The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – June 2019: North Dakota

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – June 2019: North Dakota

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1bhabeck
Edited: May 26, 2019, 3:42pm

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. This month, we are traveling to…North Dakota.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – June 2019: North Dakota


History

North Dakota (dəˈkoʊtə) is a U.S. state in the midwestern and northern regions of the United States. It is the nineteenth largest in area, the fourth smallest by population, and the fourth most sparsely populated state. North Dakota was admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889, along with its neighboring state, South Dakota. Its capital is Bismarck, and its largest city is Fargo.

Native American peoples lived in what is now North Dakota for thousands of years before the coming of Europeans. The first European to reach the area was the French-Canadian trader Pierre Gaultier, sieur de La Vérendrye, who led an exploration and trading party to the Mandan villages in 1738, guided by Assiniboine Indians.

North Dakota was named for the Sioux people who once lived in the territory. The Sioux called themselves Dakota or Lakota, meaning allies or friends. One of North Dakota's nicknames is the Peace Garden State. This nickname honors the International Peace Garden, which lies on the state's border with Manitoba, Canada. North Dakota is also called the Flickertail State because of the many flickertail ground squirrels that live in the central part of the state.


European Americans settled in Dakota Territory only sparsely until the late 19th century, when railroads opened up the region. Congress passed an omnibus bill for statehood for North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington, titled the Enabling Act of 1889, on February 22, 1889 during the administration of President Grover Cleveland. His successor, Benjamin Harrison, signed the proclamations formally admitting North Dakota and South Dakota to the Union on November 2, 1889.

The rivalry between the two new states presented a dilemma of which was to be admitted first. Harrison directed Secretary of State James G. Blaine to shuffle the papers and obscure from him which he was signing first. The actual order went unrecorded, thus no one knows which of the Dakotas was admitted first. However, since North Dakota alphabetically appears before South Dakota, its proclamation was published first in the Statutes At Large.

Western North Dakota saw a boom in oil exploration in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as rising petroleum prices made development profitable. This boom came to an end after petroleum prices declined.

In recent years, the state has had lower rates of unemployment than the national average, and increased job and population growth. Much of the growth has been based on development of the Bakken oil fields in the western part of the state. Estimates as to the remaining amount of oil vary, with some estimating over 100 years worth of oil remaining in the area.

Geography

North Dakota is a Midwestern state located in the U.S. region known as the Great Plains. The state shares the Red River of the North with Minnesota to the east. South Dakota is to the south, Montana is to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are to the north. North Dakota is near the middle of North America with a stone marker in Rugby, North Dakota marking the "Geographic Center of the North American Continent". With an area of 70,762 square miles (183,273 km2), North Dakota is the 19th largest state.


North Dakota's economy is based more heavily on farming than are the economies of most other states. Many North Dakota factories process farm products or manufacture farm equipment. Many of the state’s merchants also rely on agriculture.

Farms and ranches cover nearly all of North Dakota. The chief crop, wheat, is grown in nearly every county. North Dakota harvests more than 90 percent of the nation’s canola and flaxseed. It is also the country’s top producer of barley and sunflower seeds and a leader in the production of beans, honey, lentils, oats, peas, and sugar beets.

Fun Facts

North Dakota is the least-visited state in the US.

North Dakota grows more sunflowers than any other state.


North Dakota has more wildlife refuges (62) than any other state.

The Bakken oil fields topped the one million barrel a day production level in December 2013, becoming only the 4th ever US oil field to do so and one of only 10 worldwide.

North Dakota is home to the nation’s largest state-owned sheep research center.

North Dakota produces enough beef to make 2 billion hamburgers each year and enough wheat to make 108 million buns. JR Simplot in Grand Forks processes over 400 million pounds of French fries per year (most of them sold to McDonald’s).

There are approximately 3 times more cattle than people in North Dakota.

North Dakota holds the Guinness World Record for the most snow angels made simultaneously in one place. On February 17, 2007, 8,962 people made snow angels on the state capitol grounds.


Between 1950-2004, an average of 21 tornadoes a year hit North Dakota. In 1999 alone, 65 tornadoes ripped through the state.


In the northern portion of the state, temperatures drop below 0 degrees farenheit an average of 65 days per year, making it one of the coldest states in the US. The western parts of both the Dakotas are also the windiest area of the US.

For decades, North Dakota's annual murder rate and the violent crime rate was regularly the lowest in the United States. In recent years, however, while still below the national average, crime has risen sharply. In 2016, the violent crime rate was three times higher than in 2004 with the rise mostly occurring in the late 2000s, coinciding with the oil boom era. This happened at a time when the overall US violent crime rate declined slightly. Workers in the oil boom towns have been blamed for much of the increase.

Turtle Lake is home to the annual US and World Championship Turtle Races, who entrants have been known to set blazing speeds of up to a quarter-mile and hour.


Lake Sakakwea, a reservoir about 50 miles outside of Bismarck, is the 3rd largest man-made lake in the US. It has a shoreline of 1,320 miles, just 30 miles fewer than that of the entire state of Florida.

Just under the surface of western North Dakota is about 25 billion tons of lignite, enough to supply the region’s coal needs for over 800 years.

Notable Residents

In 1881, a North Dakotan named David Henderson Houston filed a patent on the first roll film camera. Eight years later he sold the patent to George Eastman, and also provided a suggestion for the name – he wanted to go with Nodak, an abbreviation of No{rth} Dak{ota}, but Eastman decided to change the initial “N” to a “K,” and the rest is photographic history.

Famous people from North Dakota include: musician and bandleader Lawrence Welk, baseball legend Roger Maris, news reporter Eric Sevareid, author Louis L’Amour, singer Peggy Lee, actress Angie Dickenson and actor Josh Duhamel.

Movies filmed in North Dakota include Dakota (1945), Fargo (1995) and the documentary, My Father’s Garden (1996). Few of the actual scenes in Fargo were actually filmed there, except for some exterior shots. Additionally, the movie was loosely based on 2 true events that happened in Minnesota, not North Dakota.


Fargo North, Decoder was a character on the 1970s “Electric Company” tv series, an Inspector Clouseau-type detective who unscrambled words and phrases. He was played by Skip Hinnant, who also voiced Fritz the Cat in the X-Rated animated film of the same name.

In honor of North Dakota, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “North,” “Sun,” "Flower," "Cold," or "Wind" in the title or has a Field or an Animal on the cover; or

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in a remote/sparsely populated area or features a murder-for-hire or a kidnapping, or

• A Mystery/Suspense book where BOTH of the author's initials (the first AND last) can be found in NORTHDAKOTA.


Happy Reading ❤

2bhabeck
Edited: Jun 22, 2019, 6:50pm

June 2019 Americana Challenge - North Dakota
3 of 3 Complete


• A Mystery/Suspense book with “North,” “Sun,” "Flower," "Cold," or "Wind" in the title or has a Field or an Animal on the cover; or
The Cat Who Played Brahms by Lilian Jackson Braun; cat on the cover; 6/22/19; 4 stars


• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in a remote/sparsely populated area or features a murder-for-hire or a kidnapping, or
The Bone Orchard by Paul Doiron; sparsely populated areas in Maine; 6/13/19; 4 stars (one of my favorites in the series so far)

• A Mystery/Suspense book where BOTH of the author's initials (the first AND last) can be found in NORTHDAKOTA.
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett; 6/8/19; 2 stars

Too bad I used The Lost Man by Jane Harper for May - that would have been perfect for #2.

3Carol420
Edited: Jun 14, 2019, 6:45am



📌- ★

3/3
Carol Shivers Her Way Through North Dakota

📌1. A Mystery/Suspense book with “North,” “Sun,” "Flower," "Cold," or "Wind" in the title or has a Field or an Animal on the cover
The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan - ★ (dog on thecover)

📌2. A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in a remote/sparsely populated area or features a murder-for-hire or a kidnapping
The Folcroft Ghosts by Darcy Coates - 4.5★

📌3. A Mystery/Suspense book where BOTH of the author's initials (the first AND last) can be found in NORTH DAKOTA.
The Cannibal by Nelson DeMille - 4★

4Olivermagnus
Edited: Jun 30, 2019, 6:42am



Lynda and Oliver Head to North Dakota

3
of 3 Complete

📌 A Mystery/Suspense book with “North,” “Sun,” "Flower," "Cold," or "Wind" in the title or has a Field or an Animal on the cover;
Cold Mourning - Brenda Chapman - 4 Stars - 6/10/19

📌 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in a remote/sparsely populated area or features a murder-for-hire or a kidnapping
A Merciful Promise - Kendra Elliot - 4.5 Stars - 6/29/19

• A Mystery/Suspense book where BOTH of the author's initials (the first AND last) can be found in NORTHDAKOTA.
The Third Angel - Alice Hoffman - 3.5 Stars - 6/14/19 - AH

5bhabeck
May 26, 2019, 7:24pm

>4 Olivermagnus: I love that pic! and, so true.

6Carol420
May 27, 2019, 6:36am

>4 Olivermagnus: LOL!! Watch out for Oliver.

7gaylebutz
May 27, 2019, 12:04pm

I'm going to read The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, which features a kidnapping.

By the way, here's a link that was posted in this group a while back that lists mysteries by State and Country. I like to check the possibilities there for each state.

https://www.librarything.com/topic/123240#

8Carol420
May 27, 2019, 12:25pm

>7 gaylebutz: Thanks for the link. Seems like all the books are set in New York or California and the rest get left behind:)

9bhabeck
May 27, 2019, 1:19pm

>7 gaylebutz: >8 Carol420: I Initially thought about making one of the challenge items read a book either taking place in the specific state or by an author from that specific state. However, too many of the states were so limited or not represented in the mystery category

10jguidry
Edited: Jun 4, 2019, 8:13pm

Jaret's trip to North Dakota:
completed (1/3)

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “North,” “Sun,” "Flower," "Cold," or "Wind" in the title or has a Field or an Animal on the cover; or

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place in a remote/sparsely populated area or features a murder-for-hire or a kidnapping,
Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories by Otto Penzler 4 stars 6/3/2019 many stories featured both murder-for-hire and kidnappings

• A Mystery/Suspense book where BOTH of the author's initials (the first AND last) can be found in NORTHDAKOTA.

11Carol420
Edited: Jun 1, 2019, 9:56am

#2 - Takes place in a small isolated village


The Folcroft Ghosts by Darcy Coates
4.5 ★

Tara and her brother Kyle are sent to stay with their estranged grandparents. May and Peter Folcroft seem warm and loving at first, and the house, hidden in the base of the mountains, is idyllic. But strange things keep happening. Figures watch them through the fog…objects move on their own. Tara begins to believe the unbelievable... that the house could be haunted. When a storm cuts the phone line and May shifts from doting to obsessive. Tara and her brother Kyle are sent to stay with their estranged grandparents. May and Peter Folcroft seem warm and loving at first, and the house, hidden in the base of the mountains, is idyllic. But strange things keep happening. Figures watch them through the fog. Objects move on their own. Tara begins to believe the unbelievable... that the house could be haunted. When a storm cuts the phone line May shifts from doting to obsessive. Tara and Kyle try to keep up the pretext of a happy family, but a forgotten journal and a locked room provide clues to the desperate lies and secrets entwined with the Folcrofts' legacy. Something is horribly wrong with this family.

I love Darcy Coates books. She tells a well formed ghost story that is scary and creepy but never gory or terrifying. They are almost believable which makes them even scarier. There are many twists before the finale one. If you love a good ghost story you should consider giving this author a try. The only complaint that I have is her books are just too darn short!

12gaylebutz
Jun 9, 2019, 5:24pm

Features a kidnapping

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
3.5 ★

Description
The daughter of a prominent Chicago judge and his socialite wife, inner-city art teacher Mia Dennett is taken hostage by her one-night stand, Colin Thatcher, who, instead of delivering her to his employers, hides her in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota to keep her safe from harm.

This was a mixed bag. The story was only mildly interesting mostly because of things that happened in the kidnapping situation didn’t seem believable. But the ending had an interesting twist that made things make more sense. It took a long time to get there but I’m bumping up my rating a bit because of the ending.

13Carol420
Edited: Jun 11, 2019, 5:17pm

#1 - an animal on the cover


The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan
Jazz Ramsey series Book #1
4★

The way Jazz Ramsey figures it, life is pretty good. She owns her own home in one of Cleveland’s most diverse, artsy, and interesting neighborhoods. She has a job she likes as an administrative assistant at an all-girls school, and a volunteer interest she’s passionate about―Jazz is a cadaver dog handler. Jazz is working with Luther, a cadaver dog in training. Luther is still learning cadaver work, so Jazz is putting him through his paces at an abandoned building that will soon be turned into pricey condos. When Luther signals a find, Jazz is stunned to see the body of a young woman who is dressed in black and wearing the kind of make-up and jewelry Jazz used to see on the Goth kids back in high school. She’s even more shocked when she realizes that beneath the tattoos and the piercings and all that pale make up is a familiar face. The lead detective on the case is an old lover, and the murdered woman is a former student. Jazz finds herself sucked into the case, obsessed with learning the truth.

If there is one thing that I'm more of a sucker for than a ghost story it's a story with a an animal. Dog, cat, horse, elephant...makes no difference as long as it has 4-legs. Luther is a very special dog...he's a cadaver dog. He's in training but he's going to make this a wonderful series. There are some unexpected twists as well as some very clever red herrings. I really liked that the author kept us guessing about the the murderer’s identity and the reasons for the crime until the very end. Good first start here.

14Carol420
Jun 13, 2019, 10:55am

#3 Author's initials found in NORTH DAKOTA - Nelson DeMille (N & D)


The Cannibal by Nelson DeMille (Jack Cannon)
Joe Ryker series Book #4
4★

Nothing surprises Sgt. Joe Ryker. Not corpses, crimes, nor sin of any kind. But when a beautiful New York call girl personally persuades him to investigate a missing persons report and a severed arm comes bobbing up in the East River, Ryker is in for a surprise.

Nelson DeMille wrote this series under the pen name of Jack Cannon in the mid 1970's...(1974 & 1975). As DeMille has continued to do throughout the years with all his novels, he is very graphic in describing everything that is going on, as well as doing an amazing job of keeping us in suspense. There are 6 books in this series, and since I don't mind reading out of order, I will be on the lookout for the rest of this series.

15Carol420
Jun 13, 2019, 10:57am



Another good one, Brenda. Thank you.

16bhabeck
Jun 13, 2019, 1:27pm

>15 Carol420: Well done! You get the prize for first one to finish this month.

BTW - I need to check out that Nelson DeMille series. He's one of my favorite authors and really enjoy both his standalone books (Charm School is one of my favorite books) and the John Corey series.

17Carol420
Jun 13, 2019, 3:50pm

>16 bhabeck: I love the John Corey series and I did read Charm School some time ago. Might give it another read soon. There is only 6 books in this series and he wrote in nearly 45 years ago. As for my prize...cash is accepted as well as checks or credit cards:)

18Sergeirocks
Edited: Jun 28, 2019, 4:28pm

Late starting this month...

1) 24 June 2019 - Life Sentence - Judith Cutler 3★s
(An English Police investigation including an incidence of kidnapping in amongst other crimes.)

2) 26 June 2019 - Broken Silence - Danielle Ramsay 4.5★s
(Authors initials in NORTHDAKOTA.)

3) 28 June 2019 - The Last Witness - Denzil Meyrick 3.5★s
(Picture of a field on the book cover.)

19Olivermagnus
Edited: Jun 30, 2019, 6:45am

20Carol420
Jun 30, 2019, 7:42am

>19 Olivermagnus:



Well done. Congrats!

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