Murder Under the Christmas Tree was one of those titles I couldn’t resist on what turned out to be my last trip to Waterstone’s in Norwich. It occurs to me that crime stories are quite a favourite for author specials at this time of year, since I’ve reviewed both Hercule Poirot and Maigret Christmas stories in the past. Thinking back on those, I suspect treating them as short stories is best.

Murder Under the Christmas Tree

murder under the Christmas Treeed. Cecily Gayford

Murder most festive…

A locked room mystery solved with a flourish on Boxing Day.
Blackmail on Christmas Eve.
A missing jewel discovered in a very festive hiding place.
A body slumped in a chair on Christmas morning, still listening to carols.
The midnight theft of a gift intended for a saint.

Crime doesn’t take a holiday, so these – and many more – are the puzzles that make up Murder under the Christmas Tree, a collection of festive mysteries featuring fictional sleuths from Lord Peter Wimsey to Sherlock Holmes, Cadfael to Father Brown. This is the very best of Christmas murder and mayhem – so settle into your armchair, put another log on the fire and take a bite of your mince pie. Just make sure it’s not poisoned… [goodreads]

My Review

I generally prefer to relax with some light crime, and this one is perfect for a Christmas treat. Cecily Gayford has drawn together ten top crime writers to provide tales of mystery, suspense, and a touch of horror at times, but not too much to frighten the faint-hearted.

Here are old friends and new: most crime aficionados will be familiar with the famous sleuths selected for this anthology. In addition to the four mentioned in the blurb, we have CDI Alleyn (Ngaio Marsh), and Rebus (Ian Rankin).  There is a corker of a story from Val McDermid, and ghostly murders from Edmund Crispin and Carter Dickson. Margery Allingham completes the set with another country-house murder – such a great way to get a group of suspects together, with snow to reveal any suspicious footprints.  Snow is also used in the Cadfael story.  I’ve never warmed to Cadfael before, but I could see myself being drawn into this mediaeval world.

Ten top crime writers provide tales of mystery, suspense, and a touch of horror for seasonal reading under the Christmas tree. A crime lovers feast! MURDER UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE #crime #mystery Share on X

add to goodreads buttonThe stories are an exceptional group. I thoroughly enjoyed them as I curled up under my newly set-up Christmas tree. So much so that I can’t decide whether to pass on my almost pristine copy as a stocking filler to a family member, or keep it to reread next Christmas. I suggest you add it to your Christmas list!

christmas tree
Have a lovely Christmas, or your seasonal celebration. I have a real treat for you next weekend (our Boxing Day)!

Christmas Book Review | Murder Under the Christmas Tree
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2 thoughts on “Christmas Book Review | Murder Under the Christmas Tree

  • 21 December, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    What a great collection! I am a Cadfael fan, and know almost all those sleuths. I’ll look out for a copy.

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