Friday, October 28, 2011
Looking for Some Yuletide Crime?
Tuesday I shared the titles of five Christmas-themed mysteries that hit the bookstore shelves on that day. Today I'm sharing five more titles-- this time of books that were published in past years. They're all suitable for folks who prefer a little yuletide murder and mayhem. Let's see which ones I've chosen for today....
Author: Henry Kisor
Publisher: Forge Books, 2004
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Synopsis: "'Tis the weeks before Christmas in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and some big events are stirring for Lakota Deputy Sheriff Steve Martinez. The normally sleepy woodland area is uncharacteristically alive with activity after the body of one of its most respected residents is found at a forest campsite, the victim of what looks to be a bear attack.
But from the moment he arrives on the crime scene, things just don't add up for Steve Martinez. Lead by curiosity, Steve begins an unofficial investigation and discovers that this 'random' animal attack might not be so random after all. It seems trhat quite a few people in town had reason to do in the victim, and the more Steve investigates, the deeper he sinks into a mystery as old as the town itself."
Editor: Charlotte MacLeod
Publisher: The Mysterious Press, 1989
Mass Market Paperback, 245 pages
Synopsis: "The Queen of the Whimsical Whodunit presents a collection of mystery stories centered around a Yuletide theme, written by some of the best practitioners of the cozy mystery working today."
Good for those of you who prefer your bloodshed to be on the vintage side, says she with a twinkle in her eye.
Deck the Halls With Murder
Author: Valerie Wolzien
Publisher: Fawcett, 1998
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Synopsis: "Building contractor Josie Pigeon and her all-woman construction crew have a big project to wrap up before the holidays--and they're hard at work when carpenter Caroline Albrecht keels over, fatally poisoned.
Suddenly an icy wind of suspicion chills the cheer of this quiet island resort town, and Josie realizes that one of her employees must be Caroline's murderer. Is it Caroline's old friend Layne? Sandy, who scarcely knew her? . . . or good-time local girl Betty? It will take Josie's razor-sharp eye and smart sleuthing to single out the suspect and keep Christmas from turning into a real killer of a season."
A Rumpole Christmas
Author: John Mortimer
Publisher: Viking Adult, 2009
Hardcover, 176 pages
Pubishers Weekly Synopsis: "As this fine holiday collection shows, Mortimer (1923–2009) could tell lovely tales that end with a gentle punch. Each of the five stories highlights English barrister Horace Rumpole's quirky personality, his love of food and drink, and life with his formidable wife, Hilda (aka She Who Must Be Obeyed). But most of all, each illustrates Rumpole's sense of justice and commitment to the law as well as his dry wit. As usual, Rumpole overshadows plots that often focus on the barrister trying to ignore the holiday. Rumpole and Father Christmas suggests that even a career criminal can get the holiday spirit. A businessman's past is used to secure funds for a church in Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces. The most timely is the twisty Rumpole and the Christmas Break, about a murdered professor and an Islamic student with a religious vendetta against her. This is a perfect stocking stuffer for Mortimer fans."
Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop
Editor: Otto Penzler
Publisher: Vanguard Press, 2011
Paperback, 288 pages
Booklist Synopsis: "Every year since 1993, Penzler, founder of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York, has asked a different genre writer to produce a short story to be published and given away as a Christmas gift to customers. The only requirements: the story must be set around the Christmas season, and it must involve the bookshop in its action. This very entertaining anthology contains all of the stories published so far, by such writers as Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, Anne Perry, Mary Higgins Clark, Andrew Klavan, and Ed McBain. The stories—every single one of them—are delightful, and there’s something for everyone, too: funny stories, serious stories, charming stories, silly stories. Any time writers of this caliber are collected between the same covers, it’s a can’t-miss opportunity for mystery buffs. Even those who might find the Christmas trappings on the treacly side will enjoy the stories as stories."
Well... I'm all set to go, and I hope I helped you to choose your own holiday-themed reading. I have Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop and Season's Revenge waiting for me first-- along with some hot chocolate and a comfy spot by the fireplace!
What are some of your own personal Christmas mystery favorites?