The schools have broken up, offices are starting to wind down and although I’m only midway through my run of nights, it really is starting to feel a lot like Christmas. So if you’re already in full-on festive mode, here are some Christmassy reading suggestions for you. All my links in this are to the Kindle editions – partly because there are so many e-specials in here, but also because it’s so close to Christmas now you’re probably not going to be able to get the actual book in the post in time.
As with every year there is a healthy crop of new festive novellas about. In the main, I think they mostly work for people who are already fans, rather than people who are new to the author, but if you’re a fan of Katie Fforde, you can check in with some old friends in Candlelight at Christmas, or with the characters from Cathy Bramley‘s Plumberry School of Comfort Food in Comfort and Joy. Alex Brown returns to Tindledale to write a emotional story about finding a new love in Not Just for Christmas. Liz Fenwick has written a Christmas Carol-inspired novella, A Cornish Christmas Carol, for those of you who want to see a Scrooge converted. And there are short stories from Jennifer Crusie, Donna Alward and Mandy Baxter in It Must Be Christmas – I liked the Crusie the best, but be warned it’s been previously published (I discovered I’d already read it) and I think it’s a little expensive (over a fiver at time of writing) for what it is as I thought the other two stories each had a problem or two with them.
I reviewed Sarah Morgan‘s Christmas novel Miracle on Fifth Avenue for Novelicious – it’s wonderfully Christmassy even if it’s not quite grovelly enough in the resolution for me. Morgan writes excellent Christmas stories – I read the first book in her Snow Crystal trilogy, Sleigh Bells in the Snow, a couple of weeks back and that’s great as well. I’m currently trying to resist the urge to buy the other two in the series. It’s not new, but I read Tessa Dare‘s Spindle Cove fill in Once Upon A Winter’s Eve this year – and whilst I took an early dislike of the hero and didn’t think it was long enough for him to be able to redeem himself fully, I know that other people have loved it. I’ve also read the last in Sabrina Jeffries‘s Hellions of Halstead Hall series this year, ‘Twas the Night after Christmas, which is actually mostly set in the run up to Christmas. I found the characters a bit stubborn and the central plot device is a bit melodramatic and overblown, but other people ha
There’s also no shortage of Christmas books in the series that I follow and I’ve read quite a few of them this year. The latest in Robin Stevens‘ Wells and Wong series , Mistletoe and Murder is a Christmas one – as I’ve already mentioned in a BotW post and you’d be fine starting the series there if you really wanted to. And I think Donna Andrew‘s Duck the Halls would be fine for someone to read if they haven’t read the other 15 Meg Langslow books – although you’d be missing the background to Meg’s eccentric extended family so she might come across as barking mad. I’m behind in the series (because I collect them in papberback but wait for the secondhand prices to come down because of the backlog) so there’s another Christmas-y Meg after this one, The Nightingale Before Christmas as well as an earlier festive one, Six Geese Are Slaying. Alan Bradley‘s fourth Flavia de Luce novel is set at Christmastime. In I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Flavia is cooking up a trap for St Nick but a film crew is snowed in at Buckshaw and a murder is committed. The fifth in Kerry Greenwood‘s Corinna Chapman series, Forbidden Fruit, is a Christmas book – but it’s Christmas in Australia which makes a lovely change from snow scenes and roaring fires. It also has recipes at the back, which is always a bonus – and one of things I like about Trisha Ashley‘s books. I’ve mentioned her a fair bit here before – but she has some fabulous Christmas books – particularly my favourite A Winter’s Tale, which I usually re-read at this time of year.
Some of the series have Christmas fill-in novellas too – in Jodi Taylor‘s Chronicles of St Mary’s series When A Child is Born sees Max and the gang in England for Christmas 1066 and all does not go as planned (but then when does it ever?) and A Christmas Present had me in tears twice as Max goes back in time to avert a double tragedy. this year I’ve also enjoyed Silent Night and Twelth Night, the two Christmas fill-ins in Deanna Raybourn‘s Lady Julia Grey series but much as I love her, I really do think you need to have read the other books to be able to get the best out of them.
This is a real monster list (much longer than I thought it would be when I started writing it) and I hope this has provided plenty of Christmas-y reading for you – but if this is still not enough, here’s last year’s Christmas-themed reading post with some more suggestions.