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Murder for Christmas
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Murder for Christmas

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  399 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
Although the themes of Christmas and crime might seem to be diametrically opposed, the Yuletide season has always brought out the best in mystery writers, who find endless inspiration in the trappings of the holiday. A stocking stuffed with 26 entertaining stories, this anthology samples the delicious wares of such noted masters of mystery as Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Chr ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 294 pages
Published December 1st 1982 by Mysterious Press (first published 1958)
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Oct 30, 2009 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
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this one!
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.
May 02, 2009 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
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone; murder at Christmastime; horror-suspense-irony
This is an anthology of short stories. In between the short stories, there are cartoon pictures of a murderous, horrific, or macabre nature. There are also lists of books, movies, and tiny articles regarding Christmas, murder, or both.

Home for Christmas
(view spoiler)
Aug 20, 2015 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
"Here is a perfect Christmas gift for the person who has everything -- and plans to leave it to you. Murder for Christmas contains twenty-six tales of seasonal malice to keep you in the Christmas spirit all year round.

"It has been said that Christmas brings out the best in everyone, and this has been especially true of mystery writers who seem to have been inspired to their best work by the holiday season.

"So come to a unique yuletide celebration and rub elbows with such greats as Sir Arthur Con
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
Dec 01, 2013 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
Nov 25, 2013 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
Kaylynn Johnsen
Dec 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Dharia Scarab
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Christine Kuchinsky
I fully admit that I did not read it cover to cover, but I wanted a little holiday malice, and now that the have passed, my interest is waning as well. The stories are good, classic, even. However, in a compilation it got to be a little tedious. How many mysteries can one read in which there is a Poirot or Holmes-ian character who is just that much smarter than anyone in the room. I'd like to come back and finish it, but for now, I want something off my to-be-read pile that I feel more compelled ...more
Feb 04, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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
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
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
May 29, 2008 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 :)
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
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.
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I'll finish during the next 2 weeks, so I'll pick the authors I already enjoy. Maybe next Christmas season I'll try someothers. The authors I'll start with is Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Baroness Orczy, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, and G.K. Chesteron. If I get all these in this year, I'll it's quite an accomplishment.
Jul 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My beloved Aunt got me this book when I was in high school and every few years I like to reread the stories in December. 26 stories, one for each of the days leading up to Christmas, plus an extra for Boxing Day. Classics from Christie, Marsh, and other. The illustrations and extras that are dispersed between the stories are fantastic, too.
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
An anthology collection from mostly classic mystery writers. Here is a list of the authors:Fun easy reading,The stories authored by Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, G.K. Chesterford, Charles Dickens, Georges Simenon and Carter Dickinson and Nagio Marsh were my favorites. This is one I've had for many years & want to read again.

Dec 12, 2009 rated it liked it
I love mysteries, short stories, and Christmas. Put those three things together and I'm in hog heaven. These 26 short stories by some of the masters of the classic mystery genre were an entertaining break from holiday preparations. Of particular delight were the illustrations by Gahan Wilson. Classic holiday fun.
Debra B.
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read a paperback version of this book years ago, but received a hardcover copy as a gift recently. I really enjoyed reading this book. I did not remember most of the stories from the last time I read it. It is a good collection of holiday murder and other mysteries all taking place at Christmas.
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
The quality of the stories in this anthology was really mixed. While there were some really great stories in it, there were other that put me to sleep. The only reason I made it through the whole anthology was that I didn't want to miss out on the good stories.
Aug 31, 2008 rated it liked it
An anthology collection from mostly clasic mystery writers. I enjoyed soem of the stories but it got repetitive after awhile and I had only actually ehard of a few of the authors int he collection. the cartoons interspersed in between stories were just weird.
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