Some writers spend years working painstakingly on one book. Other authors, meanwhile, seem to effortlessly churn out several a year.
For readers, waiting years for the next book can be agonizing, but it can also be frustrating to read something that seems hastily thrown together. For that reason, every reader (and writer, for that matter) definitely has their preference, with some militantly spurning series and others who think that, well, the more, the merrier. (Personally, I’m in the middle. I enjoy a good series, but I’m also not much of one for the seemingly never-ending ones, with a couple of notable exceptions, because I quickly lose interest.)
This month at the library, we’re celebrating those merrier writers, those with long-running series, by highlighting their holiday entries. The good news . . . if you like what you read, there’s plenty more!
J.D. Robb’s Festive in Death
In researching this article, I discovered that in the genres where long-running series are often the norm, mysteries are far more likely to have Christmas themes. I’m not going to speculate on correlation, but if you feel the need to indulge in a little literary murder during the holidays, J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) has you covered. In this entry in Robb’s series about futuristic detective Eve Dallas, the victim is a womanizing personal trainer. The suspect list is a long one, and on top of that, Eve also has regular holiday chores to contend with.
Recommended for those who enjoy Laurell K. Hamilton, Suzanne Brockmann, and Julie Garwood.
Sue Grafton’s E is for Evidence
Private detective Kinsey Millhone also gets to deal with a difficult case while juggling a complicated personal life and the bustle of the holidays. But this isn’t an ordinary case. Instead, it’s Kinsey herself who is the accused–of being corrupt and mishandling evidence intentionally. It’s going to be up to herself to get her name cleared.
Recommended for those who enjoy Raymond Chandler, Judith A. Jance, and Mary Higgins Clark.
James Patterson’s Merry Christmas, Alex Cross
Profiler Alex Cross is just looking to enjoy a quiet Christmas Eve with his family. Unfortunately for him, nobody ever writes books about quiet Christmas Eves. Alex Cross is summoned to diffuse a tense hostage situation that is rapidly spiraling out of control. If he wants to get home to his own family, he’ll have to find a way to prevent things from escalating even further.
Recommended for those who enjoy John Sandford, Jeffrey Deaver, and Jonathan Kellerman.
Debbie Macomber’s Twelve Days of Christmas
Don’t like murders with your Christmas merriment? Try instead one of Debbie Macomber’s holiday-themed romances. In this one, good-natured Julie is at wits’ end with her unpleasant neighbor Cain. As the holidays roll around, she becomes determined to break down his icy, rude demeanor with an act of kindness for each day for the twelve days of Christmas. They start to fall in love, but that’s complicated by her decision to record her 12 days of Christmas charity experiment on a blog.
Recommended for those who enjoy Lori Copeland, Richard Paul Evans, and Jan Karon.
William Johnstone’s Lone Star Christmas
If you like your Christmas stories a little more Western, you can’t go wrong with William Johnstone. He’s got a whole series of them! Because nothing says Christmas like a cattle drive gone wrong! A handful of Texas cowboys are commissioned to accept a cattle drive in the middle of winter–which seems like a really bad idea to this armchair wrangler–and quickly find themselves beset with rustlers, bad weather, hostile Native Americans, and murder.
Recommended for those who enjoy Louis L’Amour.
Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather
Probably the oddest book on this list (and likely the funniest), Hogfather celebrates the holidays Discworld-style. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels are a delightfully odd combination of humor and fantasy and an expansive fantasy world. The Hogfather is the Discworld version of Santa, but he has gone missing. It is up to Death (yes, that Death) and his granddaughter Susan to figure out what’s going on. Complications ensue.
Recommended for those who enjoy Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde, and Neil Gaiman.
As always if you would like to place a hold on any of these items or learn more about them, please follow this link to our online library catalog.
What’s your favorite long-standing series? What’s your favorite Christmas book? What are you reading this holiday season? Tell us in the comments!