This is the twelfth British Library Crime Classics anthology published, and the third collection set in winter. More specifically, this collection of short stories all occur around, or reference the Christmas season. Eleven tales involving murder, theft, and even a Christmas ghost!
This is a great collection of stories, that I thoroughly enjoyed. Edward Martin’s introductions as always provide background which adds enrichment to the story that follows. The diverse assortment of authors and styles provides for an entertaining mix. Most of the authors are well known, Carter Dickson, Cyril Hare, and John Bude to name a few. But there are also newly discovered authors such as Donald Stuart and John Bingham, that I personally look forward to reading more of.
There are definitely stand-out stories here, and at least one clunker. In Blind Man’s Hood, Carter Dickson gives us an eerie locked room mystery. The Christmas Card Crime (from whence the book gets its title) by Donald Stewart has everything needed for a traditional whodunit – a group of strangers on a train, stranded by a snowstorm in the middle of nowhere, a helpless young girl is set upon, and then murder. And The Motive by Ronald Knox just has such a cheeky ending, that I quite literally cocked my head to the side and said “WHAT?!” As with any collection of stories I was not enamored of all of them. ‘Twixt the Cup and the Lip by Julian Symons, the last of the tales, is a heist story which for me felt more gangster than GAD.
This is a book should not be put off until Christmas. I highly recommend that you read it now.
My Judgement– 4.5/5
My thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the advance reader copy made available for my review.