Christmas 2023 – Gift Guides – Fiction Highlights! 📚

With festive events now launching across the country, pantomimes preparing to open and Christmas adverts starting to roll out, the lead up to the Holidays is well and truly underway. In the lead up to Christmas, we will be publishing a series of different themed Gift Guides to help you with your Christmas present shopping and provide some last minute inspiration.

For this latest guide, we’ve rounded up a selection of the top new Fiction Highlights that are sure to be among the most wished for titles this Christmas!

The Last Devil To Die (The Thursday Murder Club 4) by Richard Osman (Viking)

Shocking news reaches the Thursday Murder Club…

Richard Osman returns with this delightful fourth novel in the record breaking and multi-million copy selling The Thursday Murder Club series, sure to be one of the very best sellers and most wished for titles this holiday season.

An old friend in the antiques business has been killed, and a dangerous package he was protecting has gone missing. As the gang springs into action they encounter art forgers, online fraudsters and drug dealers, as well as heartache close to home. With the body count rising, the package still missing and trouble firmly on their tail, has their luck finally run out? And who will be the last devil to die?

Complete the collection and lose yourself in another cosy mystery this Christmas with the series’ best entry so far!

Hercule Poirot’s Silent Night by Sophie Hannah (HarperCollins)

You don’t get chosen to write the new official Hercule Poirot novels if you aren’t a great writer, and Sophie Hannah is certainly a great one. Stepping into Agatha Christie’s monumental shoes is not a task to be taken lightly, though through her five Poirot books published to date, Hannah has proven herself more than up to the enormous task.

It’s 19 December 1931. Hercule Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool are called to investigate the murder of a man in the apparent safe haven of a Norfolk hospital ward. Catchpool’s mother, the irrepressible Cynthia, insists that Poirot stays in a crumbling mansion by the coast, so that they can all be together for the festive period while Poirot solves the case. Cynthia’s friend Arnold is soon to be admitted to that same hospital and his wife is convinced he will be the killer’s next victim, though she refuses to explain why.

Poirot has less than a week to solve the crime and prevent more murders, if he is to escape from this nightmare scenario and get home in time for Christmas. Meanwhile, someone else – someone utterly ruthless – also has ideas about what ought to happen to Hercule Poirot . . .

Lose yourself in this thrilling new book as Poirot puts his little grey cells to work solving a baffling Christmas mystery.

Holly by Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton)

The release of any new Stephen King book always feels like something of an event, and his latest novel is no exception.

Following appearances in Mr Mercedes, Finders Keepers and The Outsider, King’s latest work marks the triumphant return the return of Holly Gibney, one of his most compelling and resourceful characters, who now returns to solve the gruesome truth behind multiple disappearances in a Midwestern town.

Readers have witnessed Holly’s gradual transformation from a shy (but also brave and ethical) recluse in Mr Mercedes to Bill Hodges’s partner in Finders Keepers to a full-fledged, smart, and occasionally tough private detective in The Outsider. In King’s new novel, Holly is on her own, and up against a pair of unimaginably depraved and brilliantly disguised adversaries.

When Penny Dahl calls the Finders Keepers detective agency hoping for help locating her missing daughter, Holly is reluctant to accept the case. Her partner, Pete, has Covid. Her (very complicated) mother has just died. And Holly is meant to be on leave. But something in Penny Dahl’s desperate voice makes it impossible for Holly to turn her down.

Mere blocks from where Bonnie Dahl disappeared live Professors Rodney and Emily Harris. They are the picture of bourgeois respectability: married octogenarians, devoted to each other, and semi-retired lifelong academics. But they are harbouring an unholy secret in the basement of their well-kept, book-lined home, one that may be related to Bonnie’s disappearance. And it will prove nearly impossible to discover what they are up to: they are savvy, they are patient, and they are ruthless.

Holly must summon all her formidable talents to outthink and outmanoeuvre the shockingly twisted professors in this chilling new masterwork from The Master of Horror.

An Italian Christmas: Festive Tales for La Dolce Vita (Vintage Christmas Tales)

Buon Natale…

The third volume in the Vintage Christmas Tales series, following A Scandinavian Christmas and A German Christmas, An Italian Christmas is a lovely collection of Italian themed festive stories that put the passionate, fiery side of the festive period back into Christmas, and the perfect book for dipping into this festive season.

In this collection, classic works by Boccaccio to Pirandello intertwine with more recent stories from writers like Anna Maria Ortese, Natalia Ginzburg and Nobel laureate Grazia Deledda to bring together the greatest festive tales from the land of enchantment: Italy.

Make Christmas all the more joyful with these literary treats filled with ancient churches, plates piled high with pasta, flowing wine, shimmering gifts and plenty of style.

Geneva by Richard Armitage (Faber & Faber)

If it’s a tense, gripping and high-octane psychological thriller you’re looking for this Christmas, then look no further than Richard Armitage‘s skillfully crafted debut, Geneva.

Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sarah Collier has started to show the same tell-tale signs of Alzheimer’s disease as her father: memory loss, even blackouts. So she is reluctant to accept the invitation to be the guest of honour at a prestigious biotech conference – until her husband Daniel, a neuroscientist, persuades her that the publicity storm will be worth it. The technology being unveiled at this conference could revolutionise medicine forever. More than that, it could save Sarah’s life.

In Geneva, the couple are feted as stars – at least, Sarah is. But behind the five-star luxury, investors are circling, controversial blogger Terri Landau is all over the story, and Sarah’s symptoms are getting worse. As events begin to spiral out of control, Sarah can’t be sure who to trust – including herself.

The Paris Affair by Anton Du Beke (Orion)

In the city of love, a stranger will change everything…

Strictly Come Dancing favourite and all-round entertainer Anton Du Beke is back with this expectedly suave and charming new novel in his bestselling Buckingham Hotel series, filled with elegance, sweeping romance and drama.

Paris, 1926. A young dancer Ray Cohen arrives from London to compete at the Exhibition Paris. He is led astray by Hugo, a charismatic dancer born of the streets, who introduces him to the city’s nightlife and a beautiful stranger called Hannah Lindt. His life is forever changed.

London, 1941. With the heroic Raymond de Guise away fighting in North Africa, his beloved wife Nancy must balance her new position – as Head of Housekeeping at the Buckingham Hotel – with her duties as a new mother to their child. As the war rages on, someone from Raymond’s past arrives at Nancy’s doorstep, asking for help.

As dark secrets rise to the surface, everything Raymond loves comes under threat. Will tragedy strike?

The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson (Faber & Faber)

Gripping, cleverly plotted and filled with deliciously devious twists, The Christmas Guest is a classic, gothic country house murder mystery ideal for some compelling festive reading, and a perfect quick read at just 160 pages!

When Ashley Smith – a bright-eyed but lonely American studying in London – is invited to spend Christmas with her classmate’s family at their Cotswolds manor house, it seems like a perfect country idyll. And for Ashley – who records it all in her diary – there’s the added romantic potential of her friend’s twin brother, Adam, who she thinks could be her wildest dream come true. But is there something strange about the old house, both stately and rundown? What could the motives of the mysterious Chapman family be? And what holiday horrors might be lying in wait?

A must-read festive chiller and a great stocking filler for all good mystery fans!

The Christmas Jigsaw Murders by Alexandra Benedict (Simon & Schuster UK)


A deliciously dark and twisted festive mystery perfect for fans of puzzling crime thrillers, The Christmas Jigsaw Murders is a thrilling, page-turning homage to the Golden Age of the mystery thriller and the perfect stocking filler for mystery addicts this Christmas.

On 19th of December, renowned puzzle setter, loner and Christmas sceptic Edie O’Sullivan finds a hand-delivered present on her doorstep. Unwrapping it, she finds a jigsaw box and, inside, six jigsaw pieces. When fitted together, the pieces show part of a crime scene – blood-spattered black and white tiles and part of an outlined body. Included in the parcel is a message: ‘Four, maybe more, people will be dead by midnight on Christmas Eve, unless you can put all the pieces together and stop me.’ It’s signed, Rest In Pieces.

Edie contacts her nephew, DI Sean Brand-O’Sullivan, and together they work to solve the clues. But when a man is found near death with a jigsaw piece in his hand, Sean fears that Edie might be in danger and shuts her out of the investigation. As the body count rises, however, Edie knows that only she has the knowledge to put together the killer’s murderous puzzle.

Only by fitting all the pieces together will Edie be able to stop a killer – and finally lay her past to rest.

The Woman in Black and Other Ghost Stories by Susan Hill (Vintage Quarterbound Classics)

Christmas is nothing without a good ghost story to add some spookiness to the festive season, and Susan Hill‘s iconic novella, The Woman in Black, is one of the very best.

Released as part of the new Vintage Quarterbound Classics collection, readers can now own this beautiful hardback edition of the famously terrifying ghost story, presented together with four other spine-chilling tales in one must have volume.

Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black – and her terrible purpose.

This illustrated edition of The Woman in Black also includes four of Susan Hill’s scariest ghost stories: Dolly, The Man in the Picture, Printer’s Devil Court and The Small Hand.

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