Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Dell Shannon's Crime for Christmas (1983) is a traditional police procedural.

Violent crime continues no matter the season. The Glendale, California, police department investigates a strange disappearance, a series of thefts, several murders, and several other crimes.

Glendale's squad rooms become home for a pregnant cat, a lonely dog, and a parrot.

The members of the squad face the usual family ups and downs. Delia Riordan's father recently died. She uses work to assuage her grief. And ironically, Delia is the one who "breaks the bad news" to several victims' relatives.

The squad is fully staffed, but the story is mostly Delia's. They all work together to investigate strange crimes such as the quiet murder of a well-liked teenager in the local library.

And as happens so often in police procedurals, coincidence plays a part in solving some of the crimes.

When it comes to things like race, homosexuality and women's rights, most of these cops reflect 1983 attitudes.

Years ago, I read all of Dell Shannon's Luis Mendoza police procedurals. I always looked forward to them.

Dell Shannon is one of the pen names of Barbara 'Elizabeth' Linington (1921-1988). Linington wrote 82 crime novels under several names. She was a groundbreaking writer, reportedly the first woman to write modern police procedurals.

Crimes for Christmas is part of The Murder Room series dedicated to making hard-to-find out-of-publication pulp novels again available to mystery lovers. I read this book on my Kindle.

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