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Murder for Christmas

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3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  345 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Legendary writers such as Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, Stanley Ellin, and Ellery Queen, and famous characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey, and Nero Wolfe are included in this collection of 14 timeless Yuletide tales of mystery, malice, and murder. "A refreshingly unorthodox Christmas anthology".--The Atlantic Monthly.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 1st 1988 by Mysterious Press (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,008)
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Kaethe
Jan 06, 2015 Kaethe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, humor, xmas, stories
It's a rare book that takes me 387 days to complete. I got it after Christmas last year, read the first story (an old favorite) and then put it aside in favor or other books until I broke out the yuletide books this year.

And I don't have the book with me, nor can I find the contents online, so this is somewhat worthless as a meaningful consideration.

So, with that carton of salt: some of the stories hold up very well, some do not hold up at all*, although the writers are an impeccable group. Ther
...more
Susan
Dec 26, 2015 Susan rated it liked it
Pretty good selection of stories. Some I really liked (Christie, Doyle, Dickens Collier, Mines), some were OK (Queen, Hardy, Ellin, Milne, Chesterton) and some I either didn't care for, couldn't get through or was just not interested in (Orczy, Keating, Allingham) but out of all of the authors, I found a new author to pursue (Simenon), which is a good thing.
Sheila Myers
Apr 23, 2016 Sheila Myers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is a book full of classic mysteries by the masters of the genre. If you enjoy mysteries, but haven't yet read any of the older stories, this book will be a good introduction to writers such as Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Arthur Conan Doyle, and many more.
Alexis
Aug 02, 2009 Alexis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
For lovers of mysteries and short stories alike, this wonderful collection of Christmas-themed mysteries is a marvelous read. The mysteries range from tales of theft and murder to ghostly encounters and bungled attempts at malevolence. The stories authored by Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, G.K. Chesterford, Charles Dickens, Georges Simenon and Carter Dickinson were my favorites. Also, the darkly humorous illustrations by Gahan Wilson definitely enhanced my reading experienc ...more
Ayami
Dec 25, 2015 Ayami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas-reads
A decent collection of Christmas themed murder mysteries. As is usually the case, some short stories are better than the others. I thoroughly enjoyed especially the pieces by Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers and John Collier.
Ralph
I spent most of my 2013 Christmas, and a bit into the new year, with a wonderful collection of murderers, assassins, and assorted ne'er-do-wells. Often the various malefactors were brought to justice by champions of law and order like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Ellery Queen or Nero Wolfe, but sometimes also by lesser lights of the Detectiverse like Inspector Ghote or the Old Man in the Corner, but even when the law did not take action, Nemesis-like Fate was always ready to lend a hand, or ...more
Serena
Nov 25, 2015 Serena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology, mystery
3.5 stars

Back for Christmas by John Collier ****
Mr Big by Woody Allen ***
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle *****
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie ***
Dancing Dan's Christmas by Damon Runyon ***
Cambric Tea by Marjorie Bowen ***
Death on Christmas Eve by Stanley Ellin ***
A Christmas Tragedy by Emmuska Orczy ****
Duncan Maclain] Silent Night by Baynard H. Kendrick ***
The Stolen Christmas Box by Lillian de la Torre ***
A Chaparral Christmas Gift by O. Henr
...more
Laura
Dec 26, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I got this book as a gift last Christmas. It’s a collection of 26 stories: one for each day of Christmas plus a “Boxing Day Bonus.” This year, I read a story a day and enjoyed it very much. Each story was good, I liked basically all of them. I don’t think there was one that I didn’t like, but there were several that stood out as my favorites:

Mr. Big by Woody Allen
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie
A Chaparral Christma
...more
☺Trish
Nov 25, 2013 ☺Trish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murder for Christmas, edited by Thomas Godfrey, "contains twenty-six tales of seasonal malice and yuletide malfeasance" . . . perpetrated by some of the greats of the genre, including superb selections from Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Ellery Queen, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, and my favorite story of the bunch - Christmas Party by Rex Stout. I adore Archie Goodwin and always will - he's why I've always been willing to put up with Nero Wolfe's tomfoolery. In my hea ...more
Sharon Griffitts
Every year I try to read some Christmas tale. Actually I had read the first two or three stories in this volume last year. I guess my Grinch mood prompted me to finish it this year.
Some of these stories are written by the best known mystery and crime writers in the English speaking world (and one Frenchman). There are stories of three or four pages and some more like novellas running to 30 pages. Their common thread is that the events, (murder mostly, theft less often)all occurred during the Chr
...more
Gillian Kevern
A really fun crime anthology. A good mix of authors and styles and stories! I now have a few more mystery authors on my to-read list!

Godfrey's attitude towards some of the female authors in this anthology was pretty patronizing, and the final two stories fell flat for me, but overall this was a great Christmas read.
Dharia Scarab
May 30, 2014 Dharia Scarab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.

4 sta
...more
Kaylynn Johnsen
I started this collection of short stories last Christmas but put it away when I didn't finish it by the end of the holidays. I had a few great stories, some fun reads, but most of the stories were by authors who are no longer popular and I can see why. I was also about to get a taste for some mystery series and decided that I'm not interested. Nero Wolfe is a narcissistic detective who really doesn't care that much for the truth. I thought Ellery Queen was a bore, and I used to love the TV show ...more
Nancy
Mar 03, 2016 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delicious! And not just because nearly every story had food woven through it. A chance encounter in a diner turned me on to this book, and I've thoroughly enjoyed getting reacquainted with familiar authors and being introduced to some new ones. I see a lot of old-fashioned mysteries in my future.
Bill
Jan 26, 2015 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book of short stories that is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit. Even if you don't care for some of the stories, you can't deny that it is a great collection of Yuletide mystery and intrigue.
Sarah
Jan 02, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read for Christmas with good short stories and entertaining extras in between. This would make a great coffeetable book for future Christmas years to peruse at leisure.
Lara
Jan 23, 2016 Lara rated it it was amazing
Great little compilation of many short mysteries. I enjoyed the fact that some of the stories were written by authors I had never heard of and some of them were well known ones. I enjoyed it very much.
Steven Freeman
Feb 02, 2016 Steven Freeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Delightful mysteries with a holiday twist. My favorites were by Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, Dorothy Sayers, and Georges Simenon
Suzanne Bordwell


Back for Christmas
Mr. Big
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
The Adventure of thristmas Pudding
Dancing Dan's Christmas
Cambrie Tea
Death on Christmas Eve
Silent Night
The Stolen Christmas Box
A Chaparral Christmas Gift
Death on the Air
Inspector Ghote and the Miracle Baby
Maigret's Christmas
To Be Taken with a Grain of Salt
The Adventure of the Dauphin's Doll
Markheim
The Necklace of Pears
Blind Man's Hood
Christmas is for Cops
The Thieves Who Couldn't Help Sneezing
The Case is Altered
Christmas Party
The Flying S
...more
Evelyn Morgan
Some good stories, others not so much. Lovely illustrations.
Rachel
Dec 17, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
Some of my favorites inside this anthology!
Elaine T
Feb 09, 2016 Elaine T rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great compilation of mysteries!
Jenny
Dec 18, 2014 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the best detectives, Roderick Allen, Campion, Father Brown, Poirot, Lord Peter Wimsey and so many many more. Amazing book if you like mysteries set at Christmas.
Kim
Feb 04, 2009 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three stars is based on averaging. Some of the stories (Agatha Christie, Stanley Ellin, Baroness Orczy, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham) were wonderful; some are a bit too self conciously clever (Woody Allen, DB Wyndham Lewis), and others just not my style (Ellery Queen, Damon Runyon). There are some wonderful Graham Wilson drawings, too. This is a fun, light holiday read for mystery lovers, but if you have a very narrow taste in mysteries, this might be a little catholic for y ...more
Kestrell
Dec 24, 2012 Kestrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection definitely offers a selection of the classic golden age mystery writers at their best, plus a few newer stories (the Woody Allen story is a plum for those readers who enjoy a little metafiction), and a few obscure works (who knew that Thomas Hardy wrote a Christmas mystery which didn't end in death and despiar all around?).

I would highly recommend this collection as a solid start for anyone who is intrigued by the criminal possibilities of Christmas.
Caitlyn
A wonderful collection, especially for mystery Lovers at the holidays.
Hanna
May 29, 2008 Hanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because it has neat cover art- a slightly sinister Santa and a mildly malicious Mrs. Claus, and because it was only a dollar. Many of the stories are excellent, some are a bit outdated (what on earth is a wire recorder?), and a few are not that great and give the impression that they have been included just because of the Christmas setting. Overall fun to read and gets you in a festive mood (aside from the murders and whatnot :)
CD
Jan 05, 2009 CD rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fan of murder mystery, etc.
Recommended to CD by: Dear Old Mom
Shelves: crime, fiction
An amusing collection of alternative Yuletide entertainments.

Santa might not deliver this to the naughty or nice but he might take it along for in-flight reading!

Some fun fair from the literary greats of mystery and mayhem.

My family digs this one out every year to have on hand and sit down with for a short story or two in the corner waiting to eat more or between runnnin around with family/friends.
Delia
Jan 14, 2012 Delia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As another reviewer stated a lot of these authors come across as quite dated. You do get an appreciation for certain authors' abilities to write of their time period but in a timeless fashion. Others suffer from their styles. It was nice to have a collection that had so many famous authors that I hadn't read before and now I can decide whether or not to continue reading them or drop them having given them a chance.
Bill Sleeman
Jan 07, 2015 Bill Sleeman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-law
This was a fun read - some new stories to me while some others were familiar. The O'Henry story was my favorite. A good, somewhat dark look to the holidays. The illustrations and introductory/editorial comments were helpful for some of the writers t hat were new to me.
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