Sunday 4 November 2018

The Christmas Card Crime

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories (British Library Crime Classics)

So much has been going on lately that I've not even blogged  until  now about my latest anthology in the British Library Crime Classics series. It's a seasonal compilation, The Christmas Card Crime and other stories, and it's my third anthology of this type, following Silent Nights and Crimson Snow. In all, I've edited eleven collections of short stories for the BL, and there's another to come in the first part of 2018, Deep Waters.

With this book, I wanted to concentrate on less familiar winter and Christmas stories. The three which I think dedicated crime fans are most likely to have encountered are those by Baroness Orczy, John Dickson Carr, and Cyril Hare, but there are some pretty rare tales, including the title story, written by Donald Stuart. Stuart was one of several pen-names written by the author best known as Gerald Verner, and whose real name was J.R.S. Pringle.

There's a relatively unfamiliar story by Ronald Knox, and also one by Francis Durbridge. John Bude and John Bingham, two very capable novelists who seldom wrote short stories, are also represented, while other contributors include E.C.R. Lorac and Julian Symons, both of whom are, like Bude, the authors of a number of novels in the Crime Classics series.

Apparently, this book shot into the independent bookseller bestseller lists, and last time I looked, it was also riding high in the Amazon crime anthology bestseller charts. Last week, the kindle version and the paperback featured at number one and number two respectively. Whatever one thinks of bestseller charts, that can't be bad.

So, here's hoping that this book will (along with Gallows Court, obviously....) help to solve your Christmas present buying dilemmas! And I'd also like to recommend another British Library title which is sure to be a highly popular stocking filler. This is Kate Jackson's The Pocket Detective, a compilation of puzzles for fans of the Crime Classics series. I'm working my way through it right now, and having a great deal of fun.


Jason Half said...

Hooray! You and the BLCC imprint are releasing enticing titles faster than I can keep up with them (which is a good thing). I really enjoyed CRIMSON SNOW and I look forward to this one. Keep up the great work of bringing forgotten and neglected GAD stories and authors to a new generations of readers!

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Jason! I was pleased to find so many little-known Christmas stories for this book. And I still have one or two more up my sleeve!

Julie Barham said...

Kate's "The Pocket Detective" is enormous fun, in a small package! I am working through it as well. I have "The Christmas Card Crime" to read next, and I am really looking forward to it.