A Surprise For Christmas: And Other Seasonal Mysteries by var. authors, Martin Edwards editor: 3.5***

Martin Edwards, in my opinion is the current reigning King of British crime fiction, not only as an author, but as an editor and here he has compiled a series of 12 British short stories in the book “A Surprise for Christmas: And Other Seasonal Mysteries.” Edward does his usual wonderful job of finding classic British short stories and is a consultant of the British Libraries Crime Classics and brings us murder, mystery and mayhem for the Christmas holiday season.

            Each short story is by a different author, and each begins with a very simple bio of the author and something about the short story we’ll be reading. Most stories are from the Golden Age of Mystery, but there are also stories from the late 1800’s  up to fairly modern times. But all is brought together by the common theme of Christmas mystery.

            As with all compilations there will be some you love, and some that may leave you feeling blah. Some you will wish were shorter and others you wish were longer. But the entire effect is one of pleasure reading. Nothing too gory, and yet something for everyone. And what I like about this and most all short stories is that you can read a story and put down the book. The next story will be waiting for when you have the time and inclination to catch up with some wonderful British Christmas crime fiction!

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