Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Red Christmas, by Lavie Tidhar

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(Alternate History Hardboiled Detective) A movie star facing blackmail comes to Adolph Hitler's private detective agency in 1937 London. (5,700 words; Time: 19m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"Red Christmas," by (edited by Jason Sizemore), appeared in issue 91, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: A hardboiled detective novel, with Hitler as the detective. At the end, the mystery is solved, and the detective is still unhappy.

All of the characters are notable Nazi figures except for Elske Sturm. She appears to be based on Kristina Söderbaum, a Nazi-era film star whose most notable roles were "Elske" and "Dorotea Sturm."

Con: The framing story detracts a bit, although making it the fantasy of a 1940s Jewish man who suspects he and his family are doomed may make it a bit more palatable.

The biggest problem is that "Wolf" doesn't really solve anything for anyone. He's a pawn who gets played and then resorts to blackmail himself. Nor did the story really contain enough clues to give the reader a fair chance of figuring things out.

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