Crime thrillers for Christmas 2019

On the Radar — ‘Tis the season for a good round of murder and mystery if you’re a crime fiction lover. This week our news column is devoted to new crime novels set at Christmas time, and all five of them look like perfect stocking stuffers (even if you sneak them into your own stocking). Read on as we jingle our way through these yuletide killfests.

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Twelve Days by Paul Williams

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a murder mystery set in a remote location, would it? Let Paul Williams step into the breach with this book that’s out now. Ten people attend a reunion at a remote castle, organised by a preacher who once held them in his thrall in a Christian cult. One by one, the old friends are brutally murdered – but who is the killer? Rafe is there for one reason – to settle how he really feels about his childhood obsession, Suzanne. But as the men who all loved and fought over Suzanne are brought together again, a bitter rivalry reignites. Could Suzanne be the key to it all? More mysterious deaths feature in Cyril Hare’s An English Murder.
Buy now on Amazon

Let it Snow by Nigel Bird

It’s anything but a Silent Night in this not-so-festive offering from Scottish author Nigel Bird, out now. A police constable is murdered while trying to talk down a suicidal teenager, and his colleagues close ranks and will stop at nothing to catch the killer. Some are content to play things by the book, while others are prepared to bend and even break the rules to get results, but the murderer is about to strike again. Meanwhile, in the city zoo, a rhino is killed for its horn and in the centre of town there’s a daring robbery at a big department store. Add record snowfall into the mix and things are about to get very messy… Read our interview with Nigel Bird here.
Buy now on Amazon

Hold Your Tongue by Deborah Masson

There’s nothing very festive about the cover of this Scottish crime fiction debut, which is set in Aberdeen in the run up to Christmas and introduces DI Eve Hunter to the reading public. It’s out now for Kindle, with the paperback appearing on 26 December. There’s a serial killer on the loose, who leaves their victims with a scrap of newsprint pinned to their bloodstained clothes. The killer has been planning his spree for years, so can Hunter and her team catch them out before there’s a bloodbath? She is a woman with a dark past and plenty to prove – but is she really up to the task at hand? Aberdeen also features in Runaway by Claire MacLeary.
Buy now on Amazon

Killing Christmas by Bill Kitson

Christmas is shaping up as a complete washout for Detective Mike Nash, who has recently moved back to his native Yorkshire from London. First, a family perish in their home, the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning; then there’s a suspicious fire, the victims charred beyond recognition. Plus the bizarre murder of a drug addict. Oh, and then a scientist’s daughter vanishes. The only person having a merry old time this festive season is the perpetrator, who is happily leading the police on a wild goose chase. Nash came back home for a bit of peace, but there’s no chance until this madman is caught… This revised edition of a book first published as Altered Egos is out now. For more Yorkshire police officers feeling the pressure, try RC Bridgestock’s White Lilies.
Buy now on Amazon

A Mystery Before Christmas by Adriana Licio

Transport yourself to a little Italian village for a cosy crime novel that’s out now. When two strangers are stranded in Maratea, an elderly widow takes a particular interest in young Betta. She reminds Mrs De Blasi so much of her late son, who died when he was just a child himself. Surely it’s just an old woman’s whimsy? But then a string of strange coincidences pique the interest of travel writer Gio Brando too and she resolves to solve the mystery for herself. Meanwhile, a string of thefts targeting the town’s most wealthy residents has Brigadiere Paolo Rossi at his wit’s end. Like your crime with an Italian flavour? Try Marco Vichi’s Death in Florence.
Buy now on Amazon

Read about last week’s new crime releases here.

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