If you love Christmas books, you’ll love this post! I read a lot of Christmas-themed stories, so I thought I’d give you a few recommendations. My selection of Christmas books includes Nordic Noir, Cozy Mysteries, as well as Romances. If you’ve never read a seasonal novel, I hope I will persuade you to try one of these novels.
Hidden in Snow by Viveca Sten
Perhaps I shouldn’t have started with this novel, because it isn’t strictly set at Christmas. Instead, the story happens in the weeks approaching the holidays. It does, however, have a seasonal vibe, even if this is definitely a story classed as Nordic Noir.
More or less a police procedural, with a few personal tragedies thrown in, Hidden in Snow is written by one of my favorite Swedish authors, Viveca Sten. Hidden in Snow is the first novel in a series set in Åre, the Swedish ski resort where my book, The Christmas Heart, is also set. So I know the place well and can vouch for the authenticity of the local detail in this novel.
I read this book in three days, suffering from a cold, so I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I loved it so much that I began reading the sequel, Dalskuggan in its original Swedish. This book is not yet out in English, sadly.
The splendor of the Swedish mountains becomes the backdrop for a bone-chilling crime.
On the day Stockholm police officer Hanna Ahlander’s personal and professional lives crash, she takes refuge at her sister’s lodge in the Swedish ski resort paradise of Åre. But it’s a brief comfort. The entire village is shaken by the sudden vanishing of a local teenage girl. Hanna can’t help but investigate. While searching for the missing person, she lands a job with the local police department. There she joins forces with Detective Inspector Daniel Lindskog, who has been tasked with finding the girl. Their only lead: a scarf in the snow.
As subzero temperatures drop even further, a treacherous blizzard sweeps toward Åre. Hanna and Daniel’s investigation is getting more desperate by the hour. Lost or abducted, either way, time is running out for the missing girl. Each new clue closes in on something far more sinister than either Hanna or Daniel imagined. In this devious novel by the bestselling author of the Sandhamn Murders series, discover what it will take to solve a case when the truth can be so easily hidden in the coming storm.
Murder Before Evensong by Richard Coles
Richard Coles is a well-known TV personality with a career that started in pop music as a member of The Communards before he became a priest. He has written several books, but I believe this is his first foray into fiction.
When I saw Murder Before Evensong at my local bookshop, I wanted to read it immediately. Not only is the book Christmassy, but to me, the novel evokes the Father Brown stories by CK Chesterton, as well as the mysteries written by that other famous British Richard: Osman. If you love either of these writers, I know you’ll adore Murder Before Evensong.
Canon Daniel Clement is Rector of Champton. He has been there for eight years, living at the Rectory alongside his widowed mother – opinionated, fearless, ever-so-slightly annoying Audrey – and his two dachshunds, Cosmo and Hilda.
When Daniel announces a plan to install a lavatory in church, the parish is suddenly (and unexpectedly) divided: as lines are drawn, long-buried secrets come dangerously close to destroying the apparent calm of the village.
And then Anthony Bowness – cousin to Bernard de Floures, patron of Champton – is found dead at the back of the church, stabbed in the neck with a pair of secateurs.
As the police moves in and the bodies start piling up, Daniel is the only one who can try and keep his fractured community together… and catch a killer.
Murder in the Manger by Debbie Young
Debbie Young, an author friend, writes cozy mysteries set in a small English village in the Cotswolds. Murder in the Manger is the third (standalone) book in the Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series. If you love Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, you’ll adore these books.
When Sophie Sayers’ plans for a cozy English country Christmas are interrupted by the arrival of her ex-boyfriend, her troubles are only just beginning. Before long, the whole village stands accused of murder.
Damian says he’s come to direct the village Nativity play, but Sophie thinks he’s up to no good. What are those noises coming from his van? Who is the stranger lurking in the shadows? And whose baby, abandoned in the manger, disappears in plain sight?
Enjoy the fun of a traditional Cotswold festive season, as Sophie seeks a happy ending for her latest village mystery – and for her new romance with charming local bookseller Hector Munro.
The Amsterdam Affair by Kate Frost
Kate Frost is a hugely successful romance author whose stories are set in various European holiday destinations. The Amsterdam Affair is the fourth book in a standalone series of Romantic Escape novels that can be read in any order. They’re uplifting, heartwarming stories of love, romance, hope, new beginnings, and second chances featuring different characters in beautiful locations.
I love Kate’s stories. Especially during the pandemic, her novels were the perfect way to travel to various lovely locations without leaving home.
A new start, a chance encounter, a Christmas to remember. Will Iris’s new year be happy ever after?
When Iris Greene’s boyfriend surprises her with a romantic dinner at their favourite restaurant, she’s expecting a proposal, not a move to another country.
But Amsterdam proves to be the change she never knew she needed, and a surprise encounter with a local actor leads Iris to new friends and the rediscovery of a long lost passion. While Iris thrives in a city filled with festivity, her boyfriend struggles, and her heart is torn in two.
As snow falls and secrets are revealed, Iris must decide her future. Will she be brave enough to start over and take a chance on love?
The Christmas Postcards by Karen Swan
I’m also a huge fan of Karen Swan. I’ve read several of her novels, which always have a gripping storyline, often involving families and dysfunctional relationships. I haven’t yet read her latest story, The Christmas Postcards, but I am really looking forward to delving into this one!
The right words can change everything . . .
It had been a make-or-break holiday for their marriage, but Natasha and Rob’s rekindled romance is short-lived when their daughter’s beloved soft toy disappears on the journey home. As Natasha comforts her distraught child, she turns to social media for help. Miraculously, the toy is found, but it has become the lucky mascot of a man named Duffy, who is thousands of miles away trekking in Nepal.
When Duffy promises to keep Natasha updated with pictures, a correspondence begins that soon becomes more meaningful. Sometimes, Natasha feels this stranger halfway across the world understands her more than the man lying next to her.
But as the weeks pass and Duffy heads deeper into the mountains, Natasha notices a change in him. Then one day, the messages stop. Too late, Natasha wonders why he had ever needed a lucky mascot at all.
The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan
I have a real affinity with Jenny Colgan because she’s written many books set on remote islands, often in Scotland. I wonder why I feel this way. 😉 Her latest, The Christmas Bookshop, is set in Edinburgh, a city I absolutely adore.
Carmen has always worked in her local department store. So, when the gorgeous old building closes its doors for good, she is more than a little lost.
When her sister, Sofia, mentions an opportunity in Edinburgh – a cute little bookshop, the spare room in her house – Carmen is reluctant, she was never very good at accepting help. But, short on options, she soon finds herself pulling into the snowy city just a month before Christmas.
What Sofia didn’t say is that the shop is on its last legs and that if Carmen can’t help turn things around before Christmas, the owner will be forced to sell. Privately, Sofia is sure it will take more than a miracle to save the store, but maybe this Christmas, Carmen might surprise them all…
Three Christmas Stories Set in Scandinavia
Of course, you might also be interested in my seasonal titles. All three books are set at Christmastime in Scandinavia. They have lovely snowy settings, second-chance love affairs, and characters holding onto deeply buried secrets.
Just tap the image below to find out more on The Christmas Heart, An Island Christmas, or An Island Child.
I hope you like my list of Christmas books and choose to read some or all of them! If you’d like to get more book recommendations, and stories from my writing life, you can now sign up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll also get unbeatable book offers and you’ll be the first to know about new releases and even get exclusive sneak peeks into my forthcoming titles.