A Surprise for Christmas and Other Seasonal Mysteries

Poisoned Pen: Sourcebooks. (British Library Crime Classics). Oct. 2021. 320p. ed. by Martin Edwards. ISBN 9781464214813. pap. $14.99. M
This is the fourth collection of wintry and holiday-themed short mysteries gathered together under the guidance of the British Library. All 12 of this volume’s stories are written by classic crime authors, from the well-known (Ngaio Marsh) to the less-familiar (Victor Canning), and were previously published between the 1930s and 1960s. For each story there’s a brief introduction about the author’s work and life and a list of read-alike suggestions. The anthology has a variety of authors and time periods and a nice range of whodunit styles for any reader. None of the mysteries sacrifices a clever twist or turn in service of their holiday-season settings—instead, it adds to the entertainment.
VERDICT With perfectly sized stories for stolen moments during a busy season, there’s something for everyone in this well-curated anthology.
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