The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers (Paperback)
November 2017 Indie Next List
“Soho Crime publishes a wide variety of consistently high-quality crime fiction, so I expected this collection to be a great read, and it didn't disappoint. Not only does it feature holiday capers from a number of my favorite crime authors (Peter Lovesey, Stuart Neville, Helene Tursten, Mick Herron), it was also a great way to sample other Soho authors I haven't read yet. Even if you're not a fan of Christmas, you'll love The Usual Santas!”
— Carol Schneck Varner (M), Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI
This captivating collection, which features bestselling and award-winning authors, contains laughs aplenty, the most hardboiled of holiday noir, and heartwarming reminders of the spirit of the season.
Nine mall Santas must find the imposter among them. An elderly lady seeks peace from her murderously loud neighbors at Christmastime. A young woman receives a mysterious invitation to Christmas dinner with a stranger. Niccolò Machiavelli sets out to save an Italian city. Sherlock Holmes’s one-time nemesis Irene Adler finds herself in an unexpected tangle in Paris while on a routine espionage assignment. Jane Austen searches for the Dowager Duchess of Wilborough’s stolen diamonds. These and other adventures in this delectable volume will whisk readers away to Christmases around the globe, from a Korean War POW camp to a Copenhagen refugee squat, from a palatial hotel in 1920s Bombay to a crumbling mansion in Havana.
Includes Stories By (In Order of Appearance):
Helene Tursten, Mick Herron, Martin Limón, Timothy Hallinan, Teresa Dovalpage, Mette Ivie Harrison, Colin Cotterill, Ed Lin, Stuart Neville, Tod Goldberg, Henry Chang, James R. Benn, Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis, Sujata Massey, Gary Corby, Cara Black, Stephanie Barron and a Foreword and story by Peter Lovesey.
A Bookreporter.com Best Book of 2017
Praise for Soho Press
“Soho Press consistently publishes top-notch novels that open windows on foreign underworlds off-limits to the casual traveler.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"[Soho Crime] has accumulated an impressive stable of international crime writers."
—Jack Batten, The Toronto Star
Praise for The Usual Santas
"Crime writers are set loose on Christmas and come up with short stories that take place in a variety of locales, from a Korean War P.O.W. camp to a palatial hotel in 1920s Bombay, all somehow finding a way to craftily meld noir and Noel."
—The New York Times Book Review
"The Santas (and the stories) are anything but usual . . . some of the most inventive, effective and downright moving Christmas crime stories in recent memory."
—Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal
"Promises laughter and death."
—The Washington Post
"For someone who needs a little noir with their holiday cheer."
—Los Angeles Times
"What these Christmas crime stories have in common is the deep humanity at the core of crime—the ugliness, the anxiety, the generosity; all the impulses that move people to action, big and small . . . Fertile ground for crime fiction, on Christmas as on any other day."
"The 18 stories feature things going awry in locations as diverse as Sweden, North Korea, Utah and Ireland. Good fun."
—The Sunday Times (UK)
"Soho sets loose its authors to write eighteen Christmas stories set in locales as exotic as Seoul and Havana, Copenhagen and Goteborg, Laos, Thailand, Bombay and the Mormon precincts of Utah. There’s not a narrative dud in the bunch."
—The Toronto Star
"A fun collection of short stories from Soho authors in which the holidays feature somehow. Just the thing to start getting you in the mood."
—Raleigh News & Observer
"Spanning the globe to Denmark, England, North Korea, Sweden and beyond, the attractive batch of holiday stories in The Usual Santas is a perfect gift for all armchair mystery and short story aficionados looking for light, fun fare."
"You’ll find laughs, murders, and plenty more in this captivating collection of best-selling and award-winning authors. For more than 25 years, Soho Crime has been publishing atmospheric crime fiction set all over the world."
—The Oneonta Daily Star
"Soho Crime draws from its impressive roster of authors for this outstanding Christmas-themed anthology . . . This is the perfect holiday gift for mystery fans."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"What do you get for the crime reader who has everything? How do you get your favorite armchair gumshoe into the holiday spirit? And where can you find 18 hilarious, chilling, and bizarre stories centering around suspicious mall Santas, mysterious dinner parties, and stolen diamonds? The answer to all of these questions (and so many more) is The Usual Santas, A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers, an anthology featuring stories by some of your favorite Soho Press authors and their most unexpectedly twisted Christmas-themed tales."
—Barnes & Noble Reads
"The holiday-infused collection The Usual Santas, gathers the cream of Soho’s international crime-writing crop . . . a festive multitude of short-story gems."
—The Seattle Review of Books
"These eighteen holiday capers by bestselling Soho crime authors contain mysteries, murders and plenty puzzlers that will test armchair sleuths for hours."
"A feisty little collection by feisty little, globe-spinning Soho Crime, The Usual Santas rounds up holiday tales from all over the world that range from laugh-out-loud, spit-out-your-turkey hilarious to cry-in-your-wassail misery and woe."
"This holiday-themed collection presents 18 pieces of short fiction from an impressive roster of international mystery writers. The voices veer from darkly humorous (Helene Tursten and Mick Herron) to touching (Timothy Hallinan and Mette Ivie Harrison) to disturbing (Stuart Neville and Ed Lin), with tales set around the globe . . . Thoroughly entertaining."
"Each bite-size mystery in this winning collection is a gift."
"The perfect stocking-stuffer for all those suspense readers out there."
"This is a perfect stocking stuffer for any mystery fan—or any fan of excellent writing, engrossing stories, and holiday fun."
—Ted Hertel, Deadly Pleasures Magazine
"The perfect stocking-stuffer for the crime or mystery fiction fan on your holiday gift list."
"Highly recommended reading. With settings on nearly every continent, taking place from the Middle Ages to the present, and written by authors of all ages and nationalities, it is anything but usual."
"This noir-tinged collection is not your usual heartwarming holiday read. Soho, which leans toward the darker side of crime, has presented eighteen crime capers that may leave you hiding out at home until the holidays are over."
—Reviewing the Evidence
"I highly recommend this anthology to anyone with a fondness for Christmas tales."
—Buried Under Books
"A delightful new anthology."
—Zoom Street blog
"[The Usual Santas] definitely got me in the Christmas spirit, not to mention introducing me to some crime writers that are worth following up on."
—I've Read This blog
“The Usual Santas: a very good example of that kind of thing."
—James R. Benn, author of the Billy Boyle mysteries
“I wished the book would never end, so I didn't finish it."
—Timothy Hallinan, author of the Junior Bender mysteries and the Poke Rafferty thrillers
“Nothing says Christmas like a story from a guy named Goldberg."
—Tod Goldberg, New York Times bestselling co-author of The House of Secrets
“Buy this book or else. We know where you live."
—Lene Kaaberbøl, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Boy in the Suitcase
“Soho Crime publishes a wide variety of consistently high-quality crime fiction, so I expected this collection to be a great read, and it didn’t disappoint. Not only does it feature holiday capers from a number of my favorite crime authors (Peter Lovesey, Stuart Neville, Helene Tursten, Mick Herron), it was also a great way to sample other Soho authors I haven’t read yet. Even if you’re not a fan of Christmas, you’ll love The Usual Santas!”
—Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books, Okemos, MI