The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

October 26, 2009

REVIEW: The Gift of Murder

The Gift of Murder: An Anthology of Holiday Crime Stories to Benefit Toys for Tots; John M. Floyd, Editor.
Wolfmont Press.
ISBN-13: 978-1-60364-010-7
Available now.

In plenty of time for the holiday season comes a welcome anthology of short, holiday-related crime fiction from some notable authors. This is the fourth annual anthology from Wolfmont Press. The proceeds from these anthologies benefit Toys for Tots.

Nothing too gruesome, nothing too saccharine, these stories combine to evoke the holiday spirit while still sending chills down the spine. From hardboiled detective angels ('Grace on the Case' by Sandra Seamans) to werewolves ('The Werewolf's Christmas' by Bill Crider) to murderous Kindles (yes, you read that right; 'The Kindle Did It' by Gail Farrelly), the stories entertain and occasionally move the reader, all the while keeping to a holiday theme (Christmas, Hannakuh, Kwanzaa). Other contributors whose names you may well recognize include Elizabeth Zelvin, Austin S. Camacho (of the Hannibal Jones PI series), Peg Herring -- I have to interrupt to say how much I enjoyed Herring's 'Gift of the Margi' because I've often wanted someone to give me the gift of killing off my enemies.

This is the perfect book for that harried, too-busy holiday season, when there's little time to devote to a novel but enough time between bouts of shopping, baking, and wrapping to devote to short crime fiction. And Barb Goffman's 'The Worst Noel' may even give you some criminal ideas about how to doctor that holiday baking so that this will be the last Christmas you have to deal with that one obnoxious relative...

And remember, all proceeds from the book benefit children who would otherwise have no toys at Christmas. Now THAT would be a crime.

Disclosure notice: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher (or his agent) at no charge to me. The publisher (or his agent) neither stipulated nor received from me any promise that the book would be the subject of an endorsement or review, either positive or negative.


  1. You got me with the book's contents, the review, and the good cause. I'm definitely getting this, Corey. Thanks for this.

  2. Like you, I love a cause. Are our '60s roots showing?

  3. I guess something like that (but I was too young to be a hippie). Plus, I'm drawn to the short story ideas here, and cover art. Thanks, Corey.

  4. Corey,
    Glad you enjoyed the book, and thanks for the glowing endorsement! The stories are great--editor John M. Floyd did a fine job of choosing and editing them. (Thanks for the mention of the cover, too--that is my work.)

    Tony Burton

  5. Sounds like a real winner and I will also order it.

  6. Corey,
    Thanks for your kind words, but just to be clear: I do understand that killing your enemies is NOT in the Christmas spirit:)
    Peg Herring

  7. You celebrate your way, Peg; I'll celebrate mine.

  8. Thanks for this review, Corey. It sounds perfect for the Christmas season, and it is for a good cause besides.