The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories is the latest anthology from the British Library Crime Classics series that I've sampled, and let me just say- I'm having a blast with these. Now not every story in this collection worked for me- I may have liked maybe half of them, which doesn't sound good, but honestly- even the ones I don't like are such a window into times long past, in terms of crime writing. There is such a variety of stories here- if you're a crime fan you really owe it to yourself to try these.
These are all Christmas themed, of course, although some more than others. And they vary by length as well- one or two of these are only a few pages long! In fact, my favorite of this bunch was a five pager. You'd think you couldn't get much story in five pages, and in truth I was looking for more- always a good sign- but it hit the spot. And that's the thing too- some of these I read at night before going to sleep, or just late when the house was quiet, and it was a nice way to end the day.
I'd be remiss too if I didn't mention that cover. These British Library reprints of classic crime stories are using cover art repurposed from vintage travel posters, in many cases, and I'm loving it. I quickly learned from previous editions that the cover art may not necessarily correspond well with the stories within, but they definitely set that vintage tone. It's another element in a very attractive package.
So if you like crime fiction, especially vintage or classic crime fiction in the mold of Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers, you're probably going to be happy with these anthologies. One of the things I've really enjoyed as well is learning more about how vibrant and lively the detective fiction of the past was- there were so many practitioners, and so many stories out there that have languished. It's great to see them making a comeback.