Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Reading - Mysteries

No Monday Review today, but probably tomorrow. So it will be the Monday Review on Tuesday simply because I ran out of reading time and I wanted to make sure to post today's Christmas Reading list - it is November 15th, after all. Only about five weeks left until Christmas. But, no pressure.

Any of the following books would make an excellent gift for the mystery fan on your list. But of course, you must have a copy for yourself to read in between the shopping, gift wrapping, egg nogging and decorating with intent. A good mystery will cure what ails you and lift any spirits that happen to lag.

HERCULE POIROT'S CHRISTMAS by Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot is the ideal guest to have at a Christmas dinner when the head of the house - and controller of the purse - is brutally killed in a locked room. A nastier bit of goods you've yet to find than murder victim Simeon Lee, still, the killer must be brought to justice.

MAIGRET'S CHRISTMAS by Georges Simenon - Who hasn't heard of the famous French detective and his philosophical approach to crime? These short stories are perfect for this or any other season. I discovered Maigret late in life, so I am a new and enthusiastic convert.

SHAKESPEARE'S CHRISTMAS by Charlaine Harris - The much overlooked other series by Harris featuring cleaning woman and karate expert Lily Bard. The Shakespeare in the title refers to the name of the Arkansas town Bard chooses to settle in as she tries to recover from her nightmarish past. This is my favorite Charlaine Harris series.

THE BODY IN THE SLEIGH by Katherine Hall Page - I am a big fan of this series featuring caterer Faith Fairchild, wife of a minister and solver of mysteries. This time out she and her family are spending the Christmas holidays in Maine when Faith, never one to be long without a mystery, finds the body of a young woman in an antique sled.

THE FAT MAN - A Tale of North Pole Noir by Ken Harmon - Who knew the North Pole is not the sweet and wonderful place we've all been led to believe? Well, angry elf Gumdrop Coal, fired from his post as the head of the Coal Patrol and the only one who seems to see that Santa is in grave danger, spills the beans in this noirish, funny and very inventive yarn.

A HOLLY JOLLY MURDER by Joan Hess - Another fun tale set in Arkansas. Claire Malloy, the nosy bookstore owner is back to solve the midwinter murder of a Druid cult leader/landlord. Druids in Arkansas?

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by M.C. Beaton - I've read most of the wonderful Hamish MacBeth series set in a small village in the Scottish highlands so all I have to say is: Hamish + Christmas = a cozy, comforting read. Two mysteries for Hamish to solve in his capacity as village cop - this, a cup of tea and a biscuit or two will soothe any frazzled nerves.

VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS by Janet Evanovich - This is one of Evanovich's Between the Plums books and the one that introduced the inimitable and very mysterious Diesel into Stephanie Plum's life. Lots of fun

More Recommendations:

A COMEDY OF TERRORS by Michael Innes - I'm reading this now and enjoying the heck out of it. Innes is a new discovery for me and I've become an ardent convert. A violent incident at an English country house over the Christmas holiday - most refined.


THE STUPIDEST ANGEL by Christopher Moore

CHRISTMAS AT THE MYSTERIOUS BOOKSHOP - Edited by Otto Penzler - ...mysteries of mistletoe and mayhem by 17 masters of the genre.

SWEET REVENGE by Diane Mott Davidson


THE DONS AND MR. DICKENS - The Strange Case of the Oxford Christmas Plot byWilliam J. Palmer - Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins work together to solve a baffling holiday mystery.

A FATAL GRACE by Louise Penny - Crime at Christmas in the village of Three Pines and Armand Gamache is on the scene. What more can you want? This is the first in the award winning series, by the way.


  1. I want to read Christmas At The Mysterious Bookshop....I've heard some really good things about it. Last year I read a double dose of Jessica Fletcher Christmas mysteries, loved them too.

  2. Ryan, you'd love any of these, I'm sure. They're all fun and perfect for the season.:)

  3. I love Maigret's Christmas. I, too, came to him late, and haven't read very many at all. I wrote about Rumpole, and Poirot on the blog. If you want to read them sometime, they are in the book reports tab under the header picture. Click Christmas books. There are a few non-mysteries there I think you would really like, especially the dePaola, Cooney, Turnbull, and L'Engle. Four of my favorite books.

    I so love your blog. You write about the most interesting things, Yvette. And your sidebars items are appealing and beautiful in their color and layout.

  4. Hi Nan, I will definitely check your blog for those posts. Your enthusiasm about my blog, Nan, inspires me to keep going, keep on blogging. Thanks so much. :) I'm thinking that MAIGRET'S CHRISTMAS will be a good present for a couple of people I know.


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