback was that I occasionally had to go back and read parts over and was still a little confused about what was going on....I felt that connecting portions just seemed to be missing. Perhaps I was reading too quickly....in any case, I just kept reading and it all worked out. I found the characters to be intriguing. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.


message 36: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Sub-Saharan Africa
B. Eritrea
C. Kagnew Station by Paul Betit


message 37: by Margaret (last edited Jul 05, 2019 12:12PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Sub-Saharan Africa
B. Eritrea
C. Kagnew Station

D. Completed June 10, 2019
For anyone who hasn't read this series, I highly recommend it. The author writes about a time period (1960s) and places that he knows well. In his first book, he explored war-torn Vietnam. In this sequel, CID investigator John Murphy is sent to a US base in what is now Eritrea (at the time part of Ethiopia). I've spent some time in Ethiopia (but never Eritrea) and was even there when Eritrea launched a war with Ethiopia. I found his setting recognizable, and really conveyed what someone would feel who is only there for a short while, but who is not afraid to get out and explore. I had no idea that Kagnew Station existed; this book filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge about the relationship between where I live (US) and where I do some of my research (Ethiopia). He also captures the changing feelings about Vietnam held by Americans within and outside of the military. His characters feel so real that you think you could look them up if you were to visit that country. And, of course, just like in the first book (Phu Bai), the mystery is great, too!


message 38: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. North America
B. Mexico
C. The Dead Girls by Jorge Ibargüengoitia (Las Muertas)


message 39: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. North America
B. Mexico
C. The Dead Girls (Las Muertas)

D. Completed: June 17, 2019

This satirical book by the great Mexican writer Jorge Ibargüengoitia is a backwards mystery/crime novel. Inspired by the discovery of bodies in the yard of a small brothel in the 1960s, this book posits an explanation so intentionally complex that it could be the real explanation (but I doubt it!). Like Chinese mystery novels, you know the names of the criminals and that they going to jail from almost the beginning of the story. The mystery is what happened, how they got involved, and their motivation. Some times it is hilarious, other times devastating in its impact. If you've ever lived in a small town or known someone involved in that relationship that should never have happened, this book will resonate with you. In the end, you just want to slap sense into criminals whom you've become rather fond of. If you want an accurate depiction of what happened to the real Las Muertas, this is not the book for you. If you want a somewhat surrealistic romp filled with interrupted passion and nonsensical crime (i.e., you love a train wreck), this could be the book you are looking for. People either love it or are mystified by it. I find myself liking it much more in retrospect than I did while I was reading it. Granted, I read it while stuck in JFK airport for eight hours....


message 40: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Spain
C. Death of a Nationalist (Tejada, #1) by Rebecca Pawel


message 41: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Spain
C. Death of a Nationalist
D. Completed: July 19, 2019

I highly recommend this series set in 1939 Spain.


message 42: by Margaret (last edited Aug 19, 2019 03:17PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. North America
B. Canada
C. Except the Dying (Detective Murdoch, #1) by Maureen Jennings


message 43: by Margaret (last edited Aug 19, 2019 03:19PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. North America
B. Canada
C. Except the Dying
D. Completed: July 23, 2019

Was not as enamored of this book (first in the series) as others have been.


message 44: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Asia
B. China
C. The Golden Hairpin by Qinghan CeCe


message 45: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Asia
B. China
C. The Golden Hairpin
D. Completed: 8/01/2019

I loved this book. I can hardly wait until the sequel is translated.


message 46: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Austria
C. A Death in Vienna by Frank Tallis


message 47: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Austria
C. A Death in Vienna
D. Completed: 8/9/2019

If you enjoy reading about early psychoanalysis and/or pre-Nazi (and pre-WW1) Austria, this is the book for you. I enjoyed this a lot and will continue to read this series. The characters were compelling and the historical elements were well-integrated into story. I particularly liked the scene where the protagonist visited the newly installed Beethoven Frieze at the Secession and captured the range of reactions to what was then a highly controversial piece. The treatment of women and Jewish people are integral to the story line and provide rather clear indications of what will be occurring in upcoming decades in German-speaking countries. I liked the types of characters and setting a bit more than the plot line, but I was interrupted a lot while reading the beginning of the book and don't feel that I can give that a fair review. However, I will definitely continue with this series.


message 48: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Poland
C. Death in Breslau An Eberhard Mock Investigation by Marek Krajewski


message 49: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Poland
C. Death in Breslau: An Eberhard Mock Investigation
D. Completed: 8/19/2019

Wow! Set mostly in the 1930s in Breslau (now Wrocław in western Poland), this book truly captures the time. The Nazis are gaining more and more powerful and even in German-speaking Silesia (of which Breslau is the capital), they have infiltrated the police and other bureaus. This book documents the last gasps of the aristocracy and the masons and the rise of the Nazis. All of the characters are seriously flawed, and yet you root for them incessantly, even when they have done horrible things. The casual anti-Semitism of 1900s Austria in the book that I read prior to this (A Death in Vienna) lead perfectly into the time of this book. Women exist for sex and/or cooking. Excuses are found to imprison and/or kill Jewish people for crimes they didn't commit. Everyone is trying to hush up anything in their past that doesn't fit the Nazi doctrine. Add into that a bizarre murder of a young woman and her governess and you have a book that just never stops. The story jumps around in time (and apparently the sequels go backwards in time!). The things that really make this book different are 1) the moderately avant-garde style that make it feel that is was written in the 1950s or 1960s and 2) the feel that the author gives that he really experienced pre-WWII Europe. Krajewski is so able to get into that headspace that I really believed that this book was written in the late 50s until I looked the author up and discovered that he is slightly younger than I am. Some people complain about the translation (using tenement for a fancy home, for example). Nonetheless, this book is worth the read as long as you can handle reading about how almost everyone in society is sacrificing everyone else to maintain their place in society and the complete dehumanization of anyone considered "other" or powerless in the middle of just somewhat normal every day life (i.e., before death camps and ghettos). Powerful read.


message 50: by Margaret (last edited Aug 20, 2019 12:40PM) (new)

Margaret | 122 comments A. Europe
B. Italy
C. A Private Venus A Duca Lamberti Noir (Duca Lamberti #1) by Giorgio Scerbanenco


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