Book Review – Christmas Is Murder

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. For my final Christmas-related book post of the year, I’m sharing my review of Val McDermid’s short story collection, Christmas Is Murder.

The Queen of Crime Val McDermid is a master of the dark and sinister story, and these powers are demonstrated in full force in Christmas is Murder, a festive collection of chilling tales.

From an irresponsible baron whose body is discovered beneath a silver birch tree, to an author who is haunted by the spiteful presence of a jealous writing partner, the characters McDermid conjures are enigmatic and dangerous, never above suspicion.

Follow Tony Hill and Carol Jordan as they track a deadly killer who is preparing to strike on Christmas Day, and lose yourself in a festive exclusive – a recently unearthed case for a classic detective duo, set as the lights are going out across Europe.

These evocative, atmospheric tales will shock and delight. This is the perfect book to curl up with as the frosty winter draws in and each night gets darker than the last, written by one of our greatest living crime writers.

It can sometimes be hard to review a short story collection as we meet so many characters throughout the pages, and while that is true here, what is also true is that Val McDermid remains a lethal genius – literally.

As we travel through various countries with various people, what remains is the fact that death is ever present. While most of deaths we read about are filled with murderous intent, the stories are also full of the every day; parenting, love, loss, grief. And it is in this balance – of the every day and the extreme – that makes this collection of stories so brilliant.

We all look for things in fiction that we can relate to, be it characters or circumstances, and it is when we find these that we tend to relate to them most strongly. Even when the situations are extreme, if we can see ourselves, or at least the rational, behind actions, books immediately become something we relate to more highly, and it is here that McDermid excels.

Thanks for stopping by today! If you’re bored of all things Christmas, don’t worry – normal service will soon be resumed. However, winter is still with us for a while, so it’s not too late to read these festive murder tales.


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