Golden age crime is my preference at all times, I’m not keen on anything to brutal, and after decades of Agatha Christie adaptations for Christmas it just feels right for the season. The British Library Crime Classics series are perfect for this (their Tales of the Weird series will oblige for something uncanny too). There are plenty of good anthologies of short stories with a festive theme, and this years title, ‘The Christmas Egg’ has Bolsheviks and Faberge eggs which sounds like a gift in itself.
It’s worth saying that the quality of the BL crime classics short story anthologies is particularly high. I’ve read a few others, notably the ones from Profile books, and whilst they’re good Martin Edwards selections are (certainly in my opinion) better. A full length mystery is more a matter of personal taste, but I’ve never been disappointed, and again these are brilliant stocking fillers or secret Santa type gifts.
The drink is a silver fizz - fizzes get a whole chapter in the Savoy Cocktail book and are pleasantly refreshing. You need the juice of half a lemon, a dessert spoonful of powdered sugar (or a little less depending on taste) and a large measure of gin. The white of an egg is an optional extra - it adds to the drama, appearance, and texture of the drink, but taste wise makes little difference if you don’t fancy it/have an allergy. Shake well over ice and strain into a Collins glass then top up with soda water. It’s the soda water that makes it a fizz, but this is also really good without the soda (but with the egg, and make sure to use the freshest eggs you can) as a close relation to a White Lady or Clover Club.