Thursday, December 24, 2020

Ten top Christmas crime stories

Peter Swanson's novels include The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; Before She Knew Him, and Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into over 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.

A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.

At the Guardian, Swanson tagged ten of his favorite Christmas crime stories. One title on the list:
The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by PD James (2016)

James was often commissioned to write short stories for Christmastime. This slender collection contains four of them, including the title story – not only the best Christmas crime short story I’ve read, but one of my favourite short crime stories ever. An ageing crime writer looks back on the one time she was involved in an actual murder – a wartime holiday visit to her estranged grandmother. The story is both lovely and macabre, like the season it inhabits.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue