Cozy Up with Intrigue: Top Festive Mystery Reads for a Chilling Holiday Season!

If you’re looking to balance the sweetness of the holiday season with a bit of intrigue, consider indulging in a holiday-themed cosy mystery. These books offer just the right mix of suspense and lightheartedness, ensuring you won’t be too scared, but you might find yourself staying up late to see how the mystery unravels. The holiday season is an ideal time to immerse yourself in a gripping murder mystery, particularly those set against a Christmassy backdrop. Picture quaint villages where anyone could be the culprit, astute sleuths uncovering evidence, and extravagant celebrations in grand estates suddenly overshadowed by an unexpected crime.

For those who enjoy a time-honoured detective story or are searching for a recent hit, we’ve curated a list of the finest festive, cosy mysteries.

“Murder at Holly House” by Denzil Meyrick

Top Festive Mystery Reads for a Chilling Holiday Season

In the frosty December of 1952, the tranquil village of Elderby is jolted awake by the discovery of a stranger’s lifeless body. Inspector Frank Grasby takes charge of the case, but he finds himself entangled in another enigma—the murder of the local doctor’s husband.

As a relentless blizzard seals off Elderby from the outside world, Grasby races against time to unearth the well-guarded secrets concealed within this close-knit community. This festive ‘whodunnit’ promises a tapestry of unexpected twists and a heartwarming ambience that captivates readers.

“The Christmas Appeal” by Janice Hallett

Top Festive Mystery Reads for a Chilling Holiday Season

Christmas is in the air in Lower Lockwood, and an amateur dramatics group is feverishly preparing for their pantomime. Yet, behind the scenes, chaos reigns, and the festivities take a sad turn with the discovery of a lifeless body.

It falls upon lawyers Femi and Charlotte to sift through round robins, emails, and police transcripts to unmask the responsible party. However, suspicion hangs over everyone in this quaint town like a shroud.

“The Murder Game” by Tom Hindle

the murder game book

New Year’s Eve at Hamlet Hall gathers nine guests for a 1920s-themed murder mystery party. But before the merriment commences, one of the participants is found dead, setting the stage for a night of intrigue. Each guest harbours a motive for eliminating the victim, a notorious business person, and old rivalries resurface.

This murder mystery, set against a New Year’s Eve backdrop, will certainly beckon to fans of Agatha Christie’s intricate tales.

“Murder Most Festive” by Ada Moncrieff

Murder Most Festive book


On Christmas Eve of 1938, the affluent Westbury family and their friends convene at their country estate for a joyous celebration. Yet, the dawn of Christmas day reveals a lifeless body beside a pistol, accompanied by a solitary set of footprints. The duty of unravelling this enigma falls upon amateur detective Hugh Gaveston.

Ada Moncrieff has crafted a reputation for crafting cosy Christmas crime novels. For those captivated by “Murder Most Festive,” her other works like “Murder at the Theatre Royale” and “Murder at Maybridge Castle” are recommended reads.

“Murder for Christmas” by Francis Duncan

murder for Christmas book


For connoisseurs of classic Christmas crime novels, “Murder for Christmas” by Francis Duncan is a timeless gem. Initially published in 1950, it offers an ageless tale brimming with intrigue.

Mordecai Tremaine arrives at a country manor on Christmas Eve, where festivities are in full swing. However, as the clock strikes midnight, the guests stumble upon a lifeless body beneath the Christmas tree—a victim bearing a striking resemblance to Father Christmas. Now, Mordecai must embark on an investigation to prevent another murder and restore the holiday spirit.

“Mistletoe and Murder” by Robin Stevens

Mistletoe and Murder book


Robin Stevens’ Christmas murder mystery is a literary treat for younger readers. It introduces the detective duo of Daisy and Hazel, who find themselves entangled in a murder mystery while spending the holidays in Cambridge just two days before Christmas.

These youthful detectives are determined to crack the case, but obstacles abound in the form of uncooperative adults and a rival detective agency. To unveil the killer’s identity before Christmas, they must employ all their wits and cunning.

“Murder in the Snow” by Gladys Mitchell

Top Festive Mystery Reads for a Chilling Holiday Season


This classic Christmas crime novel showcases an amateur sleuth whose skills rival Miss Marple’s. The astute detective, Mrs Bradley, plans to spend her holidays at her nephew’s picturesque Cotswolds residence. However, when local villagers receive menacing letters and lifeless body surfaces, her festive plans take an abrupt detour as she plunges into the heart of a gripping murder investigation.

“The Christmas Jigsaw Murders” by Alexandra Benedict

Top Festive Mystery Reads for a Chilling Holiday Season


On the 19th of December, renowned puzzle setter Edie O’Sullivan encounters a jigsaw puzzle on her doorstep accompanied by a chilling message: ‘Four, maybe more, people will be dead by midnight on Christmas Eve unless you can piece together all the clues and stop me.’ Edie, joined by her nephew, embarks on a journey to assemble the puzzle’s fragments.

But when a murder victim is discovered clutching a jigsaw piece, they realize they are in a race against time. This intricately woven mystery promises a complex, well-plotted narrative that will keep readers guessing until the final reveal.

You’ll discover the perfect blend of holiday sweetness and intriguing suspense in these festive, cosy mysteries. Dive into the Christmassy backdrop of quaint villages, astute sleuths, and unexpected crimes. Whether you crave a classic detective tale or a recent hit, our curated list promises the ideal holiday reading experience. Get ready to stay up late as the mysteries unravel!

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