Joy to the Worlds is a splendidly eclectic collection of science fiction and fantasy Christmas mystery stories. The tales are brain-bending, strange, and wonderful. The book begins with a tale of the Wild Hunt as the word’s premier detective team and moves on from there. There are creepy stories, funny stories, and brain-teasing tales.
The book covers an amazing array of tone and content. Janine A. Southard is by mysterious, a little bit creepy, and funny all at once as a lone Huntsman tries to earn his place by solving a murder in “The Wild Hunt.” G. Clemans’ “Escape from Yorktown” brings international espionage into Christmas celebrations. Maia Chance draws on folktale elements for the mystery in “Odysseus Flax & the Krampus.” Raven Oak writes a locked spaceship mystery in “Ol’ St. Nick.” “Death Note” is about time travel. There really are no sub-par tales in this collection.
The subtitle, Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays struck me as too good to be true, but sometimes too good to be true happens. This set of short stories is perfect for taking your mind off holiday stresses—or for reading in July, if it so suits you. Grab a copy for yourself, and think about your book-obsessed friends as well.