Death on a Cold Night by Jess Faraday
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Death on a Cold Night is a collection of eight short mystery stories, edited by Jess Faraday, with the shared themes of winter. The stories chosen are: the very short but satisfying, Hollywood-set Snow in Winter by Wendy Worthington; the quick and enjoyable thriller about what a man witnesses from his train, In the Public Eye by Mark Hague; the lengthier and creepy whodunit and missing person mystery, Burnt December by Lee Mullins; the cosy small-town A Theft of Teapots by Cris de Borja; the simultaneously techno- and supernatural-thriller set in the Sonoran desert, Storm of Mystery by Leonhard August; the marvellous, Rear Window-esque Death Benefits by Emily Baird; the mountain-set, snow drift-filled The Afternoon of the Storm by Kirk VanDyke; and the gothic vampire tale, Club Pandemonium by Christalea McMullin.
Jess Faraday’s selection of tales is certainly diverse and I’m sure there is something for every mystery lover in Death on a Cold Night. All the stories are well written and fulfil their brief of winter mysteries. Snow in Winter is a master class in simplicity and is very enjoyable despite its brevity. Burnt December is intriguing and unsettling, with a great plot and excellent, three-dimensional characters. A Theft of Teapots is ideal for cosy-lovers and has a neat twist. Storm of Mystery is unique and is quite informative. The Afternoon of the Storm is atmospheric and enigmatic. Club Pandemonium is thrilling and surprising. My particular favourites were the very Hitchcockian tales, In the Public Eye and Death Benefits. Both were brilliantly written, genuinely thrilling and quite thought-provoking. I would like to read more, particularly from Mark Hague, Emily Baird, Wendy Worthington and Lee Mullins. For Readers’ Favorite.