Christmas Reading - Fiction

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a decent haul of new, and old, books. This year has been especially good year! Amongst my presents were a number of old books as well as some recently published titles. I love the fact that there is more time to read over the Christmas holiday and this year was no exception.

On my reading pile this year were a couple of cosy mysteries, a new fill-in Chalet School book, a couple of Christmassey novels; Nicholas Nickleby, a festive favourite and an interesting novel published during the Second World War in which schoolgirls get stranded in occupied Belgium, unable to get home and surrrounded by enemies and danger. 

Chris made a really good selection of recently published titles when we met up with his brother and family in Woodstock a few weeks before Christmas. We found a charming small bookshop with an eclectic mix of books. Amongst this selection was the new edition of Nicholas Nickleby and a Josephine Tey novel. My existing copy of Nicholas Nickleby is so dog-eared as I read it every Christmas. For me, Dickens is the epitome of Christmas. So, a new copy was most welcome.

Just before Christmas we visited a friend in Ilkley who has a wonderful bookshop stocking many of my favourite books including juvenile and crime fiction. I left with a small collection of fine books including No Mystery for the Maitlands and Elizabeth Whitehead's Adventurous Exile. The Maitlands book is a Christmas book with lots of snow and Christmassey references.

One of the finds of Christmas 2014 was a Clara Benson crime novel given to me by another of my book buddies! Clara Benson's novels are an excellent addition to my cosy crime library, and the really good news is that there are another five books to read featuring the delightful amateur sleuth Angela Marchmont.

Clara Benson's The Incident at Fives Castle is set at New Year and  Angela Marchmont is at Fives Castle, the Scottish seat of the Earl of Strathmerrick, to see in the start of 1928. But when she finds out that the Foreign Secretary, the American Ambassador and the Head of British Intelligence are also among the guests, Angela begins to suspect that something momentous is afoot. Before long, they are all snowed in and a body is discovered, and Angela soon finds suspicion directed against herself…

The book was a joy to read from beginning to end with more than a hint of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books about it!

So, all in all a wonderful selection of novels for excellent Christmas reading.