25 March 2014

Rudolph Day, March 2014

"Rudolph Day" is a way of keeping the Christmas spirit alive all year long. You can read a Christmas book, work on a Christmas craft project, listen to Christmas music or watch a Christmas movie.

The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries, edited by Otto Penzler
If you like your Christmas stories with a bit more excitement and less content for your soul, you'll probably enjoy this huge collection of Christmas mysteries. Of course it contains the usual collection of Christmas standards, like the Father Brown "The Flying Stars," Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle," and "The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding" featuring Hercule Poirot—even a mystery from classic author Thomas Hardy, "The Thieves Who Couldn't Help Sneezing"—but even if you've read the bargain shelf collection Murder for Christmas, there's not as much overlap as you might think (and you don't have to read that awful Woody Allen short story, either).

The book is divided into sections, from "A Traditional Little Christmas" to a special section for some Sherlock Holmes to modern Christmas tales, from police procedurals (at the 87th precinct and more) to amateur sleuths (Lord Peter Wimsey and Ellery Queen among them). There are also some thrillers and psychological pieces, and the authors are a delightful variety of talent including Ellis Peters (two tales, in fact, one not a Brother Cadfael story), Ngaio Marsh (Inspector Allyn), E.W. Hornung (Raffles), Colin Dexter (Inspector Morse), and Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe, of course). Plus a final Christie featuring Miss Marple!

Best yet, there are over fifty stories in total, so you can start sometime in November and end on Epiphany, so you'll be able to read one a day throughout the entire Christmas shopping season and Christmastide.