A Surprise for Christmas and Other Seasonal Mysteries

Edited by Martin Edwards. Poisoned Pen, $14.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4642-1481-3
Edwards’s exceptional fourth anthology of golden age Christmas-themed mysteries (after 2018’s The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories) features tales from heavy hitters such as G.K. Chesterton and Julian Symons as well as less familiar names. Set during a housewarming gathering in Sussex, Carter Dickson’s “Persons or Things Unknown” raises the question of whether sleeping in one of the rooms is safe. During the 17th century, a witness in that room saw a “man hacked to death, with thirteen stab-wounds in his body, from a hand that wasn’t there and a weapon that didn’t exist.” This ingenious story showcases Dickson’s ability at devising head-scratching impossibilities while playing totally fair with the reader. Ngaio Marsh’s Scotland Yarder Roderick Alleyn must solve a Christmas murder whose victim may have been killed by his radio in “Death on the Air.” And Margery Allingham has Albert Campion probe why a mailman was murdered on the holiday in “On Christmas Day in the Morning.” Obscure authors such as Ernest Dudley and E.R. Punshon also impress. Edwards shows no sign of running out of quality material. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/26/2021
Release date: 10/12/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 978-1-4642-1482-0
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