Saturday, December 21, 2013

{merry christmas!}

Merry Christmas 
to all my fellow book-lovers! 

I hope you have a gorgeous & peaceful Christmas 
and that the New Year brings you 
all sorts of bookish wonderfulness. 

Incidentally, while looking for something Christmassy to read, I came across this list of Christmas Mystery Books at which gave me quite a few ideas. 

And, if you have an e-reader, there's a free Ruth Galloway Christmas short story ('Ruth's First Christmas Tree') by Elly Griffiths available at amazon (non-affiliate link). 

After loving Come Out of the Kitchen! by Alice Duer Miller (recommended at fleur in her world), I have decided to read The Burglar and the Blizzard (free at project gutenberg) as one of my Christmas-themed books. 


I also have W. Somerset Maugham's Christmas Holiday for back-up (Ali warns me it isn't really about Christmas); and someone (who was it?!) mentioned Georgette Heyer's Envious Casca as another possibility (but have I read it?). Or maybe, since I loved my first Robert Barnard book (here), I should go with his Death in a Cold Climate... What is it about Christmas and a good murder?

Do you like a Christmassy read? 
(And is 'Christmassy' really a word?)

Have a great holiday!


  1. I enjoy Envious Casca, though it has one of Heyer's more unhappy families. I meant to look for Alice Duer Miller's books after Jane's review - thanks for the reminder. Now I have two to download. A very happy Christmas! I hope it brings you some great books. I've bought myself a couple, just in case no one else does ;)

    1. I'm very rarely bought books, although this year my mother asked if I had a copy of 'How Tea Cosies Changed the World' (!!!), so I suspect that will be in my stocking! I hope you have an excellent, book-filled Christmas Lisa, and I'm glad to know that you are well prepared for any book emergencies!

  2. One of my book group very kindly gave me a book of Christmas stories that he'd been reading and thought I might like: The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gardner. I may have to eschew the crime novel I'm reading at the mo (since it's hardly very festive!) and pick it up. Though the fact he was quite happy to pass on a book he'd spent money on for me to keep I'm not entirely sure is singing its praises!

    1. This is the Sophie's World Gardner? It might be quite meaty, though I too wonder about the 'hey, you have it!' aspect. But it's Christmas, season for giving... (I say, optimistically! And a free book!). Thanks for dropping by, and have a fabulous, book-filled holiday.

  3. I love how you're reading books with a Christmas theme! One of my greatest joys last year was reading a little anthology of Christmas stories right around this time, but now I'm halfway through Book Two of A Game of Thrones and I can't put it down or I'll be really lost in all the characters' names! Merry Christmas! Love your accompanying picture for this post!

    1. Thanks for popping by, Bellezza. I've also discovered that the 4th Flavia de Luce book is a Xmas read, so that's on my list now too. I may soon have enough Christmas reads to do me until next Christmas! I'm terribly forgetful about characters' names in longer books - I really need some sort of chart.

  4. I do love a good Christmas read -- be it murder or humour! I hope your Christmas is a very, very happy one.

    1. Thank you Jeanie - all the best to you and your family. I hope that your day is merry and bright, and the New Year brings you many pleasures.

  5. Do you know I have never read any of Georgette Heyer's mysteries--though I have a number of them on hand. I love her Regencies and suspect I would find her mysteries equally as entertaining. Did you know she wrote them with the help of her husband? I was thinking that it would be fun to read something with a Christmas theme, but I've left it too long now and have plenty (ahem) to choose from already. And that's not counting the stack of 'soon to be reads' either.... Love your list, though, and I hope you get in many happy hours of reading with them! Have a really lovely holiday. Many thanks for all the comments which I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to! :)

    1. Thanks, Danielle - I did read her mysteries many, many years ago, before I read her Regencies. I have to say that I didn't warm to the mysteries, but I am hoping that as I have totally forgotten their plots and my tastes for vintage reads has expanded my palate, that I will enjoy this one. I wonder if anyone's done a 'read only Xmas books' challenge? It might be a bit masochistic! Have a lovely Christmas - and thanks for popping by.

  6. I love the 'Make this a Book Christmas' poster! Merry Christmas Vicki, and a Happy New Year!

    1. It's gorgeous - and so true! You have a wonderful day, Lindsay - all the best for a sparkling 2014.

  7. Merry Christmas Vicki! I've not read a Christmas themed book, although I really should one year at least. I do generally make sure I am reading a 'fun' book on Christmas/Boxing Day - for example at the moment I'm reading 'Erasmus Hobart and the Golden Arrow' (

    1. Oh yes, I am scanning my books for something suitable to that slightly hungover with food and wine Boxing Day feeling! Preferably that I can read while simultaneously watching the cricket! I hope you had a great day, Joanne.

  8. I enjoy a bit of seasonal reading too. Shame I haven't got to doing any seasonal blogging just yet. I haven't heard of any our your Christmas titles, I love it that there's so many out there.

    1. Thanks Louise - I hope you had a fabulous Christmas - I've still got one Xmas themed read left, though I think I might now be over Xmas for the year!

  9. A bit of a late reply, so I'll say 'Happy New Year' to you instead. Hope you have a great 2014.

    1. And to you too, Sarah - I hope 2014 brings you many joys and delights (in which books are obviously included!).


{READ IN 2017}

  • 37.
  • 36.
  • 35. A Scream in Soho - John G. Brandon
  • 34. A Murder is Arranged - Basil Thomson
  • 33. The Milliner's Hat Mystery - Basil Thomson
  • 32. Who Killed Stella Pomeroy? - Basil Thomson
  • 31. The Dartmoor Enigma - Basil Thomson
  • 30. The Case of the Dead Diplomat - Basil Thomson
  • 29. The Case of Naomi Clynes - Basil Thomson
  • 28. Richardson Scores Again - Basil Thomson
  • 27. A Deadly Thaw - Sarah Ward
  • 26. The Spy Paramount - E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • 25. The Great Impersonation - E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • 24. Ragdoll - Daniel Cole
  • 23. The Case of Sir Adam Braid - Molly Thynne
  • 22. The Ministry of Fear - Graham Greene
  • 21. The Draycott Murder Mystery - Molly Thynne
  • 20. The Murder on the Enriqueta - Molly Thynne
  • 19. The Nowhere Man - Gregg Hurwitz
  • 18. He Dies and Makes No Sign - Molly Thynne
  • 17. Death in the Dentist's Chair - Molly Thynne
  • 16. The Crime at the 'Noah's Ark' - Molly Thynne
  • 15. Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh
  • 14. Night School - Lee Child
  • 13. The Dancing Bear - Frances Faviell
  • 12. The Reluctant Cannibals - Ian Flitcroft
  • 11. Fear Stalks the Village - Ethel Lina White
  • 10. The Plot - Irving Wallace
  • 9. Understood Betsy - Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  • 8. Give the Devil his Due - Sulari Gentill
  • 7. A Murder Unmentioned - Sulari Gentill
  • 6. Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
  • 5. Gentlemen Formerly Dressed - Sulari Gentill
  • 4. While She Sleeps - Ethel Lina White
  • 3. A Chelsea Concerto - Frances Faviell
  • 2. Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul - H. G. Wells
  • 1. Heft - Liz Moore

{READ IN 2016}

  • (K = Kindle; rr = re-read)
  • 92. Richardson's First Case - Basil Thomson [K]
  • 91. The Alington Inheritance - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 90. Orphan X - Gregg Hurwitz [K]
  • 89. The House of Godwinsson [Bobby Owen 24] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 88. Music Tells All [Bobby Owen 24] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 87. Helen Passes By [Bobby Owen 23] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 86. It Might Lead Anywhere [Bobby Owen 22] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 85. There's a Reason for Everything [Bobby Owen 21] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 84. Secrets Can't Be Kept [Bobby Owen 20] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 83. Night's Cloak [Bobby Owen 19] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 82. The Conqueror Inn [Bobby Owen 18] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 81. The Diabolic Candelabra [Bobby Owen 17] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 80. The Dark Garden [Bobby Owen 16] - E. R. Punshon [K]
  • 79. Picture Miss Seeton - Heron Carvic [K]
  • 78. Down Under (Benbow Smith 4) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 77. Walk with Care (Benbow Smith 3) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 76. Danger Calling (Benbow Smith 2) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 75. Fool Errant (Benbow Smith 1) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 74. The Annam Jewel - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 73. Mr Zero - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 72. Will o' the Wisp - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 71. Red Shadow - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 70. Pursuit of a Parcel (Lamb 3) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 69. Who Pays the Piper (Lamb 2) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 68. The Blind Side (Lamb 1) - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 67. Outrageous Fortune - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 66. The Amazing Chance - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 65. Red Stefan - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 64. The Coldstone - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 63. Anne Belinda - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 62. The Black Cabinet - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 61. Hue & Cry - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 60. The Skin Collector - Jeffery Deaver [K]
  • 59. The Kill Room - Jeffery Deaver [K]
  • 58. Nothing Venture - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 57. Kingdom Lost - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 56. Beggar's Choice - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 55. Hole and Corner - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 54. Touch and Go - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 53. The Red Lacquer Case - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 52. Run! - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 51. Fear by Night - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • JULY
  • 50. The Dower House Mystery - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 49. The Astonishing Adventure of Jane Smith - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 48. Weekend with Death - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 47. Blindfold - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 46. Silence in Court - Patricia Wentworth [K]
  • 45. Acts of the Assassins - Richard Beard [K]
  • JUNE
  • 44. Hack - Kieran Crowley [K]
  • 43. The Portable Veblen - Elizabeth McKenzie [K]
  • 42. The Spirit Murder Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • MAY
  • 41. The Ginger Cat Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 40. The Pleasure Cruise Mystery - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 39. The Polo Ground Murder - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 38. The Outsider - Jason Dean [K]
  • 37. The Hunter's Oath - Jason Dean [K]
  • 36. Missing or Murdered - Robin Forsythe [K]
  • 35. The Beetle - Richard Marsh [K]
  • 34. A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell 1) - Deanna Raybourn [K]
  • 33. The Chimera Vector - Nathan M. Farrugia [K]
  • 32. An Infamous Army - Georgette Heyer [K]
  • 31. Mr Bazalgette's Agent - Leonard Merrick
  • 30. Don't Tell - Karen Rose [K]
  • 29. Say Goodbye - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 28. Gone - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 27. The Killing Hour - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 26. The Next Accident - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 25. The Third Victim - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 24. The Perfect Husband - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 23. Find Her - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 22. Fear Nothing - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 21. Catch Me - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 20. Love You More - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 19. Live to Tell - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 18. The Neighbour - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 17. Hide - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 16. Alone - Lisa Gardner [K]
  • 15. The Humans - Matt Haig [K]
  • 14. Utopian Man - Lisa Lang
  • 13. Love Insurance - Earl Derr Biggers [K]
  • 12. The Ignition Effect - Viv Ronnebeck [K]
  • 11. My Brilliant Career - Miles Franklin [K]
  • 10. Dangerous & Unseemly - K. B. Owen [K]
  • 9. In Bitter Chill - Sarah Ward [K[
  • 8. Half a Crown - Jo Walton [K]
  • 7. Ha'penny - Jo Walton [K]
  • 6. Hilda Wade: A Woman with Tenacity of Purpose - Grant Allen [K]
  • 5. The Case of William Smith - Patricia Wentworth [K; rr]
  • 4. Blue Murder - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 3. Bleeding Hooks - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 2. Knock, Murderer, Knock! - Harriet Rutland [K]
  • 1. Ten Star Clues [Bobby Owen 15] - E. R. Punshon [K]