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


Katherine P said...

This looks like a great mystery collection. While I read a lot of cozy-type mysteries I do find the more classic style far more satisfying. I don't think I've read Peter Lovesey but I'll have to look for his books next time I'm at the library. Thanks for sharing!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

lol. So glad you enjoyed this one. As soon as I saw the title I thought it would be a win for you, glad to hear it was. :) And to find stories from Agatha! WOW! That's wonderful.

Do take care, friend. :)

Unknown said...

This sounds like a great read. Thanks!

Becke Davis said...

I'm with you, one hundred percent. So far there were a few - a very few - stories that I skipped over because they just didn't appeal to me, but the majority of the stories really grabbed me. It's funny you should mention Peter Lovesey - I've read two of his stories so far in this anthology, and both were outstanding! Thanks for sharing this link - it's fun comparing notes with you!

Maria Behar said...

(I deleted the previous comment because of typos. Lol.)

The mystery genre is not one of my favorites, except that I ADORE the exploits of Sherlock Holmes!! I also like Hercule Poirot, although not quite as much. So I totally agree with you regarding the older mystery novels.

I think the combination of Christmas with the mystery genre is really great, and I know I'd love to read this particular collection!

Thanks so much for sharing!! : )

TracyK said...

I really want to get this book. Maybe for next Christmas. So glad you liked it.