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The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) Paperback – October 22, 2013
2016 Book Awards
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—The Washington Post
“[A] magnificent collection of any kind of Christmas murder that mystery fans could ever desire.”
—The Plain Dealer, Grade: A+
“Pure malicious deliciousness.”
—The Christian Science Monitor
“My favorite mystery peddler has put together his best collection ever. . . . If you love mysteries, and enjoy the holidays (or even if you don't), you'll love The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries.”
—Nina Sankovitch, Huffington Post
“Less noisy but just as entertaining as ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. . . . Includes many of the best Yuletide whodunits of the past 100 years.”
“[Penzler] knows this turf.”
—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“A feast of 59 (loosely) Christmas-themed stories for mystery and crime-fiction lovers.”
—The Seattle Times
“None of these arresting holiday tales turns out at all the way you might expect. . . . [The book] could last a diligent reader all the way to Easter.”
“A future classic. . . . Penzler, the prime minister of crime fiction, delivers the goods once again with . . . a collection of holiday whodunits that’ll have you eyeing the department-store Santa with suspicion.”
“More femmes fatales, double crossing and deceit than you can shake a peppermint candy cane at. . . . Entertaining and interesting. It should rightfully become a perennial gift, no matter the occasion.”
“Penzler mines the rich vein of American and British Christmas stories from the 19th to the 21st centuries for this impressive collection of 59 short stories featuring authors still in their prime as well as others mostly forgotten by today's readers. . . . A representative and entertaining selection of yuletide stories that mystery fans might like to see on Christmas morn.”
“There’s something for everyone. . . . Mystery readers will not be able to resist.”
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Top Customer Reviews
The stories are organized according to category in a format and layout that is congenial all by itself. There are ten sections, starting with "A Traditional Christmas", with the first entry being one by Agatha Christie; it is a story that has aged well, and I don't remember having read it even though I thought I'd read everything by that writer. There are a few more, and range from just a few pages, double columns on each page, to 25 or 30 pp. Then we move on to "A Funny Little Christmas". The first there is a story by the late great Donald Westlake, and I gobbled it up and then felt bad that I hadn't saved that story for last, because I adore his work and he's gone and can't write anything more. But I perked up when I noted that yet another section, "A Modern Little Christmas", has an unread (by me) story by Ed McBain. There are many others. The final section, "A Classic Little Christmas", bookends the anthology neatly by finishing with Dame Agatha. All told there must be about sixty stories, maybe more.
The anthology, edited by the brilliant and acclaimed Otto Penzler, is billed as having a number of rare or never-published short stories, and I think it's a true claim. There are many mystery writers I've read and enjoyed here, and others I had never even heard of, but found immensely entertaining. I haven't skipped any yet, but even if I find something I don't care to read, the book is worth owning. I know that already. It is also billed as an anthology to warm the heart of any grinch, and indeed, there has been at least one story with a satisfyingly creepy ending.Read more ›
Most holiday-themed products are packed away along with the decorations after the new year begins, but the I expect to revisit this collection outside the holiday season. All in all, this is a treat that should be opened well before Christmas!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for my mother for Christmas because she likes mysteries and mentioned she likes to read Christmas themed mysteries during the holidays. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Asana J. Draper
Really liked it. Nice mixed of familiar authors and some new to me. Most of the stories were good - some really good! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Paula Taylor
A mixed bag, to be sure. Some are well done; a few have some good plot twists. On the other hand, some are dull. One to skim.Published 4 months ago by voracious reader
Great vintage short stories. Great to have on hand when you want light reading without pickup your current novel. Fun twists to some endings.Published 11 months ago by AnotherPurchase
Only a few stories had been read before, almost all were new to me. Thoroughly enjoyed...but you do need strong wrists to read this one.Published 13 months ago by Deborah DeBruyn