Review: Christmas is Murder, by Val McDermid

Master story-teller Val McDermid here presents a dozen short stories all loosely connected to the Christmas holiday season. The first one features her well-known crime-fighting duo, Dr. Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, but after that moves onto more unfamiliar territory. Without giving away too much, we meet a semi-retired Sherlock Holmes, George Orwell writing 1984 at the end of his life, and a ghost writer who is, well, a ghost. A personal favourite: for anyone familiar with The Band’s 1968 album Music from Big Pink, McDermid has taken one of the best songs and turned it into a wonderful story with a very personal twist.