Mistletoe Mysteries: Tales of Yuletide Murder Collected by Charlotte MacLeod
Description: Every one of the great detectives of literature, from Sherlock Holmes to Hercule Poirot to Nero Wolfe, has endured a holiday marred by murder. Now, modern mystery writers including Mary Higgins Clark, Marcia Muller, Aaron Elkins, and others place their detectives in a Yuletide setting for a special mix of murder and mistletoe.
Genre: Mystery - Short Stories
Why I Picked This Book: I have enjoyed similar collections in previous years and I love that Open Road Press is bring back these more classic collections.
My Impression: I'm going to be honest here - between the holidays and some family emergencies that have cropped up lately - my brain is fried and my attention span has shrunk to gnat-like proportions. Throw in all the mile long to do lists and just being chronically short of sleep and I'm struggling to focus on the simplest of plots. And that is where this collection of short stories saved the day! The stories are short but perfectly complete, incredibly entertaining and unbelievably varied. There are hauntings, espionage, blackmail, misunderstandings, and straight up murder all in this festive time of year. Not only does it feature several old favorites (Charlotte MacLeod, Sharon McCrumb, Aaron Elkins, and Marcia Muller) but it also included several new-to-me authors who were lovely surprises (particularly Peter Lovesey and Susan Dunlap's stories) and included a short story by Isaac Asimov that was entertaining and unexpected.
Like all short story collections not every story was a shining star but I didn't find any real bombs here. I loved MacLeod's best and Lovesey's was a close second. All the stories felt complete and were well paced well which isn't too big of a shock given the caliber of the authors that are featured. This was a fun way to get a bit of murder and a bit of holiday spirit without having to make my brain try and focus through a full length book. Perfect reading for the middle of the holiday season!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! Not only did it reinforce my love of some old favorites but it's given me several authors I want to read more from.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely! If you enjoy mysteries this is a really solid short story collection.