The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries
By Otto Penzler (Editor)
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780345802989, 672pp.)
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
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Have yourself a crooked little Christmas with The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries.
Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler collects sixty of his all-time favorite holiday crime stories--many of which are difficult or nearly impossible to find anywhere else. From classic Victorian tales by Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Thomas Hardy, to contemporary stories by Sara Paretsky and Ed McBain, this collection touches on all aspects of the holiday season, and all types of mysteries. They are suspenseful, funny, frightening, and poignant.
Included are puzzles by Mary Higgins Clark, Isaac Asimov, and Ngaio Marsh; uncanny tales in the tradition of A Christmas Carol by Peter Lovesey and Max Allan Collins; O. Henry-like stories by Stanley Ellin and Joseph Shearing, stories by pulp icons John D. MacDonald and Damon Runyon; comic gems from Donald E. Westlake and John Mortimer; and many, many more. Almost any kind of mystery you’re in the mood for--suspense, pure detection, humor, cozy, private eye, or police procedural—can be found in these pages.
- Unscrupulous Santas
- Crimes of Christmases Past and Present
- Festive felonies
- Deadly puddings
- Misdemeanors under the mistletoe
- Christmas cases for classic characters including Sherlock Holmes, Brother Cadfael, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Ellery Queen, Rumpole of the Bailey, Inspector Morse, Inspector Ghote, A.J. Raffles, and Nero Wolfe.
Otto Penzler is the editor of eleven other Vintage Crime/Black Lizard anthologies, including The Big Book of Pulps, The Big Book of Black Mask Stories, and, most recently, The Big Book of Ghost Stories. He lives in New York City.
“Anyone who cares about the best mystery writing of the past century and beyond would be lucky to receive this thick volume during the holidays. . . . One of the joys of the collection is how many are delightfully funny. . . . Note that many of these stories turn on simple theft, of diamonds or candlesticks or a lottery ticket; they hark back to simpler days before the modern thriller began to provide endless serial killers and ax murderers for our edification. To read today’s talented crime writers can be a pleasure, but it’s good to be reminded that they build on the work of others whose talents remain undimmed."
—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.”