Blog

The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Holiday-Themed Mysteries that are So Good You'll Want to Read Them Year-Round

Posted about 21 days ago by April S

Posted in eBooks and Audiobooks, Mysteries and Thrillers and New: Books and Movies | Tagged with christmas mysteries, Christmas stories, cozy mysteries, Crime Fiction, detective fiction, holiday mystery novels, holidays, Murder - Investigation - Fiction, murder mysteries, mystery anthologies, mystery fiction, Suspense Fiction and women sleuths

There's just something about holiday-themed books in general that holds appeal for so many reasons. Just mentioning the word holiday conjures up an array of images - snow, family gatherings and good food. Now throw in a little murder -- wait, what? Well, that's exactly what you can expect from holiday-themed mysteries ... sugarplums and someone's untimely demise ... sounds a little morbid. Well, if you love mysteries it probably sounds like heaven. When it’s too cold to enjoy the outdoors it’s really nice to curl up with a good mystery and a cup of hot chocolate. The Library has something for everyone.

Selections from 2018

Homeward Hound by Rita Mae Brown

Sister Jane Foxhunting Mysteries - Book 11
Homeward Hound by Rita Mae Brown

When the Christmas Hunt is interrupted by the discovery of a body, "Sister" Jane Arnold and her company of loyal hounds find their efforts to uncover the truth complicated by the meddling antics of loathsome Victor Harris.

'Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries - Book 2
'Twas the knife before Christmas / Jacqueline Frost

Horrified when a grisly murder takes place on the festively decorated town square, Holly White catches the attentions of the killer while trying to prove the innocence of her wrongly accused best friend.

Eggs on Ice by Laura Childs

Cackleberry Club Mysteries - Book 8
Eggs on Ice by Laura Childs

When an unpopular curmudgeon, cast as Scrooge in a local production of A Christmas Carol, is murdered by someone dressed as the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Cackleberry Club members find themselves sorting through a growing list of suspects.

Yule Be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett with Gayle Leeson

Victoria Square Mysteries - Book 5
Yule Be Dead by Lorraine Bartlett with Gayle Leeson

When the daughter of tea shop owner Francine Barnett is murdered, and then she herself is attacked, Katie Bonner, the manager of Artisan’s Alley in Victoria Square, must quickly close in on a killer before they close in on her.

Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Hannah Swensen Mysteries - Book 23
Christmas cake murder / Joanne Fluke - Hannah Swensen mystery, book 23

Juggling the responsibilities of opening her shop with the demands of Christmas, Hannah Swensen is surprised by the writing talents of an elderly local whose murder story chillingly comes true.

Selections from 2017

Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan

Mordecai Tremaine Novels - Book 2
Murder for Christmas Mordecai Tremaine Mystery Series, Book 1 by Francis Duncan

The first book in a classic Golden Age mystery series perfect for fans of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot

When Mordecai Tremaine arrives at the country retreat of one Benedict Grame on Christmas Eve, he discovers that the revelries are in full swing in the sleepy village of Sherbroome—but so too are tensions amongst the assortment of guests.

When midnight strikes, the partygoers discover that presents aren't the only things nestled under the tree...there's a dead body too. A dead body that bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas. With the snow falling and suspicions flying, it's up to Mordecai to sniff out the culprit—and prevent anyone else from getting murder for Christmas.

"Murder for Christma"s is a festive mystery for the holiday season: mulled wine, mince pies... and murder.

How the Finch Stole Christmas! by Donna Andrews

Meg Langslow Mysteries - Book 22
How the Finch Stole Christmas by Donna Andrews

When her husband organizes a full-scale production of A Christmas Carol with a famous veteran actor in the starring role, Meg finds herself navigating unexpected challenges in the star's baggage and enemies.

Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women by Emily Brightwell

Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries Mysteries - Book 36
Mrs. Jeffries and the three wise women / Emily Brightwell

After an unpopular guest at Abigail Chase's Guy Fawkes Night dinner party turns up murdered, Inspector Witherspoon has too many suspects with Christmas fast approaching.

Homicide for the Holidays by Cheryl Honigford

Viv and Charlie Novels - Book 2
Homicide for the holidays / Cheryl Honigford

Radio star Vivian Witchell spends Christmas holidays trying to discover how her father spent the last weeks of his life, and with the help of detective Charlie Haverman, she uncovers disturbing clues that point to notorious crime boss Al Capone.

The Usual Santas : A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers foreword by Peter Lovesey

The usual Santas : a collection of Soho Crime Christmas capers / foreword by Peter Lovesey

This captivating collection -- which features eighteen bestselling and award-winning Soho Crime authors -- contains laughs aplenty, hardboiled holiday noir, and heartwarming reminders of the spirit of the season. Nine mall Santas must find the imposter among them. A young woman receives a mysterious invitation to Christmas dinner with a stranger. Niccoló Machiavelli sets out to save an Italian city. Jane Austen searches for the Dowager Duchess of Wilborough's stolen diamonds. And more adventures that will whisk readers away to Christmases around the globe.

Selections from 2016

Deck the Hallways by Kate Carlisle

Fixer-Upper Mysteries - Book 4
Deck the Hallways by Kate Carlisle

While trying to transform a Victorian mansion into apartments for homeless families in time for the holidays, contractor Shannon Hammer must pull-off a Christmas miracle to save her father from prison and find the real killer of a miserly bank president.

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James

Four Christmas short stories, two featuring poet-detective Adam Dalgliesh, that deal with some of the most unsettling aspects of human nature. Previously published in newspapers and magazines, they are collected here for the first time.

High Kicks, Hot Chocolate and Homicides by Mary McHugh

Happy Hoofers Mysteries - Book 5
High Kicks, Hot Chocolate and Homicides by Mary McHugh

When the Happy Hoofers score a gig at New York CityÆs Radio City Music Hall with the legendary Rockettes during the Christmas Spectacular, the toe-tapping troupe must solve a murder in between rehearsals and sightseeing before someone else dances to their death. Includes cooking tips and recipes.

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt

Andy Carpenter Novels - Book 15
The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by David Rosenfelt

Defending a friend who has been reported by a cranky neighbor for fostering homeless puppies during the holiday season, Andy Carpenter encounters more trouble than anticipated when the neighbor is found murdered.

It's a Wonderful Knife by Christine Wenger

Comfort Food Mysteries - Book 5
It's a Wonderful Knife by Christine Wenger

With a broken leg and busy diner during the holiday season, Trixie Matkowski also finds herself the prime suspect in the murder of Liz Fellows, the director of the local Christmas pageant who was found with Trixie’s butcher knife in her back.

Holiday Themed Mysteries Well Worth Checking Out

The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries edited and with an introduction by Otto Penzler
The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Royal Spyness Mysteries, book 6) by Rhys Bowen
Festive in Death (In Death series, book 39) by J.D. Robb
Merry, Merry Ghost (Bailey Ruth mysteries, book 2 )by Carolyn Hart
Ornaments of Death (Josie Prescott antiques mysteries, Book 10) by Jane K. Cleland

Holiday Themed Mysteries - Printable List


Looking For More Holiday-Themed Mysteries?

Try searching the Library catalog using the following terms:
  • Christmas stories + mystery fiction
  • Mystery Cozy + Holidays
  • Christmas + mystery
Try these great websites:

Looking for More Book and Movie Recommendations?

Tell us what you've enjoyed reading, watching or listening to, and our librarians will give you personalized recommendations. No algorithms, cookies or data mining - just real experts in your community sharing their love of great books, music and movies with you!

We call it Give 3 Get 3. Try it today!


Featured Image Credit: Tampa Christmas Lights by Matthew Paulson (flickr, Creative Commons license).

Related Content

New for Teens

The great thing about young adult literature is that it has mass appeal! Check out our newest young adult fiction and nonfiction titles.