Christmas Mystery Books to Read Next

Christmas Mystery Books to Read Next

Preview: Here’s your list of fun historical Christmas mystery books to read next! Grab a cushy seat by the fire, a blanket, and spiced tea. Now, read!

I don’t know about you, but at Christmastime, I naturally like to read books set in the same season. There are so many fabulous traditions and fun characters to be found, and so many problems to get mixed up in and hopefully then fixed at the family manor! Yes, one of my favorite genres at Christmastime is the historical mystery.

So, come on snow! Let’s get those yuletide fires going, spiced scents filling the air, and time to enjoy some good Christmas mystery books. Let’s go back to the Downtown Abbey Christmas mood with a twist of mayhem and detective work!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Do you love a good murder mystery at the manor? Christmas mystery books are one of my favorite genres and fabulous for de-stressing during the holidays. #christmasmysteries #christmasbooks

Why Christmas mystery books?

The historical mystery is always one of my favorite genres for de-stressing and getting a break from daily life. I find it especially important to make an escape a during the holidays and take some time out for myself. Also, I tend to be more of an introvert and so crave and need that time by myself to regroup and be ready for the next thing. What about you?

If you also need that time to yourself to recharge, don’t be afraid to send the crowd away for a while and enjoy a good book. Suggest they go on a fun ice skating outing or to a movie. Then you can take that time and dig into a stress-free murder mystery.

Christmas mystery books to read next

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas

by Stephanie Barron

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas is a very enjoyable peek into an 1814 Regency Christmas with some detective work and murder thrown in. Jane and her family are invited to The Vyne, the ancestral country home of the prominent Chute family. Other friends and well-wishers join the Christmas party, and we have a traditional snow-bound Christmas.

With so many people unable to return home, one of the guests comes to an unfortunate fatal accident. But is it an accident? Jane and others investigate the politics, personal conflicts, and all the house suspects.

I found it delightful and fun to see Jane developing the characters for her next book, Persuasionon the heels of the successful Mansfield Park. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve read all of her books multiple times and like Bridget Jones, obsessed on the BBC’s miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice. Therefore, I’m preparing you before you read this book. Be warned! Jane Austen is being turned into a character here. I personally feel it’s fun, well-researched, and excessively diverting, so don’t let the real-life author turned character bother you.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

Spoil yourself and order it now on Amazon by clicking here!

12 Days At Bleakley Manor

by Michelle Griep

Don’t you just love this cover? It immediately invited me in because I think I know what to expect. It’s cozy and comforting and another snow covered Christmas at the manor! Set in the Victorian Era, there’s a twist to this one. In the case of Bleakly Manor, the guests are invited for various reasons and enticed with personal motivations, but alas the host is absent!

I read a review of this book that said it was reminiscent of a mystery dinner theater, and who doesn’t love that? In fact, I’m a huge fan of going a step further to the mystery dinner parties where you’re assigned a character, but I digress. With just a hint of romance and almost exaggerated characters, I had a wonderful time reading this book. Perhaps I’m being generous with the rating due to the Christmas season, but it was a fun escape to the English manor and an enjoyable read.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

Why not order it now on Amazon by clicking here?! (You know you want to)

Murder for Christmas

by Francis Duncan

Oh, look! Another Christmas party at a country home. Now we’re in the Golden Age, and with Murder for Christmas, we are introduced to amateur detective Mordecai Tremaine (if you haven’t already met him before in the series). Mordecai Tremaine reminds me of a mix between Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. He’s well-known for solving mysteries and murders, but when people meet him, he comes off as harmless and maybe not completely capable of comprehending what’s happening around him.

However, of course, he’s not the tottering old man perceived! Will he aid the police to discover the Christmas Eve murderer or be a thorn in their side? Who killed the man dressed as Father Christmas found at the foot of the Christmas tree?

This book is another good distraction and amusement, although because the writing does jump around slightly making it not quite as easy to follow, my rating is slightly lower.

Explorer Momma’s rating: **** 4 stars

Would you like to pick it up now on Amazon by clicking here? Enjoy!

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

by P.D. James

P.D. James, or rather Phyllis Dorothy James White, Baroness James of Holland Park, was born in Oxford, England in 1920. She is best known for her detective Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard, and this book indeed includes two of his stories. 

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories is a compilation of four stories by this great mystery novelist. With a more serious and sinister tone than the first books in this list, yet with a sly humor, these stories reveal the good, bad, and difficult aspects of human nature. A novelist recounts the story of a crime she herself was a party to 50 years previously, Dalgliesh’s godfather asks him to re-investigate the details of an inheritance, and so forth.

A good set of whodunits for the Christmas season, although the holiday aspect of them is not as in your face as some of the others.

Explorer Momma’s rating: **** 4 stars

Order it on Amazon by clicking here!

Do you need more Christmas book suggestions?

What Christmas Mystery book list is complete without Hercule Poirot? I’m always up for a good Agatha Christie novel!

Mistletoe and Murder: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery

by Carola Dunn

It’s December of 1923, and Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is the daughter of the imperious Dowager Viscountess Dalrymple who’s decided they will all spend Christmas at, wait for it…the ancestral home of Lord Westmoor in Cornwall. Daisy is her own woman and displeases her mother by writing articles for publications such as Town and Country.

On this occasion, Daisy arrives at the home before everyone else to complete an article on the house itself and it’s history. When more guests and colorful characters arrive, although Lord Westmoor is absent, our scene is set for a colorful set of ghosts, schemes, and murder.

Daisy and her husband Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard investigate along with the help of their two children and Lord Westmoor’s poorer relations. I had fun with Daisy and the characters in this book and series.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 4 1/2 stars

Treat yourself and order it now on Amazon by clicking here!

The Twelve Clues of Christmas

by Rhys Bowen

What can I say about The Twelve Clues of Christmas? Set in 1936, this is the sixth book in A Royal Spyness Mystery series. It can definitely be read as a stand-alone, and score! Once again we have a house party, but this time it’s the local villagers who are being murdered.

Penniless Lady Georgiana Rannoch finds herself stuck in her brother’s castle in Scotland facing a bleak Christmas with her penny-pinching sister in law and family. Her MIA boyfriend is exploring somewhere in South America so she gets herself a position as a hostess for a large house party in Devon, in the quaint village of Tiddleton-under-Lovey. Unfortunately, the villagers keep having fatal unrelated accidents.

Georgie begins her own investigation, of course, and looks into her list of house-guest suspects. A bonus in this book is the description of all the traditional English Christmas fare and joy! an appendix with recipes. I’m hungry.

Explorer Momma’s rating: ***** 5 stars

You need this book. Find it here on Amazon!

A Christmas Revelation

by Anne Perry

Now, what Christmas Mystery Books list is complete without representation by Anne Perry? I love a good Anne Perry mystery, her Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, the Monk series, and my favorite the WWI series. Truly, I’ve read a lot of Anne Perry’s novels, and most Christmases I read at least one of her novellas or, in this case, Christmas novels.

The Christmas stories often make a supporting or side character of one of the series into the main character with their own Christmas mystery adventure. In this sentimental book, a nine-year-old former river urchin named Worm enlists the help of Squeaky Robinson to go to the aid of a kidnapped woman just before Christmas. Squeaky works in Hester Monk’s clinic and so here we have a new adventure with lesser-known characters in the Monk series. How can they help a woman who doesn’t want to be rescued?

I’m always happy with her Christmas books and really any of her novels. They are familiar friends, with characters I can depend on.

Explorer Momma’s rating: **** 4 stars

Order it now on Amazon by clicking here!

Give me some good Christmas mystery books

Now some of you, in fact, many of you, will say, “Give me a good Hallmark Christmas story”. I can do that. Sweet girl from the city has some major failure and fight with big city boyfriend. Girl goes to small town USA and falls for the local boy in a Christmas sweater who helps everyone in town. However, I can only do a couple of those a year and truly love that escape.

Give me some variety! Manor houses with snowbound guests, English puddings, and murders. Oh, yes. Throw a couple of those into your yearly Christmas readings. It’s the season for traditions and cozy family time. Take some time out of the Christmas rush and start another tradition, a good Christmas mystery. Cheers to you!

Merry Christmas!

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Do you love historical mysteries? Christmas mystery books are some of my favorites around the holidays. Families stuck together in manor houses with lots of English Christmas goodies, what's not to love? Great Christmas booklist. #christmasbooklist #christmasmysteries

My Cozy Christmas Books: A List

My Cozy Christmas Books: A List

This page contains affiliate links. Cozy Christmas books

There’s not a lot I like more than a good book at Christmas. Ideally, I have a big fluffy chair between the window to watch the snow fall and the burning logs of the fireplace. On the small table near my chair, I have a mug of tea or coffee. Oh, and I almost forgot, I’m breathing in the fir tree scent from the fresh Christmas tree (or the essential oils diffuser!). Add a good cozy Christmas book to all that, and I’m in heaven.

I have quite a few Christmas books on my stand right now, and I can’t wait to dive in! Some of them are oldies but goodies. Then, a few are brand new I’m super-excited to experience for the first time. One is even a Christmas novella from a very talented lady I’ve known most of my life and is the beginning of a new series for her. Let’s dive in, shall we?!

Christmas Books for Adults pin

I hope you too can pick up some of these Christmas books (or others!) to give as gifts or enjoy yourself this holiday season!

My holiday book list: Christmas books

Last Christmas in Paris Last Christmas in Paris

by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

First of all, this book is marketed incredibly well. Who can pass up the cover with a girl walking towards the Eiffel Tower in a bright red coat and the words Last Christmas in Paris and A Novel of World War I over her? Truly, I am the ideal target reader as a history buff and former French teacher. As are many others, I’m naturally drawn to anything Paris, and World War I is a fascinating time period to explore. Good characters and the emotional upheaval of the time make for an absorbing read.

Second, I’ve read several of Hazel Gaynor’s previous books and love her writing style and delicate description. It seems to place you in the scene with all five of your senses alert and aware of the situation. I’ve not read Heather Webb before but am already intrigued by the setting, time period, and style of this book. Much of the book is told in letters back and forth between Thomas Hardy on the front line in France and Evie Elliott in a quiet suburb of London.

Pick up your copy from Amazon today by clicking here: Last Christmas in Paris.

***Update! I finished this book just before Christmas, and I oh so wanted to like it much more than I did. It is difficult to write a story in letters, and unfortunately, it just did not hold my interest. Now, it could be because we were crazy busy, and I read it in many sessions. Perhaps if read in 1 or 2 sittings it would be better. That said, I’d probably give it a 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

 

The Walnut Tree: A Holiday Tale

by Charles Todd

(Bonus book! I veered off of my scheduled reads list)

Another book I read this month set during the same World War I time period was The Walnut Tree: A Holiday Tale by Charles Todd. I’d recommend it as more of a page-turning read with characters you care about with all their problems, idiosyncrasies, and determination. It’s a part of the Bess Crawford series but focuses on one of her fellow nurses during World War I. It’s a well-written, historical, romantic mystery, and I loved it!

Order it here from Amazon.

Christmas at CarntonChristmas at Carnton

by Tamera Alexander

If you read much Christian fiction you will probably recognize the name, Tamera Alexander. Because I’ve read most of her books, I know I can always count on her to give me an uplifting, compelling story. Her characters speak from the heart, and I love the historical world she paints. (Also, as my younger self I used to babysit her children and know first-hand what a fun and amazing family they are!) This Christmas she takes us to Civil War-torn Nashville and the Carnton Plantation.

“Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas – and sacrificial love.”

Around Christmas, this is just the kind of story I like to indulge in by the fire with my steaming mug of tea. However, I feel I have to warn you. I’ve found I don’t like to put down Tamera Alexander’s books and end up reading through the night or don’t get anything at all done until all the pages have been turned. Definitely, it’s a heart-warming addition to a list of Christmas books!

Spoil yourself and order it now on Amazon by clicking here: Christmas at Carnton.

***Update! I finished Christmas at Carnton and find myself eagerly awaiting the next book in the series! If you have any interest in the Civil War era, in Tennesee especially, this is the book for you! This inspiring story was well-told with fascinating characters and locations. I highly recommend it for yourself or as a gift for a friend. Now, I’m journeying to Paris during World War I with Last Christmas in Paris.

Greenglass HouseGreenglass House

by Kate Milford

I have a confession to make. I love mysteries. Generally English mysteries in a big house and a good who-dun-it. Greenglass House is juvenile fiction, but I’m excited to have it on my list so I can then pass it off to my daughter. Double-win!

I don’t know about you, but I usually like to preview the books she reads (although she’s getting too fast for me!). This is not to spy on her and be controlling, but more a way to be a part of her life. Because I love books so much, it is awesome to be able to discuss them with my 9-year-old daughter and watch her face light up with excitement. Of course, I want to be a part of that and know where the excitement is coming from.

So here in Greenglass House, we have a mystery with 12-year-old (the innkeeper’s adopted son). It’s wintertime, and he lives in the spooky smuggler’s inn. Secretive guests start arriving during this normally quiet period for the inn, and the cook’s daughter Meddy teams up with Milo to solve the mystery of Greenglass House. Why are things going missing? Who are all these people in conflict? They must find the secret of the house and learn about themselves at the same time. Awesome.

Order it here on Amazon: Greenglass House

Hercule Poirot's ChristmasHercule Poirot’s Christmas

by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot. What does the name mean to you? Funnily for me, my first thought is of the fastidious detective’s famous mustache. This is the ultimate Christmas cozy mystery because we find the great detective in a family mansion investigating what? A murder of course. Was it the random burglar? The butler perhaps? Or do we dig deeper into the animosities between the family members gathered for the “merry” holiday season?

I love it. There’s a reason Agatha Christie mysteries have sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in other languages. I really can’t resist a good mystery, so take it from me. Another one for a list of great Christmas books. Get yours today!

To get it on Amazon click here: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas

The Sibyl in Her GraveThe Sibyl in Her Grave

by Sarah Caudwell

Sarah Caudwell is fabulous. Who else could make English tax law a comedy in an old English village with a murder mystery? It sounds completely off, but it is hysterical. This is one of those books I’ve read many times and just happens to take place during the Christmas season. The Sibyl in Her Grave is one of those witty, crazy books that somehow makes complete sense, and I find myself laughing out loud every other page no matter how many times I read it.

A huge part of this book is the great cast of characters. Professor Hilary Tamar (an Oxford don) is called upon by her friend Julia at Lincoln’s Inn to help her aunt with a tax problem. Aunt Regina and her friends have pooled their resources to invest in equities and made off extremely well. Now the tax man’s come calling, and the money’s all been spent!

Add to that a psychic counselor Isabella del Camino (the Sibyl) who’s moved into the rectory of the village and plowed down a cherished garden. She also keeps an aviary of ravens and has offended everyone in the village. So what happens? Spoiler: She ends up found murdered of course.

Chaos, fun, and tax law intertwine to make a great story. Reading my description it doesn’t do it justice at all. There’s too much to the story and awesome character quirks, and it’s a fun place to escape to more craziness than your own holiday household.

Get this one here on Amazon: The Sibyl in Her Grave

Mr. Dickens and His CarolMr. Dickens and His Carol

by Samantha Silva

Last but not least, Mr. Dickens and His Carol. Every Christmas my family watches various versions of what’s probably the most famous Christmas tale ever written, “A Christmas Carol”. Have you ever wondered about the man who wrote it? Was he really hating Christmas, depressed by the failure of his last book, in writer’s block, and envisioning the poorhouse? What inspired him to write this classic Christmas story?

Mr. Dickens and His Carol is a charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.”

-Anthony Doerr (author of All the Light We Cannot Seeanother fabulous book)

Purchase your own copy to get started on right away! Click to order on Amazon here: Mr. Dickens and His Carol.

 

Holiday reading

Create a new Christmas books tradition

Did you know they have an amazing holiday in Iceland called the “Jolabokaflod”? It’s translated as the “Yule Book Flood” and the gist of it is you search for the months before Christmas Eve to find the perfect book for family members and everyone opens up books on Christmas Eve. Isn’t that perfect?! It gets better. The tradition is that everyone then gets to read their books late into the night, or all night, all while eating CHOCOLATE!!

Yes, they do this every year, and it may be my new favorite holiday! Why not try it out for yourself and maybe even select a few books from my list of cozy Christmas books? Happy reading!

Pin this list for later here!

My Cozy Christmas Books. Need a few fun Christmas reads? I love to curl up by the fire with a good story at Christmas! Pick one today. #christmasbooks #christmasreads

For more Christmas book recommendations check out Explorer Momma’s: Christmas Mystery Books to Read Next.

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