2021 Holiday Reads

We’re less than two weeks away from Advent and the beginning of December, this year’s incarnation of “Festive Tasks” includes a “holiday books” square, CrimeReads recently published their 2021 Holiday Gift Guide, and I just succumbed to the purchase of electric tealights for my holiday candle holders so as to be able to enjoy them for more than five minutes at a time even with two lively and inquisitive cats around … so I guess that means it’s time to put together my holiday reading list as well. Or rather, put it it order — after all, it’s not like I haven’t been out and about collecting books for this year’s list for the past couple of weeks already! So, here we go:


2021 Core List
  • Donna Andrews: The Twelve Jays of Christmas
  • Donna Andrews: How the Finch Stole Christmas!
  • John Banville: Snow
  • Anthony Berkeley: The Wintringham Mystery
  • Nicholas Blake: The Sad Variety
  • Carol Carnac: Crossed Skis
  • Michael Connelly: The Dark Hours
  • Moray Dalton: The Night of Fear (reread)
  • Jessica Fletcher (Donald Bain): Manhattans and Murder
  • Jessica Fletcher (Donald Bain): A Little Yuletide Murder
  • Jessica Fletcher (Jon Land): Murder in Season
  • Martha Grimes: Jerusalem Inn (reread)
  • Mons Kallentoft: Midwinter Sacrifice
  • Rupert Latimer: Murder After Christmas
  • Charlotte MacLed: Christmas Stalkings
  • Charlotte MacLeod: Murder Goes Mumming
  • Karen Menuhin: Murder at Melrose Court
  • Ngaio Marsh: Off With His Head (reread)
  • Ngaio Marsh: Tied Up in Tinsel (reread)
  • Ngaio Marsh: Death and the Dancing Footman (reread)
  • Ada Moncrieff: Murder Most Festive
  • Patricia Moyes: Season of Snows and Sins
  • Amy Pershing: An Eggnog to Die For
  • Rosamunde Pilcher: Winter Solstice
  • Allie Reynolds: Shiver
  • S.J. Rozan: Winter and Night
  • Angela Thirkell: Christmas at High Rising
  • R.D. Wingfield: Frost at Christmas
  • Clifford Witting: Catt out of the Bag
Annual Christmas Rereads
  • Agatha Christie: The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (aka The Royal Ruby)
  • Agatha Christie: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
  • Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
  • Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol
  • Frances Hodgson Burnett: Little Lord Fauntleroy (screen version only)
  • Terry Pratchett: Hogfather
  • Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors(screen version only)
Short Story Anthologies

(Mix in to taste)

  • Otto Penzler (ed.): The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (Golden / Silver Age & contemporary mysteries)
  • Otto Penzler (ed.): Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop (contemporary mysteries)
  • Murder for Christmas: Tales of Seasonal Malice (audio, Golden Age mysteries; reread)
  • Cecily Gayford (ed.): Murder in Midwinter (Golden & Silver Age mysteries)
  • Cecily Gayford (ed.): Murder at Christmas (Golden & Silver Age mysteries)
  • Cecily Gayford (ed.): Murder on a Winter’s Night (Golden & Silver Age mysteries)
  • Cecily Gayford (ed.): Murder on Christmas Eve (Golden / Silver Age & contemporary mysteries)
  • Cecily Gayford (ed.): Murder Under the Christmas Tree (Golden / Silver Age & contemporary mysteries; mostly reread)
  • Cecily Gayford (ed.): A Very Murderous Christmas (Golden / Silver Age & contemporary mysteries)
  • Sapere Books: Midwinter Mysteries (historical fiction)
  • The Valencourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories (horror, classics)
  • Tim Martin (ed.): Ghosts of Christmas Past (horror / speculative fiction; classics / contemporary / historical fiction)
  • British Library (ed.): A Literary Christmas (classics)
  • Oxford University Press (ed.): The Oxford Book of Chistmas Stories (classics & contemporary)
  • Vintage Books (ed.): A Vintage Christmas (classics & contemporary)
  • Classic Christmas Stories: A Collection of Timeless Holiday Tales (audio, classics)
  • A Classic Christmas (audio, classics)
  • Twelve Stories of Christmas (audio, classics)
  • Gerry Bowler: Christmas in the Crosshairs
  • Judith Flanders: Christmas: A History
  • Mark Forsyth: A Christmas Cornucopia


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