Saturday, November 30, 2013

Season's Readings

Scott. D. Parker

As soon as the Thanksgiving celebrations end, my mind--as does everyone's--turns to all things Christmas. Yesterday, I broke out my Christmas music, always  inaugurated by Chicago's What's It Gonna Be Santa CD. I followed it up with Chicago's third CD of yuletide tunes, Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three. Today and through the weekend, I'll follow up with Brian Setzer Orchestra, Chris Botti, Harry Connick, Vince Guaraldi, and Frank Sinatra.

In my box of Christmas CDs, I also have my small collection of Christmas anthologies. They run the gamut from SF (Christmas Stars) to classic (Dickens Christmas tales; Christmas Classics) to mystery (Crime for Christmas) to scary (Christmas Ghosts; can't find a link; it's the Hartwell/Cramer one) and Sherlock Holmes (Holmes for the Holidays). I've even got my comics covered with A DC Universe Christmas and Lee Bermejo's Batman: Noel.

But there is a new entry in the Christmas-theme crime anthology market: Otto Penzler's The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries. Released just this year, this 650-page book has something for just about everybody. Agatha Christie opens and closes the book, and in between these bookends, all your favorites are here: Conan Doyle, G. K. Chesterton, Ellery Queen, Donald Westlake, Isaac Asimov, Ngaio Marsh, Rex Stout, and more. The stories are broken out by themes such as A Modern Little Christmas, A Puzzling Little Christmas, A Pulpy Little Christmas, and A Traditional Little Christmas. If the stories don't get you, the wonderful cover painting, evoking something from the golden age, certainly will.

This will certainly fill up my yule-time reading for years to come.

Holmes Follow-Up

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere podcast and how much I like it. I was honored that Scott Monty, one of the two hosts, stopped by and left a comment. And Matt Laffey, curator of (a compendium of Holmsian links), also read and commented on my post. Thank you, gentlemen.

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