For me, autumn and winter are all about lighting candles and getting cosy with a good book or TV series. There’s nothing I like more than booking a country cottage break at this time of year – somewhere with a real coal fire and nothing outside for miles around.
David is very much an active person who likes to be doing something all the time. I’m making slow but consistent progress in training him to like lazy days in bed and holidays where you do nothing but sit about. We have booked a cottage in the North Yorkshire Dales for November, and we are hoping to squeeze in a stay in one of these cottages in the Cotswolds before Christmas. I love going out during the day and buying lots of fresh produce and bakes from local villages, then staying in at night with a bottle of wine, all that good food and a good book. I wanted to share with you 4 gripping thriller novels to get cosy with on your cold weather cottage break.
The Mistletoe Murder & Other Stories by P. D. James – £5.75 (Paperback), Amazon
This is a collection of short stories written by one of history’s best crime writers P. D. James. All four stories will get you in the mood for Christmas – the feature story, The Mistletoe Murder, is actually written first-hand as P. D. James was involved in the crime herself. It tells the story of a Christmas murder that occurred six decades ago at a remote family estate. The ending has a fabulous twist! One of the other stories, A Very Commonplace Murder takes the reader along with quite an unlikeable protagonist. A young man is executed for the murder of the his married lover, but did he do it? Our protagonist failed to come forward as a witness. In The Boxdale Inheritance, a detective gets involved in a complicated historic crime. His godfather has just received a large inheritance from his deceased aunt, but it appears that she may not have obtained it by honest means. When his aunt was younger, did she murder her elderly husband to get hold of his wealth? In the final story, The Twelve Clues of Christmas, the same detective investigates an apparent suicide. Was it a murder?
Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah – £5.19 (Paperback), Amazon
Out of all these novels, this one gripped me the most. It was such an enjoyable read, and when I wasn’t, I was thinking about the next time I could pick up the book. It tells the story of a mother who takes herself off on a holiday to the US, leaving her family behind at home in the UK. She has personal stuff going on and retreats to a US country spa resort to think things over. Upon checking in, extremely tired, she is given the key to a room that is already occupied. She apologies to the room’s guests (a child clutching her toy and a man who appears to be her Dad) and hastily retreats. The next day, another guest goes to reception and says she has seen a girl at the retreat who she is sure is Melody Chapa – a girl that went missing many years ago. Out of curiosity, our protagonist reads up on the case of this missing girl and realises to her horror that it is the young girl from the room she walked into by mistake. Melody’s parents are in prison for her murder and it was a case that was all over the media in the US. Who was that in the room with her? What happened to her all those years ago? She needs to find the girl again, to unravel the mystery and free her wrongly imprisoned parents.The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn – £3.99 (Paperback), Amazon
The Woman in the Window was a number one Sunday Times bestseller last year, and has been hailed by a host of adored crime writers as being a must-read. Agoraphobic Anna has been confined to her house for the past ten months as she’s too scared to go outside. Her only experience of the world outside her door has been watching the window of the house opposite, and it’s inhabitants who appear to be a picture-perfect family. One night however, Anna hears a scream and she witnesses something terrible through that window. Now she has motivation to re-join society – she must find out what happened, but will anyone believe what she saw?
Miss Marple: Nemesis by Agatha Christie – £3.99 (Kindle), Amazon
One of Agatha Christie’s most loved crime investigators, Miss Marple, is back with another case to solve. Miss Marple’s life is disrupted when she receives a letter from a dead acquaintance Mr Rafiel. Mr Rafiel wanted this letter to be sent to Miss Marple in the event of his death. In the letter, he instructs Miss Marple to investigate a crime that has troubled him, but gives no further details. With a nose for a mystery, Miss Marple must investigate who and what he is talking about.
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