Christmas murder mysteries are popular for a reason—they tap into the suspense and excitement that many of us feel during the holiday season. Wintry weather provides the perfect backdrop for these stories, from classic country-house plots to modern whodunits set in small businesses. And because Christmas is such a hectic time of year, it's easy to miss important clues that could solve the case. December can be a hectic time for everyone, with families getting together, holiday travel, and Christmas parties or events. This makes it the perfect setting for a murder mystery.
Get into the holiday spirit by solving fiendish mysteries in these Christmas crime novels and short story collections.
HERCULE POIROT’S CHRISTMAS BY AGATHA CHRISTIE
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas offers readers an enjoyable escape with its locked door mystery, rich stately home setting, and hateable cast of characters that will keep you guessing until the end. In the book, Poirot is staying with a highly dysfunctional family in the countryside when patriarch Simeon Lee is suddenly murdered. Everyone appears to have had a motive for killing him but no one seems to have had the opportunity—that is until Poirot gets involved and starts piecing together clues to solve the murders.
A MISTLETOE MURDER BY NECOLE RYSE
A Christmas romcom with a murderous twist, A Mistletoe Murder is the story of recently-divorced Ashton and mischievous Mikayla, who are thrown together when their Christmas train journey is interrupted by a murder. When Mikayla is accused, the two must work together — and realize their new feelings for each other — before the killer strikes again.
BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE BY ABBY L. VANDIVER
There's nothing quite like snuggling up with a good mystery during the colder months, and this book is the perfect candidate. Brigitt VanBuren is trying to get her event-planning business off the ground in time for Christmas when she stumbles upon a body in her new home's basement. To make matters worse, Brigitt's sister is the prime suspect—so she'll have to clear her name or risk being estranged from her family during the holidays.
THE MISTLETOE MURDER AND OTHER STORIES BY P. D. JAMES
P. D. James was a highly experienced crime writer, and The Mistletoe Murder is a compilation of four Christmas murder mystery stories that she wrote for various magazines. Of the four tales, two are standalones while the other two include her famous detective Dalgliesh-- meaning readers new to her work will enjoy this book just as much as those familiar with James' writing style.
CHRISTMAS IS MURDER BY VAL MCDERMID
Looking for something a little different to read this Christmas? Try Christmas is Murder, a collection of short mystery stories from leading crime author Val McDermid. Full of sinister tales with macabre or murderous twists, it's guaranteed to send a chill down your spine – perfect for curling up with on a cold winter's night.
THE CORPSE IN THE SNOWMAN BY NICHOLAS BLAKE
If you want to learn how to write a classic murder mystery, The Corpse In The Snowman is your guidebook. Set in 1941 with an upper-class cast of characters and a wintery setting, this book shows you how it's done. Just be warned that it isn't as cozy as some of the other titles on this list and takes itself a little more seriously.
See a Live Holiday Murder Mystery
The Murder Mystery Dinner train in Fort Myers has a Christmas-themed show, Nutcracker's Final Curtain. Take a break from the mundane and ride the rails with us–the three-hour journey comes complete with exquisite cuisine, themed drinks, family fun, and of course, solving a live murder mystery. Book your seats now to take part in all the excitement!