24 September 2009

Forgotten Books: a Christmas triptych

This week's contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books.

I have a clutch of forgotten books for this week.
The last week of September reminds me that Christmas is only 3 months away, so why not hunt these Golden Age titles down? (What a lovely Christmas present for someone!)

First of all MAIGRET'S CHRISTMAS by George Simenon (1951)

Synopsis from Amazon:
Nine short stories make up this delightful holiday-themed collection, each featuring Georges Simenon's famous
detective, Jules Maigret. Christmas mysteries abound: an otherwise sensible little girl insists that she has seen Father Christmas, a statement alarming to her neighbors, Monsieur and Madame Maigret. Then, a choirboy helps the inspector solve a crime while he lies in bed with a cold; another boy, pursued by a criminal, ingeniously leaves a trail to help Maigret track him. Many of these stories feature observant and resourceful children, frightened yet resolute, who bring out a paternal streak in the childless Maigret. The rapport between the inspector and these youthful heroes imparts a delightful freshness to this holiday collection-
a cornucopia for fans of Maigret and mysteries.
If you'd like to read a few pages go here.

Then TIED UP IN TINSEL, Ngaio Marsh (1972)

Christmas time in an isolated country house and, following a flaming row in the kitchen, there's murder inside. When a much disliked visiting servant disappears without trace after playing Santa Claus, foul play is at once suspected -- and foul play it proves to be.
Only suspicion falls not on the staff but on the guests, all so unimpeachably respectable that the very thought of murder in connection with any of them seems almost heresy. When Superintendent Roderick Alleyn returns unexpectedly from a trip to Australia, it is to find his beloved wife in the thick of an intriguing mystery...

Once again you can read a few pages - just click on the image.

Then there is HERCULE POIROT'S CHRISTMAS, Agatha Christie (1938)

It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a high-pitched wailing scream. Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed. But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man.

What is your favourite Christmas novel?


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you mentioned Maigret's Christmas and Hercule Poirot's Christmas . I love them both : ). There is also a wonderful Christmas atmosphere in The Theft of the Royal Ruby , an Hercule Poirot short story that appears in Christie's Double Sin and Other Stories . Colin Dexter offers Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories , which contains a good Christmas story : ). Thanks for making me think of those :).

George said...

I love the shelves and shelves of books photo! Makes me feel right at home. M. C. Beaton has written a couple Christmas mysteries that you might like: KISSING CHRISTMAS GOOD-BYE and A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS.


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