- Series: Soho Crime
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Soho Crime (October 24, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616957751
- ISBN-13: 978-1616957759
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers Hardcover – October 24, 2017
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From the Publisher
The Perfect Stocking-Stuffer
Shiny red foiled text on cover and spine.
Illustrated endpapers depicting a line-up of Soho Crime authors including Sujata Massey, Peter Lovesey, Stuart Neville, Cara Black, Martin Limon, and Henry Chang.
Literally a stocking-stuffer: 5.4 x 1.3 x 7.9 inch hardcover format.
An 'IndieNext' Selection for November 2017
A Bookreporter.com Best Book of 2017
Praise for Soho Press
“Soho Press consistently publishes top-notch novels that open windows on foreign underworlds off-limits to the casual traveler.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"[Soho Crime] has accumulated an impressive stable of international crime writers."
—Jack Batten, The Toronto Star
Praise for The Usual Santas
"Crime writers are set loose on Christmas and come up with short stories that take place in a variety of locales, from a Korean War P.O.W. camp to a palatial hotel in 1920s Bombay, all somehow finding a way to craftily meld noir and Noel."
—The New York Times Book Review
"The Santas (and the stories) are anything but usual . . . some of the most inventive, effective and downright moving Christmas crime stories in recent memory."
—Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal
"Promises laughter and death."
—The Washington Post
"For someone who needs a little noir with their holiday cheer."
—Los Angeles Times
"What these Christmas crime stories have in common is the deep humanity at the core of crime—the ugliness, the anxiety, the generosity; all the impulses that move people to action, big and small . . . Fertile ground for crime fiction, on Christmas as on any other day."
"The 18 stories feature things going awry in locations as diverse as Sweden, North Korea, Utah and Ireland. Good fun."
—The Sunday Times (UK)
"Soho sets loose its authors to write eighteen Christmas stories set in locales as exotic as Seoul and Havana, Copenhagen and Goteborg, Laos, Thailand, Bombay and the Mormon precincts of Utah. There’s not a narrative dud in the bunch."
—The Toronto Star
"A fun collection of short stories from Soho authors in which the holidays feature somehow. Just the thing to start getting you in the mood."
—Raleigh News & Observer
"Spanning the globe to Denmark, England, North Korea, Sweden and beyond, the attractive batch of holiday stories in The Usual Santas is a perfect gift for all armchair mystery and short story aficionados looking for light, fun fare."
"You’ll find laughs, murders, and plenty more in this captivating collection of best-selling and award-winning authors. For more than 25 years, Soho Crime has been publishing atmospheric crime fiction set all over the world."
—The Oneonta Daily Star
"Soho Crime draws from its impressive roster of authors for this outstanding Christmas-themed anthology . . . This is the perfect holiday gift for mystery fans."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"What do you get for the crime reader who has everything? How do you get your favorite armchair gumshoe into the holiday spirit? And where can you find 18 hilarious, chilling, and bizarre stories centering around suspicious mall Santas, mysterious dinner parties, and stolen diamonds? The answer to all of these questions (and so many more) is The Usual Santas, A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers, an anthology featuring stories by some of your favorite Soho Press authors and their most unexpectedly twisted Christmas-themed tales."
—Barnes & Noble Reads
"The holiday-infused collection The Usual Santas, gathers the cream of Soho’s international crime-writing crop . . . a festive multitude of short-story gems."
—The Seattle Review of Books
"These eighteen holiday capers by bestselling Soho crime authors contain mysteries, murders and plenty puzzlers that will test armchair sleuths for hours."
"A feisty little collection by feisty little, globe-spinning Soho Crime, The Usual Santas rounds up holiday tales from all over the world that range from laugh-out-loud, spit-out-your-turkey hilarious to cry-in-your-wassail misery and woe."
"This holiday-themed collection presents 18 pieces of short fiction from an impressive roster of international mystery writers. The voices veer from darkly humorous (Helene Tursten and Mick Herron) to touching (Timothy Hallinan and Mette Ivie Harrison) to disturbing (Stuart Neville and Ed Lin), with tales set around the globe . . . Thoroughly entertaining."
"Each bite-size mystery in this winning collection is a gift."
"The perfect stocking-stuffer for all those suspense readers out there."
"This is a perfect stocking stuffer for any mystery fan—or any fan of excellent writing, engrossing stories, and holiday fun."
—Ted Hertel, Deadly Pleasures Magazine
"The perfect stocking-stuffer for the crime or mystery fiction fan on your holiday gift list."
"Highly recommended reading. With settings on nearly every continent, taking place from the Middle Ages to the present, and written by authors of all ages and nationalities, it is anything but usual."
"This noir-tinged collection is not your usual heartwarming holiday read. Soho, which leans toward the darker side of crime, has presented eighteen crime capers that may leave you hiding out at home until the holidays are over."
—Reviewing the Evidence
"I highly recommend this anthology to anyone with a fondness for Christmas tales."
—Buried Under Books
"A delightful new anthology."
—Zoom Street blog
"[The Usual Santas] definitely got me in the Christmas spirit, not to mention introducing me to some crime writers that are worth following up on."
—I've Read This blog
“The Usual Santas: a very good example of that kind of thing."
—James R. Benn, author of the Billy Boyle mysteries
“I wished the book would never end, so I didn't finish it."
—Timothy Hallinan, author of the Junior Bender mysteries and the Poke Rafferty thrillers
“Nothing says Christmas like a story from a guy named Goldberg."
—Tod Goldberg, New York Times bestselling co-author of The House of Secrets
“Buy this book or else. We know where you live."
—Lene Kaaberbøl, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Boy in the Suitcase
“Soho Crime publishes a wide variety of consistently high-quality crime fiction, so I expected this collection to be a great read, and it didn’t disappoint. Not only does it feature holiday capers from a number of my favorite crime authors (Peter Lovesey, Stuart Neville, Helene Tursten, Mick Herron), it was also a great way to sample other Soho authors I haven’t read yet. Even if you’re not a fan of Christmas, you’ll love The Usual Santas!”
—Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books, Okemos, MI
About the Author
For more than twenty-five years, Soho Crime has been publishing atmospheric crime fiction set all over the world in places like France, China, England, Laos, Northern Ireland, Thailand, Australia, Japan, Germany, South Africa, Italy, Denmark, India, Cuba, and Palestine, to name a few. Lovers of crime fiction, whether it’s detective fiction, police procedurals, thrillers, espionage novels, revenge novels, stories of thieves, assassins, or underworld mob bosses—can count on an immersive adventure steeped in cultural detail. Visit www.sohocrime.com for a complete list of titles in the Soho Crime library.
Top customer reviews
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My personal favorites were the aforementioned Cuban Marquisse story, the title story, and An Elderly Lady Seeks Peace at Christmas.
The book is divided into three sections. The first is Joy to the World, various acts of kindness at Christmas. This section includes Martin Limón’s “PX Christmas”. It’s about an agent with the 8th U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Division stationed in Seoul South Korea. In stopping a black marketer, the wife of a US Soldier, he starts a series of events that ends up on a Railroad Bridge with a train barreling onward.
Section two is Silent Night, the darkest of Holiday Noir. In Ed Lin’s story “Martin” we find a group of four friends in that awful week between Christmas and New Year’s consoling a friend after his girlfriend left. They decide a game of “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done” would be a good idea.
The final part is called I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and other holiday secrets. My favorite story of the collection was here and in fact the last story of the book. It is by Peter Lovesey and titled “Miss Shivers”. Fran and her husband get a dinner invitation along with their Christmas cards from a woman neither has ever heard of. And they go!
If you’re a fan of crime, mystery, holiday themed or just plain first-rate short stories I’m sure you’ll find something in this book that will appeal to you. It’s a real treasure that will make a nice gift for a friend, relative or make it a gift to yourself. Enjoy.
Overall this was an enjoyable collection of crime capers written by very good authors. Even with a short story each author presented something worth reading. These are not all new stories, with one dating back to 1991. This will make a good addition to the shelves of collectors of crime stories in general or even a particular author you like to follow. The locations in which the stories happened was absolutely more varied than any short story collection I've ever read. You get to visit Sweden, North Korea, Thailand, Ireland, New York City, Utah, Italy, France, Denmark and England. There are even some historical mysteries included so something for everyone as far as that is possible. Happy reading!