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Archive - general > November side read: country house mystery

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message 1: by Christine PNW, Agathyte (last edited Aug 16, 2020 10:17AM) (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) | 924 comments Our side read theme for October is "country house mystery," which is a common type of Golden Age detective fiction and involves a closed circle of suspects in a large house or manor in the English countryside.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles is an example of a country house mystery, set in Styles Court in Essex. Christie returned to this trope again and again, with books like Five Little Pigs, The Hollow and, of course, And Then There Were None.

So, let's find a non-Christie mystery, published prior to 1970, using the country house theme!

Please choose one book to "officially" nominate, although discussion of multiple books is, of course, fine. Let's plan to complete the nomination process by the 16th, so I can get the poll up in time to have a decision by September 1.

The nominations so far:

The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham (nominated by BrokenTune)
Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon (nominated by Michaela)
The Girl in Blue by P.G. Wodehouse (nominated by Brenda)
Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (nominated by Mike)
The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart (nominated by Themis)
Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White

NOTE: Because we haven't been able to clearly decide between our two proposed locked room mysteries, I am pushing Country House Mystery to November and we are reading both of the winning nominees for locked room mystery in September & October respectively.


message 2: by BrokenTune (new)

BrokenTune | 348 comments My official nomination: The Crime at Black Dudley, which is the first Albert Campion novel, I believe.

I've never read Allingham in earnest. I think I tried The Tiger in the Smoke at some point but just could not get into it at the time.


message 4: by BrokenTune (new)

BrokenTune | 348 comments Michaela wrote: "I nominate Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon. Thirteen Guests (Inspector Kendall #1) by J. Jefferson Farjeon"

Excellent. My personal favourite among Farjeon's works.


message 5: by Brenda (new)

Brenda (gd2brivard) | 120 comments This is a great theme!

I nominate The Girl in Blue by P.G. Wodehouse The Girl in Blue by P.G. Wodehouse


message 6: by Mike (new)

Mike Finn (goodreadscommike_finn) | 236 comments I nominateClouds of Witness

I’d like to see Wimsey at home.


message 7: by Brenda (new)

Brenda (gd2brivard) | 120 comments I was looking at that one too Mike!


message 8: by Mike (new)

Mike Finn (goodreadscommike_finn) | 236 comments Brenda wrote: "I was looking at that one too Mike!"

So far, I've only read the first book 'Whose Body' which I didn't like and the twelfth book, 'Gaudy Night' which I thought was great but in which he's only a supporting character. 'Clouds Of Witness' sounds like it would give me a chance to see Wimsey surrounded by his family and handling a crisis.


message 9: by BrokenTune (new)

BrokenTune | 348 comments Mike wrote: "Brenda wrote: "I was looking at that one too Mike!"

So far, I've only read the first book 'Whose Body' which I didn't like and the twelfth book, 'Gaudy Night' which I thought was great but in whic..."


Yep, Clouds of Witness has all of that. I rather like that book. I re-read it a couple of months ago and it still makes me smile.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (themis-athena) | 471 comments Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Circular Staircase -- or if too many people from the group have already read that one, Georgette Heyer, Footsteps in the Dark (IMHO the best of Heyer's non-series mysteries).

But I'd definitely (re)read most of the other suggestions, too! (Particularly Clouds of Witness, where Wimsey comes home in more senses than one.)


message 11: by Christine PNW, Agathyte (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) | 924 comments Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) wrote: "Mary Roberts Rinehart: The Circular Staircase -- or if too many people from the group have already read that one, Georgette Heyer, Footsteps in the Dark (IMHO the best of Heyer's non-series mysteri..."

I'm going to use the Rinehart book as your nomination until I hear otherwise.

I think I am going to sit out nominating this time - all of these look terrific!


message 12: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Aug 09, 2020 03:19PM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (themis-athena) | 471 comments Christine PNW wrote: "I'm going to use the Rinehart book as your nomination until I hear otherwise."

That's the way I meant it, yes. Thank you!


message 13: by Lillelara (last edited Aug 09, 2020 10:47PM) (new)

Lillelara | 65 comments I would like to nominate Some Must Watch Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White by Ethel Lina White (also known as The Spiral Staircase).

A country house cut off by a storm is one of my favorite settings for a murder mystery.


message 14: by Mike (last edited Aug 10, 2020 12:38AM) (new)

Mike Finn (goodreadscommike_finn) | 236 comments Lillelara wrote: "I would like to nominate Some Must Watch Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White by Ethel Lina White (also known as The Spiral Staircase).

A country house cut off by a..."


Wow, a country house AND a serial killer. We're getting so many good nominations, I could spend the rest of the year reading them.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (themis-athena) | 471 comments Lillelara wrote: "I would like to nominate Some Must Watch Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White by Ethel Lina White (also known as The Spiral Staircase).

A country house cut off by a storm is one of my favorite settings for a murder mystery."


Well, this one has plenty of atmosphere, that's for sure ... :)


message 16: by Christine PNW, Agathyte (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) | 924 comments Mike wrote: "Lillelara wrote: "I would like to nominate Some Must Watch Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White by Ethel Lina White (also known as The Spiral Staircase).

A country ..."


A "Spiral Staircase" and a "Circular Staircase" - what's up with all of these staircases? ;)


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (themis-athena) | 471 comments Christine PNW wrote: "A "Spiral Staircase" and a "Circular Staircase" - what's up with all of these staircases? ;)"

And they're all of the winding sort, too! :)


❂ Murder by Death  (murderbydeath) | 19 comments I already have three of these, 2 of which I've read and happily re-read - so I've got nothing to suggest.


message 19: by Christine PNW, Agathyte (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) | 924 comments This read is being pushed to November so that we can fit in both of the nominations for locked room mystery, since there seems to be a lot of interest in both of them.


message 20: by BrokenTune (new)

BrokenTune | 348 comments Christine PNW wrote: "This read is being pushed to November so that we can fit in both of the nominations for locked room mystery, since there seems to be a lot of interest in both of them."

Good call! The race between the books for the locked room mystery is such good fun, tho.


message 21: by Christine PNW, Agathyte (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) | 924 comments BrokenTune wrote: "Christine PNW wrote: "This read is being pushed to November so that we can fit in both of the nominations for locked room mystery, since there seems to be a lot of interest in both of them."

Good ..."


It is so funny to watch! We'll see which one prevails or if they end up in a tie!


message 22: by Michaela (new)

Michaela | 149 comments Good solution, thanks Christine! :)


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (themis-athena) | 471 comments Christine PNW wrote: "This read is being pushed to November so that we can fit in both of the nominations for locked room mystery, since there seems to be a lot of interest in both of them."

Excellent!


message 24: by Christine PNW, Agathyte (last edited Aug 27, 2020 08:42AM) (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) | 924 comments I am closing the nominations for the November side read & I will set up a poll to select on September 10, which gives us plenty of time if we need another run off!

Watch for the nominations thread for our December side read to open on October 1. Start making a note of potential Christmas/holiday themed mysteries!


message 25: by Christine PNW, Agathyte (new)

Christine PNW (moonlight_reader) | 924 comments The November poll is live! Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the group home page to vote.


message 26: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 213 comments I'm kinda clueless guys with techie stuff. I can't find the Poll for the November side read.


message 27: by Michaela (new)

Michaela | 149 comments Teresa wrote: "I'm kinda clueless guys with techie stuff. I can't find the Poll for the November side read."

When you click on Polls, it´s the first one, but it´s already over.


message 28: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 213 comments Thanks Michaela. I don't seem to be getting notifications about these things at all. Hit on this by chance.


message 29: by Ruth (last edited Oct 02, 2020 06:39AM) (new)

Ruth | 57 comments Do we get a message about polls or is it just announced on the relevant thread?

How do others organise their monthly group reads? I'm finding it difficult sometimes to remember what's coming up and when since I joined several detective fiction related groups which all seem to be very active at the moment. I wonder if there's a way of using my calendar to give me regular reminders.


message 30: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 193 comments When I first join a group I have to remember to set the Group Notification settings. Once I forgot to set it and then wondered why I didn't get any updates-until I realized my mistake.
Maybe that's what happened to you, Ruth.


message 31: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 57 comments I think sometimes I read a notification in an email and then forget to click through and read it on the site then of course I don't get another email for that thread.


message 32: by Michaela (new)

Michaela | 149 comments A pity all my groups have different dates of nominations/polls/decisions, so it´s not always easy to keep track, esp. when I´m thinking of changing my vote later on. Some groups remind, some not. Think I´ll have to make a list. :)


message 33: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 213 comments I think I'll just have to keep checking in on the group pages more often. I'm just a bit swamped with books at the moment and group reads so I'm all over the place. Have a few group reads too.


message 34: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 213 comments Did the November side read get picked yet? I can't seem to find anything. Don't know what I'm doing wrong.


message 35: by Michaela (new)

Michaela | 149 comments The winner of the poll is Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon.


message 36: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 213 comments Thanks Michaela. Didn't hear anything about it. Maybe it's because of these notifications problems GR are having. Wish they'd fix the blasted thing!


message 37: by Mark (new)

Mark | 55 comments Michaela wrote: "The winner of the poll is Thirteen Guests by J. Jefferson Farjeon."

Hooray! I took a chance and ordered a copy in advance of the results. I'm glad I chose correctly!


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