Get in the spirit! 5 Holiday Mysteries worth Reading
After a long, hot summer, author Barbara Early is looking forward to cozying up to some fun, cold-weather reads. After all, what could be better than a steaming mug of hot chocolate, a lap full of assorted cats, and a great Christmas mystery?
I’ll confess I couldn’t wait for the mercury to fall to dive into Alan Bradley’s Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d. I adore Flavia deLuce. She is, as usual, absolutely charming—in her own characteristically slightly demented way. It technically is Christmas at Buckshaw in England, marked only by a poinsettia on a table, but now 12-year old Flavia has little time to celebrate. Her father is in the hospital with severe pneumonia. But it’s hard to feel too sorry for her. She has a fresh murder to solve, involving a famed children’s writer. And as Flavia says, “It’s amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one’s spirits.”
Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue by Victoria Thompson. (Yes, I’ve already read this one, too.) This 18th installment in her popular Gaslight mysteries takes place in a snowy New York City at the turn of the century. At first I was a little wary of a book that takes place when the characters who normally lead the series are off on their honeymoon. (Yay! I’ve been rooting for Frank and Sarah for a long time.) But Thompson makes it work with her “second stringers” stepping up to the plate and performing beautifully.
Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany is high on my to-read list. This first in a Year Round Christmas series (set in Rudolph, New York) came out last year, and the second in the series, We Wish You a Murderous Christmas releases in November, so I can probably read them back-to-back. I’ve met Vicki a number of times, and she piqued my interested when she told me that somewhere along the line in the series someone gets whacked with a two-foot tall nutcracker. What’s not to love?
It’s a Wonderful Knife by Christine Wenger. This is the latest in her Comfort Food series set around a diner in snowy small town in New York. (Sensing a theme here?) A Christmas-themed mystery with comfort food recipes? I’m in! I’ve only read the first in the series (Do or Diner), so I have a little catching up to do first. But that’s okay. The Farmers’ Almanac says it could be a long winter.
Barbara Early earned an engineering degree, but after four years of doing nothing but math, developed a sudden allergy to the subject and decided to choose another occupation. Before she settled on murdering fictional people, she was a secretary, a school teacher, a pastor’s wife, and an amateur puppeteer. After several years living elsewhere, she and her husband moved back to her native Western New York State, where she enjoys cooking, crafts, classic movies and campy seventies television, board games, and posting pictures of her four cats on Facebook. Death Of A Toy Soldier (October 11, 2016; Crooked Lane Books) is her fourth mystery, and the first in her Vintage Toyshop series. Visit her at barbaraearly.com.
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