The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – October 2019: Missouri

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – October 2019: Missouri

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1bhabeck
Sep 27, 2019, 4:29am

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 travel to the state of Missouri.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – October 2019: Missouri


History

Missouri is a state in the midwestern United States of America; its capital is Jefferson City and the largest city is Kansas City. Missouri is ranked 21st in area at 69,715 square miles (180,560km square) and is the 18th most populous state with approximately 6.1 million residents based on the 2010 census.

Humans inhabited the land now known as Missouri for the past 12,000 years. When European explorers arrived in the area in the 17th century, they encountered the Osage and Missouria Indian nations. Missouri was part of the territory acquired by the US from the French in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Americans from areas to the south, including African slaves, rushed into the new Missouri Territory. Missouri was admitted as a slave state as part of the Missouri Compromise on August 10, 1821.

In the early 1830s, Mormon migrants from the northern states and Canada began settling in Missouri. Conflicts over religion and slavery arose between the “old settlers” (mainly from the South) and the Mormons (mainly from the North). The Mormon War erupted in 1838. By 1839, with the help of an “Extermination Order” by Governor Lilburn Biggs, the old settlers forcefully expelled the Mormons from Missouri and confiscated their lands.

As a border state during the American Civil War, Missouri’s role was complex and there were many conflicts within as well as escalating border tensions between Missouri and other states and territories. Missouri’s population almost doubled each decade between 1830 and 1860. Many of the settlers were Irish and Germans who had fled famine and oppression in Ireland and revolutionary upheaval in Germany. Consequently the new immigrants were not sympathetic to slavery. The tensions over slavery chiefly had to do with the future of the state and the nation. In 1860, slaves made up less than 10% of the state’s population. After the secession of Southern states began in 1861, the Missouri legislature called for a special convention – the convention voted decisively to remain in the Union.

Missouri played a central role in the westward expansion of the United States as memorialized by the Gateway Arch. The Pony Express, Oregon Trail, Santa Fe Trail and California Trail all began in Missouri.


Geography


Missouri is landlocked and bordered by EIGHT states – Iowa to the north, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee to the east, Arkansas to the south and Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska to the west. Missouri’s nicknames include: “The Show Me State”, “The Ozark State” and “Mother of the West”.

The state’s 2 largest rivers are the Mississippi and the Missouri with the Mississippi forming the majority of the state’s eastern border.


The southern portion of Missouri hosts karst topography characterized by high limestone content with the formation of sinkholes and caves. The state has more than 6,000 caves.

Fun Facts

The first successful parachute jump from a moving airplane was completed in St. Louis by Captain Albert Berry in 1912.

Missouri is one of the few states where even the residents can’t pick a single pronunciation, Missouree vs Missouruh. Local politicians will even switch back and forth during speeches in an attempt to appeal to all.

St Louis was the site of the demonic possession incident that inspired the book, and later the movie, “The Exorcist”.


Missouri is home to the most destructive tornado in US history. The Tri-State tornado, which set down March 18, 1925 killed 695 people, injured 2,027 people and demolished an estimated 15,000 homes throughout Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Annapolis, Missouri was 90% destroyed.

Missouri is the only state in the US where diners can eat a meal in a restaurant inside of a cave, simply called “The Cave Restaurant and Resort”. This is fitting as the state is home to over 6,000 caves.

Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis Missouri is the largest beer producing plant in the nation.


St. Louis hosted the first Olympics held in the US, concurrent with the World’s Fair in 1904. The event was complete chaos – Athletes competed for 4 ½ months with one event each day of the fair. But only 42 of the 91 events actually included competitors from other countries. The craziest event was the marathon – almost ½ of the runners got heat stroke and the first-place winner cheated by hitching a car ride from mile 9 to mile 19. (One of the wackiest events included speed climbing up a greased pole.)

Notable Residents

Harry Truman was the only US President to hail from Missouri. He was born in Lamar, Missouri in 1884. Beginning as a successful farmer, he served in France during World War I and after the war, opened a men’s clothing store in Kansas City, Missouri. An Active Democrat, he became a Senator in 1934. As the 33rd President, Truman ordered the use of atomic weapons against Japan at the end of World War II. After he left the White House in 1953, he and his wife Bess moved back to the Independence, Missouri home that they shared with his mother-in-law and lived off his $112.56 monthly Army pension.


Jesse James was shot and killed in St. Joseph Missouri after his involvement in approximately 200 murders, an estimated 16 of which he himself pulled the trigger.

Missouri has produced a number of well-known actors: Brad Pitt, John Goodman, Dick Van Dyke, Jenna Fischer and Jon Hamm.

Author Mark Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri which became an inspiration for a lot of his works. Other famous authors from Missouri include Maya Angelou, T.S. Elliot, Sara Teasdale and Tennessee Williams.

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

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “River,” “Demon,” “Horse,” or “War” in the title or an outdoor scene with a river or horse on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the main character(s) is setting off on a long trip, has a conflict or central theme related to religion, or involves a natural disaster; or

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


Happy Reading ❤

2bhabeck
Edited: Oct 23, 2019, 12:03pm

Brenda's October 2019 Americana Challenge - Missouri
2 of 3 Complete


• A Mystery/Suspense book with “River,” “Demon,” “Horse,” or “War” in the title or an outdoor scene with a river or horse on the cover;
The River by Peter Heller; 10/2/19; 3.5 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the main character(s) is setting off on a long trip, has a conflict or central theme related to religion, or involves a natural disaster; or
Blind thrust by Samuel Marquis; natural disaster; 10/--/19; -- stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in MISSOURI
Kaleidoscope by Ryan Mullaney; R and M; 10/19/19; 3 stars

3Carol420
Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 4:28pm



Carol Found A New Friend in Missouri. (He's a real little devil)
📌 -★

3/3 - DONE- 10/11/19
📌1. A Mystery/Suspense book with “River,” “Demon,” “Horse,” or “War” in the title or an outdoor scene with a river or horse on the cover;
The Demon of Mansfeld Manor - S. A. Jacobs - 5 📌

📌2. A Mystery/Suspense book where the main character(s) is setting off on a long trip, has a conflict or central theme related to religion, or involves a natural disaster
The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare -4 ★

📌3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in MISSOURI
Touch Not The CatMary Stewart -5★ (M & S)

4Olivermagnus
Edited: Oct 26, 2019, 10:22am



• A Mystery/Suspense book with “River,” “Demon,” “Horse,” or “War” in the title or an outdoor scene with a river or horse on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the main character(s) is setting off on a long trip, has a conflict or central theme related to religion, or involves a natural disaster; or

📌 A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in MISSOURI
Last Time I Lied - Riley Sager - 4 Stars

5Carol420
Sep 28, 2019, 7:54am

>4 Olivermagnus: That is the honest truth! I had a conference in July one year in St. Louis. I thought I was in the Arizona desert except the heat was wet instead of dry.

6Olivermagnus
Sep 29, 2019, 7:13pm

>5 Carol420: - I hear it's worse than Florida.......and you know how much I hated that.

7bhabeck
Edited: Sep 30, 2019, 12:42am

This message has been deleted by its author.

8gaylebutz
Sep 30, 2019, 3:29pm

I'm going to read A Bad Day for Pretty by Sophie Littlefield. It involves a natural disaster and is set in Missouri.

9Carol420
Edited: Oct 1, 2019, 9:17am

#1 "Demon" in the title

The Demon of Mansfeld Manor S.A Jacobs
Paranormal Archaeology series Book #1
5★

An unexpected inheritance…A stately manor…A place of evil. Jim Bauer is shocked when he inherits a large sum of money and a historic mansion. The mysterious gift comes with a stipulation, however; he must use the funds to restore Mansfeld Manor to its original condition. What Jim doesn’t know is that this home has a terrible history. As he works to restore the manor, he begins to learn the terrifying secrets of its past. He discovers tales of missing persons, rumors of occult rituals, and sightings of a ghostly wolf on the grounds. And now the evil has begun once again. Even with the help of a paranormal investigator and a woman with ties to the manor’s history, Jim is left to answer the biggest questions of all: Why was he chosen to inherit the manor? And what does the evil want from him?

The last thing Jim ever expected was to inherit a manor and certainly not Mansfeld Manor. The manor had a history and as an archeologist and paranormal enthusiasts he was excited in spite of the manor’s dark past. He soon, however finds out that the darkness is not only in the past but has invaded the present. I love haunted house and ghost stories and this one combines both.

10jguidry
Oct 2, 2019, 11:37pm

Jaret Meanders around Missouri
(0/3 completed)

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “River,” “Demon,” “Horse,” or “War” in the title or an outdoor scene with a river or horse on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the main character(s) is setting off on a long trip, has a conflict or central theme related to religion, or involves a natural disaster; or

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

11Sergeirocks
Edited: Oct 29, 2019, 6:38pm

Here we go...

6 October - Service of All the Dead by Colin Dexter 4★s (Central theme related to religion)

😥 Couldn't fit my other two books in my schedule; would have read The Falls Ian Rankin and A Pale Horse Charles Todd.

12Carol420
Oct 9, 2019, 4:32pm

#2 - a religious conflict


The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare (2011)
4★

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.

When Kit Tyler comes to colonial Connecticut, she is unprepared for her uncle's home and his beliefs. Kit is accustomed to the easy life of a slave-manned plantation so her fanatic Puritan uncle is more than an cultural shock to her. I liked Kit’s courage and convictions. She makes friends with Hannah…the old woman whose Quaker affiliations have branded her as a witch. When a young child who she has been secretly helping is suddenly stricken with a strange sickness she finds her safety to be seriously threatened. Even her ability to swim and float cause mistrust among the townspeople who see her “magic” as a threat. I found the attitude of the people unnerving and slightly scary. It made me extremely thankful that I didn’t live in that time...but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it. Anyone that loves history or even has a slight interest will find this little story engaging.

13Carol420
Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 4:16pm

#3- author's initials found in MISSOURI


Touch Not The Cat - Mary Stewart (1976)
5★
Ashley Court: the tumbledown ancestral home of the Ashley family, all blessed with 'the gift' of being able to speak to each other without words. When Bryony Ashley's father dies under mysterious circumstances, his final words… a cryptic warning to her, Bryony returns from abroad to uncover Ashley Court's secrets. What did her father's message mean? What lies at the centre of the overgrown maze in the gardens? And who is trying to prevent Bryony from discovering the truth?

I read Mary Stewart books from my Grandmother’s library. She was a favorite of hers and soon also became a favorite of mine. I remembered when I saw the reprint of this one how I had once devoured every word this author could put to paper. The atmosphere of this one is enchanting…for lack of a better word. It’s a perfect blending of the modern world creeping upon a life and time that has since faded into memory…a time of rambling, pre-war estates in the green English hills, with histories that go even further back. It possesses both originality and subtle suspense and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

14Carol420
Edited: Oct 11, 2019, 4:15pm



I'm Done! Thank you, Brenda. You are doining a really good job on these. I liked New Hampshire

15bhabeck
Oct 11, 2019, 10:05pm

Congrats Carol!

Thanks for the feedback.

16gaylebutz
Oct 19, 2019, 5:41pm

Involves a natural disaster and is set in Missouri

A Bad Day for Pretty by Sophie Littlefield

3 ★

Stella Hardesty, avenger of wronged women, is getting cozy with Sheriff “Goat” Jones when a tornado blows none other than Goat’s scheming ex-wife, Brandy, through the front door. Adding to the chaos, the tornado destroys the snack shack at the demolition derby track and unearthing a woman’s body. The main suspect for the dumping is Neb Donovan. Stella promises his frantic wife she’ll look into helping him. Former client Chrissy Shaw helps with snooping around as Stella must negotiate with the unpredictable Brandy and the dangerously alluring sheriff.

This story was more about the characters and their wacky lives, than the murder. But Stella, her friends and acquaintances are somewhat amusing as they date and investigate. This was a lightly entertaining book.

17Carol420
Oct 20, 2019, 8:50am

>16 gaylebutz:



Good job, Gayle.

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