Due to the hectic holidays, I'm re-posting a previous FFB featuring some Christmas-themed anthologies. For some more thoughts and suggestions in that vein, Patti Abbott recently solicited more ideas via her blog, which you can read here.
Starting in chronological order, there's Christmas Stalkings, collected by Charlotte MacLeod and dating from 1991. The anthology includes 13 tales in all, mostly in the "cozy" or traditional vein, perfect for cuddling up with some hot chocolate and gingerbread. MacLeod contributes one story, and there are others from Reginald Hill, Margaret Maron, Eric Wright, Bill Crider and Elizabeth Peters, et al. Evelyn E. Smith's offering features her humorous series character in "Miss Melville Rejoices," where philanthropist/assassin Miss Melville vows to rid the world of a sadistic dictator at a Christmas Eve party.
Mystery for Christmas from 1994 is edited by Richard Dalby and features mostly British stories of "ghosts, murder, strange disappearances and journeys through time." Offerings range from works by Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy to a John Glasby whodunit; a "Christmas Carol" updating from H.R.F. Keating; and one Sherlockian pastiche by Ron Weighell.
Tim Heald edited 1995's A Classic Christmas Crime, with 13 tales ranging from Yorkshire on across the Pond to south Florida. P.D. James contributes a wartime country house mystery, Catherine Aird writes of "Gold, Frankincense and Murder," and Simon Brett takes "Political Corrections" to a twisty end. The stories range in tone and mood "from the light to the disturbing," putting plenty of diabolical presents in your reading stocking.
Carol-Lynn Rössel, Martin H. Greenberg and Jon L. Lellenberg edited two anthologies of Sherlock Holmes pastiches, the first in 1998 titled Holmes for the Holidays. Anne Perry is the headliner with her story "The Watch Night Bell," in which Holmes and Watson must foil a foul murder scheme taking place midnight on Christmas; Loren D. Estleman's story puts the sleuth duo into a real life-murder perilously paralleling Dickens Christmas Carol; and Reginald Hill sets Holmes in Rome for the holidays, matching wits with an ambitious rival.