Looking for something a bit darker while relaxing as the Yule log burns? Check out these three winter chillers for tales of what evil lurks just beyond the frosted window panes.
White Fire by Preston & Child
A post-modern Sherlock Holmes, the unflappable Special Agent Pendergast uses his brilliant mind and encyclopaedical knowledge of the criminal mind to solve truly baffling cases. In Preston & Child’s White Fire, an arsonist is burning down million-dollar Colorado ranch homes — with the terrified families locked inside. All clues point to a forgotten Sherlock story and a string of bear attacks that plagued the town almost 200 years ago. Only Pendergast can connect the dots. And the reader can sit back and enjoy the ride.
Black Raven by Ann Cleeves
Ann Cleeves has become known for her string of mystery thrillers set along the desolate coast of Shetland Island. In this first of the series, the new year takes a macabre turn as a teenage girl turns up dead. Outcast Magnus Tait should be the obvious suspect. As any astute reader knows, in small towns what may be obvious to outsiders isn’t quite so clear once you scratch the surface. The novel seamlessly blends the traditional tropes of a whodunnit with the speculative intensity of a psychological thriller. A bleak, breathless ride.
In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Newly ordained Clare Fergusson is struggling to find her place in the upstate New York town of Millers Kill. The first female priest of its small Episcopal church, Fergusson has received a chilly reception from both the old church order and the discontent locals. Her problems multiply when a newborn infant is left at the church, and a young mother is found murdered. Julia Spencer-Fleming spins a spell-binding, wintery tale of small town suspicion coupled with whispered secrets and brutal murders.
Love a good murder? Be sure to take a stab at Thou Shalt Not Kilt, a traditional Southern whodunnit with Scottish flavor. For my latest news and updates, follow me on Instagram and TikTok. Sign up for Fatal Fiction, my monthly mystery newsletter, and you’ll get a free download of Masters of Murder, my concise guide to the authors of mystery’s Golden Age.