2020 Reading Challenge: Deal Me In

Deal Me In!

The object of the challenge is to read 52 short stories over the course of the year. As I already had several anthologies of short stories that have been languishing on my bookshelves for a while now, I hoped that signing up would give me the impetus I needed to actually sit down and read them!

I started with ‘The Mistletoe Murders And Other Stories’ by PD James, then my local library had another crime anthology (‘Mystery Tour’, by the Crime Writers’ Association), which took me to a solid 31 books. I remembered that I bought a copy of ‘Rainbow Romances’, a charity anthology to benefit the National AIDS Trust at Pride last year, and together with all the short stories collected in ‘Fresh Ink’ from my local library I was sitting at exactly 52.

(This was after forgetting how many cards are in a standard deck of cards and going on to add some extra short stories from Cecilia Ahern’s ‘Roar’ to my list before realising. Oops.)

I assigned them all a suit and number so now I’ll just pick a card at random and try a new story!

I like the idea of getting to randomise what I’m reading a little bit as it’s nice to think I might try something new. I will say that I might have inadvertently spoiled that, a bit, by having all my stories come from a relatively small number of anthologies with what looks like quite a lot of murder. I will see how it goes and I wanted to read these anthologies anyway because I thought I would be interested in these stories, but even before I begin I’m wondering if maybe I should have spread my net a little wider and made my list include some different genres or different time periods.

Anyway! Without further ado, my list of short stories:


  1. The Mistletoe Murder by PD James
  2. A Very Commonplace Murder by PD James
  3. The Boxdale Inheritance by PD James
  4. The Twelve Clues of Christmas by PD James
  5. The Queen of Mystery by Ann Cleeves
  6. Return To The Lake by Anna Mazzola
  7. You’ll Be Dead By Dawn by C L Taylor
  8. The Last Supper by Carol Anne Davis
  9. The White Goddess by Cath Staincliff
  10. High Flyer by Chris Simms
  11. Accounting For Murder by Christine Poulson
  12. Travel Is Dangerous by Ed James
  13. Take The Money and Run? By Gordon Brown


  1. No Way Back by J M Hewitt
  2. Mystery Tour by Judith Cutler
  3. Wife On Tour by Julia Crouch
  4. The Naked Lady of Prague by Kate Ellis
  5. Snowbird by Kate Rhodes
  6. The Repentance Wood by Martin Edwards
  7. A Mouthful of Restaurant by Martine Bailey
  8. Cruising For A Killing by Maxim Jakubowski
  9. Three On A Trail by Michael Stanley
  10. The Riddle of The Humming Bee by Paul Charles
  11. Writer’s Block by Paul Gitsham
  12. Lady Luck by Peter Lovesey
  13. A Postcard From Iceland by Ragnar Jónasson


  1. A Clever Evil by Sarah Rayne
  2. The Prodigy by Shawn Reilly Simmons
  3. A Slight Change of Plan by Susi Holliday
  4. Bombay Brigadoon by Vaseem Khan
  5. Matricide and Ice Cream by William Burton McCormick
  6. The Spoils by William Ryan
  7. Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds
  8. Meet Cute by Malinda Lo
  9. Don’t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth
  10. Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi
  11. Tags by Walter Dean Myers
  12. Why I Learned To Cook by Sara Farizan
  13. A Stranger At The Bochinche by Daniel José Older


  1. A Boy’s Duty by Sharon G. Flake
  2. One Voice: A Something In Between Story by Melissa De La Cruz
  3. Paladin/Samurai by Gene Luen Yang
  4. Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar
  5. Super Human by Nicola Yoon
  6. Stripped Bare by G.R. Lyons
  7. Broken Defences by G. R. Lyons
  8. Online Casanova by Michael Ferrante
  9. Far Water by Amir Lane
  10. Something To Hold On To by Carmilla Voiez
  11. Bedsitter Christmas by Melanie Quinlan
  12. Until my Dying Day by Sarah Beth James
  13. Selia by Marolyn Krasner

Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “2020 Reading Challenge: Deal Me In

  1. Wow! I haven’t read very many if the authors on your list. But I do have a few mysteries (or at least Agatha Christie stories) in my roster this year as well – in fact my first card drawn was one of them. 52 cards/52 weeks in the year is a happy coincidence. I hope you enjoy this challenge as much as I have come to over the years.


    1. Truth be told, all but two of them are new to me as well – and one of them I only know because she wrote the Descendants books for the Disney movies in the same series. I work with kids so I end up watching a lot of children’s TV!

      I love a good mystery but I hardly ever read short mystery stories, so I wanted to challenge myself. I normally like the human side to crime but there’s something really satisfying about a puzzle where all the pieces slot into neatly place that short stories can do very well, so I hope to find some gems!

      Thank you! I’m having a lot of fun so far! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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