One thing nice about cold weather is curling up with a good book next to a nice fire. I think it is fun at holiday time to find books with a Christmas theme, particularly cozy mysteries. If you haven’t heard that term, a cozy mystery is one without overt violence, no foul language, and the intimate scenes are left to the imagination.
The Christmas Cookie Killer by Livia Washburn is the third novel in the Fresh Baked Mystery series, but I read it first. This books can easily stand alone and can be read out of order without missing anything. I liked that the protagonist is a retired woman, someone with a bit of sense.
After Phyllis perfects her lime sugar cookies for a contest, and hosts a cookie exchange, she takes a plate to her neighbor. Unfortunately her neighbor has been strangled with her own bathrobe belt, and those lime sugar cookies are all around. Phyllis has to figure out what happened before she becomes either the prime suspect or the next victim. There are wonderful recipes in the back of the book for cookies and pies, along with savory dishes too.
Candy Cane Murder is a three-in-one book containing three cozy mysteries set in December all with Candy Cane in the title. Joanne Fluke leads off with Candy Cane Murder, one of her Hannah Swensen novels. Hannah follows the clues in a trail of candy canes to solve the murder of the local department store owner dressed as Santa Claus. There are yummy recipes in this novel too. Then the Dangers of Candy Canes by Laura Levine delves into the cutthroat world of Christmas home decorating wars when a man falls off his roof while installing huge candy cane and the roofing contractor is held for murder. Lastly, Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meier has heroine Lucy Stone trying to solve a mystery twenty years past by unlocking the secret of a broken glass candy cane. All three novels are light, easy reading novels that you can finish in a weekend.
A little more involved plot wise is Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle. One of my favorite writers, these novels are centered around a coffee house owner and contain pages of coffee facts in each novel. Village Blend owner Clare Cosi isn’t convinced when part time Santa is murdered and the police think it is just a random mugging. With ex-husband Matt more interested in the lingerie than murder, and current boyfriend detective Mike on his own case, Clare has to find out who was on the naughty list. By the time she figures out the real story behind Santa’s list, it is up to her to finish it before it finishes her. This book is longer than most cozys, with a plot that is well written and paced, and just complex enough that it won’t be obvious.
Lastly, here my current book for this season. I just started it, but I am sure it will be as good as the other books in the Needlecraft Mystery series. Crewel Yule by Monica Ferris is a murder mystery set around a needlework convention and market with heroine Betsy Devonshire, a needlework shop owner. I can just imagine all the slow stitching kits that might be in her store! These books have needlework patterns in the back of the book, and this one has a crewel pattern Christmas tree with two stitches I haven’t used before – a ray stitch and a star stitch.
No, you aren’t seeing double with this pic! I sometimes buy books when I don’t have my list with me and I end up with two copies of a book by a favorite author. I had put this novel aside, saving it to read during the holiday season, then forgot about it. Have you ever done that?
Anyway, leave a comment on this post, and someone will receive my extra copy of Crewel Yule to read this holiday season with me. Drawing will be Sunday evening, December 13. Sorry, the book has been awarded.
What are you reading now? Do you like books set in the holiday season to read at holiday time?
32 thoughts on “Cozy Christmas Reading”
i’m currently reading the lying game series, very teen i know but sometimes i like things that don’t require a lot of thought.
Right now I’m finishing up a Caroline B. Cooney series… “the Face on the Milk Carton” another teen reader series but these do cause so thought along the way. There are 4 books in the original series and then later she wrote another . The first 4 were easy to read and kept my interest but this last one is not keeping my interest and has taken me weeks to finish it. A little bit at a time but I am determined that I will get it finished… sometime 🙂
Oh my gosh! I used to do that all the time! I finally got it under control when I got my Kindle. I know, it’s not the same as holding a “real” book and you can’t use any of those cute bookmarks that everyone’s making but all in all, it’s saving me some money! I still buy regular books sometimes and friends lend me some too, so it’s the best of both worlds!
I love reading…all year long….but especially Christmas themed stories during the holidays. I start putting those books on hold at my public library in October. Seems I’m not the only one. I wrote down the titles of the books you featured to see if my library co-op has any of them
Right now I am reading Call the Nurse. A great read about the author’s time as a nurse on one of the Hebrides Islands off of Scotland’s coast. I should be reading Claude and Camille about Monet and his wife, since I picked it for our bookclub. Just finished Jan Karon’s latest, Come Rain or Come Shine and am listening to The Taming of the Queen. Hope I win!
These all sound like fun easy reads. I am not familiar with any of them, but would be happy to be included in the giveaway draw. I am currently reading The Rosie Effect after reading The Rosie Project this summer. Then I am on to I Am Pilgrim which is supposed to be very hard to put down. It will be my “after Christmas, I just want to put my feet up and read… don’t bother me” treat… lol
Love cozy mysteries…have not read one by this author
Oh my, yes I often duplicate a book I’ve already read! It will sound familiar, but if I don’t remember how it ends, I’ll keep reading anyway! My husband & I keep a notebook with the books we’ve read, whether we liked it or not . . but I don’t always have it with me! I’ve not heard of the Crewel Yule, but it sounds intriguing! Love Jennifer Chiaverini’s quilt-themed books, have read them all tho they aren’t mysteries. Good family/friend dynamics. She’s on a Civil War kick now, not my favorites. Enjoy the variety of your posts!
Thanks for the recommendations. I enjoy reading a story set at Christmas and have saved some books to read just then. Thanks for the chance to read your extra copy.
I’m reading my book club’s selection, Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon. Book club is tomorrow night so I’d love to have another Christmas book to finish out the holiday season. Thanks for the sweet giveaway!
Carole, Sounds like you really enjoy mysteries. My Mother says that before my accident you could always find me nose deep in books about history and mysteries. I really have a difficult time reading now. So very seldom even attempt it. Thank you for sharing another fun part about yourself! Have a wonderful day!
I enjoy mysteries also. I’ve read and enjoyed a couple Monica Ferris books and would like to read this one. I also enjoy mysteries set in the Christmas season. I’ve read all of Anne Perry’s Christmas mysteries and all her books. I did work in a Library for 9 years and loved being around all the books. Thanks for sharing your reading list.
I was just thinking about rereading Fannie Flagg’s A Redbird Christmas … but I would love to win. Thanks for the chance to win a holiday read.
I do like to read holiday books during the season. I’d love to win this one. Thank you for the chance. Hugs,
Not too cold where I am — would love to be cozy, looking at snow and reading something yummy! Thanks for the chance.
I love mysteries. Thank you for the chance to win.
I often buy fabric I already have. Usually it is something I just love though, so no problem there. It will get used eventually!
Thanks! I think that’s exactly what I need. I’m going to look up a couple of your recommendations. 🙂
I love holiday books, and love Monica Ferris. Yes, I do purchase duplicate books. I read holiday. Books during December and have done this for years. Would love this book to go with my Ferris collection and to have a good read. Love mysteries and appreciate the chance.🐾
I love reading….especially mysteries and sci-fi….but I’ve never read any “seasonal” mysteries nor any sewing/quilting/needlecraft mysteries. I really need to get out more…lol…..thank you for your posts and your generosity. Blessings….
Oh boy Carole, I would love to curl up with a little Christmas flavored mystery!! Thank you!
I read every day and a Christmas mystery would be great. Thank you for the chance to win.
What a fun read! I’m currently reading Armada by Ernest Cline and You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. In the past I’ve tried to schedule holiday reading but this year I got behind on all the books I wanted to read so its just the geeky stuff right now (not that I mind). I love a good mystery and to have it combined with the holiday season sounds like a great read! Thanks for a fun giveaway! My email is: Trekkiechick29 (at) gmail (dot) com
I love reading and these are some of my favorite authors. I too sometimes buy a duplicate copy. Right now I am in between books.
I love to read, too byt I’ve not read many Christmas mysteries. I like the sound of these and thank you for the chance to win one!
I love a good book and thank you so much for the reviews.
The books sound great. I suspect this coming year I’ll have more time to read – it’s on my list of things to do! Currently reading Boston Girl. Thanks for the chance.
Looks like a fun book to read. I’m reading one of Janet Evanovich’s books!
I am reading Downton Abbey. A little late I know but I am slow.
You are a woman after my reading heart!! I love cozy Christmas Mystery books. Right now I’m reading Seven Swans a Shooting (a Short Story). It’s in a 12 days of Christmas series on Kindle Unlimited.
I would love to read this! I’m currently reading The Guilty by David Baldacci. I love to read!
I’ve read 3 of your 4 authors; murder cozies are my current fave. One good thing about short term memory loss is that I can come back in a year or two and don’t remember enough of the story so I reread it saves the old book budget. I slowed down my purchase of duplicates by ripping out the list in the front of the book that lists all of the books in the series or by the author, tick off the ones I’ve read, and carry it in the car with me. Works as long as I remember to take the list! I love almost all of the Berkeley Prime Crime authors and find them quickly at Goodwill by scanning the tops of the books. Rooster for Bantam, H for Harlequins, etc. Really speeds up the process!
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