From Agatha Christie 's Foreword
"This book of Christmas fare may be described as "The Chef's Selection." I am the Chef!
There are two main courses: The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding and The Mystery of the Spanish Chest; a selection of Entrees: Greenshaw's Folly, The Dream, The Under Dog and a Sorbet: Four-and-Twenty Blackbirds.
The Mystery of the Spanish Chest may be described as a Hercule Poirot Special. It is a case in which he considers he was at his best! Miss Marple, in her turn, has always been pleased with her perspicuity in Greenshaw's Folly.
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding is an indulgence of my own, since it recalls to me, very pleasurably, the Christmases of my youth. After my father's death, my mother and I always spent Christmas with my brother-in-law's family in the north of England - and what superb Christmases they were for a child to remember! Abney Hall had everything! The garden boasted a waterfall, a stream, and a tunnel under the drive! The Christmas fare was of gargantuan proportions. I was a skinny child, appearing delicate, but actually of robust health and perpetually hungry! The boys of the family and I used to vie with each other as to who could eat most on Christmas Day. Oyster Soup and Turbot went down without undue zest, but then came the Roast Turkey, Boiled Turkey and an enormous Sirloin of Beef. The boys and I had two helpings of all three! We then had Plum Pudding, Mince-pies, Trifle and every kind of dessert. During the afternoon we ate chocolates solidly. We neither felt, nor were sick! How lovely to be eleven years old and greedy!
What a day of delight from "Stockings," in bed in the morning, Church and all the Christmas hyms, Christmas dinner, Presents, and the final Lighting of the Christmas Tree!
And how deep my gratitude to the kind and hospitable hostess who must have worked so hard to make Christmas Day a wonderful memory to me still in my old age.
So let me dedicate this book to the memory of Abney Hall - its kindness and its hospitality.
And a happy Christmas to all who read this book."
My copy was published for The Crime Club in 1960 with an original cost of 12s.6d. it did service in the W.H.Smith & Son Library where it could be borrowed for the charge of :
Up to four days - 2d per day
(Minimum charge 6d)
9d first week 1d per day thereafter