Although there are some worthwhile surprises among the 19 original mystery stories in this collection, it is not much of a tribute to the big man in red. Billie Sue Mosiman's account of a puzzling death on a shrimp boat and how it is revenged isn't even a Christmas story, despite a cameo appearance by a fund-raiser in a Santa suit. An opening teaser robs the suspense from Ron Goulart's yarn about an unemployed artist who makes his first--and last--foray into crime when he tries to burgle his ex-wife's house. The more successful stories tend to run on the dark side. Matthew J. Costello portrays an underemployed magician who picks up some extra work doing ``the Santa gig'' for parties until he is lured to a job where the only guest is a corpse. On Christmas Eve, Peter Crowther's PI Koko Tate puts his English degree to work to help police track a serial killer who smothers poor, elderly women and leaves a snippet of poetry at each crime scene. Richard T. Chizmar and Norman Partridge join forces to describe the action a department store security guard takes when his Santa costume prompts a sexually abused little girl to confide that she wants a new daddy for Christmas. Greenberg and Waugh edited, respectively, Mummy Stories and Murder & Mystery in Chicago. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1993 Release date: 11/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.