Like Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries, this is a set of short stories set around wintertime, hence Christmastime! And while I liked the Silent Nights stories, I found I enjoyed the Crimson Snow ones even more.
Once again, these stories were selected by crime writer Martin Edwards, who also wrote the introduction and a short piece about the author before each story. My favourites here included Fergus Hume’s The Ghost’s Touch which features a haunted country manor, Ianthe Jerrold’s Off the Tiles in which a woman has fallen to her death while walking on a parapet between houses, and Julian Symons’ The Santa Claus Club, where a private detective is invited to a dinner hosted by a group of millionaires dressed as Santa Clauses. Victor Gunn’s Death in December is another standout and I look forward to reading more of his stories featuring Chief Inspector Bill ‘Ironsides’ Cromwell and his sidekick Johnny Lister. Margery Allingham also makes an appearance among the authors in this collection and having read another of her stories in Silent Nights, I’m also adding her to my list of crime authors to-be-read list!
My only gripe would be with the final story, Josephine Bell’s The Carol Singers. It was a rather sad and depressing story (and also a shockingly violent one!) and I kind of wished that Martin Edwards had inserted the story somewhere in the middle of the book rather than have it at the end. I felt kind of demoralised ending the book on The Carol Singers and I had to go pick up another book and read it to make myself feel better!
But other than that minor gripe, I really enjoyed the Crimson Snow stories and would definitely recommend this as another book for the season – or for any time of the year, really. I can definitely see myself curled up on the sofa after a big Christmas lunch, relaxing and reading these stories.