Published by The British Library on October 1, 2019
Genres: Vintage Mystery, Anthology
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A Christmas party is punctuated by a gunshot under a policeman’s watchful eye. A jewel heist is planned amidst the glitz and glamour of Oxford Street’s Christmas shopping. Lost in a snowstorm, a man finds a motive for murder.
This collection of mysteries explores the darker side of the festive season – from unexplained disturbances in the fresh snow, to the darkness that lurks beneath the sparkling decorations.
With neglected stories by John Bude and E.C.R. Lorac, as well as tales by little-known writers of crime fiction, Martin Edwards blends the cosy atmosphere of the fireside story with a chill to match the temperature outside. This is a gripping seasonal collection sure to delight mystery fans.
I thoroughly enjoyed the storied in The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories. Each short story/mystery is set around Christmas, but aside from that one connecting feature, it’s a great variety, from typical whodunnits, to spy stories, to a ghost story.
The stories are as follows:
“A Christmas Tragedy” by Baroness Orczy
“By the Sword” by Selwyn Jepson
“The Christmas Card Crime” by Donald Stuart
“The Motive” by Ronald Knox
“Blind Man’s Hood” by Carter Dickson
“Paul Temple’s White Christmas” by Francis Durbridge
“Sister Bessie” or “Your Old Leech” by Cyril Hare
“A Bit of Wire Pulling” by E.C.R. Lorac
“Pattern of Revenge” by John Bude
“Crime at Lark Cottage” by John Bingham
“‘Twixt the Cup and the Lip” by Julian Symons
Most of the authors were new to me, but there wasn’t really a bad one in the bunch. Granted, some are better than others, as in any collection, but there’s none that I felt should have been left out. To be honest, I’d be happy to find any of the British Library’s Crime anthologies under the Christmas tree.