I decided to read Christmas books only in December. That was the plan, but after I’d read five, I’d had enough, even though I did enjoy them. The books that I chose were great, but I was hanging out to read about something other than Christmas. At work, we have the same Christmas Carols on rotation all day long, and the customers want to talk about nothing but Christmas, so that is possibly the reason that I’d had enough.
You will notice that I’ve given each of the Christmas books, quite high star ratings, indicating that I enjoyed them very much. I have to say that this wasn’t an accident. I was very picky about the books I chose, as I was expecting most of them to be schmaltzy and cheesy. I don’t think it’s possible to get away from schmaltz in a Christmas book, and I’m not saying these books have none. Their redeeming feature is that they all have more going for them than schmaltz.
Ghost of Christmas Past by Rhys Bowen (Molly Murphy series No. 17
This book is the 17th in the Molly Murphy series. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, but I’m quite keen to after reading The Ghost of Christmas Past. Irish, Molly Murphy Sullivan, is a semi retired detective who is invited, along with her husband, a policeman, to spend Christmas at a mansion belonging to friends of their friends. They accept the invitation, thinking they will have a relaxing time away over the Christmas and New Year period. Very quickly, after their arrival, they pick up on the tension, and start asking around about the owners of the property. They soon find out, that the daughter of the owners, went missing a few years ago, and was never found. On Christmas Day, a young girl knocks on the door, and announces that she is the missing child. The story is about the Molly’s investigation into the case, and into the young girl, not sure what she will find.
A Highland Christmas by M.C. Beaton (Hamish McBeth No. 15.5)
A Highland Christmas is book, no. 15.5 in the Hamish McBeth series, and once again, I haven’t read the earlier books. Hamish McBeth is a police constable in a small village in Scotland, where the locals shun Christmas. They don’t like Christmas decorations, carols, christmas lights or anything the would bring Christmas cheer. While he is trying to create a bit of interest in Christmas amongst the locals, a very unfriendly old resident reports her cat missing. He then discovers there has been a break in at a local shop and his mind turns to the investigation while still wondering about the old lady with the missing cat. The story goes from there. It’s a very quiet, and peaceful but lovely story, which restores hope in people and in the spirit of Christmas. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with Introduction & Notes by Michael Slater
I never tire of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I read it every year and have done so for many years. The story of miser, Ebenezer Scrooge who is taught the true meaning of Christmas from the characters in the story, never loses enjoyment for me. The book was published in 1843, and seems to have become perhaps the most popular of Dickens’ books. I have two copies, and this year read the one that includes an introduction and notes. I usually don’t read the introduction in a book, until I’ve finished the book. as I feel it takes away the surprise at the story line. In this case, I know the story so well that there is no surprise. The introduction and the notes are a great addition to the book. I really enjoyed the short stories that were included. I hadn’t read them for a few years, so it was almost like reading them for the first time. Charles Dickens is known to be very wordy but A Christmas Carol, which is really a novella, couldn’t be accused of that. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay
Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas was a quick easy and, at times, very funny read. The hospital stories of a real life junior doctor, who has worked every Christmas, starting in 2004, and over the years has seen many weird reasons for people being admitted to hospital on Christmas Day. Even though there is humour in the book, there is much sadness and pathos. I particularly felt for the staff who have to work on Christmas Day while the rest of us mess ourselves up so much, that we have to be admitted to hospital. This was a different kind of Christmas story which I loved. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The 19th Christmas (Women’s Murder Club #19) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
This is a Christmas book completely focused on a crime that is expected to happen on Christmas Day. There are many twists and turns to keep the reader interested. I enjoyed the story and found it believable. My only criticism was the I felt that all the loose ends were tied up conveniently and quickly, almost as though they were over their page limit and needed to finish quickly. This is the reason for a slightly lower star rating. Other than that, this story didn’t disappoint at all. I haven’t read any of the Women’s Murder Club series, but will be watching out for them now. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
This post is also linked to Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share
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