Twelve Days of Winter by Stuart MacBride HarperCollins (e-book) Here's a novel idea for the festive season. Or should that be short story idea? Best-selling crime writer Stuart MacBride has written 12 wintery tales which are being released one at a time (as e-books only) until December 12. Each is inspired by a line from the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Part one is A Partridge in a Pear Tree. Our hero, Billy Partridge, is a cat burglar with a problem, or rather 13,000 problems: he owes a hoodlum called Dillon 13 grand. The choice is pay up or have his legs shattered. His response, aided by a Scottish wit called Twitch, is to break into a house on plush Fletcher Road and steal a painting. Having found a giant bear, African masks and Christmas presents ('Payday'), Billy eventually sees the desired object (Monet's The Pear Tree). 'It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life.' It is about this time that a) Partridge decides to keep the painting for himself, and b) everything goes riotously wrong. I can't wait for part two. Extras: the first chapters of two forthcoming MacBride novels: Shatter the Bones and Birthdays for the Dead.