10 Crime Novels to Read This Christmas

1. The Dead of Winter by S.J. Parris

The Secret Dead
Summer 1556. A girl’s body is found in a Neapolitan monastery. Novice monk Giordano Bruno is determined to uncover what happened, but his investigation could deliver him into the hands of the Inquisition.

The Academy of Secrets
Autumn 1568. An invitation arrives for Giordano Bruno from a secret society of philosophers. Bruno is delighted, but keeping their heretical secrets soon becomes a matter of life or death.

A Christmas Requiem
Winter 1569. Giordano Bruno is summoned by the Pope, who is intrigued by his talent for memory games. But Rome is a den of iniquity, and Bruno will be lucky to escape the Eternal City alive.

2. The Chalet by Catherine Cooper

Four friends. One luxury getaway. The perfect murder.

French Alps, 1998

Two young men ski into a blizzard… but only one returns.

20 years later

Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting.

Someone knows what really happened that day.

And somebody will pay.

3. The American Boy by Andrew Taylor

Murder, lies and betrayal in Regency England

England 1819. Thomas Shield, a master at a school just outside London, is tutor to a young American boy and the child’s sensitive best friend, Charles Frant. Helplessly drawn to Frant’s beautiful, unhappy mother, Shield becomes entwined in their family’s affairs.

When a brutal murder takes place in London’s seedy backstreets, all clues lead to the Frant family, and Shield is tangled in a web of lies, money, sex and death that threatens to tear his new life apart.

Soon, it emerges that at the heart of these macabre events lies the strange American boy. What secrets is the young Edgar Allan Poe hiding?

4. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a scream…

Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed.

But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man…

5. The Ice Princess by Camilla by Läckberg

A small town can hide many secrets

Returning to her hometown after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice-cold bath, it seems like she’s taken her own life.

Meanwhile, local detective Patrik Hedström is following his own suspicions about the case. It’s only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about a small town with a deeply disturbing past…

The gripping psychological thriller debut of No 1 bestselling Swedish crime sensation Camilla Läckberg.

6. The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

One of Sarah’s daughters died. But can she be sure which one?

A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity – that she, in fact, is Lydia – their world comes crashing down once again

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past – what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?

7. Unquiet Spirits (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure) by Bonnie MacBird

The new novel from the author of Art in the Blood. December 1889. Fresh from debunking a “ghostly” hound in Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes has returned to London, only to find himself the target of a deadly vendetta.

A beautiful client arrives with a tale of ghosts, kidnapping and dynamite on a whisky estate in Scotland, but brother Mycroft trumps all with an urgent assignment in the South of France.

On the fabled Riviera, Holmes and Watson encounter treachery, explosions, rival French Detective Jean Vidocq… and a terrible discovery. This propels the duo northward to the snowy highlands. There, in a “haunted” castle and among the copper dinosaurs of a great whisky distillery, they and their young client face mortal danger, and Holmes realizes all three cases have blended into a single, deadly conundrum.

In order to solve the mystery, the ultimate rational thinker must confront a ghost from his own past. But Sherlock Holmes does not believe in ghosts…or does he?

8. The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

NEW YEAR. OLD FRIENDS.
IT’S A PARTY TO DIE FOR…

New Year, the Loch Corrin Estate: in a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather.

The beautiful one
The golden couple
The volatile one
The new parents
The quiet one
The city boy
The outsider

The victim.

Not an accident – a murder among friends.

9. Twelve Days of Winter by Stuart MacBride

A collection of interlinked tales of crime and retribution laced with dark humour, set around the festive season – from the No. 1 bestseller Stuart MacBride

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Twelve days, twelve stories.

Meet Fat Billy Partridge, possibly the worst cat-burglar ever; newbie drug-dealer Brian, who probably shouldn’t be taking advantage of the job’s fringe benefits; Philippe, a chef with anger-management issues and lots of very sharp knives; Mr Unwin, the undertaker with the golden touch; and Lord Peter Forsyth-Leven, MSP, learning the hard way that having it all means you’ve got so much more to lose…

Thieves, drug dealers, lap-dancers, gangsters and even the odd good guy populate these twelve interlinked tales of crime and retribution set around the festive season.

10. Distant Echo by Val McDermid

Some things just won’t let go.
The past, for instance.
That night in the cemetery.
The girl’s body in the snow.

On a freezing Fife morning four drunken students stumble upon the body of a woman in the snow. Rosie has been raped, stabbed and left for dead in an ancient Pictish cemetery. And the only suspects are the four young men now stained with her blood.

Twenty-five years later the police mount a ‘cold case’ review of Rosie’s unsolved murder and the four are still suspects. But when two of them die in suspicious circumstances, it seems that someone is pursuing their own brand of justice. For the remaining two there is only one way to avoid becoming the next victim – find out who really killed Rosie all those years ago…

The past is behind them, but what’s still to come will tear them apart…

The award-winning Number One bestseller from the Queen of crime fiction Val McDermid carves out a stunning psychological thriller.

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