My Top 3 Christmas-themed Reads

I love a Christmas themed murder mystery at this time of year.

For my top three Christmas-themed reads I’ve picked a favourite from a couple of years back plus two brand new releases that I think you’ll enjoy as much as I do.

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

Lily Armitage returns to rural stately pile, Endgame House, one last time to take part in the annual family tradition – the Christmas Game. Along with her relatives she must try to solve 12 clues and find 12 keys. The prize for the winner is ownership of Endgame House. But as the game begins, and the snow blocks the roads and holds the family captive, people begin to die. Lily has to solve the murders and the clues if she’s to have any chance of making it through Christmas alive. This atmospheric locked room mystery is a super more-ish, puzzle-filled read that’ll have you solving the clues along with Lily. It was published last month and you can find out more HERE.

Mistletoe and Crime by Chris McDonald

Published earlier this month, this modern cosy mystery sees best mates and amateur sleuths Adam and Colin investigating the death of a homeless man. Although the police have written the man’s death off as an accident, Adam and Colin think foul play is involved. Undeterred by a warning from the cops to stay out of it, they leap into action and soon find themselves getting much closer to the killer than they’d ever imagined. This is a fun, jaunty-paced read with lots of clever classic and modern Christmas references. You can find out more HERE.

The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday

This advent calendar themed novel is a fast-paced race against time to catch a killer who has gone undetected for a long time. When an advent calendar is sent to the police, and they discover there’s a crime scene behind each door, DC Becky Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must piece the clues together and find the serial killer before they strike again. This is a twisty, turny serial killer novel with lots of Christmassy action that’ll pull you in and along for the ride. It was published a few years ago and is still just as fresh. You can find out more HERE.

So if you’re looking for a Christmas-themed read I highly recommend you check out these books. Then pour yourself some mulled wine and have a cheeky mince pie as you settle down for a good read.

CTG Review Replay: Murder on Thames by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello

 

Murder on Thames cover image

Murder on Thames cover image

Earlier this year I reviewed Murder on Thames – the first book in the Cherringham Murder Mystery series by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello. This week Bastei Entertainment are releasing an eBook collection of the first three books in the series, and so I thought it’d be timely to replay my review of the first installment …

Murder on Thames is the first book in the new Cherringham Murder Mystery series, an eBook series that will see a new novella-length mystery solved every month. Published by Bastei Entertainment (an imprint of Germany’s Bastei Lübbe) the series by Neil Richards (based in the UK) and Matthew Costello (based in the US) is published both in English and German.

What the blurb says: “Cherringham is a quiet and peaceful town in the Cotswolds. Time moves slowly here, and nothing out of the ordinary ever happens, until one morning a woman’s body is discovered in the river. Sarah Edwards has just returned to Cherringham with her two children following the breakdown of her marriage. Sarah had been friends with Sammi Jackson – the woman in the river – before they both moved to London and she’s certain there is more to her death than meets the eye. But juggling the school run and her job as a web designer doesn’t leave much time to solve murder mysteries.

After the death of his wife, former NYPD homicide detective Jack Brennan has retired to Cherringham hoping for a quiet life. He soon realises “peace and quiet” isn’t really him and, despite his misgivings, he’s persuaded by Sarah to help her look into Sammi’s death. It quickly becomes clear that the case isn’t as simple as the police hope. From her violent ex-boyfriend to her alcoholic father, it seems everyone has something to hide. Sarah and Jack will need to use all their wits to get to the bottom of this case.”

If you’re a fan of Midsomer Murders and other ‘cosy’ (or ‘cozy’) crime drama and novels then this eBook series is well worth checking out. It ticks all the right boxes: quaint English village – check, traditional pub – check. Traditional game of cricket – check. Nasty goings on, and murderous intentions, lurking beneath the picturesque and seemingly tranquil setting – check, check, check.

Narrowboat-dwelling, retired ex-NYPD detective, Jack Brennan, and recently returned to the village, divorced single-mum, Sarah Edwards, make a great double act. Although I did think that Sarah seemed to get over her friend’s death rather too quickly, the spark between the two main characters, and the pace at which they launch themselves into their ‘off the books’ investigation, carried me along with the story and kept me turning the pages.

A fun read. And, at this time of year, perfect for curling up by the fire with while the rain pours down outside!

 

[Many thanks to Bastei Entertainment for my review copy of Murder on Thames]

CTG Reviews: Murder on Thames by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello

Murder on Thames cover image

Murder on Thames cover image

Murder on Thames is the first instalment of the new Cherringham Murder Mystery series, an eBook series that will see a new novella-length mystery solved every month. Published by Bastei Entertainment (an imprint of Germany’s Bastei Lübbe) the series by Neil Richards (based in the UK) and Matthew Costello (based in the US) will be published both in English and German.

What the blurb says: Cherringham is a quiet and peaceful town in the Cotswolds. Time moves slowly here, and nothing out of the ordinary ever happens, until one morning a woman’s body is discovered in the river. Sarah Edwards has just returned to Cherringham with her two children following the breakdown of her marriage. Sarah had been friends with Sammi Jackson – the woman in the river – before they both moved to London and she’s certain there is more to her death than meets the eye. But juggling the school run and her job as a web designer doesn’t leave much time to solve murder mysteries.

After the death of his wife, former NYPD homicide detective Jack Brennan has retired to Cherringham hoping for a quiet life. He soon realises “peace and quiet” isn’t really him and, despite his misgivings, he’s persuaded by Sarah to help her look into Sammi’s death. It quickly becomes clear that the case isn’t as simple as the police hope. From her violent ex-boyfriend to her alcoholic father, it seems everyone has something to hide. Sarah and Jack will need to use all their wits to get to the bottom of this case.”

If you’re a fan of Midsomer Murders and other ‘cosy’ (or ‘cozy’) crime drama and novels then this eBook series is well worth checking out. It ticks all the right boxes: quaint English village – check, traditional pub – check. Traditional game of cricket – check. Nasty goings on, and murderous intentions, lurking beneath the picturesque and seemingly tranquil setting – check, check, check.

Narrowboat-dwelling, retired ex-NYPD detective, Jack Brennan, and recently returned to the village, divorced single-mum, Sarah Edwards, make a great double act. Although I did think that Sarah seemed to get over her friend’s death rather too quickly, the spark between the two main characters, and the pace at which they launch themselves into their ‘off the books’ investigation, carried me along with the story and kept me turning the pages.

A fun read. And, at this time of year, perfect for curling up by the fire with while the rain pours down outside!

Murder on Thames is out now, and the second episode in the series, Mystery at the Manor, will be published on 16th January 2014.

[Many thanks to Bastei Entertainment for my review copy of Murder on Thames]