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Murder On Christmas Eve: Classic Mysteries for the Festive Season (Vintage Murders)

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I can’t say I really liked it, then again it’s a book with 10 short stories and each story has a different approach. However, just because many of the others are quite short doesn't mean that they fail as stories, just that they tend to focus on a relatively small element of the 'how could that have happened? Yet as these stories imagine there is no holiday period for detectives as this wonderful time of year throws up additional opportunities to commit crime.

This is the third year where there have been a glut of 'Christmas crime' stories have been published but it's clear that the well is more or less running dry now. My favourites are The Trinity Cat by Ellis Peters, about a cat that knows who killed its owner (perfect for any cat lover!Some of them seemed like they should have been longer but instead have been reduced, too densely packed for a good short story. I would urge anyone with any information that may be relevant to our investigation, no matter how insignificant it may have seemed at the time, to come forward immediately. While the world sleeps, snow falls gently from the sky, presents await under the tree … and murder is afoot.

From a Santa Claus with a grudge to a cat who knows who killed its owner on Christmas Eve, these are stories to enjoy – and be mystified by – in front of a roaring fire, mince pie in hand. Overall I have enjoyed the book, and the 5 star stories, including the Ellis Peters one, The Trinity Cat, at the start, more than make up for the less good ones. And even though I am a big fan of Rankin and I enjoyed 'No Sanity Clause', my favourite was the story from Lawrence Block which did not contain an actual murder, but described a mystery nevertheless.

Val McDermid has published twenty-eight crime novels, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, been translated into sixteen languages and won multiple awards.

Paramedics from the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance provided emergency first aid to the woman, but she died at the scene.

This is a good collection, part of a series of anthologies put together to bring seasonal stories into one book, or seven. In Ritual, pioneering scientist Dimitris Xygalatas leads an enlightening tour through one of the most shadowy realms of human behaviour.

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