cover image The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories

Edited by Martin Edwards. Poisoned Pen, $14.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-4642-1091-4

Edwards’s outstanding third winter-themed anthology (after 2017’s Crimson Snow) showcases 11 uniformly clever and entertaining stories, mostly from lesser known authors, providing further evidence of the editor’s expertise. The title tale by Donald Stuart is one of the most memorable, featuring multiple murders in snowbound conditions. Passengers traveling to Cornwall find their trip disrupted by a heavy snowfall that blocks their train, forcing them to make their way to the nearest lodging, a seedy inn, where one of their number is fatally stabbed in the chest with half of a Christmas card grasped in his hand. Writing as Carter Dickson, John Dickson Carr is at his creepiest in “Blind Man’s Hood,” in which a couple arrive at a country house for a Christmas celebration and are bewildered to find it abandoned apart from an odd woman. The woman explains that there’s a tradition to leave the home for an hour on Christmas Eve, derived from an unsolved impossible murder years earlier. This entry in the British Crime Classics series will be a welcome holiday gift for fans of the golden age of detection. [em](Oct.) [/em]