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Books Editorial

pdjames.jpg Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales

PD James, Faber & Faber

If you’re on the hunt for a superior stocking filler for the crime-lit loving person in your life, then step right up. This terrific collection of short tales, from one of the now sadly departed masters of the genre, collects together six of her best, the first of which was first published in 1973. The longest story, The Murder of Santa Claus, is the only whodunit, a classic set up featuring a disparate group of characters who are brought together to a big house on Christmas Eve, 1939. Needless to say, for one of them, it’s curtains. Everyone is a suspect and the denouement is a nice pay off. Elsewhere The Girl Who Loved Graveyards is suitably gothic, while the discovery of an old yo-yo (in The Yo-Yo) takes an old judge back to his childhood where he recalls his part in a murder. There’s nary a clunker among the half dozen tales and their dinky lengths make each of them the perfect amuse-bouche (albeit, ones laced with strychnine).