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Christmas Mysteries: The Best Cozy Seasonal Books

Updated on December 15, 2012

Top Ten Christmas Mysteries

Do you love a little murder set in the holiday season? I do. Try one of these mysteries to round out your holiday experience. Or tuck one into the stocking of a mystery fan. Fans of the cozy mystery can find seasonal novels from favorite mystery authors ranging from Nancy Atherton to Valerie Wolzien (with a little Mary Higgins Clark thrown in for good measure). Check out these seasonal murder mysteries for some holiday reading. Maybe you've never thought of murder and mistletoe as natural companions, but to the true mystery lover, a good cozy murder just adds some holiday spice to the season!

Top 10 Favorite Christmas Mysteries - Featuring Series Characters

Honestly there are twelve here, but I couldn't decide on just ten. And even so I've left out many other great Christmas mysteries. All feature characters in series books that I love anyway, but have the added bonus of seasonal mayhem thrown in. The books that follow are in no particular order, but there are a couple there that are fairly recent (try Margaret Maron's "Christmas Mourning" to see what Deborah Knott is up to lately). I also highly recommend Valerie Wolzien's books. Her books don't seem to be as well known as some of the other mystery series, but I love her characters. She actually has several books (from two different series) that are set in the Christmas season, but, alas, there wasn't room to include them all here. Any of these are great for the fan of the cozy mystery.

  • Merry, Merry Ghost by Carolyn Hart

    The Body in the Sleigh by Katherine Hall Page

    Aunt Dimity's Christmas by Nancy Atherton

    Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed by Mignon F. Ballard

    A Highland Christmas by M. C. Beaton

    Jingle Bell Bark by Laurien Berenson

    Rituals of the Season by Margaret Maron

    Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron

    Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod

    Christmas Cookie Murder by Leslie Meier

    Mail Order Murder by Leslie Meier

    'Tis the Season to Be Murdered by: Valerie Wolzien

Merry Little Christmas Murders

These are Christmas volumes of some of my favorite series characters.

Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clarks

Mary Higgins Clark is a best-selling suspense novelist. She has written (or co-written) a total of 7 Christmas themed books. With daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, she co-writes the Regan Reilly series and has successfully collaborated on several Christmas offerings. The following are all suspenseful Christmas themed novels that feature the combination of heartwarming characters with engaging plots and endings suitable for the Christmas season. I have read and enjoyed each of these.

  • Silent Night

    All Through the Night

    The following were collaboratively written with daughter Mary Higgins Clark:

    Deck the Halls (2000)

    He Sees You When You're Sleeping (2001)

    The Christmas Thief (2005)

    Santa Cruise (2006)

    Dashing Through the Snow (2008)

Joanne Fluke--Candy Cane Murder - A Favorite Christmas Mystery Collection

I've recently become a Joanne Fluke fan. If you haven't tried her Hannah Swensen mysteries you are missing a treat in more ways than one. Her heroine is the proprietor of a cookie shop, so not only do you get great mysteries, but a fabulous collection of recipes in every book. Also, unlike many of the recipes I find in mysteries, these are practical and delicious. (I've probably gained five pounds trying out my favorites). I think you'll love Joanne Fluke and her character, Hannah Swensen. This collection actually combines Fluke's Candy Cane Murder with two over novellas, one by Laura Levine and one by Leslie Meier. I particularly liked Meier's book which gives the reader a look back at her character Lucy Stone's early days in Tinker's Cove. Fans of Leslie Meier will, I think, appreciate this. But it certainly would be a good introduction for anyone not familiar with Meier's books as well. Fans of cozy mysteries won't be disappointed with this three-in-one treat for Christmas.

Candy Cane Murder
Candy Cane Murder

This is a great book because it's actually a holiday collection with three candy cane themed books included in one. I couldn't put it down. This would make a great stocking stuffer (or a little treat for yourself).


More Christmas Mysteries - Try these links

Here are some fabulous sources to help you find new authors or old favorites who write Christmas mysteries.

Christmas Mysteries--Love them or hate them?

How often do you read Christmas mysteries?

See results

Do you have any favorite Christmas mysteries? I'd love to hear from you.

Reader Suggestions

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Joanne Fluke looks like a good read.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I love Christmas stories of all sorts.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great selection of books!

    • MamaRuth profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Ann Hinds: Hope you enjoy them! I've just started on my annual re-read of several of my favorite Christmas mysteries.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      7 years ago from So Cal

      Just thought I'd share that I just downloaded two of these books to my Kindle from this lens. On the way to the dentist with my kid. Guess what I'll be doing.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      7 years ago from So Cal

      I like series books and although I voted never in the poll for seasonal mysteries, I am going to check all of these out. Great list. Thanks for sharing these.

    • spartakct profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice collection!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      8 years ago from Central Florida

      I like reading seasonal fiction. Since it is March, I'm reading Irish titles right now. Thanks for the titles for future reading.


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