MYSTERY FOR CHRISTMAS by Richard -- Ed. Dalby


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Truth-in-labeling alert: A better title for this collection, first published in England in 1990, would'ye been Ghosts or Chillers or even Horror for Christmas, if only editor Dalby hadn't used those titles for previous anthologies. And the mix of old stories and new -- 11 tales from stalwarts like Dickens, Hardy, and Muriel Spark; 12 previously unpublished stories -- sounds more varied than it actually is, since most of the recent entries hew closely to the model of the Victorian Yuletide ghost story; even the true-blue whodunit by John S. Glasby and the Sherlockian pastiche by Ron Weighell have an unmistakable aroma of brimstone about them. The rest of the ghostly tales are a middling, stolidly atmospheric bunch, and it's no surprise that three of the most welcome Christmas treats -- Ronald Duncan's diary of a disconcerted poltergeist; Roger F. Dunkley's anecdote of a prophecy briskly fulfilled; and H.R.F. Keating's agreeably foolish burlesque on ""A Christmas Carol"" -- are also the least reverential toward the business of death and resurrection.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1994
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's