Silent Nights

Martin Edwards (Editor)

Product Details

$14.99  $13.79
Poisoned Pen Press
Publish Date
November 03, 2015
5.2 X 8.0 X 0.7 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

MARTIN EDWARDS is an award-winning crime writer best known for two series of novels set in Liverpool and the Lake District. He is a series consultant for British Library Crime Classics, Chair of the Crime Writers' Association, and President of the Detection Club. The Golden Age of Murder, his study of the Detection Club, was published in 2015 to international acclaim, and won the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating and Macavity awards for the year's best book about the genre.


"Not a nice murder. Not at all a nice murder...".Silent Nights, another entry in the British Library Crime Classics series, is a compilation of short stories--all with the common factor that the action takes place over Christmas. Police agencies and even the FBI warn that crime increases during the holiday season. Is it all the late night shopping, the carrying of cash? In other words, is the increase due to increased opportunities or are the statistics driven more by the need of the criminal to provide extra for their families? After reading Silent Nights, if there's a connective theme, it's how the Christmas season creates opportunities for criminals, and in some instances the season even creates such tempting opportunities that cause normally honest people turn to crime....Short story collections are a great way to discover new names, and in Silent Nights, there are some very famous names and others I'd never heard of. This collection begins with an intro by Martin Edwards and each story is prefaced with short biographical content....Some of the stories are very traditional "who-dun-its," so in Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Blue Carbuncle," the mystery concerns a lost top hat and a stolen diamond with Holmes managing to deduce a great deal from the hat that has seen better days while Watson stands on the sidelines wondering just how Holmes manages to make such brilliantly accurate conclusions. Other stories, such as Dorothy Sayers' "The Necklace of Pearls" and Edgar Wallace's "Stuffing" take place at Christmas country gatherings. Some stories are very deadly serious detective stories which concern murder while other stories are light and humorous in tone.--Guy Savage "Netgalley "
The Christmas season is ripe for mysteries and ghost stories, like Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and the holiday adventures of Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. A connoisseur of British crime fiction, Martin Edwards has collected 16 short stories from the genre's Golden Age in his third mystery anthology, Silent Nights....Edwards (The Golden Age of Murder) includes a few classic pieces by well-known authors, notably Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Blue Carbuncle" and stories by G.K. Chesterton and Dorothy Sayers. But the collection also includes less familiar names such as Ralph Plummer, H.C. Bailey and Ethel Lina White. Eager to provide fresh material for even the most diehard mystery fans, Edwards has done a bit of sleuthing himself, tracking down one or two stories that have never been anthologized....Each piece is prefaced by a brief introduction to the author and his or her work, which is especially helpful for the book's more obscure contributors. Many of the pieces (as Edwards admits) are festive in setting only: jewel theft and murder at country-house parties and a sinister collection of waxworks are hardly traditional Christmas fare. But the stories provide a varied and entertaining glimpse into Golden Age crime fiction, and may prompt readers to seek out more work by authors who are new to them....A bit uneven in quality, but still moody and atmospheric, Silent Nights will amuse and satisfy mystery lovers who like a little murder with their eggnog. --;i>Cakes, Tea and Dreams--Katie Noah Gibson "Cakes, Tea and Dreams "
Like an assortment of presents under a Christmas tree, there's something for everyone in this Yule-themed reprint anthology in the British Library Crime Classics series from Edwards (Guilty Parties). The 15 selections range from stories by such leading lights of the genre's golden age as Arthur Conan Doyle ("The Blue Carbuncle") and Dorothy L. Sayers ("The Necklace of Pearls") to works by such forgotten authors as H.C. Bailey ("The Unknown Murderer") and Ralph Plummer ("Parlour Tricks"). Connoisseurs of locked-room mysteries will welcome Edmund Crispin's "The Name on the Window." Ethel Lina White's "Waxworks" will send shivers down readers' spines, though it contains the now-clichΓ© stopped watch to indicate time of death. In "Stuffing," Edgar Wallace repeats Doyle's prize-in-the-bird trick from "Carbuncle," but this is another quibble. These classic tales of murder and jewel thievery with a light dusting of snow reveal bygone sensibilities, which, by and large, are fun to read about.--Publishers Weekly
This book turned out to be such a treasure trove of "lost" Golden Age mysteries, each one of them evocative of the era and the Christmas season. Nice, fairly difficult to solve puzzles and quirky characters abounded. This made for some wonderfully enjoyable reading!--Netgalley
Since I love a good mystery, I was delighted to find this collection of short stories from the Golden Age of British Crime classics. I was pleased to find a few authors in the book that I had heard of in the past and some that are new to me....Martin Edwards did a nice job of choosing what went into the collection and gave a bit of background information about the authors which added to my enjoyment. The stories are short and easy to read, neatly wrapped up and nicely detailed. There is just something special about reading books from the past that I really enjoy. The style is a bit different, and the people seem to always be most courteous--except when they are the criminal of course!...I highly recommend this wonderful collection.--Negalley
An anthology of short mysteries by some of the best authors of the Golden Age of British Crime fiction writing, all set on or around Christmas. Any one who is a fan of the classics will love this. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting authors I have previously read with their stories starring Holmes/Watson & Father Brown among others. I was thrilled to be introduced to authors I haven't read before and will now be looking for more of their work. A great compilation of British Library Crime Classics.--11/03/2015
This is a wonderful collection of Golden Age detective stories all set around the festive Christmas season. Martin Edward's Introduction whets the appetite for what's to come and each story is introduced with a useful couple of paragraphs which put the stories in context and give some basic information about each author....Because it's an anthology of different authors you never know what's coming next and the styles are so varied. I really appreciated the opportunity to sample a range of different styles of writing, and try several authors I hadn't come across before. I will certainly be checking out the books of J. Jefferson Farjeon, H. C. Bailey and Leo Bruce.--Netgalley
Silent Nights is a collection of short stories written by some of the top mystery writers of the Golden Age. Some of the authors will be familiar to you, others won't. Although they're all set during the Christmas season, there is very little holiday spirit to be found in them, so don't pick this book up expecting to make merry....Most of the mysteries seem to involve some sort of puzzle, and country house settings are found in quite a few. (Of course-- everyone goes to their country house for Christmas, don't they?) Editor Martin Edwards' introduction to the book and his individual introductions to each short story are interesting and informative, so I suggest that you don't skip them. One of the interesting tidbits I learned was that several authors represented in this volume wrote stories Alfred Hitchcock later made into films....Having already read another British Library Crime Classic, Resorting to Murder, I knew what to expect. Many of the authors are no longer well known, but others-- like G.K. Chesterton and Dorothy L. Sayers-- are included here. On the whole I enjoyed Silent Nights more, although the quality of the stories is still a bit uneven. My favorites include Edgar Wallace's "Stuffing," J. Jefferson Farjeon's "The Absconding Treasurer," Sayer's "The Necklace of Pearls," Ethel Lina White's "Waxworks," Marjorie Bowen's "Cambric Tea," and "The Chinese Apple" by Joseph Shearing (nom de plume of Marjorie Bowen). Of these, Farjeon's and White's stories were used by Hitchcock. "A Problem in White" by Nicholas Blake (pseudonym of Cecil Day-Lewis) was unique in the puzzle category. The solution is not included in the story itself, but at the end of the book, giving readers time to mull over the clues and form their own conclusions....If you're a fan of Golden Age mysteries, you're still going to find a new-to-you story or two. If you're a novice like I am, they'll probably all be totally unfamiliar. Since these were written many decades ago when outlooks were quite different, you will run into a racial slur now and again. I chose not to be offended and instead was pleased at how attitudes have changed. I also found it interesting to see how popular crime fiction has changed over time....These British Library Crime Classics being released in the U.S. by Poisoned Pen Press are both entertaining and enlightening, and I recommend them.--Netgalley
A truly fantastic anthology of mysteries to hunker down with on a winter night; Golden Age fans will definitely find a new favorite (I particularly enjoyed "A Problem in White" by Nicholas Blake and " Beef for Christmas" by Leo Bruce) as well as solid entries by old favorites like Dorothy Sayers and Margery Allingham. Every anthology has its dead spots, but this is the rare collection when those stories that jar the reader do so because they are either a bit experimental in style or only tangentially related to the Christmas theme. A great addition to the library of a mystery fan!--Netgalley
Oh be still my little crime fiction heart! What a perfect gift for the coming holidays for those into the "Golden Age of Crime.."..Some of the best known authors of that era are showcased in Silent Nights and I loved the linking theme of Christmas... possibly as it's almost that time of year again, who knows? Pretty sure this is indeed the case as I could really see myself curling up with this book in the "lull" between Boxing Day and New Year's Day. It would be keeping with the season as well as feeding my love for a good bit of crime....I'm really loving the anthologies from the "Golden Age of Crime" that Poisoned Pen Press have been releasing, but this one so far has to be my favourite....Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I would. Crime fiction fans into the "Golden Age of Crime" will love Silent Nights as some of the top authors are included with a fine array of Christmas time killings. What more could they want?;-)...Would I buy this book for myself? Yes I would. I do like a good crime fiction anthology and Silent Nights is indeed a GOOD crime fiction anthology....In summary: Lovers of crime fiction from the late 1800's through to the 1930's and looking for something to read and enjoy during the end of year holidays buy this book. It fits perfectly into the holiday season as well as into your passion for a good old whodunit.--Janis' Journal Reviews
Silent Nights Edited by Martin Edwards, ebook release 2015...Another collection of Christmas Mystery stories, this one from the British Library Crime Classics series. Fifteen tales of murder and thievery at the holidays....I quite enjoyed reading through this collection, even though I didn't love every story in it. It's a nice variation of styles and stories.--Netgalley
Editor Edwards (The Golden Age of Murder) assembles 15 classic Christmas detective stories that include contributions by Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Margery Allingham, and that feature favorite characters Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, and Lord Peter Wimsey. Interspersed are more obscure but still thoroughly enjoyable golden age mysteries such as Leo Bruce's "Beef for Christmas," starring the inimitable Sergeant Beef, and Ralph Plummer's "Parlour Tricks." VERDICT Follow Edwards's advice to curl up with these good mysteries, as they're much better for the digestion than another helping of plum pudding. A delectable treat for fans of classic crime fiction.--Library Journal
This is a wonderful anthology of short, delightful, Golden Age Christmas stories, mostly mysteries, put out by the British Library Crime Classics. There are stories by well known authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers and Edmund Crispen and then some lesser known, but quite talented, writers....Each author has a little biography about them in front of their story which really adds something special. I liked the stories and they have stood the test the test of time....So as Christmas season gets busy, take a little break and read a delightful short story that is sure to raise your Christmas cheer.--Netgalley
This book contains a great selection of stories. It introduced me to many authors I had not read before, and would like to explore their work further. The stories have got me in the mood for Christmas, and would like to re-read some of them over the Christmas period.--Netgalley
A great selection of Christmas short stories from authors known and unknown to me....My favourites were Arthur Conan Doyle's "Blue Carbuncle" and Dorothy L Sayers' "The Necklace of Pearls?....Both are evocative of Christmases past....This is one book that I shall be re reading over the Christmas period!...I'm so glad that Poisoned Pen are reprinting novels from the British Library catalogue as they have many book titles which should be brought into the public domain again....Keep up the good work!--Netgalley
Silent Nights is a collection of 15 short stories with a Christmas setting and which were written in the Golden Age of detective fiction. There were a few clue-based puzzle mysteries (including one containing a chess problem to work out) and a couple suspense stories. Most were mysteries where the detective knows what's going on but no one else does, so he shows off how clever he is. While the stories were well-written, I prefer mysteries where I can puzzle out whodunit for myself. My favorite story was "A Problem in White" by Nicholas Blake....Overall, there was a minor amount of bad language; some stories had none. There was no sex. I'd recommend this collection to those who enjoy the "reveal" as much as the challenge of mysteries.--Netgalley
What an absolute treasure! Some of the stories I already knew and some were from authors I've been unfamiliar with. Typically I'll come across stories in an anthology that I end up viewing as "throw-aways" and would likely skip over for future readings. Here, though, I can see myself re-reading each in holiday seasons to come.--Netgalley
I've enjoyed Martin Edwards' Lake District Mystery series for a while now and I have also followed his blog where he discusses his enjoyment of classic mysteries. Well I can see that he has put that enjoyment to very good use. In these fifteen stories, chosen for their Christmas season setting, Edwards has created a collection of Golden Age mystery stories by authors both familiar and unknown. They vary in setting from the country estate on Christmas to the city home during a winter storm or a railway journey at the holidays. There are all sorts of detectives. Some you may recognize. More, you likely will not....I found this collection completely engaging, with no real misses. Among my favorites: Conan Doyle's "Blue Carbuncle," "Stuffing" by Edgar Wallace, Sayers' "The Necklace of Pearls," "The Case is Altered" by Margery Allingham (I have decided I must read more of her ASAP), "Waxworks" by Ethel Lina White, and "Cambric Tea" by Marjorie Bowen. (I also like the one written under one of her pseudonyms.) I could add more, but then it would be almost the entire collection!...I recommend this for a cold winter's day (or evening), with a nice hot cup of tea or cocoa (checking for signs of poison first, of course) and then just read and enjoy.--Goodreads
A really interesting and intriguing collection of classic crime short stories - some by authors that I've read before (Sayers etc) some by people I'd never heard of. Some creepy, some cunning - all enjoyable.--Goodreads