Generous Art Scott (aka, Eagle Eye) sent me this copy of Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries (2016) edited by Martin Edwards. The theme of this anthology centers around murder in the Winter. My favorite story in Crimson Snow is Julian Symons’ “The Santa Claus Club” that involves a fatal poisoning. But Art informed me of a surprise in Crimson Snow that even Martin Edwards missed. “Mr. Cork’s Secret” by MacDonald Hastings featured a contest where readers could send in their solution to the crime and a winner would be selected.

The winner from Australia–A. G. Yates–was probably better known as “Carter Brown.” Art Scott, celebrated lately for his marvelous work on the Robert McGinnis covers for PAPERBACK PARADE’s Carter Brown issue (you can read my review here), spied the “A. G. Yates” name while my Evelyn Woods speed-reading trained eyes just zipped over it. Congratulations, Art! GRADE: B+
The ghost’s touch / Fergus Hume — 5
The Chopham affair / Edgar Wallace — 24
The man with the sack / Margery Allingham — 40
Christmas Eve / S.C. Roberts — 68
Death in December / Victor Gunn — 82
Murder at Christmas / Christopher Bush — 157
Off the tiles / Ianthe Jerrold — 175
Mr. Cork’s secret / MacDonald Hastings — 186
The Santa Claus Club / Julian Symons — 237
Deep and crisp and even / Michael Gilbert — 253
The carol singers / Josephine Bell — 267
Solution to “Mr. Cork’s Secret” 307

17 thoughts on “FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #576: CRIMSON SNOW: WINTER MYSTERIES Edited by Martin Edwards

  1. Jeff Meyerson

    I’ve been enjoying these Edwards anthologies since Rick Robinson first started writing about them. Good spotting by Art. I didn’t notice that either. Of course, Edwards has done other yeoman work in the field, what with his Edgar-winning THE GOLDEN AGE OF MURDER, and THE STORY OF CLASSIC CRIME IN 100 BOOKS. I also like his Lake District mysteries.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I saw Martin Edwards briefly at BOUCHERCON #50. I was hoping to tell Edwards how much I enjoyed his anthologies but never got the chance.

      1. george Post author

        Jeff, I spent most of my time in the Dealers’ Room talking with Scott Cupp. I planned on attending one of Martin Edwards’ panels, but there was just too much to do in a short period of time.

  2. Rick Robinson

    I read it – and enjoyed it – in March 2017, and so noted on my blog. Good catch by Art, of course. So you took the Evelyn Wood reading course. So did I, when in high school, but I’m afraid, though I passed the course test, it didn’t stick.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I have a few of Martin Edwards’ anthologies. I love Woody Allen’s joke about speed-reading and comprehension. In one of Woody’s stand-up routines, he says, “I just finished speed-reading WAR AND PEACE. It’s about Russia.”

  3. Art Scott

    The steady stream of British Library Crime Classics, lately now more like a flood, has been the major, nearly exclusive, drain on my book buying budget for the past few years. Not every book a winner (I’ve bailed on the unaccountably popular Jefferson Farjeon), but most are excellent entertainment. I’m particularly fond of the long-unavailable humdrum/plodder cop series – following the Crofts model – from John Bude, George Bellairs, and E.C.R. Lorac. I hope they find a way to do Rupert Penny also, and make his Insp. Beale novels available to a larger audience (though they are available from Ramble House). In the many themed short story collections, Martin always comes up with an excellent mix of old favorites and obscure discoveries. And to boot, the BLCC volumes are just about the only mysteries these days with attractive covers!

    1. george Post author

      Art, congratulations again on noticing that “A. G. Yates” tidbit! It passed under everyone’s radar but yours! I’ve enjoyed some George Bellairs mysteries and I have a few E.C. R. Lorac novels around here somewhere. I ordered a couple Rupert Penny novels from RAMBLE HOUSE but haven’t gotten around to reading them yet (the story of my Life!). You are certainly correct about the covers on the BLCC volumes. Most current hardcover and paperback covers are bland…or hideous!

      1. Art Scott

        The contest story appeared in the Christmas 1951 issue of Lilliput Magazine. At the time Yates was working for Qantas and writing western, sci-fi and crime stuff at night for assorted Australian pulps under various house names. The debut of Carter Brown wasn’t far off, however. I started Lorac with Bats in the Belfry, which I disliked – too much “atmosphere” in the worst Carr manner. Her Murder By Matchlight, however, is excellent. Takes place in wartime London, blackouts and bombing. Jeff will probably like it (Barzun & Taylor liked it also).

  4. Jeff Smith

    I got into these from Art. Ann and I particularly enjoyed one of Art’s recommendations, Death of an Airman by Christopher St John Sprigg, and especially Death in Captivity by Michael Gilbert. This one, set in a WWII Italian internment camp, and informed by Gilbert’s own time as a POW, is very funny and very tragic. (I’d love to see this one filmed, just for the scene of the prisoners moving the body from one hut to another.)

    Amazon usually sends me the American edition,

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, Rick Robinson is also a big fan of the British Library Crime Classics series. I’d like to see a movie version of DEATH IN CAPTIVITY, too!

  5. Jeff Smith

    *what happened to the end of my last sentence?*

    but sometimes they send me a British one, so my shelf isn’t quite uniform looking.

    1. Jeff Meyerson

      Jeff, I believe (though I’ve never seen it) that the Gilbert book was filmed. The American title of the book (which I agree was one of his best) was THE DANGER WITHIN. The film was released in 1959 under the title DANGER WITHIN – the original American title, remember- and as BREAKOUT in the U.S.

      Wikipedia says it “closely followed the events of the book.” The movie starred Richard Todd, Bernard Lee, Michael Wilding, Richard Attenborough (of course), and Dennis Price.

  6. Jeff Meyerson

    As for the authors Art and Jeff mentioned, I could never understand the popularity of Farjeon either, as I couldn’t read him. I did read one of the C. St. John Sprigg books and had a couple in the very skinny, teeny tiny print Cherry Tree paperback editions. Lorac was always sought after (also under her second pseudonym, Carol Carnac) when I was buying books to sell. The late Bob Adey was a fan of the hard to find Rupert Penny (naturally, for the locked room elements), and I have noticed some of his reprinted by Ramble House, though not in ebook editions. Bob also liked Bude, and sent me several over the years, as well as a bunch by George Bellairs, whose recent success in reprinted editions has been somewhat surprising to me.


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