Scott D. Parker
I love Christmas anthologies. I have my small collection. 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.
This year, I've added some cozy Christmas tales like Louise R. Innes Death at Holly Lodge, Holiday Murder by Leslie Meier, and another helping of the Andy Carpenter series by David Rosenfelt.
But when it comes to a book you can read for year, I think there is a top dog: The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries. Released in 2013, this 650-page book has something for everybody.
Agatha Christie opens and closes the book, and in between these bookends, all your favorites are here: Arthur 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.
A collection this large cannot possibly be finished in one season. I don’t even try. Instead, I dip in for the last eight years, reading a tale here and there.
I always enjoy making new discoveries, even if the discovery is something older.
Have y’all read through this book? If so, what are your favorite stories?
And what are some of y'all's favorite Christmas stories?