by Mark Billingham, Val McDermid, Rachael Blok, Heather Critchlow, Sara Collins , Elle Croft, James Delargy, Clare Empson, Jo Furniss, Sophie Hannah, T.E. Kinsey, N.J. Mackay, S.R. Masters, Phoebe Morgan, Dominic Nolan, Robert Scragg, Victoria Selman, Kate Simants, Adam Southward, Harriet Tyce
Festive Shorts from the Biggest Stars in Crime Fiction
Some of my favourite authors amongst these including Victoria Selman, Phoebe Morgan and James Delargy. I’ve selected a few of the ones I enjoyed the most to review.
An Unexpected Present by Phoebe Morgan
I love the very dark humour in this story. Calmly wrapping up her dead husband in Christmas paper – ‘Marks and Spencer’s paper isn’t cheap’ she thinks, ‘I was glad I’d be able to put it to good use’, and worrying that ‘the turkey isn’t going to cook itself’.
This was hilarious in that I just murdered my husband but I mustn’t let dinner spoil kind of way. Absolutely brilliant.
Hunted by Victoria Selman
Victoria gives us another dark story but this one has a real twist at the end. Did you guess? Short and sweet.
Especially at Christmas by Adam Southward
The darkest story of all. Even I struggled to find any humour in this one. Very clever and absolutely chilling.
Fresh Meat by Elle Croft
We kind of all guessed what was going to happen but it didn’t matter. The moral of the tale is never mess with a crazy cat lady. And anyone on Pigeonhole knows that you NEVER mess with the cat. Loved this story.
The Switch by James Delargy
This is so cleverly written. The narrator is telling us about a woman who killed her husband and two small children and is about to be executed. No humour here. He is talking to her in her last few moments before they pull the switch. The bit where they shave her head before she is electrocuted really got to me (I had to Google why they do this). This story stands out from all the others because it is so poignant and sad. I am a huge fan of this author and rightly so. So glad we got rid of the death penalty in this country years ago. It makes me shudder how they can still do this in some states of the US.
A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas by Robert Scragg
Us Pigeons love a doggy tale just as much as we love a kitty tale (as long as the animals don’t get hurt) so this one was perfect. Never let your morals get in the way when someone hurts an animal. They must get their just desserts. Brilliant.
The Vigilante by Clare Empson
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, along comes my favourite. David loves Charles Dickens. A Victorian superhero. He also loves his wife. I read this story with tears in my eyes ( I admit I’ve been very emotional since hearing that the Bristol Zoo of my childhood memories is closing – well re-locating but that’s not the point). I digress. How beautiful and sad and totally original.
Many thanks to The Pigeonhole and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.