My family have developed a lovely Christmas Eve tradition in the last few years. Participating members pop their names into a hat and draw one in return (ala Secret Santa). You then buy a book for your recipient to open on Christmas Eve, and receive one in return. Cue a lovely evening curled up in pyjamas and dressing gown, lost in the beauty of a brand new book.
This year my name was picked out by my brother, who had the delightful idea of combining my love of crime fiction with my love of Christmas. And there was a lot to love in this book. Most of the stories really set the scene for Christmas – family gatherings around blazing fires, turkey, tinsel and trimmings, and games galore.
A few towards the end of the collection are peculiarly light on the Christmas theme (surely in the pantheon of crime fiction there exist ten stories fully enmeshed in the festivities?) but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment. For the most part the stories are set in Ye Olde Genteel times, which made the very modern inclusion of Val McDermid and Ian Rankin stand out, but as these are two of my favourite authors then I’m hardly complaining.
I’d definitely recommend this as a lovely Christmas gift for any crime fiction fan.
[Read from 24-29 December 2016]