Tuesday, December 9, 2014
The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries edited by Otto Penzler
Synopsis From Back Cover:
Edgar Award - winning editor Otto Penzler collects sixty of his all-time favorite yuletide 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 season, and all types of mysteries. They are suspenseful, funny, frightening, and poignant.
When I'm able to combine my love of mysteries with my love of Christmas, I'm in heaven. Make them short stories, and I'm soaring so far above heaven, the angels are having a hard time finding me.
Like any other collection of short stories, The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries has a few misses for me, but there are so many more hits. Going into it, I knew there was no way I would end up liking all 60 stories. What surprised me, was the fact that I enjoyed as many of them as I did. Anyone who know me won't be surprised that I jumped for glee when I came across both stories by Agatha Christie, or that I about bust a gut when I stumbled upon the story by Mary Roberts Rinehart. It's impossible for me to not like something either author has ever written. Add in stories by G.K. Chesterton, Ngaio Marsh, and Arthur Conan Doyle, and it's a perfect Christmas miracle.
What may comes as surprise to some, is how many of the more modern stories I enjoyed just as much. I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to mysteries, I'm a Golden Age fan all the way. I tend to not even bother with some of the newer writers, and I can never get behind the whole "cozy" craze. Maybe it's because of the main theme, but for the most part I really enjoyed what I read, regardless of who the author was. One new author, to me anyway, that I really enjoyed was Peter Lovesey. I'm pretty sure I'll be checking out more of his work. Did I mention there is a whole section for scarier Christmas stories? Loved them all!
This will be a collection I can see myself grabbing off the bookcase every year. I may not read the whole thing through ever again, but I will read one or two of my favorites, or even decide to read through an entire section of stories. Regardless of how I read them, I know I'll be reading them all again.
Challenges: Christmas Spirit