More mysteries with a holiday theme:
Baldacci, David. The Christmas Train ($6)
In the tradition of John Grisham's Skipping Christmas, this holiday tale offers humor, romance, mystery, and a reminder of what Christmas is all about.
Beaton, M.C. Kissing Christmas Goodbye ($7)
Agatha Raisin is bored. Her detective agency in the Cotswolds is thriving, but she’ll scream if she has to deal with another missing cat or dog. Only two things seem to offer potential excitement: Christmas, and her ex, James Lacey. This year Agatha’s sure that if she invites James to a splendid Christmas dinner, their love will rekindle like a warm Yule log…but that fantasy will have to wait for now. A wealthy widow—who sent Agatha a letter before her death saying one of her family intended to kill her—has been found dead. Now Agatha must set out to find the murderer, even though, in her heart, she’s still dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones she and James used to know….
Caine, Leslie. Holly and Homicide ($8)
It’s Christmastime in sleepy Snowcap, Colorado, and the town is up in arms. The venerable Goodwin Estate has been sold to enterprising out of towners and is getting a major makeover just in time for the holidays. Interior designers Erin Gilbert and Steve Sullivan walked smack into a storm of chaos: the estate’s new owners, including one whose idea of holiday decor involves inflatable elves and a gingerbread facade, are battling among themselves. Erin’s big-talking ex-boyfriend shows up just in time to make Sullivan crazy jealous, and when a local building inspector is found strangled with a strand of Christmas lights, Gilbert and Sullivan begin to suspect it might be time to leave this psychodrama of a project behind.
But after an incompetent sheriff accuses Erin of murder and there’s another gruesome killing, the only way out is to turn detective. Her new job: solve a mystery with too many clues…and far too many guilty parties….
FEATURING DOMESTIC BLISS HOME DECORATING TIPS!
Clark, Mary Higgins and Carol Higgins Clark. Deck the Halls/The Christmas Thief ($18)
From beloved storytellers Mary Higgins Clark, America's Queen of Suspense, and her daughter, bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark, two favorite suspense novels filled with holiday cheer.
Deck the Halls (first published in 2000) was the mother-daughter duo's first collaborative effort, a brilliant story of high-stakes intrigue and detection played out against a holiday setting. Christmas is only three days away when Regan Reilly, the dynamic young sleuth featured in the novels of Carol Higgins Clark, accidentally meets Alvirah Meehan, Mary Higgins Clark's sharp-witted lottery winner turned amateur sleuth, at a New Jersey dentist's office. When a call comes through on Regan's cell phone notifying her that her father and his driver, Rosita Gonzalez, are being held for $1,000,000 ransom, Alvirah insists that Regan allow her to lend a hand in gaining their release. Complicating the situation is the fact that Regan's mother, the famous mystery writer Nora Regan Reilly, has just been hospitalized with a broken leg, and a brutal winter storm is bearing down on them all. Regan must comfort her mother while trying to meet the harsh demands of her father's kidnappers, who are not just rank amateurs but also laughably inept -- making them all the more dangerous and unpredictable.
In The Christmas Thief (2004), Alvirah and Regan team up again to investigate another kind of kidnapping. When an eighty-foot blue spruce is chosen to spend the holidays as Rockefeller Center's famous Christmas tree, the folks who picked the tree have no idea that attached to one of its branches is a flask chock-full of priceless diamonds that Packy Noonan, a scam artist just released from prison, had hidden there over twelve years ago. When an excited Packy breaks his parole and heads to Stowe, Vermont, to reclaim his loot, he discovers that his special tree will be heading to New York City the next morning, so he and his bumbling crew have to act fast. Meanwhile Alvirah Meehan and Regan Reilly happen to be on a weekend trip to Stowe with their families when they learn that the tree -- and Alvirah's friend Opal, who won the lottery, but lost all her winnings in Packy's scam -- has gone missing.
With two novels filled with twists and turns, intrigue and danger, as well as a hearty dose of good cheer, Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark offer stories that are as breathlessly suspenseful as they are heartwarming -- Christmas classics for many holiday seasons to come.
Garvey, Amy. Christmas Spirit ($7)
Deck the haunted halls for a romantic holiday starring one shy writer and a cynical journalist...and oh yes, a ghost….
Snow on the roofs and wreaths on the doors and chains on the tires…isn't Christmas in New England wonderful? But Charlotte Prescott is too busy taking in super-sexy reporter Sam Landry to notice the nip in the air. Make that the nip in the air alternating with the scorching heat that rises whenever she and Sam are alone together. Charlotte would be happy to forget the supernatural third wheel who seems to be staying for the season in the quaint old house she inherited. It is real. Someone's slurping down all the good eggnog. And something is drawing Charlie and Sam together under the mistletoe—not to mention everywhere else. Happy holidays!
Lamb, Wally. Wishin' and Hopin' ($20)
It's 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he'll never forget.
LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.
Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina's word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone's business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from QuÉbec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.
From the Funicello family's bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin' and Hopin' is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been—and how far we've come.Mortimer, John. Rumpole Christmas ($22)
"As this fine holiday collection shows, Mortimer (1923–2009) could tell lovely tales that end with a gentle punch. Each of the five stories highlights English barrister Horace Rumpole's quirky personality, his love of food and drink, and life with his formidable wife, Hilda (aka She Who Must Be Obeyed). But most of all, each illustrates Rumpole's sense of justice and commitment to the law as well as his dry wit. As usual, Rumpole overshadows plots that often focus on the barrister trying to ignore the holiday. Rumpole and Father Christmas suggests that even a career criminal can get the holiday spirit. A businessman's past is used to secure funds for a church in Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces. The most timely is the twisty Rumpole and the Christmas Break, about a murdered professor and an Islamic student with a religious vendetta against her. This is a perfect stocking stuffer for Mortimer fans" - PW
Perry, Anne. Silent Night Two Victorian Christmas Mysteries ($15)
Here are two holiday mysteries set in remote, snow-covered regions of Victorian Britain–where the nights are indeed silent but all is not calm, and where some will sleep in eternal peace.
A CHRISTMAS BEGINNING
While spending Christmas on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales, Superintendent Runcorn of Scotland Yard, a lonely bachelor, stumbles upon the lifeless body of the vicar’s younger sister in the village churchyard. Everyone insists that only a stranger to the island could have committed the heinous crime, but the evidence proves otherwise. Intending to uncover the identity of the ruthless killer, Runcorn never dreams that the case may also, miraculously, open the door to a new future for himself.
A CHRISTMAS GRACE
With Christmas just around the corner, Thomas Pitt’s sister-in-law, Emily Radley, is suddenly called from London to be with her dying aunt on the western coast of Ireland. Emily soon discovers that painful memories of an unsolved murder haunt the lonely Irish town and sets out to unmask the culprit. When a lone shipwreck survivor washes up onshore, he brings with him not only the key to solving the terrible crime but the opportunity for the townspeople to make peace with the past–and with one another.
Viets, Elaine. Murder with all the Trimmins ($7)
A humbug of a Shopping mystery...
From The Anthony and Agatha Award-Winning Author of Accessory to Murder
Includes insider shopping tips!
Mystery shopper Josie Marcus doesn’t get the appeal of the year-round Christmas shop. But when three such holiday houses pop up within two blocks, she’s assigned to rate them anonymously.
Easy enough, Josie thinks, until she realizes that shoppers at one store are finding a strange—even deadly—secret ingredient in their holiday cake. And Josie must get to the bottom of it all before someone else becomes a Christmas spirit.
Washburn, Livia J. The Christmas Cookie Killer ($7)
Phyllis Newsom stands a good chance in the Christmas cookie contest with her snowflake-shaped lime sugar cookies. But Mrs. Simmons' gingerdoodles might give her a run for her money-until she's found strangled in a pile of cookies. With many on Santa's naughty suspect list, this case is a cookie Phyllis means to crumble...
Wingfield, R.D. Frost at Christmas ($7)
The irascible Detective Inspector Jack Frost spends the holiday season searching for a missing child with the help of a dubious psychic and a bumbling new partner.
'Affecting, frightening, and, especially in Frost's dialogue, extremely amusing' Listener
Ten days to Christmas and Tracey Uphill, aged eight, hasn't come home from Sunday school.Her mother, a pretty young prostitute, is desperate.Enter Detective Inspector Jack Frost, sloppy, scruffy and insubordinate.To help him investigate the case of the missing child, Frost has been assigned a new sidekick, the Chief Constable's nephew.Fresh to provincial Denton in an oversmart suit, Detective Constable Clive Barnard is an easy target for Frost's withering satire.
Assisted and annoyed by Barnard, Frost, complete with a store of tasteless anecdotes to fit every occasion, proceeds with the investigation in typically unorthodox style.After he's consulted a local witch, Dead Man's Hollow yields up a skeleton.Frost finds himself drawn into an unsolved crime from the past and risks not only his career, but also his life...
'A crisp, confident, ripely-characterized novel; exciting, ingenious, roundly satisfying’Literary Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.