cover image Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries

Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries

Edited by Martin Edwards. Poisoned Pen, $12.95 trade paper (298p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0499-9

Like an assortment of presents under a Christmas tree, there’s something for everyone in this Yule-themed reprint anthology in the British Library Crime Classics series from Edwards (Guilty Parties). The 15 selections range from stories by such leading lights of the genre’s golden age as Arthur Conan Doyle (“The Blue Carbuncle”) and Dorothy L. Sayers (“The Necklace of Pearls”) to works by such forgotten authors as H.C. Bailey (“The Unknown Murderer”) and Ralph Plummer (“Parlour Tricks”). Connoisseurs of locked-room mysteries will welcome Edmund Crispin’s “The Name on the Window.” Ethel Lina White’s “Waxworks” will send shivers down readers’ spines, though it contains the now-cliché stopped watch to indicate time of death. In “Stuffing,” Edgar Wallace repeats Doyle’s prize-in-the-bird trick from “Carbuncle,” but this is another quibble. These classic tales of murder and jewel thievery with a light dusting of snow reveal bygone sensibilities, which, by and large, are fun to read about. (Nov.)