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Authors: Martin H. Greenberg et al (Ed)

The Twelve Crimes of Christmas

BOOK: The Twelve Crimes of Christmas
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“AN
EXCELLENT ANTHOLOGY…
FOCUSING ON CRIME, LIGHTHEARTED
PUZZLES,
HORROR, TERROR AND
SPOOKINESS AT CHRISTMAS.”

Booklist

“AND
AT CHRISTMAS-TIME,

TOO”

Whenever some despicable thing is done
during the month of December, the general reaction is a disapproving “and at
Christmas-time, too,” as though it would be less despicable if done at any
other time.

This, you may be sure, has not escaped
the attention of crime writers. Consequently, we bring you a dozen fictional
transgressions and misdeeds that are associated with Christmas. If by any
chance you feel a bit cloyed at that time of year and need a salutary
counterweight to the saccharinity of the season (and which of us does not, now
and then) here is the book for you.

So stretch out beside the Christmas tree
and read.

—From
the Introduction by Isaac Asimov

“IT’S TIME TO TRIM THE TREE, STRETCH OUT
BESIDE IT AND WATCH AS A DOZEN MASTERS OF MALEVOLENCE BURY THE BODIES.”

Chicago Tribune

 

Other Avon Books edited by

Carol-Lynn
Rössel Waugh,

Martin
Harry Greenberg, and

Isaac
Asimov

T
HE
B
IG
A
PPLE
M
YSTERIES

S
HOW
B
USINESS
IS
M
URDER

13 H
ORRORS
OF
H
ALLOWEEN

 

 

Avon Books are available at special
quantity discounts for bulk purchases for sales promotions, premiums, fund
raising or educational use. Special books, or book excerpts, can also be created
to fit specific needs.

For details write or telephone the
office of the Director of Special Markets, Avon Books, Dept FP, 1790 Broadway,
New York, New York 10019, 212-399-1357.
IN CANADA:
Director of Special Sales, Avon Books of
Canada, Suite 210, 2061 McCowan Rd., Scarborough, Ontario MIS3Y6, 416-293-9404.

 

 

 

THE

TWELVE

CRIMES O
F

CHRISTMAS

EDITED BY CAROL-LYNN RÖSSEL
WAUGH,

MARTIN HARRY GREENBERG AND

ISAAC ASIMOV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AVON

PUBLISHERS OF BARD, CAMELOT,
DISCUS AND FLARE BOOKS

 

 

THE TWELVE CRIMES OF CHRISTMAS is an
original publication of Avon Books. This work has never before appeared in book
form.

AVON BOOKS

A division of

The Hearst Corporation

1790 Broadway

New York, New York 10019

Copyright © 1981 by Nightfall, Inc.,
Carol-Lynn Rössel Waugh, and Martin Harry Greenberg Published by arrangement
with the authors library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 81-65078

ISBN: 0-380-78931-0

All rights reserved, which includes the
right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except
as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law. For information address Avon Books.

First Avon Printing, November, 1981

AVON TRADEMARK REG. U.S. PAT. OFF. AND IN OTHER
COUNTRIES, MARCA REGISTRADA, HECHO EN
U.S.A.

Printed in Canada

WFH 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3

 

 

To Charles Gordon Waugh

C-L. R. W.,

M. H. G. and

I. A.

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

“The
Thirteenth Day of Christmas,” by Isaac Asimov. Copyright © 1977 by Isaac
Asimov. First published in
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Blind
Man’s Hood,” by John Dickson Carr. From
The Department of
Queer Complaints,
by Carter Dickson. Copyright © 1940 by William
Morrow and Company; renewed 1968 by John Dickson Carr. Reprinted by permission
of the publishers.

“The
Adventure of the Unique Dickensians,” by August Derleth. Copyright © 1968 by
Arkham House Publishers, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Arkham House
Publishers, Inc., Sauk City, Wisconsin.

“Death
on Christmas Eve,” by Stanley Ellin. Copyright © 1950, 1978 by Stanley Ellin.
First published in
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
Reprinted by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

“The
Problem of the Christmas Steeple,” by Edward D. Hoch. Copyright © 1976 by
Edward D. Hoch. First published in
Ellery Queen’s Mystery
Magazine.
Reprinted by permission of Larry Sternig Literary
Agency.

“By
the Chimney with Care,” by Nick O’Donohoe. Copyright © 1978 by Renown
Publications, Inc. First published in
Mike Shayne’s Mystery
Magazine.
Reprinted by permission of Hintz Literary Agency.

“The
Dauphin’s Doll,” by Ellery Queen. Copyright © 1948, 1951 by Ellery Queen;
renewed. Reprinted by permission of the Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc.,
845 Third Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10022.

“The
Christmas Masque,” by S. S. Rafferty. Copyright © 1976 by S. S. Rafferty. First
published in
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

“Father
Crumlish Celebrates Christmas,” by Alice Scanlan Reach. Copyright © 1967 by
Davis Publications, Inc. First published in
Ellery Queen’s Mystery
Magazine.
Reprinted by permission of Ann Elmo Agency, Inc.

“The
Necklace of Pearls,” by Dorothy L. Sayers. From
Lord Peter,
by Dorothy L. Sayers. Copyright © 1933 by Dorothy Leigh Sayers Fleming; renewed
1961 by Lloyds Bank Ltd., Executors. Reprinted by permission of Harper &
Row, Publishers, Inc.

“Do
Your Christmas Shoplifting Early,” by Robert Somerlott. Copyright © 1965 by
Davis Publications, Inc. First published in
Ellery Queen’s Mystery
Magazine.
Reprinted by permission of McIntosh and Otis, Inc.

“Christmas
Party,” by Rex Stout. From
And Four to Go,
by Rex
Stout. Copyright © 1956, 1957 by Rex Stout. Reprinted by permission of Viking
Penguin, Inc.

 

 

 

Introduction: NOEL,
NOEL!

by
Isaac Asimov

Throughout
the North Temperate zone (in which western civilization arose and matured),
there is always a reminder in the sky that things will not last.

All
through the summer and fall, when the world is smiling and green things are
growing and harvests are collected and stored, the Sun marks out a path in the
sky that each day is lower toward the southern horizon than on the day before.
The lower the sun is, the less intense is its warmth and the shorter the days
get, so that the less-intense warmth has ever less time to do its job.

This
is a sobering reminder in the very midst of prosperity that winter is coming, a
time of dreary cold and of the apparent death of the plant world.

Yet
the decline of the Sun slows and finally there comes a time when the Sun halts
its southward drop altogether and then begins to mark out a higher and higher
path each day than the day before. The weather continues cold for months after
the Sun starts its rise, but that rise is a portent and a promise in the midst
of decay that the winter will not last forever and that spring is coming, and
with it a renewal of warmth and life and happiness.

We
know exactly what causes this. We know about the Earth’s tipped axis and how it
affects the Sun’s apparent path in the sky in the course of the Earth’s annual
revolution about its luminary.

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