It’s holiday season and the windows of bookshops are filled with the latest bestsellers and perennial favorites. They’re nestled amongst scarlet poinsettias, silver and gold Christmas bells and pine wreaths the color of jade. Customers browse the shelves, trying to find the perfect read for family and friends.
The section playing host to mysteries is crowded as buyers read the front page, the blurbs at the back, study the cover, and try to make a decision—which whodunit is best for an elderly aunt—not the cozy type, what about the nephew who seems stuck on horror? The daughter, who has just turned fourteen and who suffers from her first major crush? The last is easy—a romantic mystery is right for her.
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Has the aunt read Hercule Poirot’s Christmas or the Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie or The Adventures of the Blue Carbuncle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? The latter would be found in a short story collection titled A Treasury of Sherlock Holmes. Does she remember O’Henry? His A Chaparral Christmas Gift is available as an audio-book at audible.com. A Classic Christmas Crime includes short stories by P.D. James, Peter Lovesey, Robert Barnard and Simon Brett among other authors. The Big book of Christmas Mysteries edited by Edgar Award Winner Otto Penzler offers the gift of Ed McBain, Colin Dexter, John D. MacDonald, Ellis Peters and a banquet of tales mysterious.
Then there’s the classic Silent Night by Mary Higgins Clark and O Little Town of Maggody and A Holly Jolly Murder by Joan Hess, and Jerusalem Inn written by Martha Grimes. Anne Perry’s A Christmas Hope and Shakespeare’s Christmas by Charlaine Harris.
The closest I’ve come to writing about the Holidays was a play I titled Ten Minutes to the Nativity. Have you written a mystery or romance that takes place during this special time of the year?