Years ago, back when Peanut was a wee baby, I started a tradition of buying a few Christmas-themed books at the beginning of Advent, with an eye to building a holiday library for her (and later, her brother too). When I was growing up, my mom had a huge stack of children’s Christmas books and it didn’t feel like the holiday season until she pulled them out of storage. (My favorite was The Littlest Angel, although it always made me well up.) Eventually, the kids’ library got pretty extensive, but I’m still buying Christmas books at the beginning of the season and reading them in the lead-up to the holiday. It’s just that – these days – they’re for me.
The Advent 2022 additions to my Christmas library, as it turns out, are rather murdery. I ended up adding four mystery novels to the Christmas shelf. Is it better or worse that this was completely unintentional? Recently I discovered that I could get my hands on the Harper Collins special edition Agatha Christies, and I snagged all three holiday-themed volumes – The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, Midwinter Murder (a collection of short stories – always fun at Christmas) and Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. I also added The White Priory Murders to the stack; it was the October entry into my British Library Crime Classics subscription, but it’s a classic country house Christmas mystery involving footprints (or a lack thereof) in snow, etc. There’s just something about a Christmas murder mystery.
Actually, it appears this is something of a theme – see last year’s stack (at least, the ones I didn’t get to – hopefully this year). Which one is not like the others? Well, The Faber Book of Christmas is actually not a murder mystery, thank goodness there’s at least one nonviolent entry in my Christmas reading. But I did pick up Thou Shell of Death and The Case of the Abominable Snowman, both from The Hatchards Library (they’re just gorgeous), as well as Ngaio Marsh’s Tied Up in Tinsel – unpictured here because I managed to read it last year. And I always add at least one BL Crime Classics per Christmas; last year it was The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories. These are all on the TBR for this year – we’ll see how many I manage to knock out this month.
In short, I don’t know what it is about Christmas reading that makes me feel extra mysterious, but clearly I’m leaning into it. I’m well prepared for the season; knowing every possible festive way to bump someone off, I’m on high alert and confident I’ll survive this holiday.
Season’s readings! Do you like a murder mystery at Christmas?
I can enjoy a good murder mystery at any time. 🙂 But right now my TBR pile doesn’t include any I can immediately recall, though I’m sure there’s one in there somewhere.
Same here! But there does seem to be something about a murder mystery on a cold night, especially… amps up the cozy factor!