Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Short Story Wednesday: Two Stories from Crimson Snow

 

Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries, edited by Martin Edwards, is an anthology of vintage crime stories published by the British Library in 2016. I have only read a few of the stories so far but I am sure I will read all of them before Christmas. Both of the stories I have selected for today's post are set at Christmas.


"The Chopham Affair" by Edgar Wallace 

Edgar Wallace was a very prolific writer and his books were very popular in his day, but I never thought that his stories or novels would appeal to me. Looking back to my review of Silent Nights, another anthology of Christmas short stories edited by Martin Edwards, I was surprised to see that my favorite story in that collection, "Stuffing," was also by Edgar Wallace. (Although Martin Edwards erroneously states in his Introduction that Margery Allingham was the only author featured in both Silent Nights and Crimson Snow.) 

"The Chopham Affair" deals with the fate of a man who makes his living by blackmailing women on a long term basis. The setup is well done and the story has a nice twist. It was very entertaining and I liked the writing style. I guess I should be seeking out more stories by Edgar Wallace.

Per Project Gutenberg Australia, the story was first published as "The Chobham Affair" in The Strand Magazine in 1930 and was collected as "The Chopham Affair" in The Woman from the East, 1934.


"The Man with the Sack" by Margery Allingham

I am a big fan of Margery Allingham's novels but haven't read many of her short stories. 

This is an Albert Campion story. Campion receives two invitations to spend Christmas at Pharaoh's Court with the Turretts. The first is from Lady Turrett, who makes it fairly plain that she is only inviting him to be an unpaid private detective while a wealthy family with expensive jewelry are visiting. Campion plans to decline the invitation. Lady Turrett's daughter Sheila also invites him for Christmas, and describes it as "poisonous," primarily due to the wealthy visitors and her mother's antagonism toward her boyfriend. Albert relents, and joins them on Christmas Eve. There is a party for the village children at Pharaoh's court, with a Santa giving out gifts. The ending is not surprising, but the story is fun.



10 comments:

Cath said...

This is on the top of my pile of Christmas and winter themed books for next month. Also I haven't read a book of short stories for four or five weeks and I'm missing them. Both these stories sound good so I might start this once I've finished the book I'm reading, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

George said...

I read CRIMSON SNOW at the beginning of 2020 and enjoyed it: http://georgekelley.org/fridays-forgotten-books-574-crimson-snow-winter-mysteries-edited-by-martin-edwards/

pattinase (abbott) said...

I always liked Allingham too but doubt that I read her short stories. In the past, crime shorts were unsatisfying to me. Especially ones in the who done it genre. I should try some now.

Margot Kinberg said...

These both look really good, Tracy! I sort of thought they probably would, because Martin Edwards is a really skilled editor and writer. I like the title of the collection, too - I think it's clever.

Rick Robinson said...

I have this, read it near the begging of the year and liked it.

TracyK said...

Cath, I have heard that The Thursday Murder Club is good. I don't usually read something so new and popular (until later). I will be eager to hear how you liked it. I am sure you will find many stories to like in Crimson Snow.

TracyK said...

George, I wish I had seen your post on Crimson Snow last year. I enjoyed the information on A.G. Yates winning the “Mr. Cork’s Secret” contest, and I went to the link on PAPERBACK PARADE’s Carter Brown issue. I used to subscribe to PAPERBACK PARADE and I would have loved to get that issue.

TracyK said...

Patti, I have had the same experience with crime fiction short stories with puzzle plots in the past. I want more plot and character with my puzzles. But I am enjoying all short stories more now. In December, I will be trying more Allingham short stories in Campion at Christmas, which Rick recommended last December.

TracyK said...

Margot, the title is very good. Because there was no mention of Christmas in the title I thought there would be some non-Christmas stories in this book, but so far I have not found one.

TracyK said...

Rick, another good thing about short stories is that I can go back and reread them later. Although I have so many books of short stories I may never get the chance. As I mentioned in the reply to Patti, I got Campion at Christmas last year when you posted about it, and I will be reading it this year.