Silent Night: Christmas Mysteries
Edited by Martin Edwards
“Christmas is a mysterious, as well as magical, time of year. Strange things can happen, and this helps to explain the hallowed tradition of telling ghost stories around the fireside as the year draws to a close. Christmas tales of crime and detection ave a similar appeal. When television becomes tiresome, and party games pall, the prospect of curling up in the warm with a good mystery is enticing – and much better for the digestion than yet another helping of plum pudding.
Crime writers are just as susceptible as readers to the countless attractions of Christmas. Over the years, many distinguished practitioners of the genre have given one or more of their stories a Yuletide setting. The most memorable Christmas mysteries blend a lively storyline with an atmospheric evocation of the season. Getting the mixture right is much harder than it looks.
This book introduces readers to some of the finest Christmas detective stories of the past. Martin Edwards’ selection blends festive pieces from much-loved authors with one or two stories which are likely to be unfamiliar even to diehard mystery fans. The result is a collection of crime fiction to savour, whatever the season.”
My mum bought me this two years ago for Christmas and I finally got round to reading it. I did not know anything about it before starting, except that it was a book of short stories.
There are 15 short stories; starting with a Sherlock Holmes, going through some well known characters (like Father Brown and Lord Peter Wimsey) and some less well-known ones, ending up with Sergeant Beef. They are not all murder-mysteries, some are thefts or a suspense.
I really enjoyed Silents Nights, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. I quite enjoyed reading the introduction, where Martin Edwards explains about how and why he picked each story for the compilation. There were one or two stories that I wasn’t too keen on, but I really enjoyed the range and mixture of writing. It was also (I think) in chronological order, so it was like travelling along mystery writing timeline.
As they are all short stories I do not want to ruin anything, but some I managed to work out, others I was still guessing until it was revealed at the end. They are also all drawn to a close at the end, due to being short stories.
While reading Silent Nights, I described it as a compilation of mystery short stories perfect for filling in the quiet moments at Christmas. I would recommend this book to anyone. 4 out of 5.