Murder Under the Christmas Tree – short stories

 Murder Under the Christmas Tree cover

Murder Under the Christmas Tree is a compilation of short stories by well known authors, all set around about Christmas – as you would expect.

The first story is The Necklace of Pearls by Dorothy L. Sayers. I’m quite a fan of Sayers but I have to admit that I was a wee bit disappointed with this one as I guessed the solution fairly quickly.

The other contributers are Ian Rankin, Margery Allingham, Arthur Conan Doyle, Val McDermid, Ellis Peters, Edmund Crispin, G.K. Chesterton, Carter Dickson and Ngaio Marsh. The sleuths include Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey, Cadfael, Father Brown, Rebus and others you will recognise.

It’s quite a collection of authors and I’m sure there’s something for everyone here, well everyone who enjoys a good murder around the festive season – as I do!

I read this book for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.

The Man Who Was Thursday by G K Chesterton

I took this book with me to read while we were away for a few days last week. It was first published in 1908 and has written on the front: “The most thrilling book I have ever read” Kingsley Amis.

Poor Kingsley, he led a dull reading life, going by this book. Of course, it could be that Chesterton and I just don’t get on, I remember being unimpressed by a Father Brown book of his which I read years ago.

I’ll leave it a while before trying another one of his, if it isn’t third time lucky then I’ll never darken his pages again. I can’t help thinking that Kingsley Amis must have been on the sauce when he wrote his comment!

St Andrews – Golf and Books

We had a day out in St Andrews last Tuesday and as you can see the preparations for the British Open, which starts later this week are well underway.

The lawn shavers were out in force but I honestly couldn’t see any grass being trimmed off at all. Amazingly, members of the public were just wandering around the fairways, or should I say the hallowed ground. Previously I had thought that someone might have taken a pot-shot at you if you did that. Mind you, I find it very difficult to walk on grass when it is that well tended green velvet sort so I kept to the path.

This photo is from nearly the same place as the one in a previous post, showing the difference.

We had a nice lunch at The Central pub after we had been around the book shops. At first I thought it was going to be slim pickings but I ended up getting quite a book haul.

1. Police at the Funeral by Margery Allingham
2. The Harsh Voice by Rebecca West
3. The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier
4. The Man Who was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
6. The Mystery Mile, The Crime at Black Dudley and Look to the Lady – a Margery Allingham omnibus.

I’m fairly sure that I read the du Maurier one in the year dot but possibly not, so I want to read it to complete her works.

Coincidentally I read in The Guardian on Thursday that their columnist Deborah Orr had just finished reading the Chesterton book and had really enjoyed it.

I’m probably the last person in the reading world to get around to The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society Book but as it is set during the German occupation there, I think I’ll be reading this one soon.

I don’t want to know how many books I have in my TBR queue now, but it isn’t anything like 600 – I hope!