Book Review: The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories by Martin Edwards

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories by Martin Edwards
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4 stars)

In keeping with my craving for mysteries with Christmas or seasonal leanings, I decided to read this short story collection. It was great because I read a lot of new to me authors and I found a whole catalogue of British Library Crime Classics that I'm going to continue with (how had it escaped me that this was a thing?!).

Eleven stories in all, each is prefaced with contextual information on the story and the author, which I quite enjoyed. My favourites were:

By the Sword by Selwyn Jepson: All the Cathertons have the misfortune of dying by the sword and it bears out here in a novel way.

The Christmas Card Crime by Donald Stuart: A group from a snowbound train in the night, take lodging in a remote location and then things really take a turn.

Blind Man's Hood by Carter Dickson: A couple arrives late to a party & has a deliciously creepy encounter in which they are told of a grisly killing many years before. Clearly the encounter is their penance for being tardy. Probably my favourite of all.

Paul Temple's White Christmas by Francis Durbridge: Paul & wife Steve have a mini holiday adventure but what it lacks in real mystery it makes up for in wit.

Sister Bessie or Your Old Leech by Cyril Hare: Timothy, a banker recounts the events leading up to his ridding himself of his supposed blackmailer & in the end has actually doubled down on blackmailable deeds. Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

A Bit of Wire Pulling by E.C.R. Lorac: The Yard's Inspector Lang recounts a very neat mystery in which he was present during the murder.

Pattern of Revenge by John Bude: Two men loved Karen Gaborg & one of them killed her. Eventually, the truth hung on a peg & is finally revealed to all.

I'd definitely recommend this at any time, but especially if you're looking for some murder mysteries to read while you settle in with a cup of tea or a glass of wine on a snowy, winter night.

Summary: A Christmas party is punctuated by a gunshot under a policeman’s watchful eye. A jewel heist is planned amidst the glitz and glamour of Oxford Street’s Christmas shopping. Lost in a snowstorm, a man finds a motive for murder.
This collection of mysteries explores the darker side of the festive season – from unexplained disturbances in the fresh snow, to the darkness that lurks beneath the sparkling decorations.

With neglected stories by John Bude and E.C.R. Lorac, as well as tales by little-known writers of crime fiction, Martin Edwards blends the cosy atmosphere of the fireside story with a chill to match the temperature outside. This is a gripping seasonal collection sure to delight mystery fans.

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