10 Must-Read Christmas Crime Stories To End A Dramatic 2020!

Hanima Anand |Dec 24, 2020

Let’s say goodbye to cliché Christmas romance and turn to thrilling crime stories for the holiday season by famous authors in the world! Check top 10 must-read books here!

When everyone just talks about swooning movies for Christmas time, we know what a true bookworm craves for. Let Starbiz introduce to you top 10 Christmas crime stories by legendary detective authors, ranging from Agatha Christie to Dashiell Hammett.

Christmas Crime Stories
For such a year as 2020, these Christmas crime stories end it perfectly.

1 – The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories (PD James)

This is one of our favorite recent books of crime stories. PD James is no stranger to detective fans. Her name is associated with the signature character Adam Dalgliesh who appears in 14 mystery novels by this talented writer.

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories is a collection of four short stories James wrote for magazine publication in previous Christmas seasons. If you are looking for a nerdy gift for your bookworm friend, this book will also be a great idea.

The Mistletoe Murder And Other Stories
A perfect gift for fans of crime fiction this Christmas

2 – A Fatal Grace (Louise Penny)

Louise Penny is another popular female writer of the mystery genre. The Canadian author has won many awards for her work, namely 5 times the Agatha Award for the best mystery novel of the year. Her books are also translated into 23 languages for overseas publication.

A Fatal Grace By Louise Penny
Penny is an author of awards, don't ever miss her works.

A Fatal Grace is the second of Three Pines Mysteries series, featuring Inspector Armand Gamache. It’s first published as Dead Cold in Penny’s home country. This novel brought the very first Agatha Award to Louise Penny, so you can be rest assured about its content quality.

3 – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson)

Being both a journalist and a writer, Stieg Larsson has the ability to make his fictional stories so much authentic. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is among his most distinguished works, which gained him the title of second-best-selling fiction author in the world in 2008. His other book named The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest is also the bestseller in the US in 2010.

That is to say, this 2005 publication by Stieg Larsson can’t be left out this Christmas season.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo By Stieg Larsson
The name of this novel itself evokes curiosity and mystery.

4 – Money, Money, Money (Ed McBain)

Ed McBain was not his first name to start his career as a crime fiction author. He used to adopt many pseudonyms in his writing, such as Evan Hunter, John Abbott, Hunt Collins, Richard Marsten among many others. However, Ed McBain might be the most memorable one which is associated with Cop Hater novel in 1956.

Money Money Money By Ed Mcbain
Is money the driving force behind the mystery case? The only way to know is to read it.

Time flies but McBain’s work for Christmas Money, Money, Money remains sharp and vigorous. His vivid description plus a bit of humor keeps the work balanced. Reading this crime story, you are not scared but thrilled, not annoyed but entertained for sure.

5 – The Ice Harvest (Scott Phillips)

Scott Phillips is an American household name in the genre of noir crime fiction. The Ice Harvest is his first novel, published in 2000. It bagged him a number of nominations at Edgar Award and Hammett Prize. It also won the California Book Award in the same year.

The Ice Harvest By Scott Phillips
The novel is also transformed into a screen work.

So successful was this book that it has been adapted to a movie of the same name in 2005. When reading The Ice Harvest, don’t expect you will find something cozy for Christmas as it’s dark, sleazy but very funny on its side.

6 – The Long Shadow (Celia Fremlin)

Celia Fremlin could be called a progressive writer of her time when introducing supernatural elements into her domestic thrillers. Her most remarkable work The Hours Before Dawn won the Edgar Award but many people just remember her name as an advocate of assisted suicide. One of her book on this problem, A Guide to Self Deliverance, received harsh criticism from the public.

The Long Shadow By Celia Fremlin
It's a different Christmas with this Fremlin's novel.

However, Celia Fremlin had many valuable works that one should read again and again. The Long Shadow is a case in point during this holiday season. Still in domestic settings as her typical style, The Long Shadow shows Fremlin’s poignant observations of the family intricacies. Despite the sad ending, the novel is a perfect read for Christmas.

7 – An English Murder (Cyril Hare)

An English Murder is one of the three most notable works by Cyril Hare, an English judge, and crime author. The novel features a smooth transition between the Golden Age murder mystery and the post-war realistic style.

An English Murder By Cyril Hare
The classic crime novel by Cyril Hare

When An English Murder was republished 3 years ago, both renowned critics from The Guardian and The Sunday Times named it among the best crime novels of 2017. You are wasting your Christmas time if you haven’t got this publication yet!

8 – The Corpse in the Snowman (Nicholas Blake)

Nicholas Blake might not ring a bell to some people but C. Day-Lewis definitely will. In fact, The Corpse in the Snowman is among a few outstanding works of Lewis in the mystery genre. He is more known as a poet during his time.

The Corpse In The Snowman By Nicholas Blake
Let's compete with your friend to solve Blake's mystery case!

As its name suggests, the novel revolves around a dead body hidden in the snowman in a country setting. There are also some sinister guests and an amateur detective who try to solve the Christmas question. This holiday, let’s share some time with your friend and guess who is behind the corpse in the snowman by Nicholas Blake.

9 – Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Agatha Christie)

No prize for guessing, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas is the top must-read for even beginners. Classic as it seems to be, the novel by talented Agatha brings you another myth or clue every time you read it.

Hercule Poirots Christmas By Agatha Christie
There's so much Christmas vibe in this book.

Also, the final chapters of Christie’s novels always contain surprise elements, just wait for it.

10 – The Thin Man (Dashiell Hammett)

Here comes the last recommendation for your Christmas read this year. As 2002 is stuffed with dramatic events, a novel from such a hard-boiled detective author as Dashiell will be an ideal suggestion.

The Thin Man By Dashiell Hammett
This is the last novel Dashiell published in his life.

In fact, Hammet only wrote one The Thin Man in 1934, but it inspired a six-part film series on NBC during 1934-1959. Another fact that made this book so special is that it’s Hammett’s very last published novel though he lived till 1961.

If you are a fan of crime stories, The Thin Man should be among the first books you buy.

>>> Related post: The Disappearance Of Agatha Christie In 1926 Is More Mysterious Than All Detective Books She Wrote


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