Recommendations

Festive Read Recommendations: Mystery/Thriller

If you are looking for something festive or seasonal to read this time of year but you aren’t into the holiday romances that are so heavily popular right now than I have put together a list of mystery/thriller/suspense books that I have both read and are on my TBR. Or perhaps you are burned out on romance so late into the season and are wanting to switch things up. Either way I hope you find something up your alley on this curated list.

My thoughts: This is a fun collection of winter and holiday themed short stories featuring Christie’s most iconic detectives. I throughly enjoyed every story and this book is great if you want to just read a couple of stories every month this winter season.

Synopsis:

An all-new collection of winter-themed stories from the Queen of Mystery, just in time for the holidays—including the original version of Christmas Adventure, never before released in the United States!

There’s a chill in the air and the days are growing shorter . . . It’s the perfect time to curl up in front of a crackling fire with these wintry whodunits from the legendary Agatha Christie. But beware of deadly snowdrifts and dangerous gifts, poisoned meals and mysterious guests. This chilling compendium of short stories—some featuring beloved detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple—is an essential omnibus for Christie fans and the perfect holiday gift for mystery lovers.

INCLUDES THE STORIES:
– Three Blind Mice
– The Chocolate Box
– A Christmas Tragedy
– The Coming of Mr Quin
– The Clergyman’s Daughter/Red House
– The Plymouth Express
– Problem at Pollensa Bay
– Sanctuary
– The Mystery of Hunter’s Lodge
– The World’s End
– The Manhood of Edward Robinson
– Christmas Adventure

My thoughts: This is on my TBR so I can’t tell you if it’s good or not but it sounds like it could be a good time for any fan of crime novels.

Synopsis:

As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

The first in a new series, Alex Pine has written a dark, atmospheric crime novel, set in a snowed-in Cumbrian village, for fans of Val McDermid, Ross Greenwood and LJ Ross.

My thoughts: This is pretty light on a mystery aspect but if you are wanting a festive read with an aspect of historical intrigue then this might be one for you. It’s also filled with yummy holiday treats that might inspire you to get in the kitchen and give one a shot. If I remember correctly there is an eggnog cake that I would love to make for my family.

Synopsis: It’s Christmas many years ago, and topping young Hannah Swensen’s wish list is becoming the go-to baker in Lake Eden, Minnesota. But as Hannah finds out, revisiting holiday memories can be 
murder . . .

With her dream of opening The Cookie Jar taking shape, Hannah’s life matches the hectic December hustle and bustle in Lake Eden—especially when she agrees to help recreate a spectacular Christmas Ball from the past in honor of Essie Granger, an elderly local in hospice care. But instead of poring over decadent dessert recipes for the merry festivities, she instantly becomes enthralled by Essie’s old notebooks and the tale of a woman escaping danger on the streets of New York. Hannah’s surprised by Essie’s secret talent for penning crime fiction. She’s even more surprised when the story turns real. As Hannah prepares to run a bakery and move out of her mother’s house, it’ll be a true miracle if she can prevent another Yuletide disaster by solving a mystery as dense as a Christmas fruitcake . . .

My thoughts: Nothing could be a more festive mystery than a Hercule Poirot Christmas. I’m hoping to fit this one in during this last week before Christmas but if not then it will go back on my TBR for next December.

Synopsis: In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, the holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder — and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case. The wealthy Simeon Lee has demanded that all four of his sons — one faithful, one prodigal, one impecunious, one sensitive — and their wives return home for Christmas. But a heartwarming family holiday is not exactly what he has in mind. He bedevils each of his sons with barbed insults and finally announces that he is cutting off their allowances and changing his will. Poirot is called in the aftermath of Simeon Lee’s announcement.

My thoughts: This isn’t exactly festive but this highly suspenseful novel would be perfect for a quiet afternoon or night that you might get if you are lucky enough to get a holiday vacation. Or perhaps, in the quiet days after Christmas you are looking for a wintery read and this could be the perfect read.

Synopsis:

A thriller about four strangers, a blizzard, a kidnapped child, and a determined young woman desperate to unmask and outwit a vicious psychopath

A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust?

My thoughts: This sounds like a fun historical cozy mystery that is filled with the Christmas spirit. I don’t think I will get to this one this year but it is definitely going on my 2022 TBR.

Synopsis:

An English Christmas has mince pies, cheerful carols, a twinkling tree… and a murder? Thank goodness Lady Swift is on the scene!

Winter, 1920. Amateur sleuth Lady Eleanor Swift is feeling festive. She is playing host to the entire village at Henley Hall for gifts, games and gingerbread. She’s also purchased perfect presents for each of her household – not forgetting the biggest bone in the butcher’s shop for her partner in crime, Gladstone the bulldog – and is looking forward to celebrating her first English country Christmas.

As snowflakes fall, Eleanor is cheering on contestants in the traditional Christmas fun run in the grounds of the Hall. But tragedy strikes when one of the runners drops dead at the finish line. Dashing Detective Seldon is convinced it’s just a heart attack, but Eleanor isn’t so sure. When she finds a rather distinctive key where the man fell, Eleanor knows she’ll never rest until she finds out the truth about what happened in her own home.

Next the vicar is taken ill with what looks like poison and Eleanor starts to wonder if the two cases are linked. When someone tries to frame her by planting poisoned berries in her own kitchen, she knows speed is of the essence. But the entire village was at Henley Hall for the festivities and Eleanor has enough suspects to stuff a town full of turkeys. Can she nail the true killer and clear her name in time for Christmas?

Christmas won’t be complete without it! A festive treat for fans of Agatha Christie, TE Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

~Cassie

One thought on “Festive Read Recommendations: Mystery/Thriller

  1. A wonderful list. I love Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, but have not read some of the stories in Agatha Christie’s Midwinter collection. I will surely check it out. Your post has definitely boosted my enthusiasm for Christmas-themed books!

    Like

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