17 Best Christmas Mystery Books

Christmas Mystery Books

Do you need a little mystery in your life during the holidays? Then, in between caroling and sipping spiked eggnog, check out these seventeen Best Christmas mystery books for a dose of excitement. 

For fans of detective and crime fiction, Christmas mysteries are excellent books to curl up with to get into the holiday spirit.  

Furthermore, A corpse for Christmas by Benedict Brown was perhaps the first Christmas mystery I ever read.

Nonetheless, I enjoy beginning the holiday season with a good, festive murder mystery. 

Table of Contents

1. Wrapped Up in Crosswords by Nero Blanc

Belle Graham, a crossword editor, and her private investigator husband, Rosco Polycrates, are gearing up for the holiday season.  

In addition, Belle is hard at work on a Noel crossword puzzle, while Rosco is getting ready to dress up as Santa Claus and collect items for needy families.  

Furthermore, when Rosco and two buddies from the Newcastle Police Department are mistaken for fugitives dressed as Santas, things turn a lot less merry.  

Additionally, Belle and her canine pals, Kit, and Gabby, are dealing with their issues at home. But will they be able to resolve this misunderstanding before the holidays? 

2. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Hercules Poirot’s Christmas is one of the best Christmas Mystery Books. A thundering crash of furniture and a high-pitched wailing shriek shatter the Lee family’s reunion on Christmas Eve.  

Additionally, Simeon Lee, the tyrant, is found dead in a pool of blood upstairs, his throat cut. However, when Hercule Poirot attempts to help, he discovers a climate of mutual suspicion rather than grieving. 

3. The Necklace of Pearls in Silence Night: Christmas Mysteries by Dorothy L.Sayers

This is a classic ‘country house at Christmas’ short story, first published in 1931.

Additionally, Sayers’s usual detective Lord Peter Wimsey spends the festive period at a home party hosted by a rich and amiable older man.

The older man loves to have his guests play classic parlor games like Hunt the Slipper and Sardines.  

However, he realizes his daughter’s beautiful pearl necklace has vanished from the side table where she had placed it for protection during a game of Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?  

A cursory search confirms that guests have not pocketed it and are not located anywhere in the house.  

Read:  21 Best Christmas Horror Movies to Haunt Your Holiday

However, no one has left the property or been alone for more than a few seconds. It’s up to Wimsey to find it, and while I don’t want to give anything away about the finish, suffice it to say that it’s a very seasonal answer. 

4. A Corpse for Christmas by Benedict Brown

A Corpse for Christmas is a new inclusion on this list, having been released in 2020. And yet, it has garnered such good reviews that it has earned a spot on the best Christmas mystery books list.  

Furthermore, Brown’s Izzy Palmer Mystery series will be familiar to fans. But a Corpse For Christmas is a stand-alone that is so entertaining that it may entice you to read more of Brown’s work.  

Additionally, Izzy Palmer will have to solve the murder of Father Christmas himself. Or at least someone is purporting to be him in the enchanted village. In the winter resort tucked in the Scottish Highlands.  

Izzy will need all the aid she can get with a list of suspects as long as her arm and a baby she’s supposed to be caring for. 

5. The Shepard By Frederick Forsyth

On Christmas Eve 1957, a strange mystery emerges in the skies. In a de Havilland Vampire fighter plane, a Royal Air Force pilot sets off to fly from Germany to England.  

However, when his aircraft begins to malfunction, he fears he may not live to see another day, much less the holidays.  

The pilot had given up hope when a World War II Mosquito fighter-bomber emerged out of nowhere and took him to safety.

Additionally, the weird time traveler is unquestionably an incredible savior. However, this is only the beginning of the pilot’s enigma. 

6. The Adventures of The Christmas Pudding By Agatha Christie

The adventures of the Christmas pudding is also one of the best Christmas mystery books you should read.

They were reissued with a striking new cover to cater to the next generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. Agatha Christie’s holiday Poirot and Marple short tale anthology.  

Additionally, Poirot was given a frightening warning not to eat any plum pudding, followed by finding a body in a chest. 

7. Tied Up In Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh

Marsh’s novel Tied Up In Tinsel is one of his later works. Her first novel was published in 1934, during the golden period.

However, she lived until the 1980s and continued to write in the same way throughout her life.  

Additionally, Roderick Alleyn, her typical Scotland Yard detective, gets lured into a country house murder case after someone goes missing from a house party in this one from 1972.  

However, there add to the intrigue, many of the servants at this residence are convicted killers who have completed their sentences and been released.

Is this altruism or deception? The reader must make a decision! 

8. The Corpse in the Snowman by Nicholas Blake

The corpse in the snowman is also one of the best Christmas mystery books. The Corpse in The Snowman is a classic murder mystery set in 1941.

Read:  23 Best Christmas Cartoon Movies for the Family

It has upper-class hijinks and a wintery backdrop that could be used as a model for writing one.  

It’s one of the more severe titles on the list, and it takes itself a little more seriously than some of the others.

However, the star of Blake’s mystery series, Nigel Strangways, is visiting a country home only to discover that the house is strange indeed.  

Additionally, there are spirits, possessions, and Elizabeth Restorick’s unusual behavior. When she is found hanging in her room, Nigel is left to figure out what is happening in the strange mansion. 

9. The Twelve Death of Christmas by Marian Babson

At Maude Daneson’s cozy rooming house, the holiday season is in full swing. Everyone counts down the days until Christmas, and Maude is preoccupied with preparing a lavish holiday feast.  

However, as if it were some wicked and twisted advent calendar, bodies begin to pile up.

While the police search for leads, a murderer haunts the corridors of Maude’s building. And one specific death shatters the holiday spirit of all the lodgers. 

10. The 19th Christmas by James Patterson

The 19th Christmas is one of the best Christmas mystery books to read. This Christmas, the sleigh bells aren’t ringing.

Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends in the Women’s Murder Club have a lot to be thankful for as the holidays approach.

However, the number of crimes has decreased. It’s silent at the medical examiner’s office. Even the courts are getting into the holiday mood.

Additionally, because the news cycle is so slow, journalist Cindy Thomas is assigned to tell a story on San Francisco’s underlying meaning of the season. 

11. Mystery In White: A Christmas Story by J.Jefferson Farjeon

This is a novel that was first published in 1938 and was recently reissued by the British Library’s Crime Classics imprint, where it became an unexpected bestseller when it was re-released in 2014. 

I like it because of the opening setup. On Christmas Eve, a group of strangers rides home in the same train carriage when it becomes stranded in a snowdrift.  

However, they are compelled to pool their resources and make a nighttime walk out into the snow. The gang discovers a nearby house with the door ajar, fire lit.

And also a tea on the table as though the company was anticipated, but no one is present. From then, a dark mystery unfolds! 

12. The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips

The Ice Harvest is one of the best Christmas mystery books.  If you’re looking for a Christmas mystery with a bit of extra bite, The Ice Harvest is the book for you.  

Scott Phillips is writing about the murky underworld in Witchita, Kansas. And the lawyer who will flee with a case full of stolen money, far from the golden age backdrop of many of the articles here.  

Read:  19 Books Like Making Bombs

Furthermore, Charlie Arglist is preparing to escape town on Christmas Eve, 1979. He’s on a tour of the sites he used to frequent, paying a visit to his ex-wife, traversing the freezing streets, and stopping by strip joints and bars.  

However, a few people might try to stop him, and getting out of town won’t be easy. Give The Ice Harvest a try if you’re looking for a sad, darkly hilarious story for Christmas. 

13. Reat You Merry by Charlotte Macleod

Professor Peter Shandy of the Balaclava Agricultural College isn’t known for his Christmas happiness.

Furthermore, he has a trollish holiday plan this year, though: he’s equipped his house with a megawatt display of flashing lights and screaming music to drive his neighbors insane.  

Additionally, the happy atmosphere turns sour when the gardener leaves town—and the librarian ends up dead in Shandy’s living room. 

14. Winter In Paradise by Elin Hildebrand

Winter in Paradise is one of the best Christmas mystery books of all time. Escape to the Caribbean with 1 Fresh York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand to learn about a husband’s secret existence and a wife’s new beginning.  

Irene Steele lives in a gorgeous Victorian mansion in Iowa City with a husband who loves her to sky-writing, ideological extremes.

But, on a cold and snowy New Year’s Eve, all she thought she knew was shattered by a terrible phone call.

Her loving husband, who was out on business, had been murdered in a helicopter crash

15. Envious Casca by Georgette Heyer

This is a true golden-age classic, first published in 1941, with a traditional country house setting and a festive house party that turns tragic when a murder occurs.  

Furthermore, Heyer is better known for her historical and romantic novels today. But she published twelve detective novels beginning in 1932 that deserve to be read more widely. 

In case the “envious Casca” passage from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is off-putting to the modern reader. It’s also been reissued under the title A Christmas Party. 

16. Red Christmas by Reginald Hill

Red Christmas is one of the best Christmas mystery movies you should read.

This is a true golden-age classic, first published in 1941, with a traditional country house setting and a festive house party that turns tragic when a murder occurs.  

Furthermore, Heyer is better known for her historical and romantic novels today. But she published twelve detective novels beginning in 1932 that deserve to be read more widely.  

Additionally, If the “envious Casca” passage from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is off-putting to the modern reader, it’s also been reissued under the title A Christmas Party. 

17. The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark

Alvirah Meehan, the lottery winner, turned amateur sleuth teams up with private investigator Regan Reilly. They search down the majestic ninety-foot tree that has been kidnapped on its route to Rockefeller Center for the holidays. 

Total
7
Shares

Like This Post? Let's Have a Discussion Then!