Wednesday, December 15, 2021

A Surprise for Christmas and Other Seasonal Mysteries


A Surprise for Christmas and Other Seasonal Mysteries is a nicely varied anthology of holiday crime curated by Martin Edwards and a part of the British Library Crime Classics series. Released 12th Oct 2021 by Poisoned Pen Press, it's 320 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

I enjoyed this collection of holiday themed stories which were originally published between 1933 and 1963. All of them are from very well known classic golden age British crime writers and are well selected and enjoyable. The classic authors are represented: Marsh, Carr, Allingham, Canning, and all the others (8 stories in toto) will be well familiar to fans of the British golden age. 

The stories are a mixed bunch, but all were enjoyable and all were squarely in the 4 star range. I was unfamiliar with several of the actual stories, which was a nice bonus. Some are lesser known works by very well known creators.

For me, one of the biggest draws of the books in the crime classics series are the erudite and always interesting introductions by editor Martin Edwards Mr. Edwards has a prodigious knowledge of the genre and writes engagingly and well.

Well written, this entry and the series as a whole are well worth seeking out. This would make a superlative selection for readers of the genre as well as an introduction to classic crime fiction from the golden age. It's so nice to see these being released for a new generation of fans.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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