Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Mysteries

My goal is to read 100 books by the end of 2013.  I just finished book 100!!!

I would like to thank NetGalley and Open Road Integrated Media for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.

Christmas Mysteries: Ten Excerpts to Set the Season (Plus Three More to Celebrate the New Year) by various authors

Ten excerpts from classic and contemporary mysteries with Christmas themes: Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod; The Fourth Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders; The Egyptian Cross Mystery by Ellery Queen; Not a Creature was Stirring by Jane Haddam; The Midnight Before Christmas by William Bernhardt; Omit Flowers by Stuart Palmer; The Queen is Dead by Jane Dentinger; Killed on the Ice by William DeAndrea; The Shortest Day by Jane Langton; and The Sleeper by Gillian White.  Also includes three bonus excerpts with a New Year's theme: The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers; Stress by Loren D. Estleman; and The Clock Strikes Twelve by Patricia Wentworth.

My Opinion:
This book wasn't what I expected.  I expected the excerpts to follow a similar layout to what you would see in a magazine - a few lines of backstory to get you settled, a juicy point of the book to lure you in, and a conclusion with information on how to locate the book.  Instead, every one of these excerpts was the first chapter of the book.  Granted, this was still useful to see if I liked the author's writing style, and there were two or three that opened with action, but as far as "teasers" go, the first chapters may not have been the best selections.
As another small note, including books that are 4th, 5th, and even 11th in their respective series could create a further barrier when trying to draw new readers (as I assume the point is with a collection like this).  I read a chapter, liked it, then saw it was the 11th book in the series.  I have to read the series in order (and I can't be the only person that feels this way) so now I have to decide if I liked the chapter enough to commit to 11 books...based on the amount of mysteries available, my answer is probably not.
Of the 13 excerpts, I noted 5 authors I would like to read more from (Sanders, Haddam, Palmer, DeAndrea, and Estleman), I struggled to read 3 of the excerpts (by White, Sayers, and Wentworth), and I was neutral on the remaining 5.

My Favorite Excerpt:
Not a Creature was Stirring by Jane Haddam

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