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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
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- Georgia (1)
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- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (10)
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- Ireland (4)
- Italy (1)
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My Progress:

28 / 51 states. 55% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

10 / 25 books. 40% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

12 / 26.2 miles. 46% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

26 / 100 books. 26% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

64 / 104 books. 62% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

43 / 52 books. 83% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

69 / 165 books. 42% done!
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: It's Amateur Hour On BBB!

The topic du jour for my favorite bookish meme is Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors.  Since I feel like I talk about the authors I love constantly here at BBB, I'm going to go off-script today and do the freebie topic that's actually scheduled for July 30.  I'll be in Utah attending a genealogy conference that day anyway, so it works.  Last week's character freebie inspired me to list My Favorite Super Sleuths of the Book World, which was fun, but I focused on the pros—real detectives and enforcement officers as well as other professionals who work with them (criminalists, forensic scientists, etc.).  Since the book world is full of amateur sleuths as well and they're just as entertaining to read about (sometimes more so), I'm going to focus on them today. 

Before we get to that, though, I have to give a shout-out to our lovely host Jana.  You can find her over at That Artsy Reader Girl, where you can also get the 4-1-1 on all things Top Ten Tuesday.  Join in by reading some brief instructions, crafting your own TTT list, then clicking around the blogosphere to spread the love among a ton of fabulous book blogs.  It's a great time to revisit old favorites, discover new sites, and, of course, add to your always-growing TBR pile mountain mountain chain.  What's not to love?

Okay, so here we go with my Top Ten Favorite Amateur Sleuths of the Book World.  These are the folks who have no (legitimate) reason to investigate crime, although mysteries just keep falling into their laps!  Their careers range from housekeeper to archaeologist to restaurant server to journalist, but their side gigs are the same—crime solver.  Because of this, their stories are often far less believable than those of their professional counterparts, but, as I said above, no less entertaining.  I'm including the cover to the first book in their respective series so you know where to start.

Who are your favorite amateur sleuths of the book world?  Who do you love reading about, whether their crime-solving is totally, ridiculously far-fetched or not?

Top Ten Favorite Amateur Sleuths of the Book World:

1.  Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene—Nancy is probably the most well-known sleuth in this category and, as a kid, I inhaled any book that starred her.  I haven't read a Nancy Drew book in years, so I don't know what I'd think of them now, but I used to adore Nancy—and definitely wanted to be her!

2.  Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol—Another childhood favorite, Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown is a boy who helps his police chief father solve crimes in their small town.  He's whip-smart (hence his nickname) and always gets his man.  This is another series I ate up as a kid.

3.  Veronica Speedwell by Deanna Raybourn—Among the amateur sleuths I've encountered as an adult, Veronica is definitely one of my very favorites.  She's a Victorian woman, but an unapologetic one who defies convention and just does what she pleases.  For work, she sells rare butterflies and spends her days cataloging a museum full of treasures for a wealthy friend.  Along with Stoker, her handsome, querulous partner, she stumbles on all kinds of mysteries begging to be solved.  Veronica is smart, funny, and just a delightful character all-around.

4.  Dr. Ruth Galloway by Elly Griffiths—Ruth is an archaeologist in Norfolk, England, who prefers the solitude of her isolated home and her own company to anywhere and anyone else.  When the police ask for her help with a discovery of bones near her property, Ruth becomes a consultant to the department and goes on to have many adventures.  She's an understated character, but one whose intelligence and wit make for enjoyable reading.

5.  Amelia Peabody by Elizabeth Peters—Another unconventional lady, Amelia is a wealthy spinster living in late 19th Century England.  She has a disconcerting, scholarly obsession with Egypt, which leads her to many adventures and mysteries involving the ancient land. 

6.  Kat Halloway by Jennifer Ashley—This new kid on the block is a sought-after cook in a posh mansion in Mayfair.  Her central position in the household means she's a key witness to all kinds of wrongdoing.  Kat's efficiency and no-nonsense ways make her not just a master of the kitchen, but also a pretty darn good detective.

7.  Lady Kiera Darby by Anna Lee Huber—As the wife of a cruel anatomist, Kiera was made an unwitting partner in her husband's unnatural schemes.  Now a widow, she's trying to put her past behind her.  And yet, she keeps finding herself at the center of mysterious happenings.  Using her intelligence, her powers of observation, and her natural curiosity, she and an enigmatic friend are earning themselves a reputation as a detective team that is second to none.

8.  Lana Lee by Vivien Chien—After her temper gets the better of her at her lucrative corporate job, Lana's empty pockets force her to return to Ohio.  The last thing she wants is to wait tables at her parents' Chinese restaurant under her mother's shrewd eye, but she has little choice.  Turns out, life in the Asian Village strip mall is a lot more exciting than one would think.  An alarming amount of dead bodies are turning up in the small community, and Lana's keen powers of observation are coming in handy for the handsome detective assigned to investigate the crimes.  Lana's spunky but self-deprecating, making her a fun heroine to follow.

9.  Jazz Ramsey by Kylie Logan—Jazz, a cadaver dog trainer, only has one book under her belt, but I'm excited for more to come.  She's smart, brave, and caring, all traits I love in an amateur sleuth. 

10.  Nichelle Clarke by LynDee Walker—I just "met" Nichelle, an investigative reporter in Richmond, Virginia, in Front Page Fatality, but I'm enjoying the book and its heroine.  Nichelle is skilled, confident, and not afraid to take a risk.  So far, she's making an excellent amateur sleuth.  I can't wait to read more of this series.

There you have it, ten of my favorite fictional amateur sleuths.  Who are yours?  I just realized that all of mine (but one) are females.  Are there any great male amateur sleuths out there?  I'd love to know.  Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on yours.

Happy TTT!     
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