Love crime and also Christmastime? Check out this festive rundown of crime fiction set during the holiday season, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.
All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.
- Want more holiday reads? Contact the Adult Services Desk at (630) 766-4642 for recommendations.
A Christmas Revelation
by Anne Perry
Formerly a river urchin living on the banks of the Thames, nine-year-old Worm has never experienced a family Christmas. But thanks to a job at Hester Monk’s clinic in Portpool Lane, he’s found a makeshift family in kindly volunteer Miss Claudine Burroughs and curmudgeonly old bookkeeper Squeaky Robinson.
When Worm witnesses the abduction of a beautiful woman by a pair of ruffians just days before Christmas, he frantically turns to Squeaky for help. A one-time brothel owner, Squeaky knows the perils of interfering in nasty business, but he can’t bear to disappoint Worm—or leave the boy to attempt a rescue on his own. What neither of the would-be saviors expects, however, is that the damsel in distress already has her dilemma well in hand . . . and is taking steps to bring her captors to justice for crimes far worse than kidnapping. But the rogues, as cunning as they are deadly, are not to be underestimated. The aid of cynical old Squeaky and hopeful young Worm just might make the difference between a merry triumph over evil and a terrible yuletide tragedy.
The Mistletoe Murder
by P.D. James
The newly appointed Sgt. Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is “pure Agatha Christie.” . . . A “pedantic, respectable, censorious” clerk’s secret taste for pornography is only the first reason he finds for not coming forward as a witness to a murder . . . A best-selling crime novelist describes the crime she herself was involved in fifty years earlier . . . Dalgliesh’s godfather implores him to reinvestigate a notorious murder that might ease the godfather’s mind about an inheritance, but which will reveal a truth that even the supremely upstanding Adam Dalgliesh will keep to himself. Each of these stories is as playful as it is ingeniously plotted, the author’s sly humor as evident as her hallmark narrative elegance and shrewd understanding of some of the most complex–not to say the most damning–aspects of human nature. A treat for P. D. James’s legions of fans and anyone who enjoys the pleasures of a masterfully wrought whodunit.
The Twelve Clues of Christmas
by Hazel Gaynor
Scotland, 1933. While her true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending his feliz navidad tramping around South America and her mother is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with droll playwright Noel Coward, Georgie is quite literally stuck at Castle Rannoch thanks to a snowstorm.
It seems like a Christmas miracle when she manages to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village should be like something out of A Christmas Carol, but as soon as she arrives things take a deadly turn when a neighborhood nuisance falls out of a tree. On her second day, another so-called accident results in a death—and there’s yet another on her third, making Georgie wonder if there’s something wicked happening in this winter wonderland…
He Sees You When You're Sleeping
by Mary Higgins Clark
Sterling has been waiting outside heaven’s doors since he was hit in the head with a golf ball 46 years ago, but his self-centered attitudes on earth haven’t earned him entrance. On a special probationary pass back to the living, Sterling must find one person who needs his help and meet that need. Carol Higgins Clark has a beautiful, musical voice, perfectly suited to this holiday tale of love and redemption. Highlighted by appropriate music at appropriate moments, her performance might be that of an angel, so sweet is its rhythm and so delicate its layers of emotion and excitement. No matter that Mary Higgins Clark’s mobsters and their antics don’t carry their usual tension and believability; this parable needs only the ring of spiritual truth, which sounds loud and clear.
Plum Pudding Murder
by Joanne Fluke
The Cookie Jar’s busiest time of the year also happens to be the most wonderful time…for Christmas cookies, Hannah’s own special plum pudding—and romance! She also gets a kick out of “Lunatic Larry Jaeger’s Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot,” a kitschy carnival taking place
smack-dab in the middle of the village green. But then Hannah discovers the man himself dead as a doornail in his own office…
Now, with so many suspects to investigate and the twelve days of Christmas ticking away, Hannah’s running out of time to nab a murderous Scrooge who doesn’t want her to see the New Year…
How the Finch Stole Christmas!
by Donna Andrews
Meg’s husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.
The show must go on, even if the famous―though slightly over-the-hill―actor who’s come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him. And why is Caerphilly suddenly overrun with a surplus of beautiful caged finches?
How the Finch Stole Christmas! is guaranteed to put the “ho ho hos” into the holidays of cozy lovers everywhere with its gut-bustingly funny mystery.
Festive in Death
by J.D. Robb
It’s Christmas, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas is in no mood to celebrate. While her charismatic husband Roarke plans a huge, glittering party, Eve has murder on her mind.
The victim – personal trainer Trey Ziegler – was trouble in life and is causing even more problems in death. Vain, unfaithful and vindictive, Trey had cultivated a lot of enemies. Which means Eve has a lot of potential suspects. And when she and Detective Peabody uncover Trey’s sinister secret, the case takes a deadly turn.
Christmas may be a festival of light, but Eve and Roarke will be forced once more down a very dark path in their hunt for the truth.
The Body in the Sleigh
by Katherine Hall Page
Caterer and minister’s wife Faith Fairchild is back to solve her eighteenth deadly mystery in The Body in the Sleigh—the latest perfect puzzler in author Katherine Hall Page’s multiple Agatha Award-winning series. Set on Sanpere Island in Maine’s Penobscot Bay, this atmospheric holiday whodunit is chock-full of suspense, surprises, real heart, and small miracles. And, as always, the mystery comes with recipes for delectable holiday treats from Faith Fairchild’s kitchen.