Thursday, December 29, 2022


New Year Mysteries, Crime Fiction, Thrillers, and Movies that take place at the New Year.  This is an updated list.

I wish you a safe, healthy, and better 2023. May Mystery and Mayhem only happen in crime fiction! 

Let me know if I've forgotten any of your favorites!

Crime Fiction Set at the New Year
As always, let me know if I've missed any titles.

Allyson K. Abbott: A Toast to Murder

Alderson, Jennifer: Death on the Danube

 Marian Babson: Line up for Murder
Bain, Donald and Jessica Fletcher. Murder She Wrote: Death of a Blue Blood
T. L. Barnett: Murder for the New Year
George Baxt: The Marlene Dietrich Murder Case
George Bellairs: The Case of the Headless Jesuit
Nero Blanc: A Crossworder's Gift

Eileen Brady: Last But Not Leashed
Paul Brazil: Guns of Brixton; Cold London Blues
Jon L. Breen: Touch of the Past
Rita Mae Brown: Full Cry

Anna Celeste Burke: Gnarly New Year!
Lynn Cahoon: Have A Deadly New Year

Alison Cairns: New Year Resolution
Lillian Stewart Carl: The Blue Hackle
C.S. Challinor: Murder at Midnight
Lee Child (ed): Killer Year: Stories to Die for
Anne Cleeves: Raven Black
Anna Ashwood Collins: Deadly Resolutions
Michael Connelly: The Dark Hours

Patricia Cornwell: Cause of Death
Mark Costello: Bag Men
Alisa Craig: Murder Goes Mumming
Isis Crawford: A Catered New Year's Eve

M. Culler: A New Year's Cat-aclysm

Maddie Day: Murder in a Cape Cottage

Jeffrey Deaver: The Devil's Teardrop
Colin Dexter: The Secret of Annexe 3
Carter Dickson: Death and the Gilded Man
Carole Nelson Douglas: Cat on a Hyacinth Hunt
D.B. Elrogg: Murder Again! Happy New Year

Loren D. Estleman: Stress
James Ellroy: This Storm
Janet Evanovich: Plum New Year
J. Jefferson Fargeon: Death in Fancy Dress (aka The Fancy Dress Ball)
Quinn Fawcett: Siren Song
Jerrilyn Farmer: Dim Sum Dead
Lucy Foley: The Hunting Party

Frederick Forsyth: The Fourth Protocol
Janet Gleeson: The Grenadillo Box
J.M. Gregson: The Lancashire Leopard
Kerry Greenwood: Murder in the Dark

Jane Haddam: Fountain of Death
Karen Harper: The Queene's Christmas
Lee Harris: The New Year's Eve Murder
Ellen Hart: Hallowed Murder, Merchant of Venus
Roy Hart: Seascape with Dead Figures
Lauren Henderson: Pretty Boy
Reginald Hill: Killing The Lawyers
Jorn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger: Smoke Screen

J.A. Jance: Name Withheld
Tonya Kappas: New Year Nuisance

Rufus King: Holiday Homicide

Harper Lin: New Year's Slay
Frances and Richard Lockridge: The Dishonest Murderer; Let Dead Enough Alone
Heather Dune Macadam: The Weeping Buddha
Clair Mackintosh: The Last Party

Ed McBain: Lullaby
Johnston McCulley: New Year's Pardon; New Year's Duty
Ellie McDougan: Homicide and a Happy New Year

Philip McLauren: Scream Black Murder
Elisabeth McNeill: Hot News
Leslie Meier: New Year's Eve Murder
James Melville: Body Wore Brocade
David William Meredith: The Christmas Card Murders
Miriam Ann Moore: Stayin' Alive
Tamar Myers: A Penny Urned

Nick Oldham: Bad Tidings
Leonardo Padura: Havana Blue (starts with a New Year's Eve hangover)
Elizabeth Peters: The Golden One
Edward O. Phillips: Sunday's Child
Denis Pitts: This City is Ours

Ellery Queen: Calamity Town
Craig Rice: The Right Murder
Gillian Roberts: The Mummer’s Curse
Cindy Sample: Dying for a Date
Dorothy L. Sayers: The Nine Tailors (begins on New Year's Eve)
Catherine Shaw: Fatal Inheritance

Sofia Slater: Auld Acquaintance

Paige Sleuth: Cherry Hills Case Files
Joan Smith: Don't Leave Me This Way, Why Aren't They Screaming

Kat Stone: New Years Dog-Tastrophe

Kathleen Suzette: New Year, New Murder
Meg Taggart: Murder at the Savoy
Kathleen Taylor: Cold Front
Charles Todd: A Long Shadow

Carolyne Topdjian: The Hitman's Daughter
Auralee Wallace: Ring in the Year with Murder
Patricia Wentworth: The Clock Strikes Twelve
Valerie Wolzein: 'Tis the Season to be Murdered (aka And a Lethal New Year)

Whiting, J.A. & Nell McCarthy: The Horse Knows the Way
James Ziskin: Stone Cold Dead
Mark Richard Zubro: The Truth Can Get You Killed

Short Story:
Q. Patrick: "Murder on New Year's Eve"


Ron Roy: New Year's Eve Thieves

You might also want to check out my Christmas list (Christmas Mysteries, Authors A-Z). Some of the action spills over into New Year's.

And a list of Mystery Movies that take place at the New Year.

Happy Viewing:

After the Thin Man (1936)
Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
Entrapment (1999)
The Godfather Part II (1974)
Little Caesar (1931)
Money Train (1995)
New Year's Evil (1980)
Night Train to Paris (1964) 
Ocean's 11 (1960)
Strange Days (1995)
Survivor (2015)

Tuesday, December 27, 2022


Death in Paradise, Christmas Special 2022 is on BritBox. 

In this special Christmas episode, a podcaster is murdered while investigating the disappearance of a child. It’s a case that’s haunted Selwyn for many years and now Neville and the team must lay its ghost to rest.

Now available on BritBox in the U.S.

CHOCOLATE FRUITCAKE: National Fruitcake Day!

December 27 is National Fruitcake Day, but it seems a bit late for a Fruitcake recipe. I suggest you bookmark this recipe for next year...or make this Chocolate Fruitcake for another holiday?

If you're like me, you're saying Fruitcake? Why bother? It's just an over-inebriated rock hard cake with artificial fruits that gets passed around the family kind of like a white elephant gift? Well, it doesn't have to be. There are actually some wonderful recipes for Chocolate Fruitcake. Aha, your eyes and tastebuds have already picked up.

Of course, I'm all about easy, so here's an easy recipe for Chocolate Fruitcake. One caveat, you won't be able to eat this today. Fruitcake really does need to ferment a bit. Following is a recipe for Chocolate Fruitcake adapted from Diana Rattray at Southern Food. This recipe originally called for candied red and green cherries, but I really don't like those. I use dried cranberries or dried cherries or dried apricots (or a mix), lots of nuts, and different alcohol. This is quite a versatile recipe. The original recipe didn't use booze, but what's a fruitcake without alcohol? Another recipe for Chocolate Fruitcake that I really like is David Lebovitz's Chocolate-Cherry Fruitcake.

Either way, if you like chocolate, you'll find this chocolate twist on an old holiday standard quite to your liking! And, you can make this today for serving New Year's Eve!

Chocolate Fruitcake

1 cup unsalted butter
6 ounces dark chocolate (65-75% cacao, fair-trade), chopped
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1-1/2 cups combination of walnuts and pecans, chopped
1/2 cup rum, whiskey, or amaretto.. (or whatever you like)

A day ahead, plump the dried fruits by tossing them in 1/2 cup of amaretto,  rum or whiskey (or whatever alcohol you like!), cover for later use in the cake.

To Make Cake:
Melt butter and chocolate in large heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, and cool for 15 minutes.
Stir in sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add flour and salt, stirring until blended. Stir in chopped boozy fruits and chopped nuts. Spoon mixture into 4 greased and floured 5 x 3 x 2-inch loaf pans.
Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes
Poke lots of small holes in cakes with skewer. Pour 3 Tbsp liquor (see above) onto each cake. Let cool for another 10-15 minutes or so.
Remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.
Wrap in plastic and store for up to 7 days.

If you're making these Fruitcakes ahead, you can brush with more liquor every day. Don't freeze if you're adding alcohol.

Cartoon of the Day: Next-Level Marketing

Monday, December 26, 2022


Today is is Boxing Day. I've put together a list of over 1400 mysteries that take place at Christmas, and although I'm sure several of the mysteries on the list continue mystery and mayhem through Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. I've only found a few mysteries that focus or start specifically on Boxing Day.

One Boxing Day Mystery is Nicholas Blake's Thou Shell of Death (1936). Nicholas Blake is the pseudonym of Cecil Day Lewis, the late British poet laureate.

Thou Shell of Death features Fergus O'Brien, WWI flying ace. Fergus receives four letters predicting that he will be murdered on Boxing Day. Despite this, or maybe because of this, he plans a party and invites all the suspects (there are several people who might want to do him in) plus private detective Nigel Strangeways. O'Brien does die, and it's up to Nigel Strangeways with the help of Inspector Blount of Scotland Yard to solve the crime. This is Blount's first appearance in the series. Thou Shell of Death is an oldie but goodie, especially if you like houseparty mysteries.

There are three other novels that focus on Boxing Day. A frozen body is found on Boxing Day in Viveca Sten's In Harm's Way. Another mystery is Gilbert Adair's The Act of Roger Murgatroyd that takes place entirely on Boxing Day. This is part of his series of novels about Evadne Mount, and is clearly a play on Agatha Christie novels. In another Boxing Day mystery, Death at Sandringham House by C.C. Benison, Her Majesty the Queen, along with her housemaid Jane Bee, investigates. 

Thanks to Aubrey Nye Hamilton for the Boxing Day addition of Murder After Christmas by Rupert Latimer. It's a British Crime Library Classic, and I've just ordered it.

And, Keith Raffel points out that the murder in A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny takes place the day after Christmas.. Boxing Day, for sure.

And, if you're unfamiliar with Boxing Day, it's the day after Christmas, when "servants and tradesmen traditionally would receive gifts from their superiors." Today it's a National Holiday in most of the British Commonwealth and former British colonies.

As far as why it's called Boxing Day, there are several different theories:

A ‘Christmas Box' in Britain is a name for a Christmas present. 

Boxing Day was a day off for servants and when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.

A box to collect money for the poor was placed in Churches on Christmas day then opened the next day.

Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck. If the voyage were a success the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents given to the poor.

Are there any other Boxing Day Mysteries I've forgotten?

Saturday, December 24, 2022


I have a softspot for Typewriters. I don't collect typewriters (no space or I would), but I do take photos of them.. and occasionally post here on Mystery Fanfare. I also love Retro Ads, so here's the marriage of both... retro typewriter advertisements for the holidays!

The Typewriter: Perfect gift for Christmas from the 1920s through the 1970s. Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2022


is a 'hot' spot for tourists, but it's also known for Jolabokaflod or The Christmas Book Flood. And this holiday tradition in Iceland involves chocolate! The holiday really takes off on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, every family member is given a brand-new book,  and then you cozy up in your favorite reading place or in front of the fire with a mug of hot cocoa. You spend the rest of the evening reading. This is how Icelandanders celebrate Christmas each year. It's called Jolabokaflod -- "Christmas Book Flood."

Jolabokaflod started during World War II, when paper was one of the few things not rationed in Iceland. Because of this, Icelanders gave books as gifts while other commodities were in short supply, turning them into a country of bookaholics to this day, according to 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022


I love the Winter Solstice. I love light, so I'm glad the days will now begin to lengthen.

I put together a huge list of Christmas Mysteries again this year, and I'm sure some of those authors/titles reference the Winter Solstice, too. Here are a few that really center on the Winter Solstice. This is an updated list. Let me know if there are any titles/authors I should add?

Winter Solstice Mysteries

Cleeves, Ann: The Darkest Evening

Farren, C.: Winter Solstice Murders; The Solstice Murders

Fitt, Mary: Death and the Shortest Day
Hess, Joan: A Holly Jolly Murder
Higgs, Steve: Solstice Goat

Johnson, Erin: Solstice Spirits

Langton, Jane: The Shortest Day: Murder at the Revels
Mankel, Henning: Italian Shoes
Marsh, Ngaio: Off with His Head
Mitchell, Gladys: The Dancing Druids

Oldre, Bonnie: Silent Winter Solstice

Snow, Melanie: Witch's Tail

Watson, Sophia: Solstice

True Crime: 

Sweeney, Martin: Death in the Winter Solstice

And, if you want to celebrate your Winter Solstice in chocolate, check out this Buche de Noel aka Yule log on my other blog,


Monday, December 19, 2022


Here's my updated list of Christmas Mystery Short Story Anthologies and Novellas. There may be some overlaps from my other lists, as well as omissions. Let me know, and I can easily update.

For the Christmas Mystery Novel lists by author, go here: Authors A-EAuthors F-L, Authors M-Z.


Adrian, Jack: Crime at Christmas.
Andrew, Donna, Barb Goffman & Marcia Talley (editors): Homicidal Holidays: Fourteen Tales of Murder and Merriment.
Asimov, Isaac (ed.): Twelve Crimes of Christmas.
Avocato, Lori. Sugarplums and Scandal.

Bedford, Jean (ed): Moonlight Becomes You.

Benedict, Laura, Carolyn Haines, & Lisa Morton (ed): Haunted Holidays.
Browning, Abigail (ed.): Murder Most Merry.
Burton, Tony (ed.): By the Chimney with Care; Carols and Crimes, Gifts and Grifters; Dying in a Winter Wonderland.
Cornwell, Bernard: Sharpe's Christmas--Two Short Stories.
Bill Crider, Terence Faherty, Wendi Lee, & Aileen Schumacher: Murder, Mayhem, and Mistletoe
Dalby, Richard (ed.): Crime for Christmas; Mistletoe & Mayhem.
Doyle, Arthur Conan: "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle".
Edwards, Martin (ed.): Crimson Snow (British Library Crime Classics); A Surprise for Christmas; Silent Nights.
Floyd, John (ed.): The Gift of Murder.
Fowler, Christopher: "Bryant & May and the Secret Santa".
Gayford, Cecily (ed): Murder Under the Christmas Tree: Ten Classic Crime Stories for the Festive Season.
Godfrey, Thomas (ed.): Murder for Christmas--26 Tales of Seasonal Malice.
Goffman, Barb (et al., eds.): Chesapeake Crimes--Homicidal Holidays.
Greenberg, Martin H (ed.): Cat Crimes for the Holidays; Holmes for the Holidays; Santa Clues; More Holmes for the Holidays; Twelve Crimes of Christmas.
Halliday, Gemma (ed): Cozy Christmas Capers: 19 Holiday Short Stories.
Harris, Charlaine (ed.): Wolfsbane and Mistletoe.
Heald, Tim (ed.): A Classic Christmas Crime.
Hochensmith, Steve: Naughty: Nine Tales of Christmas Crime.
Holmes, Dee: Silent Night.
James, P.D.: The Mistletoe Murder and other stories.
Knight, Stephen (ed.): A Corpse at the Opera House; Murder at Home; Crimes for a Summer Christmas; More Crimes for a Summer Christmas.
Lovesey, Peter (Forward by): The Usual Santas: A Collection of Crime Christmas Capers.
MacLeod, Charlotte (ed.): Mistletoe Mysteries--Tales of Yuletide Murder; Christmas Stalkings--Tales of Yuletide Murder.
McCoy, Judi, Katherine Hall Page, Joanne Pence, et al: Mistletoe and Mayhem.

McDermid, Val: Christmas is Murder
Manson, Cynthia (ed.): Christmas Crimes; Merry Murder; Murder Under the Mistletoe; Mystery for Christmas; Murder at Christmas.
Marks, Jeffrey (ed.): Canine Christmas.

O'Connor, Carlene, Maddie Day, Peggy Ehrhart: Christmas Scarf Murder.
Penzler, Otto (ed.).: Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop; The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries.
Simenon, Georges: A Maigret Christmas and Other Stories; also published as Maigret's Christmas, Nine Stores (1976), Translated by Jean Stewart (UK).

Slater, Susan: Crooks, Crimes and Christmas.
Soles, Caro (ed.).: Blood on the Holly.
Wilson, Gahan: Murder for Christmas: 26 Tales of Seasonal Malice.

Christmas Crimes: Stories from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine: stories by Ron Goulart, Edward D. Hoch, John Dickson Carr, Anne Cleeves, and more.


Allan, Barbara: Antiques Fruitcake.
Baker, Deb: Murder Trims the Tree.
Barritt, Christy. Pranced.
Bennett, Jenna: Contingent on Approval.
Berry, Linda (and others): The Last Noel.
Block, Barbara (and others): Murder Most Merry.
Brewer, Steve (and others): The Last Noel; Sanity Clause (e-novella).
Burke, Christina: Queenie Baby: Pass the Eggnog.
Calhoun, Lynn: Santa Puppy.
Coco, Nancy: All I Want for Christmas is Fudge.
Collins, Kate:  Missing Under the Mistletoe.
Coward, Mat (and others): The Last Noel.
Dane, Catherine (and others): The Last Noel.
Early, Barbara: Gold, Frankincense, and Murder.
Emrick, K.J.: The Ghost of Christmas.
Faherty, Terence (and others): Murder, Mayhem and Mistletoe.
Fluke, Joanne (and others): Candy Cane Murder; Gingerbread Cookie Murder.
Genova, Rosie: The Seven-Course Christmas Killer.
Hathaway, L.B.: A Christmas Case: A Posie Parker Novella.
Jaffarian, Sue Ann: The Ghost of Mistletoe Mary. 
Kelly, Diane: Death, Taxes, and Mistletoe Mayhem.
Kelner, Toni L.P. (and others): Murder Under the Tree.
Martin, Nancy: Slay Belles.
Mitcheltree, Tom (and others): How Still We See Thee Lie.

Nardi, Christa: Holidays, Hijinks & Murder; Holly and Holidays, Another Murder.
O'Donohue, Clare: Cathedral Windows.
Pence, Joanne: Cook's Christmas Capers.
Raybourn, Deanna: Silent Night--A Lady Julia Christmas Novella.
Robb, J.D. (and others): Silent Night.
Shelton, Connie: Holidays Can Be Murder.
Walker, Martin: Bruno and the Carol Singers.
Ward, Tamara: Jade O'Reilly and the 12 Days of Christmas.
Winston, Lois: Elementary, My Dear Gertie.

Friday, December 16, 2022


(no matter how you spell it - Hanukah, Hanukkah) is a Jewish holiday. This year it starts Sunday night. It lasts eight days, so you have plenty of time to read all these books! Let me know if I've missed any mysteries. This is an updated list. As always, let me know if I missed any authors or titles. Thanks! Happy Chanukah!

Want some chocolate with your reading? Make Sufganiyot! Chocolate Donuts

Hanukkah Mystery Novels 
A Crafty Christmas by Molly Cox Bryan
Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle (mostly about Christmas but Hanukah is mentioned)
Beautiful Lie the Dead by Barbara Fradkin
Strength to Stand by Sheyna Galyan
Festival of Deaths by Jane Haddam
Hanukkah Gelt by T. Lee Harris
Out of the Frying Pan into the Choir by Sharon Kahn
Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry by Harry Kemelman
Murder at the Minyan by Shlumat E. Kustanowitz
The Body in the Sleigh by Katherine Hall Page (mostly about Christmas but Hanukah is mentioned)
Dog Have Mercy by Neil Plakcy
Chanukah Guilt by Rabbi Ilene Schneider
The Tattooed Rabbi by Marvin J. Wolf
Mom Lights a Candle by James Yaffe

Children's Hanukah Mysteries
Rabbi Rocketpower and the Mystery of the Missing Menorahs - A Hanukkah Humdinger! by Rabbi Susan Abramson and Aaron Dvorkin and Ariel DiOrio
Too Many Latkes: A Chanukah Mystery by Sonia Zylberberg
The Mohel from Mars by Miri Ariel
The Case of the Disappearing Chanukah Candles by Ellen Roteman
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket.

Mystery Hanukkah Short Stories
"Mom Lights a Candle" by James Yaffe, appeared in Mystery: The Best of 2002, ed. by Jon L. Breen.
"Hanukah" by Morris Hershman in Cat Crimes for the Holidays, ed. by Martin Greenberg, Edward Gorman and Larry Segriff
"The Worse Noel" by Barb Goffman in The Gift of Murder, ed. by John M. Floyd
"Death on the List" by B.K. Stevens (AHMM, January 1999)
For more info on Jewish short story mysteries, check out Steven Steinbock who blogs on Criminal Brief, the Mystery Short Story Web Log Project.
"Navidad" by Elizabeth Zelvin, EQMM, January 2011
"No Candles for Antiochus" by Barry Ergang
Murder is no Mitzvah: Short Stories about Jewish Occasions, edited by Abigail Browning
The Latke in the Library & Other Mystery Stories for Chanukah by Libi Astaire

Mystery Chanukah Anthologies
The Melancholy Menorah (Jewish Regency Mystery Stories Book 4), Libi Astaire
The Latke in the Library and Other Mystery Stories for Chanukah, Libi Astaire
36 Candles: Chassidic Tales for Chanukah, Libi Astaire
Murder is No Mitzvah: Short Mysteries About Jewish Occasions, Abigail Browning
Jewish Noir, Edited by Kenneth Wishnia

Cartoon of the Day: Art of the Christmas Tree


Thursday, December 15, 2022

From Hotel Bars to Hotel California: Guest Post by Don Bruns

Don Bruns: 
From Hotel Bars to Hotel California

Okay, it wasn’t an original idea, but what is? Just because Hotel California isn’t the first anthology of its kind, doesn’t mean it isn’t a great book…a great collection of stories by celebrated authors. Because it is. But here’s how it started. 

I was asked to participate in The Great Filling Station Hold Up, an anthology using Jimmy Buffet song titles edited by Josh Pachter. I wrote "Cheeseburger in Paradise," about a hitman in Munster, Iowa who is eating a cheeseburger at the Paradise Café. An interesting exercise. 

I called Julie Gwinn, my agent and told her the story. She said she wished we’d thought of that. I countered with “We can do this. Let’s do an anthology based on The Eagle’s songs from Hotel California.” She said, “Who are we going to get to write the stories?” 

One week later I gave her the list of authors. Andrew Child with a Jack Reacher story, (New Kid in Town) Heather Graham with a New Orleans thriller, Reed Coleman, John Gilstrap and three other talented authors. (including myself.) She sold it to Blackstone Publishing one week later. Then she asked, “What’s next?” 

I had the answer. Thriller. With the title song, Billy Jean, Wanna’ be Startin’ Somethin’,The Girl is Mine…I knew I’d get authors to write the stories. Jeff Deaver, William Kent Krueger, Heather Graham and others have contributed fabulous stories in the anthology that will release in July of 2023. 

And next? Back in Black, stories using song titles from ACDC’s triumphant album. I called Andrew Child and asked if he wanted to participate once again. He answered, “If I can do You Shook Me All Night Long.” Of course I said yes. Reed Coleman is back, Charles Todd, Sandra Balzo, Heather Graham and some new talented writers including my brother Dave. Back in Black will release July, 2024. 

We’ve had marvelous reviews on Hotel California and made Oline Cogdil’s best mystery list of 2022 in the Florida Sun Sentinal. Twenty five years of networking at conferences, twenty five years of hanging out at the hotel bars has paid off. Next, I think we’ll do Bat Out of Hell, Meatloaf’s first monster hit album. There’s an endless supply of material out there, and we will continue to mine it. 


Don Bruns is the USA Today best selling author of nineteen published novels. Currently working on his fourth New Orleans thriller involving a disgraced homicide detective and a voodoo practitioner, the Indianapolis Star says “Simply put, Bruns is a master story teller.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2022


Here is the final post of my alphabetical by author Christmas Crime Fiction Lists. Christmas Mysteries: Authors M-Z,
an updated list.

Here are the links that complete my Christmas Mysteries list: Check out Christmas Crime Fiction, Authors A-E,  Authors F-L  

As always, let me know if I've forgotten an author or title

Happy Holiday Reading!


Macbride, Stuart: Cold Granite; 12 Days of Winter.
MacDonald, John D.: Pale Gray for Guilt.
MacInerney, Karen: Mistletoe Murder; Mistletoe Murder.
Macko, Elaine: Armed.
MacLeod, Charlotte: The Convivial Codfish; Murder Goes Mumming; Rest You Merry; Christmas Stalkings; Mistletoe Mysteries; Counterfiet Christmas.
MacPherson, Rett: A Comedy of Heirs; The Blood Ballad.
Malliet, G. M.: Death of a Cozy Writer.
Malmont, Valerie: Death, Snow, and Mistletoe.
Manos, Blanche: Moonlight Can Be Murder

Manansala, Mia P.: Blackmail and Bibingka 
Marantz, Bill: Christmas Eve Can Kill You.
Markham, Marion: Christmas Present Mystery (juvenile).
Markowitz, Jeff: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder.
Marks, Jeffrey: Canine Christmas.
Maron, Margaret: Corpus Christmas; Rituals of the Season; Christmas Mourning.
Marsh, Carole: Haunted Christmas Tree Mystery.
Marsh, Ngaio: Tied Up in Tinsel.
Marston, Edward: A Christmas Railway Mystery.
Masson, Deborah. Hold Your Tongue.

Matesky, Amanda: Murder is a Girl's Best Friend.
Mathews, Francine. Death on a Winter Stroll.

Maughman, W. Somerset: Christmas Holiday.
McBain, Ed: And All Through the House; Downtown; Ghosts; Sadie When She Died.
McClintick, Malcolm: Death of an Old Flame.
McCloy, Helen: Mr Splitfoot.
McClure, James: The Gooseberry Fool.
McConnon, Maggie: Bel, Book, and Scandal.
McCrumb, Sharyn: Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past.
McDonald, C.S.: Merry Murder.
McGinley, Patrick: Goosefoot.
McGowan, Claire: The Dead Ground.
McGown, Jill: Murder at the Old Vicarage.
McHugh, Mary: High Kicks, Hot Chocolate, and Homicides.
McKevett, G.A.: Cooked Goose; Poisoned Tarts; Murder in Her Stocking.
McKinley, Jenn: On Borrowed Time.
McLean, Donna: A Sparrow Falls Christmas.
McLintick, Malcolm: Death of an Old Flame.
McMullen, Mary: Death by Bequest.

McNicol, DB: Slay Ride.
McPherson, Catriona: The Reek of Red Herrings.
Meade, Amy Patricia: The Christmas Fair Killer
Mehl, Nancy: There Goes Santa Claus.
Meier, Leslie: The Christmas Cookie Murder; Mistletoe Murder; Mail Order Murder; A Winter Wonderland; Christmas Carol Murder; Eggnog Murder; Gingerbread Cookie Murder.
Menuhin, Karen Baugh: Murder at Malrose Court.

Meredith, Anne: Portrait of a Murderer.
Meredith, D. R.: Murder by Sacrilege.
Meredith, David W.: The Christmas Card Murders.
Michaels, Kasey: High Heels and Holidays; Bowled Over.
Michaels, Sharon. Missing Santas. 

Miles, Terry: Dog Gone Christmas.
Milne, A.A.: A Table Near the Band; Christmas Party.
Mims, Jay: The Five Santas.
Miner, Valerie: Murder in the English Department.
Minichino, Camile: The Helium Murder; The Oxygen Murder.
Misto, Joh: The Devil's Companions.
Mitchell, Gladys: Dead Men's Morris; The Dancing Druids; Murder in the Snow; Groaning Spinney; Death Comes at Christmas.

Moncrieff, Ada: Murder Most Festive
Monroe, Willow: Mall Santa Murder.
Moore, Christopher: The Stupidest Angel--A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror.
Moore, Judy: Murder in Vail.
Morgan, Lorna Nicholl: Another Little Christmas Murder.
Morrell, David: The Spy Who Came for Christmas.
Morrigan, Laura. The Cat Who Stole Christmas.

Mortimer, John: A Rumpole Christmas.
Morton, Mandy: Ghost of Christmas Paws.
Moyes, Patricia: Season of Snows and Sins; Who Killed Father Christmas?.
Mugavero, Liz: Purring Around the Christmas Tree.

Muldoon, Meg: Murder in Christmas River; Madness in Christmas River.
Muller, Marcia: There's Nothing to be Afraid Of.
Munoz-Renfroe, Ileana: Ghostly Gift

Murphy, Shirley Rousseau: Cat Deck the Halls; Cat Coming Home; Cat Bearing Gifts.
Myers, Ann: Feliz Navidead.

Nabb, Magdalen: Death of an Englishman.
Naigle, Nancy: Christmas Joy.

Nash, Anne: Said with Flowers.
Neel, Janet: Death's Bright Angel.
Nelson, Hugh: The Season for Murder.
Nesbo, Jo: The Redeemer.
Nesser, Hakan: Woman with Birthmark; The Darkest Day.
Nixon, Joan: The Christmas Eve Murder.
Norden, Robert: Death Beneath the Christmas Tree.
Norton, Jemima: The Mistletoe Bride.

Ockley, Martha: The Advent of Murder.

O'Connell, Carol: Judas Child.

O'Connor, Carlene: Murder at an Irish Christmas.
Oldham, Nick: Bad Tidings.

O'Marie, Sr. Carol Anne: Advent of Dying; Murder in Ordinary Time; A Novena for Murder.
O'Nan, Stewart: Last Night at the Lobster.
Oust, Gail: Ginger Snapped; The Twelve Dice of Christmas.

Page, Katherine Hall: The Body in the Big Apple; The Body in the Bouillon; The Body in the Sleigh.
Paige, Shelton: Merry Market Murder.
Painter, Kristen: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case.
Pajer, Bernadette: The Edison Effect.
Palmer, William: The Dons and Mr Dickens.
Papazoglou, Orania: Rich, Radiant Slaughter; Charisma.

Parker, Ann. Mortal Music.
Parker, Gary E.: Death Stalks a Holiday.
Parker, Robert: The Widening Gyre.
Parra, Nancy J: Flourless to Stop Him.
Patterson, James: Merry Christmas, Alex Cross; The 19th Christmas; The Christmas Mystery.
Paul, Barbara: A Chorus of Detectives.
Pearl, Jack: Victims.
Pearson, Carol Lynn: A Stranger For Christmas.
Pelecanos, George: Nick's Trip.
Pence, Joanne: Two Cooks A-Killing; The Thirteenth Santa.
Penhallow, Sara: The Christmas Tree Farm Murders.
Penny, Louise: A Fatal Grace; How the Light Gets In.
Perry, Anne: A Christmas Beginning; A Christmas Grace; A Christmas Guest; A Christmas Journey; A Christmas Secret; A Christmas Visitor; Silence in Hanover Close; A Christmas Promise; A Christmas Garland; A Christmas Odyssey; A Christmas Secret; A Christmas Hope; A Christmas Deliverance... and more.
Perry, Carl J.: Bells, Spells, and Murders.
Peters, Elizabeth: He Shall Thunder in the Sky; Trojan Gold.
Peters, Ellis: A Rare Benedictine; The Raven in the Foregate.
Philips, Scott: The Ice Harvest.

Pine, Alex: The Christmas Killer.

Plakcy, Neil: Dog Have Mercy.

Pleiter, Allie: It Came upon a Midnight Shear
Pomidor, Bill: Mind Over Murder.
Pronzini, Bill: Snowbound.
Pryce, Malcolm: Don't Cry For Me Aberystwyth.
Pulver, Mary Monica: Original Sin.
Purser, Ann: Murder on Monday.
Quashie, Colin: Spirits in a Material World.
Queen, Ellery: The Finishing Stroke; Cat of Many Tails; Calamity Town; The Egyptian Cross Mystery; Murder at Christmas.
Quentin, Patrick: Follower.

Quilford, Sally: Mistletoe Mystery

Quinn, Spencer: Santa 365; It's a Wonderful Woof 

Radford, E. & M.A.: Who Killed Dick Whittington.

Raphael, Lev: Burning Down the House.
Rawlins, Linda. Misty Winter.
Rawls, Randy: Jingle's Christmas.
Ray, Robert J.: Merry Christmas, Murdock.

Redmond, Heather. A Christmas Carol Murder.
Reilly, Linda: Claws for Celebration.
Reinsmith, Richard: Body for Christmas.
Richards, Emilie: Let There be Suspects.

Richey, Sheri: Silent Night Dynamite; A Tough Nut to Crack
Rickman, Phil: Midwinter of the Spirit.
Riggs, John R.: Haunt of the Nightingale.
Riley, Kelly Ann: Homespun Holidays.
Ripley, Ann: The Christmas Garden Affair.
Ripley, J.R.: How the Finch Stole Christmas.
Rizer, Fran: A Corpse Under the Christmas Tree.
Rizzolo, S.K.: The Rose in the Wheel.
Robb, J.D.: Holiday in Death; Apprentice in Death; Brotherhood in Death; Festive in Death.
Roberts, Gillian: The Mummer's Curse; Philly Stakes.
Roberts, Sheila: On Strike for Christmas; The Nine Lives of Christmas.
Robinson, David W: Christmas Crackers, A Murder for Christmas.
Robinson, Peter: Past Reason Hated; The Price of Love and Other Stories (collection).
Rockwell, Patricia: Papoosed.

Roger, Janet: Shamus Dust.
Roosevelt, Elliott: The White House Pantry Murder.
Roper, Gail: Caught in the Act.
Rosenfelt, David: The Twelve Dogs of Christmas; Deck the Hounds; Dachshund Through the Snow; Silent Bite; Best in Snow; Santa's Little Yelpers.
Rosett, Sara: Mistletoe, Merriment and Murder; Menace at the Christmas Marker; Murder on a Midnight Clear.

Ross, L.J.: Ryan's Christmas. 

Ross, Rosemary: Christmas Candy Corpse.
Rotch, Lawrence: Mistletoe and Murder.
Rowe, Jennifer: Death in Store; Love Lies Bleeding.
Rubino, Jane: Fruit Cake; Homicide for the Holidays.
Ruell, Patrick: Red Christmas.
Russell, Alan: St. Nick.
Russell, Michael: The City in Darkness.
Ryan, Annelise: Lucky Stiff.
Ryan, Jenna: Mistletoe and Murder.
Rise, Nicole: A Mistletoe Murder
Sample, Cindy: Dying for a Dance.
Salonen, Debra. Montana Secret Santa.
Sanders, Lawrence: The Fourth Deadly Sin.
Santangelo, Elena: Poison to Purge Melancholy; Double Cross.

Santangelo, Susan: Mistletoe Can Be Murder: Every Wife Has a Story.

Maureen Sarsfield: Murder at Beechlands.
Saums, Mary: When the Last Magnolia Weeps.
Sawyer, Corinne Holt: Ho Ho Homicide.
Sayers, Dorothy L.: The Nine Tailors.
Schaler, Karen: Christmas Camp.

Scherf, Margaret: The Gun in Daniel Webster's Bust.
Schneider, Maria: Executive Sick Days.
Schumacher, Aileen: Framework for Death.
Schweizer, Mark: The Alto Wore Tweeds; The Christmas Cantata.
Scott, Laura: Her Mistletoe Protector.
Sedaris, David: Holidays on Ice.
Sedley, Kate: The Christmas Wassail.

Seedorf, Julie: The Discombobulated Decipherers.

Sefton, Maggie: Fleece Navidad.
Sellars, M.R.: Perfect Trust.
Serafin, David: Christmas Rising.
Shaber, Sarah: Shell Game (aka Burying Ground).
Shannon, Dell: No Holiday For Crime.
Shaw, J.D: Yule Be the Death of Me.
Shaw, M.B.: Murder at the Mill.
Shea, Susan: Dressed for Death in Burgundy.
Shelton, Connie: Sweet Holidays; Holidays Can Be Murder.
Shelton, Paige: Merry Market Murder; A Christmas Tartan.
Sibley, Celestine: Spider in the Sink.
Simenon, Georges: Maigret's Christmas.
Slan, Joanna Campbell: Handmade, Holiday, Homicide.
Sleeman, Susan: The Christmas Witness; Christmas Conspiracy; High-Caliber Holiday.
Smith, Barbara Burnett: Mistletoe From Purple Sage; Tis the Season for Murder (with Fred Hunter).
Smith, Frank: Fatal Flaw.
Smith, George Harmon: The Christmas Angel.
Smith, Joan: Don't Leave Me This Way.
Smith, Karen Rose: Slay Bells Ring.
Smith, Terrence: The Devil and Webster Daniels.
Smoak, Amanda: Generals' Row.

Smucker, Judy Clemens. To Thine Own Self Be True.
Sprinkle, Patricia: A Mystery Bred in Buckhead.
Stagge, Jonathan: The Yellow Taxi.
Stanley, J. B.: The Battered Body.

Steadman, Catherine: The Family Game.

Stevens, Robin: Mistletoe and Murder.

Stone, Jean: A Vineyard Wedding.
Stout, Rex: And Four to Go.
Strohmeyer, Sarah: Bubbles All the Way.
Swanson, Denise: Murder of a Barbie and Ken; Murder of a Stacked Librarian.
Symons, Julian: The Detling Secret.

Talley, Marcia: Occasion of Revenge.
Tate, Valerie: The Reindeer Caper.
Taylor, Elizabeth Atwood: The Cable Car Murder.
Taylor, Hudson: Death of a Christmas Tree Man.
Taylor, Sarah Stewart: O' Artful Death.
Temple, Lou Jane: Death is Semisweet.
Tesh, Jane: Mixed Signals.
Tesler, Nancy: Slippery Slopes and Other Deadly Things.
Thames, Nancy: Waiting for Santa.
Theorin, Johan: The Darkest Room.
Thomas, Billie: Murder on the First Day of Christmas.
Thomas, Lisa: Sharpe Edge.

Thomas, Wendall. Drowned Under.
Thompson, Carlene: The Way You Look Tonight.
Thompson, Victoria. Murder on St Nicholas Avenue.
Thynne, Molly. The Crime at the Noah's Ark.

Todd, Charles: The Walnut Tree.
Tooke, John: On the Twelfth Day of Christmas.
Tope, Rebecca: Trouble in the Cotswolds; A Cotswold Christmas Mystery.
Tourney, Leonard D.: Knaves Templar.
Tremayne, Peter: The Haunted Abbot.
Trent, Gayle: Clause of Death.
Trent, Teresa: The Deadliest Christmas Pageant Ever.
Trocheck, Kathy: A Midnight Clear.
Trocheck, Kathy Hogan (as Mary Kay Andrews): Fatal Fruitcake; Blue Christmas; Christmas Bliss.
Tyson, Wendy: Seeds of Revenge.

Underwood, Michael: A Party to Murder.
Unsworth, Barry: Morality Play.

Vandiver, Abby L.: Baby, It's Cold Outside

VanLeeuwen, Jean: The Great Christmas Kidnapping Caper.
Verburg, C.J.: Silent Night Violent Night.
Victor, Cynthia: What Matters Most.
Viets, Elaine: Murder With All the Trimmings.

Wait, Lea: Shadows on a Maine Christmas; Thread the Halls.
Wainwright, Noreen: Crime at Christmas.
Walker, Persia: Darkness and the Devil behind Me.
Waller, Gail & Jim Gilber: A Kudzu Christmas.
Walsh, Thomas: The Resurrection Man.
Ward, Donald: Our Little Secret.
Washburn, Livia: The Gingerbread Bump-Off; The Christmas Cookie Killer.
Webb, Peggy: Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse.
Webber, Heather: Trouble Under the Tree.
Weir, Charlene: A Cold Christmas.
Weiss, Kirsten: Deja Moo.
Welk, Mary: Deadly Little Christmas; A Merry Little Murder.
Wenger, Christine: It's a Wonderful Knife.
Wentworth, Patricia: The Clock Strikes 12. 
Wescott, T.C.: Slay Bells ... are you Listening?
White, Anne: Cold Winter Nights.
Wildwind, Sharon: First Murder in Advent.
Wilkinson, Kerry. No Place Like Home.

Willan, Jane: The Hour of Death.
Williams, David: Murder in Advent.
Williams, Paul. Twelve Days.

Willig, Lauren: The Mischief of the Mistletoe.
Windsor, Patricia: The Christmas Killer.
Wingfield, R.D.: Frost at Christmas.
Winston, Lois: Drop Dead Ornaments.
Wishart, David: Last Rites

Wittig, Clifford: Catt Out of the Bag.
Wolzien, Valerie: Deck the Halls With Murder; 'Tis the Season to be Murdered; We Wish You a Merry Murder.

Woods, Rachel: Merry Christmas Murder

Woods, Sherryl: Christmas at White Pines.
Wright, Eric: The Man Who Changed His Name.

Yaffe, James: Mom Meets Her Maker.

Young, Kelly: Christmas Tree Mystery
Young, Suzanne: Murder by Yew; Murder by Christmas.

Zelvin, Elizabeth: Death Will Get You Sober.
Zoltack, Nicole: Mistletoe, Marriage, & Murder.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Cartoon of the Day: Best Christmas Card Photo Ever!

LEGAL MYSTERIES: Mystery Readers Journal (38:4)

Legal Mysteries

Mystery Readers Journal: Legal Mysteries (38:4) Winter 2022 is now available as PDF and HardcopyWe have had three earlier issues of Legal Mysteries, and they are available as PDF downloads. Legal Mysteries 1 (28:2: 2012)Legal Mysteries II (28:3:2012) Legal Mysteries (16:1). Order all four. 

If you're a PDF subscriber, you should have received download instructions (let me know if you didn't). Hard copy subscription copies went out last week. International subscribers will receive their issues within two weeks. PDF Contributor copies will go out this week Thanks to everyone who contributed to this amazing issue.

Legal Mysteries
Volume 38, No. 4, Winter 2022

Buy this back issue! Available in hardcopy or as a downloadable PDF.



  • Killing Lawyers (On Paper): A New Type of Therapy by Judith Ayn
  • The Curious Career of Martin H. Ehrengraf by Lawrence Block
  • Every Story Has a Beginning by James Barretto
  • “Don’t Tell Me What You Did” by Mark Bruce
  • Keeping it Legal by Diane Capri
  • Grief, Loss and a Con Man Changed My Life by Steve Cavanagh
  • Is the Legal Thriller Dead? by Lori Huff Dillman
  • Writing What You Know—Sort of… by Martin Edwards
  • Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens Fall by Anne Emery
  • A Legal Mystery? Call for Miss Marple by Elizabeth Elwood
  • True Lies by Chuck Greaves
  • An Unwilling Witness by Connie Johnson Hambley
  • Advice to Would-be Lawyer/Author by James Grippando
  • Legally Blocked by Joyce Holms
  • Jo Peters : ADA, City Attorney and P.I. by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • House Witness by Mike Lawson
  • Character Is Destiny… in Court and Out by Paul Levine
  • “You Don’t Need a Lawyer!” (Yes, You Do) by Terrence McCauley
  • My Brushes with a Serial Killer by Jodé Millman
  • The Lawyer as Storyteller by Robert Rotstein
  • Keeping It Real by C.L. Tolbert
  • Writing the First Legal Thriller by Bentley Turner
  • The Best Defense by Bev Vincent
  • Case # 421946: Crime & Punishment in Renaissance Florence by Alana White
  • The Last Lie Told by Debra Webb
  • Did the Barrister Do It? by Elizabeth Woodcraft


  • Mystery in Retrospect: Reviews by Aubrey Hamilton, Lesa Holstine, Joan Ramirez, Kathy Boone Reel, L.J. Roberts, Lucinda Surber, Craig Sisterson
  • Children’s Hour: Legal Mysteries by Gay Toltl Kinman
  • In Short: It’s Legal… and It’s Short by Marv Lachman
  • Crime Seen: In the Courtroom by Kate Derie
  • The D.A.’s Men by Jim Doherty
  • From the Editor’s Desk by Janet A. Rudolph
Order this issue as a PDF

Monday, December 12, 2022

"Write What You Know" -- Guest Post by Jenna Podjasek, M.D.

Jenna Podjasek: 
"Write What You Know" 
I’ve been asked the question; How did you go from training as a physician to writing a book?  

Written words have always been a central part of my world. I grew up nurturing my creative side with writing, art, and fictional stories. To this day, I read and listen to audiobooks constantly (often up to twenty-five hours a week). To me, the question I ask myself is, how did I become an MD?  As a child, science was the last thing on my mind.  However, after someone close to me became ill, I began to explore medicine as a career. A biochemistry class during college opened my eyes to the complexities of the human body. The immune system is extremely intricate and reliant on specialized cells to ward off microbes to which our bodies are under constant exposure.

Prior to Particles in the Air, I had dreamed of writing a novel for years.  It was always in the back of my mind during medical school, residency, and fellowship. My medical training and creative impulses have resulted in a kind of uncommon marriage of the right and left sides of the brain.  Sitting down and starting the writing process was the hardest part for me.  Once I made a conscious decision to start though, I didn’t stop.  

I’m a big proponent of planning and research in both writing and life. “Write what you know” is something I relied upon heavily throughout my process. Before I began, I spent weeks scouring the internet, fact-checking and pinning down setting details. I studied google maps and reviewed immunology textbooks. I made sure my framework was complete before I started chapter one.  

With a detailed outline, I knew the direction I was going to take. After getting the first few chapters down, the characters immediately came alive in my mind, and the story flowed naturally from there. Several minor things changed during the writing process, but the major plot points stayed the same.  

My inspiration for Particles is multifaceted. It was written to entertain, but also, to present a cautionary tale. For years before COVID, epidemiologists had warned that a global pandemic was only a matter of time. Now, as technology and supplies are becoming more and more accessible via the internet, bioterrorism is rapidly becoming an unfortunate real-life probability. 

A great writer and historian, William R. Forstchen, wrote an ultra-realistic novel about a coordinated electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States. One Second After rose to the bestseller list and has since emerged as a tool to increase EMP knowledge among the public. Dr. Forstchen has caught the attention of the US Congress and NASA and has even played a part in educating members of the government on the devastating effects of large-scale EMPs.

A virus doesn't need to be stolen from an ultra-secure lab but manufactured in a homemade one. No further technology needs to be invented or discovered for a catastrophic event to occur. In writing Particles, I hope to raise awareness of this possibility.
Jenna Podjasek, MD, is an allergist/immunologist who trained at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  She lives with her husband, two children, and numerous pets in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Particles in the Air will be published in January 2023. It is her first novel.