Apr 052012

My apologies – I’ve been away much of the week, and I’m just now getting around to reminding you about the Final Four competition for the Heroes & Villains tournament at Jen’s Book Thoughts.

Scorekeeper Jen Forbus has posted the Elite Eight there – four heroes, four villains. And while none of my personal heroes are there, the villains DO include two favorites: Professor James Moriarty and the infamous Dr. No.

Who will survive? You get to help decide by voting BEFORE MIDNIGHT EASTERN TIME FRIDAY NIGHT. The ballot is at the link above.  Help to reduce the Elite Eight to the Final Four!

Mar 282012

Jen Forbus’s take on March Madness continues at Jen’s Book Thoughts with voting now under way in the third round of the Heroes & Villains tournament.

I regret to say that Sherlock Holmes didn’t make the cut this time (blasphemy!), and, with Nero Wolfe already out, the “heroes” side of the card is remarkably slim on the classics. On the other hand, there are some good and interesting “villains” indeed – and Professor James Moriarty is still in the game. So is James Bond’s old nemesis, Dr. No. And Hannibal Lecter. But then the villains often are more interesting than the heroes…

Go take a look and cast your ballots to winnow the sweet 16 down to the elite 8. Deadline is midnight Friday night!

Mar 132012

As promised, Jen’s Book Thoughts has begun its massive March Madness-style bracket faceoff. It’s the opening round in an epic “Heroes vs. Villains” contest. Jen Forbus has come up with 32 mystery “heroes” and 32 “villains,” and you get to vote for your favorites, thereby helping to determine which ones move ahead.

Go here to vote – first, you vote on all the heroes, then on the next screen you vote on all the villains. I should note that because I don’t read that many modern mysteries – OK, OK, MY BAD – I don’t recognize all the names. Not by a long shot. And some of the faceoffs seem a little strange – Nero Wolfe vs. Lisbeth Salander? Are you kidding me?

But it’s all in good fun, and I can’t wait to see how the brackets play out here. Voting in this first round will be open only until this Friday, March 16, and the winners of the round will be announced on Saturday.

You can find a full list of all the characters, and their place in the brackets, on Jen’s site, where you can also download a copy for reference. Tomorrow (Wednesday), Jen will be posting a form where you can enter your predictions on the matchups in the Elite Eight, Final Four, and Finale rounds. You have to vote on those by this Friday, March 16!

Feb 172012

It’s nearly that time of year again – March Madness is almost upon us.

No, not that peculiar sports thing involving a batch of college teams engaged in some sport played mostly by very tall people. A fad, I’m sure.

I’m talking about the version of March Madness designed by Jen Forbus, the blogger (blogress?) responsible for the marvelous Jen’s Book Thoughts blog. For two years now, Jen has celebrated the month of March with a version of March Madness especially for mystery lovers which involves competing brackets and elimination rounds, just the way that other March Madness tournament does. Through those brackets and voting by mystery readers, Jen has been able to come up with some very interesting results in her contests to find the most popular mysteries and mystery characters.

This year, she’s preparing her Crime Fiction Bracket Tourney to match up Heroes and Villains. All she needs is suggestions for said heroes and villains – and that’s where you come in. Between now and March 4th, Jen is inviting us to enter the names of favorite heroes and/or villains. She will compile them and set up an initial field of 16 heroes and 16 villains…and we will all then begin the rounds of voting to winnow them down.

Sound like fun? Yes, it is. So go ahead, click the links and start submitting the names of your favorites. I think she’s permitting more than one entry, by the way, so let your imaginations run free. Oh, and it certainly isn’t limited to the classics (though those are the names I’ll be entering); Jen reads (and reviews) mostly contemporary crime novels and thrillers, so you can expect to see a lot of familiar names from today’s best crime fiction. Have at it!