The Twelve Even Stranger Days of Christmas by Syd Moore | Book Review | #TwelveEvenStrangerDaysofChristmas


From the twice CWA Dagger shortlisted author of The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas come thirteen twelve stories to transport you to the macabre world of inexplicable phenomena.

As the dark winter nights get longer, prepare to lose yourself in the world of the strange. With a tale for each day of Christmas and a rather unlucky 13th, Christmas is not the only spirit in these pages. ‘Tis the season for sacrificial feasts, cultish communities and a train with a rather final destination. So wrap up warm and let yourself get lost in the world of the strange, the scary and the supernatural…


My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the place on the tour and to the publisher for the paperback copy to review.

Despite the title The Twelve Even Stranger Days of Christmas is not wholly set over the festive season. Twelve (plus a Thirteenth) short stories of varying length will entertain and surprise – all featuring the macabre, the supernatural, and good old fashioned criminal intent. The stories varied from a fun alternative version of the Seven Dwarves – I rather like the idea of a menopausal Grumpy; social distance dating with a nod to that ‘C’ word, a holiday with a difference; a few murders and a story of community spirit that goes a little too far.

What I particularly liked were that some of the stories were set in Essex – actually scarily quite near me! I could also relate, in part, to another one. As a regular ex-commuter on the C2C line from Fenchurch Street, the ‘Vomit Comet’ and the like were all too horribly familiar!

Many of these stories have a twist in the tale that wouldn’t have been out of place in Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected, (if anyone remembers that TV programme with it’s creepy theme tune from the 1980s).

I think there was only one story that I skim read because it wasn’t really for me, but the others I was thoroughly engrossed in, even more the really longer ones – which to me read like a mini novella.

I haven’t yet read any of theEssex Witch Museum Mysteries – one of the stories here relates to the characters from the Museum, although I am intrigued by the series and do have a couple of the books on my Kindle. This collection is a very good introduction to the author’s writing if you haven’t read anything by her before. Definitely recommended for anyone who likes the strange and the unusual.

Publisher: Point Blank
Format: Ebook, Audio, Paperback (28 October 2021)
Pages: 202
Source: Copy received for review


credit: Josie Moore

SYD MOORE is the author of the Essex Witch Museum Mysteries (Strange Magic, Strange Sight, Strange Fascination, Strange Tombs and Strange Tricks) all published by Point Blank. The series was shortlisted for the Good Reader Holmes and Watson Award 2018. She has been shortlisted twice for the CWA Short Story Dagger for The Strange Casebook (2018) and The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas (2019). Her debut screenplay, Witch West, which she developed from an original idea, has been optioned by Hidden Door Productions for production in 2021. Syd is a founder member of the Essex Girls’ Liberation Front which successfully got the term ‘Essex girl’ removed from the Oxford English dictionary. She lives in Essex.

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