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Publisher's Summary

Ah, the pleasures of Christmas...the hanging of greens, the traditional feast, the gathering families, a few secrets in the air...and a bit of murder, conspiracy, and theft. The holiday season seems to inspire the imagination of the best mystery writers, and their talents shine here in these delightful tales of Yuletide crime. So seize a few quiet hours in this busiest of seasons to enjoy their sleigh full of mysterious treasures, here with the finest of flair.

"Death on Christmas" by Stanley Ellin - A lawyer visits his reclusive clients on Christmas Eve.

"The Necklace of Pearls" by Dorothy L. Sayers - Traditional party games in a fine old manor house are interrupted by the disappearance of family treasures.

"The Case is Altered" by Margery Allingham - In the shadows of a country estate aquiver with Christmas bustle, Mr. Albert Campion discerns activity that could be young love...or blackmail.

"Cambric Tea" by Marjorie Bowen - An unpleasant aristocrat swears that his wife is poisoning him, and demands the intervention of a young doctor.

"The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The game is afoot! And the world's greatest consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, is on the trail of the diamond thief who's hidden his booty in a Christmas goose.

"The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding" by Agatha Christie - Persuaded against his will to enjoy the pleasures of an old-fashioned English country Christmas, Hercule Poirot is on the trail of a rare and priceless ruby which has disappeared under circumstances embarrassing to its princely owner.

"Death on Air" by Ngaio Marsh - Septimus Tonks has been found dead of electrocution on Christmas morning; Chief Detective, Inspector Roderick Alleyn, must determine whether it's an accident, a suicide...or murder.

"Back for Christmas" by John Collier - Hermione Carpenter manages everything beautifully, and has promised to bring her husband, the doctor, back to England for Christmas, but he has other plans....

©1982 The Mysterious Press (P)1989, 2017 Dove Books-On-Tape / Phoenix Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Treat for classic mystery lovers

I don’t think this collection of short stories by classic mystery lovers is for everyone. Short stories tend to be challenging for mysteries, because they don’t have a lot of time to set out clues, explain the characters and really draw the reader in. (Though good ones, and some in this collection) are skillful writing just for these reasons. Some of these work better than others in that regard. Also, because they are short, it helps to know the main writers and the typical characteristics of the detectives ahead of time (Campion, Poirot, etc).

That said, I enjoyed this collection just because is is a piece of writing from some of my favorite British classic writers (Sayers, Christie, Allingham, et al). A couple writers I was unfamiliar with. Each is distinctive, and it was fun to listen to the differences between them, and get a little flavor of their writing, side by side. Some of the stories didn’t work very well in my opinion—especially the first. Another reviewer commented on bad audio quality. I think that also varied—with the first story being least easy to listen to. But overall, I’d urge lovers of classic mysteries to give this a shot, at least if you want to round out your knowledge of their works.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Bret
  • Lewisville, TX, United States
  • 12-18-17

Not very good

This is a collection of mystery stories that take place around Christmas. Some stories are impossible to follow, possibly they are abridged.
The mixed some creepy music in between that doesn’t go with the stories at all!
Some of the classics are done well, some are not.
I would NOT recommend this collection.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • L. Wojack
  • Wilmington, DE United States
  • 03-01-18

mystery for Christmas

enjoyed the mysteries and felt a part of the story and will listen again. bye

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Most engaging, a few drag

It took me quite a while to get through this because I had to listen a few of them multiple times. there were others that kept my interest the entire time.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gudrun
  • Fort Resolution, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • 01-30-18

Worth the credit

Some good some bad, but still worth it. I found it interesting for the style of the different authors. So I found a couple that I liked and would read a whole book by.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. M. R. Quinn
  • 12-07-17

Good Old Fashioned Yarns.

I love this book. The stories are all old fashioned, ripping good yarns from established mystery writers.
Make a pot of tea, grab the biscuit barrel and settle down on the sofa.
It's an absolute treat.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew Roberts
  • 10-16-17

Bad production

Some classic detective fiction by masters of the form, like Christie, Conan Doyle and Marsh, but the quality of the production was very poor, in terms of the audio quality and the variability of the performances by the narrators (some good, some not). Refund, please.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful