British Crime Classics Challenge

It’s time to set reading goals for 2019! With 2019 just around the corner, I am pretty sure that all you book lovers are setting up reading goals for next year. And Reading Challenges is one of the best ways to make your reading goals even more exciting.

I spent the first half of 2018 reading classics. The first book that I read this year was Black Beauty. And this was followed by a lot many classics, including Anne of Green Gables. I then came across J.S.Fletcher’s mystery novels and there was no looking back. I read almost all of his mystery stories by June.

Classic Mysteries are very similar to the modern-day Cozy mysteries. Though it doesn’t involve baking or pets or magic, classic mysteries are uniquely charming. Having said this, I must also admit that there are many who do not like Classic Mysteries. The stories are usually slow and there are no violent scenes. If you are new to Classics and you read the book expecting a James Bond jumping from behind a bush-like action sequence then you will be disappointed.

What is this challenge all about?

There are cartloads of Crime Classics out there. They are all worth a read. And some are worth a re-read or two. If you are an ebook reader then there are many sites where you can get these classics for FREE. Amazon Kindle store also has a huge collection of classics that are either free (most of them are) or available under Kindle Unlimited. Then there is Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg has around 50k+ books that you can download for free. And it is a legal site. A lot of classics are being converted from paperbacks to digital and this is one site when you can read these books on your Kindle or any other ebook reader.

Classics are called so for a reason. The stories are different from the modern-day ones. And the writing! There’s something about classics that you do not see in modern-day novels. The command over the language is absolutely delightful. With so many authors to choose from, you are literally spoilt for choice.

What about the rules?

As you all know (and for those who do not know), rules are for those who follow it! You will not be given a Nobel Prize for taking up this challenge so puh-lease!

I wouldn’t call this a rule per se, but as long as you read stories that were written in the late 1800s to mid-1900s, you are good to go. As a participant of this challenge, you are expected to make at least two posts per month.

If you need any pointers as to where to start from then have a look at these lists from Goodreads.

There are a couple of bloggers who blog about crime and mystery novels. Have a look at their blogs for more ideas.


Many thanks to Kate Jackson from CrossExaminingCrime for the bloggers list.

If you are still confused or having problems deciding where to start then I have just two words for you – Agatha Christie! AC novels are my all time favorite. Be it Poirot or Miss Marple or Tommy and Tuppence or Mr. Quinn, I like them all!

A couple of authors whose books I am planning to read include Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Dorothy L. Slayers, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Raymond Chandler, and Margery Allingham. I will be adding more to this list as I move ahead with the challenge.

I was initially thinking of starting Agatha Christie Reading Challenge but there are bloggers who have started this challenge already. You can check Pankaj’s post (click here ) for more details. So I decided to start something new. Why not generalize the challenge and make it British Crime classics instead of focusing it on just one author. That way, people can choose any book they want. If you want to participate in this challenge and read only Christie or Doyle or anybody else’s novels then go ahead and do it. Like I said before, no rules! None! Nada! Zilch!

If you are already a participant of Dora’s Untouched Bookshelf Challenge or want to join her challenge as well as join this one, then amalgamate. Experiment! If you want to add acid or alkali to water or mix steel and sand, do it! No, not literally! This is not Dexter’s Laboratory!

What are my plans for 2019?

I am going to kick-start this challenge with a couple of reviews of Agatha Christie novels. I will then move to the other authors that I mentioned before. This way I can read books that I haven’t read before as well as re-read those which are my favorites. I have read and re-read all of Christie’s books. And I am planning to read them all again.

For those who are willing to participate

  • Write a post about this challenge and tell your book-blog buddies about your plans. (Like, the number of books you are planning to read or authors whose books you want to read or how excited you are about participating in this challenge.)
  • It is better to create a page on your blog and add links as you move ahead with the challenge. Or, if you wish, create a separate menu item and add your review posts to it (I have decided to set up a page and update it as I post reviews)
  • Add British Crime Classics Challenge tag to your posts. Please do not link my post to any or all of your reviews. You can link your first post to this one. I will be following the tag so that I can check your latest posts.
  • At least two posts per month is expected from you. If you choose to read and review one crime classic per week then that is excellent!
  • Allowed Genres include Crime, Mystery, and Thriller.

Note: If you are interested in participating but cannot commit to two posts per month then go ahead and do one post per month. The aim of this challenge is to get people to read more classics.

19 thoughts on “British Crime Classics Challenge

      1. You can participate anytime you want, Shalini. πŸ™‚ The challenge will remain open forever. If you think two posts per month is too much, you can do one post per month. πŸ™‚

  1. This is a wonderful post, Rekha! Thanks for the shout out!! 😘❀️ As we were already talking about it, I’m participating, of course. I try to write my first post ASAP. 😊

    1. Thanks, Dora πŸ™‚πŸ’— looking forward to reading your first post. Thank you for participating. 😘

  2. I am absolutely in (love me some classic British mysteries!)–Here’s my Sign-Up Post. I’ve also got a vintage mystery challenge (mentioned in my sign-up). If you think it looks interesting, I’d love to have you join me there.

    1. Hi Bev. Thank you so much for participating. I just saw your post and it looks interesting. Count me in. πŸ™‚ I hope I can combine British crime classics challenge and Vintage mystery challenge. πŸ™‚

  3. Aside from the lists you show from Goodreads I would also recommend checking out some of the blogs which almost specialise in the vintage mystery novel, as you’ll not only get some pointers on the big names as to which to try and avoid (seriously let no one have Passenger to Frankfurt be there introduction to Christie!), but also a window in to all the less well-known authors, who are equally deserving of being read and due to the boom in reprinting are becoming more easily available:
    The Invisible Event
    In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel
    The Passing Tramp
    Mysteries Ahoy
    Ah Sweet Mystery Blog
    crossexaminingcrime (which is mine)
    Pretty Sinister
    The Green Capsule
    The Reader is Warned
    Dead Yesterday
    Clothes in Books
    My Reader’s Block

    1. I did not know that there are many bloggers who talk about vintage crime novels. My British Crime Classics post went viral one day and I was really amazed to see the number of bloggers who mentioned it. Thanks for the pointers, Kate. I came across My Reader’s Block yesterday, I am yet to check out the other blogs. πŸ™‚

      1. haha yes there loads of vintage mystery bloggers out there, my list were just the ones off the top of my head. I felt this post would be a good opportunity to build some blogging bridges.

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