Pour a cup of coffee or tea, make a plate of your favorite Christmas cookies, and relax with a light cozy mystery. Our selections this month take you from New England to Old England and introduce you to unforgettable characters who must juggle holiday preparations while tracking down the bad guy.
by Cleo Coyle
Clare Cosi, manager of the popular New York coffeehouse the Village Blend, is excited to be the chief of coffee at a major charity event featuring the best cookies from the best city bakers. But when a serial killer starts offing pastry chefs, her joy turns to fear. Although her policeman boyfriend has some theories, Clare decides to look over the clues herself. Will the “Christmas Stalkings” end before Clare becomes the next victim? Holiday Buzz is the 12th installment in Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse series, and latte-loving mystery readers will delight in this delicious holiday cozy. The book includes some of Clare’s favorite recipes.
The Clue is in the Pudding
by Kate Kingsbury
Everyone at the Pennyfoot Hotel is feeling the pressure of the holidays. So owner Cecily Sinclair Baxter hires a temporary housekeeper to shoulder some of the burden. Unfortunately, Beatrice is argumentative and gets on the bad side of everyone, including London stage star Archibald Armitage. When the actor dies after eating a plum pudding, all eyes turn to Beatrice. But the more Cecily looks into the case, the more complicated it becomes. The eighth entry in the Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries, The Clue is in the Pudding by Kate Kingsbury will enchant both returning fans and new readers. The zany staff offers comic relief in this tricky mystery.
The Snow White Christmas Cookie
by David Handler
Between shoplifters and blizzards, trooper Desiree Mitry has a lot going on this Christmas season. When mail is reported stolen from the historic district of Dorset, Connecticut, Des is on the case. As she gets more involved in the federal investigation, she begins to see ties to a murder and to prescription drug fraud. Things really heat up after she realizes her sweetheart may be inadvertently mixed up in the mess. The Snow White Christmas is the ninth book in the Berger and Mitry Mystery series by David Handler. This chilling cozy is warmed by Desiree’s unlikely romance with her film-critic boyfriend.
Eleven Pipers Piping
by C. C. Benison
In snowy England, vicar Tom Christmas gears himself up to attend the village’s holiday festivities, which include the annual Robert Burns dinner, complete with bagpipes and haggis. As the snow falls, the revelers stay merry thanks to drams of whiskey, until the one of the pipers is found dead of an apparent heart attack. When village gossip turns nasty, Father Tom and his housekeeper take a deeper interest in the death and begin to look for a killer. Cozy lovers won’t want to miss C. C. Benison’s second Father Christmas novel, Elven Pipers Piping, with its quirky characters and enchanting village ambience.
The Twelve Clues of Christmas
by Rhys Bowen
In the early 1930s, Lady Georgiana Rannoch is not looking forward to a dreary Christmas with her family. Fortunately, she has an out: all she has to do is brush up on her royalness (she’s 35th in line for the British throne) and co-host a Christmas party. The little town is decked out in Victorian splendor, and everything looks bright… until guests start turning up dead. Is it a Christmas curse or can Georgiana follow the evidence to find a serial killer? Curl up with The Twelve Clues of Christmas, the sixth in Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness Mysteries, and get lost in this charming historical cozy.