10 Murder Mystery Books That Take Place During Christmas: Christmas themed murder mysteries are not for everyone – they are certainly not conducive to the festive spirit. But they are quite interesting, for they present a unique opportunity to delve into the holiday mood in a gruesome, gory manner. So here’s our list of murder mysteries ranging from the evergreen Agatha Christie to beloved Louise Penny.
10 Murder Mystery Books That Take Place During Christmas
- Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
- The Mistletoe Murder by P D James
- Mystery in White by Joseph Jefferson
- The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay
- A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer
- Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan
- A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
- A Maigret Christmas by Georges Simenon
- Red Christmas by Reginald Hill
- Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
It’s Christmas time, and like many families seeking to be together, so does the Lee family. Simeon Lee summons his four children with vastly different natures and their wives. But an announcement of a change in will makes things terse, eventually leading to a murder, Our favourite detective Poirot is immediately on the case.
The Mistletoe Murder by P D James
This is a collection of four Christmas themed murder mysteries, all reminiscent of the Golden Age Detectives. With dark psychologies and unexpected murderers, this one’s a delicious anthology to dip into. The four stories are:
- The Mistletoe Murder
- A Very Commonplace Murder
- The Boxdale Inheritance
- The Twelve Clues of Christmas
Mystery in White by Joseph Jefferson
This classic Christmas story follows train passengers who seek shelter at a farmhouse when heavy snow halts their train. But a murderer who strikes amidst themselves creates considerable complications in their holiday fun. Full of twists and turns you’d never expect, this is a perfect murder mystery.
The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay
This book follows a perfect little family – the Melbury family as they celebrate Christmas in their country home. But on the eve of Christmas, Aunt Mildred declares no good can come out of the family gathering. Then, on the actual Christmas day, the patriarch is found murdered, with a bullet in his head. What follows is a sheer delight to read.
A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer
It’s Christmas, and Scrooge, the owner of Lexham Manor is dead. And six holiday guests are the primary suspects. While the motive could very well be the wealthy inheritance, still more of a mystery is the manner of the crime. How any of the suspects could have entered the locked door where the owner was found is the actual mystery.
Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan
Romance novel lover and former tobacconist Mordecai Tremaine goes as a Christmas guest to the country home of Benedict Grame, in the sluggish village Sherbroome. But soon, she discovers tensions running rife in the party. Plus, at midnight, a dead body is found under the Christmas tree along with presents. It falls upon her to solve the murder mystery.
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny
In a small town in Quebec, preparations for Christmas are awash. But the murder of CC de Poitiers offers a complication. No one loved her while she was alive – her silent husband, her lover and her estranged daughter all detested her. Armand Gamache, the brilliant Chief Inspector must survey the situation and ferret out the murderer. But the crime was unlikely and the method ghastly.
A Maigret Christmas by Georges Simenon
This is a collection of three novellas, all set in Paris during Christmas time. All three stories revolve around Maigret, the detective. The three stories are:
- A Maigret Christmas
- Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook
- The Little Restaurant near Place des Ternes
Red Christmas by Reginald Hill
Arabella Allen of this story is stuck at a secluded hotel in the English countryside during Christmas. And the weird assemblage of guests makes her question her presence there when a frozen corpse is recovered.
Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod
In this book, MacLeod introduces us to Professor Shandy. The man leaves Jemima alone and goes of on a Christmas cruise, but returns to find her dead. The rest of the story follows him as he tries to find Jemima’s murderer.
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