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Obsidian Blue

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

Currently reading

The Hazel Wood
Melissa Albert
Progress: 70 %
God Help the Child: A novel
Toni Morrison
Tar Baby
Toni Morrison
Dead Beat
Jim Butcher

Obsidian Black Plague's Halloween Bingo 2018

Due to the never ending house stuff, I haven't even thought about books for this yet. Will have to do a post towards the end of this week when I have time. Very happy with my card!


Review Wave

Related image

A Bingo Twist!

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:

Before I unveil the last six categories, I want to show you a new twist on the game!


Having a difficult time finding a book to fill a category?


Introducing Authors Wild!


The Wild Card!




Each player can identify one author as your wild card author - as long as the author writes horror, mystery, suspense or supernatural books. 


Any book by that author can be used as a wild card to fill any space.


The wild card can be played twice during the game.


Wild card authors don't need to be identified before the game begins, but once you play your first wild card, that's the author who must be used to play the second wild card as well!




Bingo categories: 26 through 31

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:

And now for the last spaces!



More recycled categories! In addition, since 31 isn't divisible by 5, I just stuck the last category onto this post so we didn't have one lonely category sitting out there by itself!


Cozy mystery: a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.


Book suggestions: There is already a Cozy Mystery list available! I also stumbled on this one, Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet, which looks entertaining, and a throwback recommendation to an absolutely charming series, The Number One Ladies Detective Agency, set in Botswana!


Darkest London: any mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural book set in London.


Book suggestions: I have a huge weakness for books set in London, so this isn't the first time this category has turned up in Halloween bingo! That means that there is already a list, which you can find here, which already has 72 suggestions. I am a huge fan of V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic series, which features not one, but four, Londons!


Amateur sleuth: this mystery will have a main character who is not a member of law enforcement.


Book suggestions: I've been enjoying Miss Silver, by Patricia Wentworth, and Latter End is one that I really enjoyed! One of the nice things about the Golden Age mystery authors is that typically their books can be read in any order! Agatha Christie's Miss Marple is also an amateur sleuth, and I like 4:50 From Paddington, which co-stars one of my favorite Christie women, Lucy Eyelesbarrow. In addition, take a look at MBD's Amateur Sleuth list.


Terrifying women: mystery, horror, suspense or supernatural written by women.


Book suggestions: I don't think anyone can go wrong with either Patricia Highsmith or Shirley Jackson. But, if you're still looking, check out  the Terrifying Women Authors list!


Murder Most Foul: any murder mystery.


Book suggestions: Let's start with one of the best murder mysteries ever written - Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. In addition, you can find many other options on these lists: Serial/Spree KillerLocked Room Mystery, and Mystery Square.


Diverse voices: written by an author of color.


Book suggestions: I'm always looking for new books written by diverse authors. I recently discovered Attica Locke, who writes mysteries, including Bluebird, Bluebird, which I read earlier this year and liked. Also, I always recommend Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower for this square! Last year I read Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older, which I liked. You can find a bunch more here: Diverse Authors Square.


Well, that's a wrap guys!


And, if you are going to be requesting a card, do it here!

Bingo categories: 21 through 25

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:


All of the new categories have been revealed! From here on out, you get recycled categories from years past. On the bright side, we've already got a whole bunch of suggestions for them with Murder By Death's brilliant Halloween Bingo lists from the last two years


Classic horror: horror fiction that was published prior to 1980;


Book suggestions: check out this list: MBD's list for Classic Horror. In addition, as someone who is not a horror fan, classic horror is one of my favorite squares! I definitely recommend The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Uncle Silas by Sheridan LeFanu and Dracula by Bram Stoker, which is best as a full-cast audiobook.


Romantic suspense: any romance which has a significant sub-plot that involves mystery, thriller or suspense.


Book suggestions: MBD's list for Romantic Suspense. Also, this is pretty much your only chance to get any romance into your bingo, so I recommend checking out almost anything by Mary Stewart, but especially The Moonspinners, Window on the Square by Phyllis Whitney, or Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt.


Gothic: any book with significant: a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance. 


Book suggestions: Pretty much anything by Daphne du Maurier would be considered gothic, including Jamaica Inn, Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye is a really fun retelling of Jane Eyre, with Jane as a killer and carrying the tag line "Reader, I Murdered Him," and another retelling of Henry James The Turn of the Screw, Florence and Giles, by John Harding, which I have not read, but which looks interesting. For more suggestions, check out MBD's list for Gothic.


Country house mystery: a closed circle murder set during a gathering like a house party.


Book suggestions: These are some of my favorite mysteries, and there is some overlap with the next category, Terror in a Small Town. You can find a bunch of options on MBD's list for Country House Mystery, and one of my personal favorites off of that list is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. In addition, Hunter's Green by Phyllis Whitney would fit, if you're interested in something more gothic and less mystery


Terror in a small town: any mystery, supernatural, horror or suspense that takes place in a small town.


Book suggestions: A few suggestions for this square include: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuteveld, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, and one of the best of all of the Agatha Christies, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which is already included on MBD's list for Terror in a Small Town.

Bingo categories: 16 through 20

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:


Modern Masters of Horror: horror published in or after 2000.


Book suggestions: I'm not really a horror reader, so I am going to have to rely on some of my booklikes peeps for newer horror selections! I can provide these less horrorish horror options, though: The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey, published in 2009, 14 by Peter Cline (2012), and the companion novel The Fold (2015).


Supernatural: mystery, suspense or horror books which include elements that defy current understanding of the natural world, including magic, witchcraft and/or crypto-zoological aspects. 


Book suggestions: This is an extremely broad category, so I'm just going to link to MBD's Supernatural list, which already has 89 possibilities! I bet she'd be willing to add more, if you put them in the comments!


Genre: Horror: anything that fits into the horror genre.


Book suggestions: Again, not a horror reader, so . . . here is the Horror list!


Cryptozoologist: any supernatural creature, from Ammit to Ziz;


Book suggestions: Discount Armageddon by Seanan is the first book in one of my favorite series, which is actually about a family of cryptozoologists, so you should totally check it out. You can also find books on these lists: Monsters, Demons, Vampires vs. Werewolves, and the previously linked Supernatural list!


Fear the Drowning Deep: mystery, suspense, supernatural or horror books with sea-related elements: sea creatures, ships, shipwrecks, and/or sharks.


Book suggestions: This may be my MOST FAVORITE new category! I am planning to read Into the Drowning Deep by Seanan McGuire. In addition, I stumbled on this one when I was mucking about on Goodreads, and it's a novella - The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster. Others would include: Salt and Storm by Kendall Kuyper, The Blackhouse by Peter May, and of course, Jaws by Peter Benchley.

Bingo categories: 11 through 15

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:



Ghost stories: any story involving ghosts or hauntings, including haunted houses, buildings, graveyards, etc.


Book suggestions: Jackaby by William Ritter, The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, and The Ghost of Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire.  In addition, this is a recycled category, so there's already a list for it - Ghost Stories and Haunted Houses.


13: any book that relates to bad luck, superstitions, including (but not limited to) black cats, ravens or crows, or the unlucky number 13, either in the title, series, book cover or page count.


Book suggestions: Okay, I totally love this new category! The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (the Penguin Classics Deluxe edition, which I own, has a black cat on the cover. See link), any of the books from A Series of Unfortunate Events (the series ended on the unlucky 13th book). Also check out MBD's Black Cat list!


A Grimm Tale: any fairy tale or retelling of fairy tales, folklore, legends, etc.


Book suggestions: There are a lot of really good retellings out there! However, a few that I have either enjoyed or heard good things about include: The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter (I haven't read this one, but OB really liked it), The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (based on the Russian fairytale Vasilia the Beautiful), Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (she has a number of good retellings). 


Relics and Curiosities: concerning magical, supernatural or haunted objects, such as spellbooks, talismans or swords.


Book suggestions: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, Relic by Douglas Preston, The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.


Deadlands: elements of the undead - zombies, wights, vampires and other revenants.


Book suggestions: Ghostwalkers (Deadlands #1) by Jonathan Mayberry, The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. In addition, there is a list for last-year's zombie related square: The Dead Will Walk, and the vampire books on MBD's list Vampires versus Werewolves.

Reading progress update: I've read 76%.

My Plain Jane - Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows, Cynthia Hand

Bored senseless. Seriously. 

Trying to redo Jane Eyre with literal ghosts? Nope. None of the characters feel developed either. I just find myself wishing I had re-read Jane Eyre again. 

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:


Obsidian and I have decided on the categories for this year's game of Halloween Bingo! The category reveals will begin tomorrow, to allow everyone to have ample time for book planning, purchasing, lending, obtaining, begging, borrowing and all other forms of bookish acquisition!


I will be revealing them 5 categories per day until all 31 have been announced. There are some carryover categories from last year, although many of them have been tweaked a bit. There are some new categories for this year - some of which I am pretty excited about and hope you will be, too!


Remember, all of the books for Halloween bingo need to fit into one of four general categories: horror, mystery, supernatural or suspense. Within those four general genres, there is lots of room for variation, and within each of the categories there is lots of room for imagination! If you can come up with a justification, you can read the book!


Remember, Halloween Bingo is intended to be full of bookish fun. It isn't a job. It isn't homework. The prize is the satisfaction of sticking your sticker over the category.


Once I reveal all of the categories, I will open a thread for card requests. Each person will receive an INDIVIDUAL card. If you didn't play last year, and you have questions, you can check out this thread in the bingo group, which will explain the rules. You can also find answers to the questions that players asked last year!

Bingo categories: 1 through 5

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:

These are in no order whatsoever!



Book titles link to the Goodreads page for the identified books.


Creepy Carnivals: horror/mystery/supernatural/suspense set in or concerning a carnival, amusement park, or other party/festival.


Book suggestions: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Joyland by Stephen King, Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie, Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern or Carniepunk, an urban fantasy anthology!


Southern Gothic: mystery, supernatural, suspense or horror set in the Southern part of the United States.


Book suggestions: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, Sharyn McCrumb's mystery series set in Dark Hollow, Tennessee, including If I Ever Return, Pretty Peggy-O, Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.


Doomsday: anything related to the end of the world, doomsday cults, or a post-apocalypse world. 


Book suggestions: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Last Policeman by Ben Winters, The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, The House with the Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs.


New release: mystery, suspense, horror or supernatural that was published after 10/31/17.


Book suggestions: too many to count, but I am personally looking forward to reading Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire, which was released on 3/6/18!


Genre: Suspense: anything that fits into the suspense genre.


Book suggestions: again, this is a broad category - there are so many available books. I haven't settled on anything to fill this square.

Bingo categories: 6 through 10

Reblogged from Moonlight Madness:



Book titles link to the book's Goodreads Page. I have also linked to the lists created by Murder by Death in prior bingo games where they apply!


Baker Street Irregulars: mystery that involves children/teens in crime solving.


Book suggestions: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (or any of the Flavia de Luce series); Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, and, of course, The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1) by Carolyn Keene. 


Shifters: werewolves, skin-walkers and all other therianthropes.


Book Suggestions: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (or any of the Mercy Thompson series - Mercy is a skinwalker), Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Urban Fantasy tends to be full of shifters - check out werewolf books in the Vampires versus Werewolves list from years past!


Slasher Stories: books that share the tropes of classic slasher movies: teen characters, indestructible killers and/or multiple victims.


Book Suggestions: I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan, Slasher Girls, Monster Boys, a collection of YA short stories, and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. In addition, I found a list on a site called bookscrolling called: The Best Slasher Horror Books. I haven't read any of them, but I bet Char has! Authors include Richard Laymon and Jack Ketchum.


Spellbound: books containing witches, warlocks, sorcerors and witchcraft.


Book Suggestions: there are so many possible options for this category, but some of my favorites are: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, the Harry Potter series, and Stardust by Neil Gaiman. You can also take a look at Murder By Death's Witches list from a past bingo game!


Modern Noir: mystery with noir elements, including authors like James Ellroy, Ian Rankin, anything that falls generally under the category of Nordic Noir, Tartan Noir, Granite Noir, etc.


Book suggestions: Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, which starts with In The Woods, L.A Confidential by James Ellroy, Mystic River by Dennis Lehane.

Reading progress update: I've read 75%.

The Sugar House - Laura Lippman

Well we have Tess back in Baltimore and knee deep in corruption. This time some ties are leading back to her very own father. I like how Lippman calls back Tess's eating disorder when she was younger and how it comes into play in this case she is on now. I am curious on how this is going to go though. If Tess continues investigating she may end up hurting her family. Crow and she are back together and seem to be stronger than ever. Very happy Whitney is back from Japan as well. Tess could do a lot worse than having her as a partner. 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

In Big Trouble - Laura Lippman

Wow. Seeing Tess in Texas was pretty good. I really don't get why she kept playing a sucker for Crow, but I get that she was trying to make amends in her own way. Loved another woman calling out Tess for her terrible habit of taking other women's men and her own aunt saying the same. The mystery was not that interesting though. And reading the set-up of it sounded a little outlandish to me.


Anita Blake: Serpentine- Chapter 1

Reblogged from GreyWarden:


Ok- let’s get started.

Crapter 1:  Anita’s trying out dresses in a bridal shop in Albuquerque; since she’s the Best Man/Person for Tedward she gets to wear black because all the guys in the wedding party are in black tuxes and plus even Donna admitted the taupe color of the bridesmaid dresses really looked bad on her.


She’s talking to someone named Micah Callahan on the phone (who? Never heard of ‘im!) and she’s nervous because her new smartphone is probably smarter than her (that’s me, but it is implied in the text).  An infodump on Micah and we get to find out he’s working on a case for his Furry Coalition that’s bothering him (?) and the clients… sorry, shapeshifters… are finally allowing him to share info with her, what with being the law and all.


Anita turns to see if anyone’s within earshot; just that little movement makes her big ol’ funbags pop out (well, that escalated quickly) and after giving it some thought she comes to the conclusion that she’ll…  just stand still.  Shapeshifter is one of those words that makes folks uneasy when they hear it, and there’s no guarantee of privacy here, so let’s just call them clients, ‘k?  (This takes about 1 ½ pages)  [Or you could just hold off this entire conversation til later, but what the fuck do I know?]


Oh, and apparently Nathaniel’s here; he got mentioned since Micah wants him to take some pics of Anita spilling out of the dress before it gets altered.  Plus with Micah and Anita being so busy- and Nate doesn’t have jack shit to do other than trail after Anita- they haven’t see each other much so Nate’s been getting all the smexy times.  And since Micah’s clearly forgotten, Anita reminds him that Nate’s their shared boyfriend/fiancé and Micah’s gonna marry him just like she’s gonna marry JC.  No other girls or guys allowed in the mix, tho- that would just make things weird.


Micah feels crowded with all the sharing, cross-marrying and whatnot.  This just goes on and on and on about relationships and shit until LKH remembers there’s a plot that needs advancing so Micah sends Anita a picture from the case he’s working on.  The young man’s right arm’s been transformed into a snake-like appendage, complete with a head that has kitty-cat yellow eyes, but with slitted pupils.  Anita, having already forgotten Micah’s involvement, thinks it’s all Photoshop.  Next picture is of a guy whose left arm looks like Medusa’s hair or a hydra.  Micah tells her it’s a family of shifters, all the changes tied to the moon’s phases at first, but can become permanent.  


Last pic is of a man whose entire right side of his torso is a bouquet of snakes, including one sprouting from his neck, and green scales on the right side of his face.  Anita one ups Micah and asks if the changes eventually take over the entire body; dunno, didn’t think to ask (Guess we’ll save that tidbit for later).  It’s more like a curse; they retain their own minds but the snakes seem separate from them- like Alien Hand Syndrome, acting independently of the body.  There’s no melding of man and beast; all they get is flashes and impulses about biting and attacking things, their own minds getting less and less coherent over time until finally...  FYI- those three are all related as father, son & uncle.  It manifests differently in women- like a curl of hair or a single snake growing out of their chest.


There’s a knock at Micah’s door; the witch that Anita’s friend recommended (?) has been consulting with the Furry Coalition on this and they want to hit it from all angles- science, magic and shifter.  Turns out the family has Greek ancestry, so there’s that.  They’ve even tried amputation, but it grows back- not even burning the stump like in the myths works.  They haven’t sought outside help because of all those pesky Varmint Laws.


Micah has Jake and Kaazim (?) with him; maybe they know something since Queenie, their former Harlequin mistress, was ancient as fuck and lived in Greece.  Anita asks if they’ll meet any of the victims when they all come down for the wedding.  Micah says yes, because the island is so small.

…wait, what now? 


It’s never said exactly where Micah is- there’s a few throwaways about being ‘down here’, but not where that is.  Or where the wedding is supposed to happen.  All we know is Anita & Nate are in New Mexico and Micah is off somewhere else.   And this is the HC version.


More relationship BS; time for I Love You/I Love You More/I Love You Mostest- but without Nate this time, which is a little weird to Anita.  Now Anita’s wondering if Micah might be tired of all the sharing.  God Help Us All.  18 pgs







Two Different Baltimores

Butchers Hill: A Tess Monaghan Novel - Laura Lippman

Going to applaud Laura Lippman here for tackling race. I was wondering if she was going to do it, and it's slightly imperfect, but I did love her showing how Tess was steeped in privilege and didn't even get how much until she met Jackie (one of her clients with a surprising connection to her) and Luther Beale. I loved how Lippman showcases two different Baltimore's (one for white people and one for black people). I also love the shoutout to HBO's "The Wire."


Image result for the wire gif


"Butchers Hill" has Tess single and dealing with the effects of being badly beaten in the last book. She finally opened up her own P.I. firm in Baltimore and is nervously waiting for business to come her way. Her first client is Luther Beale, an older African American man who was charged with manslaughter years earlier when he fired when some young kids started vandalizing his car. Beale is a pariah in his community and wants Tess's help in tracking down the survivors in order to provide them with money to help them out.


Tess's second client is a woman named Jackie that is looking to find her adopted daughter.  I won't get into how Tess and her relationship is complicated, but the reveal we get is outstanding. What is great though is that Tess is floundering without her best friend Whitney by her side. She needs someone to interact with that is not her nutty family or her aunt. When Tess and Jackie start to interact, Tess finds herself envious of Jackie's money and clothes, but realizes that even that doesn't change that the rest of the world still looks down on Jackie because she's black. 

I have to say a few times I wanted to shake Tess cause her thoughts and comments pretty much shows she doesn't get it when African American people she comes across don't want to have anything to do with her, and she seems to have a vague idea that racism is a thing. She makes a few jokes about the confederacy and I wanted Jackie to smother her. 


That said, you can see Tess in her own misguided way, wants to help Jackie and really sees her as a friend. I was surprised by the ending with these two and I think most readers will be as well.

These two cases really have nothing to do with each other besides Jackie helping out Tess with her first investigation and things tying up nicely in the end. 


Tess's family shines in this one. You have heard about the bickering and pain in the butt grandmother, now you get to meet people in the flesh. I maybe laughed a few times at some of the scenes and was surprised to see how things ended up with Tess, her family, and some other characters. 


The writing was really good and I liked the flow.


Baltimore is still a perfect setting for this series and this third book really comes alive with things. I don't know about the fourth book, looks like Tess is going to Texas and I am sad we won't see her in her usual habitat. 


Great read! 

It's that time again - reminders from your friendly librarian.

Reblogged from Murder by Death:

With BookLikes' automated import on search functionality in limbo (please for not much longer), everyone not finding their books in the system is adding them - YAY!  BUT...that means the queue of approvals for librarians is so. much. longer.


That's totally fine, but in order to churn through them in a timely manner it becomes more important than ever to keep the following in mind:


Covers:  Changing covers must have a valid source librarians can verify.  Librarians won't change covers without source URLs.  Please note:  Goodreads error rate has gone significantly up, they are no longer a reliable source for correct cover art.  Librarians may or may not accept a request depending on other sources.


Some ISBNs have multiple cover art.  If your book is one of them, please file a report (flag icon on book page) to indicate you would like to have an alternate cover edition made, providing a valid source URL for your cover of choice, and the ISBN it is an alternate for.  I do not recommend trying to change an edition's cover with alternative art - it may or may not be accepted depending on what the librarian finds.


Titles:  DO NOT include series information in the title.  DO NOT include the format in the title.  Just the title please.  And  a subtitle if applicable.  Series are not subtitles.  Please use the series field for series.


ISBN/ASIN fields:  I cannot stress this enough:


Hardcovers and paperbacks get ISBNs only.  NEVER USE AN ASIN FOR THESE!



Kindles get ASINs only:  NEVER USE ISBNs FOR THESE!


Please add seperate editions for ebooks and kindles.  Librarians will not leave records with both ISBNs and ASINs. 


Audible audiobooks get ASINs.  Digital download audiobooks from EVERYWHERE ELSE get an ISBN.

Seriously, the number of "ebooks" with ASINs that come through AND the number of "kindles" that have only ISBNs drives me a little nutty.


Books without any ISBN or ASIN need valid source URLs.  Please make an effort to find the ISBNs or ASINs.   If you add a book without either of these numbers and there are matching editions that DO have them, your added book will be merged with the edition that is correctly identified.   (Note: see alternate cover notes above if this applies.)


Format:  Please see my rather frantic notes above under ISBN/ASIN.




Descriptions:  Please do not include quotes from other authors, notes from the author of the book, a list of other titles, or any other marketing material that is not directly describing the plot of the book you're adding.  If you do, it'll likely be removed.


While I'm on that subject - When editing author records, please keep the bio of the author to being an actual bio.  NO MARKETING, no title lists, no quotes from other authors, no announcements of book sales, upcoming releases or free stuff in exchange for a newsletter subscription.  These will also be removed.



Please feel free to reblog this if you think you can get it to a wider audience.  Complete records for new added books will help librarians get through  the lists faster and free up their time to clean up other parts of the database that are in urgent need to attention.


Thank you from your friendly (mostly) neighborhood librarian.s