Published by Mysterious Press on December 6, 2016 (first published 1989)
Genres: Mystery, Anthology
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Have yourself a mysterious little Christmas with fifteen whodunits from New York Times–bestselling authors Sharyn McCrumb, Mary Higgins Clark, and more!
Peace on Earth isn’t everyone’s cup of tea in Charlotte MacLeod’s “A Cozy for Christmas.”
Peter Lovesey’s “The Haunted Crescent” delivers a holiday ghost story with a twist.
A training session for department-store Santas turns up Saint Nicks who are anything but angels in Isaac Asimov’s “Ho, Ho, Ho.”
Marcia Muller’s “Silent Night” finds a tough private investigator searching San Francisco’s Tenderloin district—and discovering something unexpected.
A long-married couple’s ship finally comes in—only to spring a mysterious leak—in Mary Higgins Clark’s “That’s the Ticket.”
Scottish superstition catches up with a cat burglar in Sharyn McCrumb’s “A Wee Doch and Doris.”
These and many more stories will keep you turning pages and gathering evidence of yuletide mayhem. So when holiday shopping brings out your inner Grinch, hunker down with a hot toddy—and leave the murder to the experts.
This festive collection includes stories by Charlotte MacLeod, Peter Lovesey, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Eric Wright, John Lutz, Howard Engel, Mary Higgins Clark, Bill Pronzini, Sharyn McCrumb, Henry Slesar, Edward D. Hoch, Aaron Elkins, Susan Dunlap, Isaac Asimov, and Marcia Muller.
I don’t know why, but I am more likely to pick up short story collections in December than any other time of year. It’s even better when they’re mysteries. This collection, like most, has high points and low points. I have read several of the authors before and discovered a couple I’d like to read more of.
A couple of my favorites: (okay, more than a couple. There were a lot of good stories here.)
“The Haunted Crescent” by Peter Lovesey has a great twist at the end that I didn’t see coming.
“Dutch Treat” by Aaron Elkins was fun. I tend to like when art and murder go hand in hand.
“The Touch of Koyada” by Edward Hoch was another good one. I love how some writers can just pack so much into so few pages. I think I’ll read more of his Simon Ark stories.
Of course, Pronzini’s “Here Comes Santa Claus” was enjoyable. I like his Nameless Detective.
A few misses:
Dorothy Salisbury Davis’ “Christopher and Maggie” just didn’t keep my attention. I kept having to re-read bits to remember what was going on.
“The Live Tree” by John Lutz took a bit of a paranormal turn that didn’t work for me.
This is definitely a collection worth reading around this time of year. Overall, the quality was good; none of the tales were absolutely terrible. It’s pretty clean and pretty non-violent. They are not all murder mysteries, although most are.
I may have to pick up Christmas Stalkings, another collection re-released this year.