2018 Reviews · crime · mystery · new release · short stories

Christmas Book Review: A Very Murderous Christmas edited by Cecily Gayford

Title: A Very Murderous Christmasa very murderous christmas small

Author: Various, edited by Cecily Gayford

Published: November 28th 2018

Publisher: Profile  Books – Allen & Unwin

Pages: 240

Genres: Fiction, Crime, Mystery

RRP: $19.99

Rating: 3 stars

We wish you a very murderous Christmas…

The Christmas season is one of comfort and joy, sparkling lights and steam rising from cups of mulled wine at frosty carol services. A season of goodwill to all men, as families and friends come together to forget their differences and celebrate the year together.

Unless, of course, you happen to be harbouring a grudge. Or hiding a guilty secret. Or you want something so much you just have to have it – whatever the cost. In A Very Murderous Christmas, ten of the best classic crime writers come together to unleash festive havoc, with murder, mayhem and twists aplenty.

Following Murder on Christmas Eve and Murder under the Christmas Tree, this is the perfect accompaniment to a mince pie. Just make sure you’re really, truly

alone …


Between the Christmas cooking preparations, wrapping and festivities, it is nice to know you have the comfort of a seasonal read waiting by the sidelines ready to pick up and put down again. A Very Murderous Christmas is a 2018 publication by Profile Books, which I received in a recent bundle of books from Australian publisher Allen and Unwin. The publication contains ten short stories, an appetizer of sorts, offering the reader a quick festive infused treat to offset the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

A Very Murderous Christmas gathers ten of the very best novelists in classic crime. Many of these writers are well known from both the page and the screen, such as Anthony Horowitz, Ruth Rendell and Colin Dexter. The collection also contains contributions from authors written in the 1930s, such as Edward D. Hoch’s, The Problem of Santa’s Lighthouse and Margery Allingham’s The Man with the Sack. Each short story is gently touched with references to Christmas or the holiday season. These ten short stories have been hand selected by editor Cecily Gayford. As a result, expect plenty of festive disorder, some good old fashioned murder mysteries, plenty of puzzles to solve and some flooring twists to keep you on your toes. The stories range in terms of the setting, time frame and the main subject matter. From a Holmes and Watson mystery, to a trip to the pantomime and an Agatha Christie style murder on board a snow-bound train, A Very Murderous Christmas will have any mystery lover rubbing their hands together in glee. My own personal favourite was the murder in the snow blizzard on board a train. I was tempted to look up further work from Nicholas Blake after reading his tale, A Problem in White.

If a murderous Christmas, courtesy of an unusual wolf suit, or a tale of how to best murder your nearest and dearest is what you fancy indulging in this festive season, do not let A Very Murderous Christmas pass you by!

A Very Murderous Christmas edited by Cecily Gayford was published on 28th November 2018 by Profile Books, via Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

*I wish to thank Allen & Unwin for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.





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