Christmas books – vintage crime

Murder in the Snow cover

Can you believe that there are some houses in my neighbourhood that are already decorated for Christmas? Crazy! Nowadays it takes me a while to get into the Christmas spirit, some years I never manage it at all but I find that reading some Christmas themed books usually helps. This year I’ve only got two such books to read, I might have to resort to the library for some more.

Anyway for me murder mysteries and Christmas go together like fish and chips so I’m giving Gladys Mitchell another go. I’ve read quite a few of her books in the past but I’m not really enamoured of her detective – Mrs Bradley. The mystery to me is why she made her detective so unlikeable. I’ll be reading her Murder in the Snow which was first published in 1950 and has an attractive Christmasy cover.

The other Christmas themed book I have is called Silent Nights, a collection of Christmas mysteries which is edited by Martin Edwards. The contributors are:

Arthur Conan Doyle
Ralph Plummer
Raymund Allen
G.K. Chesterton
Edgar Wallace
H.C. Bailey
J.Jefferson Farjeon
Dorothy L. Sayers
Margery Allingham
Ethel Lina White
Marjorie Bowen
Joseph Shearing
Nicholas Blake
Edmund Crispin
Leo Bruce

I have read The Necklace of Pearls, the Dorothy Sayers short story, before and wasn’t all that impressed with it. I hope the others are better.

Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2016

This year I’ve decided to join in with the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge for the first time.

It was Judith at Reader in the Wilderness who got me interested in this challenge and the upshot of that is that we are both reading Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher, it’s a chunkster of course.

Earlier in the year I bought a couple of Christmas themed vintage crimes, saving them up to read around this time:

The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay

Crime at Christmas by C.H.B. Kitchin

I usually only read A Christmas Tree by Charles Dickens (the only thing by him I’ve ever read as it happens) in an attempt to get me into the Christmas mood and sometimes it works! You can read it here
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But I know that Joan at Planet Joan reads A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, so I intend to read that this year too. I don’t actually have a copy of that one but it can be read online here. It looks like a very quick read indeed.

I was tempted by the Christmas books on display at the library and I ended up borrowing:

Murder Under the Christmas Tree which features short stories by Ian Rankin, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, Arthur Conan Doyle, Val McDermid, Ellis Peters and More.
and
A Darcy Christmas – A holiday tribute to Jane Austen by Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathen and Carolyn Eberhart. I’ve never heard of any of those authors so it’s a bit of a pig in a poke.

Otherwise I’m thinking about maybe reading a Debbie Macomber book. I’ve never read anything by her but she seems to have written a lot of Christmassy books and I know that Jo at The Book Jotter has enjoyed some Macomber books.

If that lot doesn’t get me into the Christmas spirit there’s no hope for me!