1) Christmas with the Savages by Mary Clive – suggested by Lissa Evans (writer of one of my favourite books this year, The Crooked Heart, and new blogfriend.) She says: ‘it's perfect in every way (the story of a prim little girl at an Edwardian house party - funny, orginal, touching), and also perfect for Clothes in Books.' I ordered it straight away.
2) Lisa said ‘There is also Nancy Mitford's Christmas Pudding, set during two different Christmas house parties, & a lot of fun.’ I am a Nancy Mitford obsessive, but my re-reading generally starts with the later Pursuit of Love, so she’s right – I need to go back to this one.
3) Margot Kinberg – doyenne of crime fiction bloggers at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist - said ‘Have you read Ngaio Marsh's Tied Up in Tinsel? I think that's another that might fit on this sort of list.’ I have just resolved to read and re-read more of Marsh, so this one goes to the top of the list.
4) Margaret Jones had several great suggestions: ‘Maigret's Christmas is also really good, a great selection of short stories some of which genuinely have a Christmas theme; and of course I love ghost stories at Christmas too. John Masefield's Box of Delights is a fun Christmas-set read as is Arthur Ransome's Winter Holiday.’ Winter Holiday was my favourite of the Swallows and Amazons series, and now I want to read it NOW.
5) Another Antonia Forest fan! Nomey points out that her 'Peter's Room (also brilliant) takes place entirely in the Christmas holidays as does... her Runaway Home'. She says that ‘Forest's characterisation is far superior to many an award-winning fiction writer.’ And I totally agree with her.
|Santa settles down with a cup of coffee to read a good book|
6) ‘One of the most entertaining Christmas stories I know’ says Cecilia. It is Stephen Leacock's Hoodoo McFiggins Christmas, and you can find it online here.
7) Another favourite writer, Christine Poulson gave a second vote for Maigret, and also mentioned ‘Arnuld Indridason's Voices, which is set at Christmas. And then there's Nicholas Blake's The Abominable Snowman.’
8) Audrey nominated Little Women ("Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents" grumbled Jo, lying on the rug) and James Joyce's wondrous The Dead. I should do a Twelfth Night list.
9) TracyK (of Bitter Tea and Mystery) said 'My absolute favorite Christmas mystery is Jane Haddam's Not a Creature was Stirring, the first in the Gregor Demarkian series. I read it twice and could read it again. From last year's Christmas mysteries, I would recommend The Holiday Murders by Robert Gott, a historical mystery set in Australia during World War II. One mystery I read this month was Rest You Merry by Charlotte MacLeod. It is an old favorite of mine. Her first novel and an academic mystery. The other was A Season for Murder by Ann Granger, a fine mystery set among Christmas festivities. Both have skulls on the cover! I will be reviewing them this month.' Tracy's review of the Granger is here.
9) John H Rogers also recommended Jane Haddam's Not A Creature Was Stirring (and I agree with him and Tracy) and added Cyril Hare's An English Murder. Then he said 'I highly recommend the Robert Benchley collection A Good Old- Fashioned Christmas, especially "Christmas Afternoon" ("God help us, everyone") and "Editha's Christmas Burglar".'
10) Steve Mitchell - the Opinionated Film Buff, currently reviewing the ten best Christmas films - said 'I like John Grisham's Skipping Christmas. But my favourite Christmas book ever ever ever is A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.'