18 Christmas Murder Mystery Books To Read During The Holiday Season

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Best cozy Christmas mysteries

Looking for Christmas murder mystery books to get into the spooky spirit, then look no further! Here is the collection of the  best cozy Christmas mysteries.

Christmas is typically a time for happiness, family, and friends. Oftentimes you have a lot of downtime and want to fill the days with something relaxing that also exercises your mind and leaves you on the edge of your seat. If you’re looking for cozy murder mystery books the Christmas season is a perfect backdrop for family gatherings and drama that often flourish in great thriller novels.

So set the mood by putting on your favorite ugly sweater, curling up by the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa, and get ready to have some fun reading some Christmas themed cozy mysteries!

The best part about great seasonal mystery books is that you can have many themes. For example there are British cozy mysteries, Irish cozy mysteries but you might also come across mystery books that include different hobbies, location and profession. 

So if you’re in the mood for Christmas murder mystery books, or just want to get holiday book recommendation for December book club meeting, check out any of the 18 books we have outlined.

The best part?

We’ve got something for every cozy mystery fans.

You can find cozy mysteries that include a variety of themes such as

  • Cozy mysteries with recipes
  • Mysteries that include magic and ghost
  • Cozy mysteries set in tea shop/ cafe
  • Christmas themed historical mysteries
  • Culinary mysteries


Best of all,  these Christmas murder mystery books or dark thrillers are  all easy to find online or at your local bookstore, so you can start reading them today!

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Classic Christmas Mystery

The book is cozy classic novel which is also a locked room mystery. Simeon Lee, the wealthy patriarch, orders all of his sons to return home for the holidays with their wives.

Each of his four sons possesses a distinct personality with characteristics that define their relationship with their father.

Instead of a joyous holiday season, Lee spends the time insulting each of his sons and eventually announces that none of them will be in the will or receive anymore support.

On Christmas Eve, Simeon Lee is found dead after a few members of the party have had to beat down a locked door to find his body. Poirot is called in to sort through the clues and get to the bottom of the case.

Fan of cozy classic novels? Check this post ->24 Cozy Classic Novels You Should Read In Fall 2022


The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D James

Christmas Mystery Short Story Satire

Sgt Dagelish is newly appointed with an appetite for big cases that comes with being new on the job.

He is convinced by his godfather to look into an old case that is notorious and was previously not properly resolved. The case centers around a large inheritance that Sgt Dagelish’s godfather has had on his mind.

In the reopening and investigation of the case, Sgt Dagelish discovers several new truths that even he struggles to reveal for fear of the knock on consequences.


The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries by Otto Penzler

Christmas Mystery Short Story

The perfect gift for any fan of mystery, crime fiction or Christmas stories! This book is an amazing collection that has it all.

It contains over sixty stories that feature all different sorts of holiday season mysteries and crime thrillers.

Classic cases around infamous characters like Sherlock Holmes, Ellery Queen, Nero Wolfe, Brother Cadfael, and Hercule Poirot.

There are different types of stories like comics from John Mortimer and Donald Westlake. Narratives inspired from the classics like Peter Lovesey and Max Collins writing around A Christmas Carol.

Other notable authors featured include Mary Higgins Clark, John D. Macdonald, Damon Runyan, and Ngaio Marsh.


Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke

Food themed Cozy Christmas Mystery featuring Cookie Shop

The story centers on Hannah Swenson, a baking expert and owner of The Cookie Jar, a small-town cookie shop in Minnesota. When Larry Burns, one of her employees, is found murdered in the office, Hannah sets out to find the killer.

With the help of her friend Detective Mike Kingston, she soon discovers that Larry was involved in some shady business deals.

As she digs deeper, she realizes that several people had motives to kill him. With time running out before the murderer strikes again, Hannah races to solve the case. This Christmas themed cozy mystery guarantees a fun and uplifting reading time in the holiday season.


The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

Cozy Historical Fiction Murder Mystery

Georgina is thrilled to land a job as a hostess at Tiddleton, a posh estate that throws an over-the-top Christmas party every year.

However, her excitement quickly turns to fear. On the first day a guest named Freddie suspiciously falls out a tree to his death. The second and third day’s also produce fluke deaths that are extremely mysterious.

With a cast of colorful characters, each with their own secrets and motivations, Georgina must figure out who is behind the murders before she becomes the next victim.

Told from Georgina’s perspective, this murder mystery will keep you guessing until the very end.


Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke

Cozy Christmas Culinary Mystery

Hannah Swensen, the town baker and owner of Lake Eden’s bake shop is determined to create her special holiday buffet for all those who have been stranded at The Community Center due to a blizzard.

Recently divorced Martin Dubinski arrives with new Vegas showgirl wife, but he isn’t alone; his ex-wife also attends the event.

Hannah starts the season thinking her only worry would be about getting through a big and busy holiday season. She soon finds herself facing more than just culinary challenges when it turns out that someone has killed Mrs Dubinski!

Hannah is thrown into action to start piecing together the story and get to the bottom of what happened.


Midnight in Death by J.D. Robb

Classic Christmas Murder Mystery

Another one of the best Christmas mysteries from the prolific J.D. Robb.

This thriller centers around Lieutenant Eve Dallas. Eve is piecing together the clues to put a serial killer in jail. The killer has escaped and is on the hunt to get Eve before she can get him.

The story is an epic centered around this dramatic tail of events and how Eve and her husband Roarke try to find this serial murderer before he can get to them.


Shakespeare’s Christmas by Charlaine Harris

Cozy Mystery featuring an Amateur Sleuth 

Lily Bard has been trying hard to make a new life for herself in Shakespeare, Arkansas.

Lily heads home for the holidays and her sister’s wedding even though she is estranged from her. The quiet and shy Lily was already dreading the trip.

Things are made much more complicated when her hometown’s nurse and doctor are found beaten to death in their office.

In what is likely not a coincidence Lily’s boyfriend Jack Leeds, a detective shows up in town to investigate an old kidnapping case.

Strong signs point to both of the incidents coming back to the man Lily’s sister is about to marry.

Lily is in a race against time to get to the bottom of the mystery and convince her sister to change course.


I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley

Cozy Historical Mystery

The estate of Colonel de Luce is an old and decaying manor, but it has been rented out for filming over the Christmas holiday period by Buckshaw Studios.

Flavia de Luce is a prodigal eleven year old with a passion and impressive knack for detective work. Phyllis Wyvern is a famous actress starring in the movie being filmed at the estate. When the village finds out what is going on they all come and gather to watch the famous Wyvern in the flesh.

That night there is a large blizzard as the crowd gathers to watch the spectacle. Late in the night to everyone’s shock there is a body found dead with cause being strangulation by a long piece of film.

With no shortage of possible suspects or potential witnesses Flavia is called into action to put her skills to good use and get to the bottom for the motive of the murder and the person who did it. I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley is one of the best Christmas mystery books for adults.

If you love more Christmas themed books for grow ups, check this post- 24 Best Christmas Books for Adults To Read in 2022


The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark

Holiday themed Cozy Mystery

The team of Alvirah Meehan and private investigator Regan Reilly get to the bottom of a decades-old Christmas mystery when they discover that an 80 foot blue spruce has been chosen for Rockefeller Center’s famous tree.

Packy Noonan is the scammer just released from prison who made this tree so valuable by hiding diamonds on one of the branches over 12 years ago.

He knows when he hears that the tree is headed for the Rockefeller Center in New York City that he needs to act fast if he wants to reclaim the jewels. He gathers up a crew to help him finish the job.

The story is a clash between Alvirah, Regan and Packy to find the tree after it disappears with its corresponding worth.


Festive in Death by J.D. Robb

Mystery Romance Series

Lieutenant Eve Dallas has a busy holiday season approaching with all of her usual Christmas shopping duties. She is also planning a blowout holiday ballroom dance party, and is struggling with the guest list.

This is being hosted by her and her billionaire husband.

When personal trainer Trey Ziegler is found dead with a kitchen knife in his chest, Lieutenant Eve Dallas’ holiday season is thrown into total turmoil.

She sets out to investigate the murder and finds that there are multiple women who were left in the wake of Trey’s manipulative behavior.

Lieutenant Dallas races against the clock of the holiday season to get to the bottom of Ziegler’s killer.


Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths

Historical Mystery set in England

The festive season is fast approaching, but for detective Edgar Stephens it will be a trying time as he’s neck-deep in a case involving two children, Mark and Annie, who went missing in Brighton.

Mark and Annie are found dead surrounded by holiday treats. The circumstances of the cases trigger the memory of Stan Parks, an old music star, who

remembers a similar murder from over 15 years ago where the killer left similar clues.

The case seems to hinge around Annie’s passion for writing plays for the other children.

As Christmas approaches, the reader is left with these clues and are thrown for a turn when another child goes missing.


Murder at an Irish Christmas by Carlene O’Connor

Irish Cozy Mystery

Set during the holiday season in West Cork, Ireland with the entire O’Sullivan clan.

This includes Garda Siobhan, her brother James and his fiancée Elise’s family.

The story revolves around Elise’s famous grandfather, Enda Elliot, an orchestra conductor.

The holiday’s are turned for a loop when Enda is found dead in the local concert hall and his new wife, Leah, is the suspected killer.


Christmas Comes by Andrew Klavan

Cozy Detective Series

Set in Sweet Haven, a quiet and scenic lakeside town that is picturesque around the holiday season.

The story starts with the local librarian, a young woman named Jennifer Dean, being murdered. It seems like a quick case with the confession of her boyfriend Travis Blake.

The story does not seem to add up and the sterling reputation of Travis including a decorated career in the army and service time in Afghanistan go against the logic of this murder.

In a military community like Sweet Haven it is tough to find someone to take on the murder case.

Cameron Winter, an English professor with his own Christmas demons, is convinced to try and solve the murder and find a the killer that makes more sense.


Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Baking Cozy Mystery Series

Another in the Hannah Swensen series. With the holiday season in Lake Eden in full swing there are a lot of small storylines and dramas taking place. Hannah is consumed by her holiday shopping and task list.

All of this grinds to a halt when a man is found on the verge of death in front of the two abandoned storefronts down the street from Hannah’s bakery.

Hannah is left with relatively few clues to try and solve this crime as the man can’t remember anything about himself or what happened, except for the ability to restore antique furniture.

This is another Christmas mystery that Hannah has to dig deep to solve.


Christmas Carol Murder by Leslie Meier

Cozy Christmas Mystery Set in Small Town

One of the best cozy mysteries for Christmas.

Set in the small scenic town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine. The main character is Lucy Stone, a local newspaper reporter who is a mom of three and is starring in the town’s production of the play A Christmas Carol.

Unfortunately, the town is in the midst of a severe recession, which is striking particularly hard around the holidays.

The only winners in town are the owners of the local mortgage company, Jake Marlowe and Ben Scribner and their firm Downeast Mortgage. They are the target of a lot of resentment because of their relative prosperity and lack of remorse for the community’s tough times.

As they make money off the town’s struggles, Jake Marlowe turns up dead.

There is no shortage of potential murderers. Lucy is tasked with getting to the bottom of this murder.


Mistletoe and Murder by Carola Dunn

Historical fiction Cozy Mystery 

Dowager Viscountess Dalrymple gathers the family for the holidays in 1923 at Brockdene in Cornwall at the estate of Lord Westmoor. Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher, the daughter, has no desire to go but ultimately relents.

Lord Westmoor decides not to end up attending and the family ends up stuck in Brockdene with the Norvilles, another family with their own dark past. Daisy and her husband, Alex Fletcher of Scotland Yard, also find out when they get there that the estate is filled with ghosts, treasure, and secrets.

After a few days, tensions boil over and one of the guests is found murdered. Daisy is left to pick up the pieces and use the clues to try and find out what happened.


The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

Classic Christmas Country House mystery

Lily Armitage is asked by her aunt to come home to the Endgame House, where her mother died.

Her aunt asks her to participate in the Christmas Game and has a prize if she wins, her aunt will reveal who killed Lily’s mother.

It becomes obvious when the game gets started that Lily’s cousins have their own motives for winning the game and will do anything to succeed.

A holiday blizzard leaves the house inhabitants on their own, at which point things quickly turn into a worse case for Lily and she is fighting to stay alive.

One of the best Christmas mysteries to read in 2022


Twisted Tea Christmas by Laura Childs

Tea Shop Cozy Christmas Mystery

Drucilla Heyward is one of the wealthiest and most prominent members of Charleston society.

She is hosting a Victorian Christmas party that has everyone buzzing. She has enlisted tea experts Theodosia Browning and Drayton Conneley to help her make sure that the party is catered properly and is a massive success.

During the party, Drucilla is very happy with how the night is going and reveals to Theodosia that she plans to give away all of her wealth and therefore her inheritance to charity.

Theodosia shortly later wanders out into the hallway to find Drucilla lying limp with a syringe in her neck. It is one of the best Christmas mysteries, what happened to Drucilla.


Start reading best Christmas cozy mystery books today!

Find more books to read during the holiday season below

Stephy George
Stephy George

Hi I am Stephy ! I became a bookworm in my late twenties. So I created this little corner of books online to share my love of reading with YOU! I want to help you find the best books to read so you won’t ever have to worry about your next read!

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