It has become a Christmas tradition almost as ingrained in our culture as decorating a tree, singing Christmas carols, admiring elaborate displays of colored lights, and burning sugar cookies; publishers release a host of mystery novels that add a criminally welcoming touch to the holidays.
The holidays are, in fact, a perfect setting for the traditional detective novel; While it is supposed to be a time of peace on earth and goodwill towards men, whenever a diverse group of people comes together, some ill will is sure to arise, and the fragile peace could be interrupted by the discovery of someone made in with a chandelier in the library.
For those who enjoy a bit of gentle crime at Christmas, here are five books by well-known writers who are amused by mayhem.
‘The gift of the magpie’
Andrews’ series character Meg Langslow is working for a local charity that does odd jobs for people during the holidays, when one of the recipients of this good deed turns up dead. Harry the Hoarder had long been the subject of rumors that burying with the rubbish he amassed was valuable, perhaps even murder worth committing.