It wasn’t easy. I made my list, I checked it twice – these Holiday mysteries were both naughty and nice! These are my 15 personal favorites to keep you entertained not only through the holidays, but also through those long winter nights (list recapped at bottom of this post).  You can also read full reviews of most of these books under the BOOKS/mystery category.

Crossed Skiis is an atmospheric winter tale of two mysteries that meld together perfectly. Join the 16 skiers traveling from London to Austria on New Year’s Day for the ultimate ski holiday and a cold dose of death.

The Christmas Card Crime & Other Stories features 11 holiday tales by some of the best British mystery writers in the mid-1800’s through the 1900’s.

As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles, Slashing Through The Snow and Murder At the Christmas Cookie Bake-off are (3) solid Christmas cozies filled with so much Christmas warmth that they will melt your heart and take the chill off those pesky dead bodies!

Do some armchair traveling: Take a trip to Cajun country with A Cajun Christmas Killing – or head off to Ireland with Murder At An Irish Christmas (a contemporary mystery with old-world flavor).

If you want zany humor with your mysteries, it doesn’t get any more hilarious than a holiday with my favorite single gal heroine, Jaine Austen, in Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge.

Ho Ho Homicide with its authentic and down-home atmosphere is more enjoyable than a steaming cup of eggnog! It’s my favorite from the Liss MacCrimmon Mystery series.

For fans of Victorian times, Murder Most Festive, Ringing in Murder, Mrs. Jeffries and the Feast of St. Stephen and A Christmas Carol Murder take us back in time for a look at how the holidays were celebrated in that era – and, how murders were solved (without modern technology).

No hard-core mystery fan should be without the gigantic 600+ page Big Book of Christmas Mysteries edited by Otto Penzler. It’s a full blown collection of “vintage” yuletide mysteries. Too many authors to list, but a sampling would be: Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Mary Higgins Clark, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ed McBain, Isaac Asimov, etc., etc. and I DO mean “etc., etc…” WOW!

To complete my favorite holiday reading list, I call upon the beloved and immortal Charles Dickens. Christmas just wouldn’t be complete without his Stories for Christmas or his Five Tales of Christmas. Some are mysterious, some can be haunting – some “simply” nice. All classics from a master.

TOP 15 HOLIDAY MYSTERIES – Alphabetically by author:

  1. Mrs. Jeffries and the Feast of St. Stephen – Emily Brightwell (Victorian setting)
  2. The Christmas Card Crime & Other Stories – British Library Crime Classics (compilation)
  3. As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles, A Food Lovers’ Village Mystery – Leslie Budewitz
  4. A Cajun Christmas Killing, A Cajun Country Mystery – Ellen Byron
  5. Crossed Skiis, An Alpine Mystery – Carol Carnac (British Library Crime Classic)
  6. Stories for Christmas or Five Tales of Christmas by Charles Dickens – various versions and publishers.
  7. Ho Ho Homicide, a Liss MacCrimmon Mystery – Kaitlyn Dunnett
  8. Slashing Through The Snow, A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery – Jacqueline Frost
  9. Murder At The Christmas Cookie Bake-Off, A Beacon Bakeshop Mystery – Darci Hannah
  10. Ringing in Murder, A Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery – Kate Kingsbury (Victorian setting)
  11. Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge, A Jaine Austen Mystery – Laura Levine
  12. Murder Most Festive, A Christmas Mystery – Ada Moncrieff
  13. Murder At An Irish Christmas, An Irish Village Mystery – Carlene O’Connor
  14. The big Book of Christmas Mysteries edited and intro by Otto Penzler (A Vintage Crime/Black Lizard original)
  15. A Christmas Carol Murder – Heather Redmond (set in Dickens-times)


Heartwarming, superbly delightful and filled with solid mystery plots, dont’s miss this new series from Darci Hannah and Kensington Publishing.

Read the full reviews for both books in this series under: BOOKS/mystery category for: Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop and Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-off. Watch for the interview with the author, Darci Hannah, in January!

So get out the popcorn, hot chocolate and settle in. It may be cold or snowy outside – heck, you may even be snowed in — but with a good mystery to entertain you, it just won’t matter!

Want more mystery reviews? Then visit the BOOKS/mystery category on this site.


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