The 5 Thrilling Winter Reads I Can’t Wait To Start
I know I’m very much in the minority here, but I genuinely do love Winter. When else can you curl up with a hot chocolate and a great book with a fire crackling in the background and just enjoy the afternoon – bonus points if it’s raining outside – then there’s definitely no guilt for spending the day on the couch. In full transparency, that dream situation only happens a few times each Winter if I’m lucky. What happens way more often is me wrapped up in my fluffy dressing gown with my dog (or both of them) squished in my lap as I race through a thrilling page-turner hoping to finish the chapter before the washing machine beeps or a pressing email needs attending to, and I need to get back to reality. But still, let’s live in the dream with the roaring fire and the hot beverages and the no responsibilities…
And what genre compliments the above dream scenario perfectly? A modern murder mystery, a classic who-dun-it, an unexpected domestic thriller, a suspenseful police procedural – pick whatever sub-category you like because the umbrella term of ‘Mystery’ covers quite a bit, but that’s all I want when it’s cold, dark and gloomy. Winter weather and mystery novels go together like gin and tonic, like hot chocolate and marshmallows, like choc-chips and cookies (coincidentally all those things go really well with long reading sessions too). So I thought I’d share the mystery books that I have on my pile to read over the next few months.
4:50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie
An oldie but a goodie. An unsuspecting passenger glances out her window at just the right moment to see a murder taking place in the adjacent train. Unfortunately, she appears to be the only witness, and with no body or evidence of any kind that a crime ever took place, it’s up to her old friend Miss Marple to solve the mystery. I’ve seen this film a hundred times, so there won’t be any dramatic reveals, but it’s one of my favourite old-school who-dunnits so I thought it was high time I read the book.
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
When a local teacher is found floating in the lake covered in red roses Detective Gemma Woodstock pushes to be assigned the case, failing to mention that she went to school with the murdered woman years earlier. This is the first police investigation thriller of the list, it’s a style I love to read so I tend to gravitate towards something with an investigative undertone, I find it anchors the book in the ‘now’ and usually gives a reliable narration as things unfold. I’m really looking forward to this one, my neighbour recommended it last year during one of our many lockdowns and I’m only just now getting around to picking it up.
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
Who can resist a gripping suspense meets domestic thriller set in the Scottish Highlands? Not me evidently. When Amelia and Adam mysteriously win a romantic trip for two the couple quickly realises that all is not as it seems, and someone doesn’t want them to live happily ever after – and that someone might just be their spouse. Reviews are calling this ‘chilling’ and ‘gripping’ – sounds like the perfect Winter read!
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
The blurb doesn’t give too much away on this one, but give me a small Swedish town divided by an untold mystery with a teenage ice hockey team subplot (quite the niche) and I’m a happy girl. This has recently been made into a limited series, which I’m so keen to watch, but I want to finish the book first. At 482 pages this is definitely on the chunkier side compared to my typical reads, but I’ve downloaded the audiobook from my local library to help me along and hopefully, it’s thrilling enough to keep me hooked.
Under A Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes
Set in the English countryside, the local police squad headed up by DCI Louisa Smith is called to two seemingly unrelated deaths, one murder at a nearby farm and an apparent suicide at a local quarry. I first bought this book years ago, and I actually started reading it way back when, but just didn’t get into it, but I’m a lot more interested in thrillers and murder mysteries now than I was so I’m giving it another go.
What’s on your reading list for the next few months? Whether you’re in the Northern Hemisphere enjoying the warmth of Summer or down south freezing your tail off like me in the depths of Winter, there seem to be so many great books out now to match the mood. Plus I’ve got a blogpost here with all the books I read last year and what I thought of them if you need some more inspiration. Happy reading!