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There's something about the holidays that always makes me want to murder someone.

It could be the bags of red and green candy hitting the drug store racks two weeks before Halloween. It could be the way the numbers of squalling rug rats and obnoxious grown-ups infesting the shopping malls double every day from November 1 to December 25.

It could be the unrelenting pressure to spend ever-increasing amounts of money to satisfy the greed of acquaintances you don't even like. Or maybe it's the way one set of relatives counts the number of minutes spent in the company of the other and demands greater-than-equal time.

Murder someone? By December 6, I'm ready to play Terminator (tm) to a cast of thousands.

Some of the Crescent Blues' favorite writers obviously feel the same. Every year they dish up a heaping helping of holiday homicide when we need it most. Reading how Uncle Jeremiah got strung up by his fairy lights is just the thing to keep me from fondling the cutlery too long.

This issue of Crescent Blues tips its hat to those mavens of mayhem who contribute so much to our mental health during this time of the rolling year. Chills and thrills can warm the cockles of the heart and cause even a humbug like me to wish you and yours the very best of all the holidays have to offer.

Watch a video with you? Of course, darling. What did you have in mind? It's a Wonderful Life? Funny thing about that -- the tape appears to have gotten caught in the garbage disposal. Nevermind. You can help me dismember Carrie -- er, carve, yes, carve the goose... You do?... You will?!?!... Of course, I have another knife!

Wishing you merry,

Jean Marie Ward