Title: Murder at Christmas
Writer: Various edited by Cecily Gayford
Publishing House: Profile Books
Date of Publication: November 7th 2019
Rating: 4 stars
‘’Murder under the mistletoe – and the man who must have done it couldn’t have done it. That’s my Christmas and I don’t feel merry, thank you very much all the same.’’
The Snapdragon and the C.I.D. : by Margery Allingham: A Christmas murder, a crook, and the lost jewels of a formidable Lady. A very telling story of the suspicious links between the shady side of London and the aristocracy.
Let Nothing You Dismay by Ellis Peters:A young woman and a duo of burglars meet in the same house. Do not be fooled, though. The girl is there for the same reason as the crooks and she intends to stand her ground. So, a truce between professionals while the choir is spreading Christmas cheer? Maybe, maybe not…
The Lion’s Tooth by Edmund Crispin: An amateur detective investigates the abduction of a girl from a nunnery. This one was a tiny bit confusing but interesting nonetheless.
Rumpole and the Spirit of Christmas by John Mortimer: A ridiculous feud between two families ends up in a serious assault. While the trial of a seventeen-year-old boy is underway, the battle between the prosecutor and the advocate reveals strange secrets and peculiar motives.
The Assassins’ Club by Nickolas Blake: The Assassins’ Club is reserved for the esteemed representatives of the Law and the crème de la crème of detective writers. But what happens when one of them – a vile, cruel writer – is found murdered during the Christmas dinner? This one had so much potential but fell rather short in the end. Disappointing.
The Ascham by Michael Innes: Lord and Lady Appleby are forced to find shelter in a manor when their car breaks down. There, along with other guests, they find themselves in the middle of a rather elaborate fraud. A good old British mystery.
A Scandal in Winter by Gillian Linscott: A brilliant teenage girl tries to solve a mystery in a luxurious hotel in Switzerland. A very interesting story, written with a healthy dose of elegant irony over the ridiculous indulgence and snobbery of the upper class. And I won’t reveal the famous duo included. No, no.
‘’Eleven o’clock. The lights are out. The porter has just locked the door. I can hear his footsteps echoing down the corridor. They grow fainter. Now there is silence. I am alone.’’
‘’Familiarity breeds contempt.’’
Waxworks by Ethel Lina White: Sonia, a promising young journalist, decides to investigate two suspicious deaths that took place in the Waxworks Museum. How? By spending one of the last days of the year there. All alone. In my opinion, this is the finest, most memorable (and heart-pounding) story in the collection.
Twixt the Cup and the Lip by Julian Symons: A very entertaining story seen from the eyes of the perpetrator and a painstakingly planned robbery that goes…Well, you can imagine…
Nebuchadnezzar by Dorothy L.Sayers: The death of a beloved young woman haunts the festive company of actors and artists. An imaginative game of charades provides the chance for the truth to be revealed.
Ten brilliant stories that reflect the true spirit of the British Mystery genre.
‘’Eight o’clock. The Christmas bells are ringing and it is wonderful just to be alive.’’