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A Very Murderous Christmas: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season

(Murderous Christmas Stories #3)

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  321 ratings  ·  62 reviews
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, as families and friends come together to forget their differences and celebrate.

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 -
Paperback, 234 pages
Published November 1st 2018 by Profile Books (first published 2018)
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Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
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
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Christmas mysteries & short stories
A quite enjoyable collection. Not all stories had murders central to them but they all felt appropriate for the theme. I quite liked seven of the ten offered here and below were my favourites:

Camberwell Crackers by Anthony Horowitz- in which the new owner of Camberwell Crackers meets his end in a very gruesome but apropos way.

A Problem in White by Nicholas Blake- in which a robbery and murder occur on a train on a snowy night. This one reminded me of Mystery in White.

Loopy by Ruth Rende
3,5 stars

I adored the idea of having a collection of short stories that had a focus on crime and Christmas. For me, there couldn't be a better combo than this one. Thank to you Nessa, my dear friend who got this book for me and who knows that I not only love crime books, I absolutely adore Christmas. My original goal was to read one story a day until Christmas day or until I finished the book. The problem is that I started the book and one story didn't seem enough.
This is the kind of the book t
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Murder for Christmas? There seems to be a tradition of buying, and hopefully reading, murder mystery novels at this time of year. Possibly people fondly imagine that they will have time to actually read an entire novel over the festive season, but for those who lack that sustained reading time, this is an ideal book. Ten short stories by a mixture of writers, ranging from the clever development on classics to actual Golden Age gems, this is a book which will have something for everyone. The cosy ...more
Nov 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amusing selection of Christmas themed crime stories. My first introduction to a few of the authors, will be sure to check out further work.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable collection, like its predecessors.

I have to say, the Anthony Horowitz story, Camberwell Crackers, has to be one of the best Christmas murder mysteries I've read in a long while.
Theresa Smith
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Cosy mysteries have never been more unsettling! These bite sized Christmas stories are a treat for fans of the classic mystery genre. I particularly enjoyed Loopy by Ruth Rendell, a rather strange tale about a man who likes to wear a wolf suit for pleasure.

‘Principally, I felt not human. And to be not human is to be without responsibilities and human cares.’

A Very Murderous Christmas is an ideal book to have on your coffee table in the days leading up to Christmas. The stories are a great length
Luna Erica
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I largely found the book pretty tiresome to read, in all honesty. I’m not sure if it had to do with my aversion of the particular language used in half the stories or their varying lengths (I hate when a story is too short to bring across any kind of message), but it took me a while to get through it. What made up for it entirely, then, are three stories: Loopy by Ruth Rendell (beautifully disturbing), The Jar of Ginger by Gladys Mitchell (a fairly expectable ending, but enticing nonetheless), a ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Whodunnit/thriller lovers
An appropriate read for those who find several days in the bosom of the family a test of endurance -- especially in these days of Brexit -- and granny gives you the same pair of woolly socks and a knitted kipper tie for Christmas for the 15th year in a row. Enjoyable largely from the humour of Rumpole giving a nice balance to an extremely sinister one from Ruth Rendell called Loopy which takes the Oedipus complext to another level....A Problem in White by Nicholas Blake catches the eye too. Don' ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A nice collection of Christmas mysteries by a selection of authors. Particularly like the Margery Allingham and Anthony Horowitz ones. The Sherlock Holmes one was good too. May buy the other volumes in this collection.
Andy Malcolm
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, crime
Fairly standard collection, but the Rumpole story was hilarious with brilliant multiple twists to finish. The Ruth Rendell one was particularly creepy, pre-dating the rise of the Fursona by several years *shudder* Quite a bit of filler here mind you.
Dhawal Dhingra
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
A nice read. Obviously, some stories are better than the others but all in all, I enjoyed reading the book.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ten short stories that are either classic crime in themselves or more modern additions to the classics. As is usually the case with short story crime, they tend to revolve on a little twist or an oddity of character fitting to the season. Enjoyable bite-sized read.
Steven Haythorne
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas-books
Some good and atmospheric seasonal stories. As usual with such anthologies, some stories are better than others. A nice collection however and a good way to.spend some time over the festive season.
Holly McArthur
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
A collection of crime stories with a loose festive theme, not all of which involve murder. A few of these stories were a bit too similar for my liking which made the reading of this book rather dull at a few points. Overall, there was not enough to maintain my steadfast interest. This book is probably best suited to those familiar with Sherlock Holmes, Inspector Morse and Rumpole of the Bailey. Stand-out story for me was Horowitz's highly amusing Camberwell Crackers. ...more
Jeff Howells
Christmas Crime stories have been incredibly popular over last half a dozen years or so. However the well is almost dry now. This is the third volume of festive stories from this publisher and there are a number of stories here that have appeared in other collections. There’s a mix of classic crime & tales from modern authors (some of which have appeared in newspapers over the festive season). There’s an incredibly odd story from Ruth Rendell & a very slight story featuring Inspector Morse.
The b
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love murder/mysteries and I thoroughly enjoyed this book of ten short stories.
The clues are all there, some of which I spotted, but I failed to solve any of the mysteries. I like to be surprised when I find out who actually committed the crime, as the enjoyment is ruined if it's too obvious who did it.
The stories are just the right length to keep the readers' interest, but short enough for a couple of them to be read in one sitting.
lynne davis
Enjoyed most of the stories hence the 3.5 stars instead of 4.
Maura Heaphy Dutton
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
A mixed bag of mysteries with a Christmas theme, raging from pretty poor and forgettable to just OK. It's par for the course that short story collections, whether single author or a collection based on some theme, will be a mixed bag; if you're lucky there will be a couple of jewels among the dross. But in this volume, there's nothing that really stands out, nothing with any "wow" factor. My three stars are based on average scores for the stories.

The Sherlock Holmes story, "The Adventure of the
Becca Adams
Dec 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Crime stories at Christmas time, what’s not to like? I enjoyed some more than others! The best ones were:

Camberwell Crackers by Anthony Horowitz: A owner of a cracker factory is found dead in a gruesome way. But quite deservingly.

A Problem In White by Nicholas Blake- There’s a murder on a train line. This was excellent and extremely clever. Reminded me of Agatha Christie.

Morse’s Greatest Mystery by Colin Dexter- I use to watch Morse with my mam so I knew I’d like this. Morse was very nice in
Chris Browning
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it
A lot more hit and miss than the previous Christmas crime collection, mainly because all three modern attempts at the form are absolute stinkers: Colin Dexter’s central idea here is a great one but the Morse story feels like it’s his notes for a proper tale that he submitted in a panic, with most of the story just a précis; Rendell’s contribution feels like a scanty idea for a Vine novel that she realised would’ve been terrible so instead turns it into a terrible short story instead; Horowitz is ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars. (averaged over the ten stories)

A Very Murderous Christmas wasn’t all that murderous. Of the ten stories presented, four were not about murders at all. Not that I mind that much. I've always liked mysteries that weren't steeped in violence and blood. There are other types of detective cases that just don’t happen too much in the mystery genre.

This was a quick read. I think a spent as much time on my individual reviews as I did on the tories themselves. I won’t go into too
Ryan O'Pray
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Save for the last story, ‘The Problem of Santa’s Lighthouse’, all of these short stories are firmly in the genre of middle class English crime fiction. Canonical characters such as Sherlock Holmes and Watson, Inspector Morse, Father Brown and Horace Rumpole feature - and (this is the book’s shining star) each in the brief time they appear bring their own characteristics to each of their tales - but there is just not enough juice to go around when taken as a whole, a collection.
The plots feature
Karen M
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short stories are amazing in that one book can jump you to places and times that vary dramatically and yet each is utterly satisfying. Here there are ten and really only one dud.
So I managed to start with a favourite - Mr Campion whose country house Christmas looks like being ruined by an awful nouveau riche family and a baroque loving Santa. Moved on to Sherlock and Watson in another country house , a very pleasingly gothic one, which comes with its own guillotine, definitely a red widow. Horow
Catherine Massey
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book contains 10 festive short stories from great mystery writers from Anthony Horowitz to Arthur Conan Doyle to Ruth Rendall and to the famous Morse writer Colin Dexter. From christmas crackers to gullotines, to wolf suits and pantos, it has it all. These sort of Short story anthologies fit with my life, as I have two jobs, two kids and I am studying for a degree. Therefore, I only have time on a Sunday to read. This book fits perfectly with my life, I read one short story each week. I am ...more
Lisa Kucharski
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Would prefer a 3 1/2 stars for this. Collection includes: The Man with the Sack, Margery Allingham, The Adventure of the Red Widos, Adrian Conan Doyle & John Dickson Carr, Camberwell Crackers by Anthony Horowitz, The Flying Stars by G.K. Chesterton, A Problem in White by Nicholas Blake, Loopy by Ruth Rendell, Morse’s Greatess Mystery by Colin Dexter, The Jar of Ginger by Gladys Mitchell, Rumpole and the old familiar Faces by John Mortimer, The Problem with Santa’s Lighthouse by Ed Hoch.

Some feel
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
4/5 🌟 REVIEW

I bought this as a Christmas gift for a friend and may have added an extra copy to my cart for myself. I started and finished this very quickly, I was eager to read more!

Ten short, festive crime stories, all written by different authors, each with their own unique writing styles. It happened to be snowing whilst I was reading this, which helped to really set the scene for many of these tales.

My favourite was “A Problem in White” closely followed by the amusing “Camberwell Crackers
David Pearce
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the third of these Cecily Gayford edited collections that I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was great to reacquaint myself with Campion and Father Brown once more, and I now fully intend to seek out more stories featuring the two, and I loved the Morse short story. The only story that let the collection down was Loopy by Ruth Rendell which was borderline unreadable as you are 'treated' to her at her most wilfully obtuse. Otherwise I thoroughly recommend all three of these exce ...more
What Is Chelle Reading
For lovers of a Christmas whodunnit Profile Books have a series of Wintertime short stories ideal for a little bit of murder during your festive season!

This is the second of three Winter Short story compilations I'm reading over Christmas and it's just a nice basic read - perfect for a 10 minute tea break while working or that spare half hour you find amongst wrapping presents! Could be ideal for one short story each day leading up to New Year if you have multiple of these on your bookshelf? Id
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars. A somewhat better than average collection of Christmas mystery short stories--not all concern murders. Standouts are "The Man with the Sack" by Margery Allingham; "The Flying Stars" by G. K. Chesterton (often anthologized); and "Rumple and the Old Familiar Faces" by John Mortimer. There are a couple of surprising duds as well; especially surprising, the Colin Dexter piece. I have to confess to reading them all at once like chocolates in a box of candy, but they might have been bette ...more
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Murderous Christmas Stories (5 books)
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