Welcome to a huge celebration of Christmas-themed books! Every November I impulse buy a ton of Christmas-themed books (mostly romances) and dump them onto my Kindle. I then spend the next two months wallowing in wonderful, heart-warming, sometimes sexy reads. This year I'm sharing twelve of my favorites, and day five is all about intrigue and theft at a Victorian Christmas!
[I'm tweaking parts of this synopsis because *series spoilers*]
Lady Julia's Christmas will not have the Christmas she'd planned when she finds herself called to her father's ancestral estate, Bellmont Abbey, with her eccentric family and a menagerie of animals in tow. Nevertheless, Julia looks forward to a lively family gathering—but amongst the celebrations, a mystery stirs. There are missing jewels, new faces at the Abbey, and a prowling ghost that brings back unwelcome memories from a previous holiday—one that turned deadly. Is a new culprit recreating crimes of the past? And will detective Nicolas Brisbane let Julia investigate—?
So this recommendation comes with a caveat: if you haven't read the Lady Julia Grey Mysteries, stop what you're doing and go fix that. I'll wait.
I love these books. Not only are the books rich with period detail, readers also get the chance to watch Lady Julia grow into a more assertive, confident version of herself while butting heads with Nicholas Brisbane, which is delightful. While the second in the series is set in the run-up to Christmas, this is book 5.5 and the more obviously Christmasy of the two. You can certainly read it out of order but that would be spoiling the long arc romance written into these books, and that is worth waiting for.
Check back tomorrow for more Christmas reading recommendations as the 12 Days of Christmas Reads rolls on with a snowbound Regency romance anthology. If you want to see all of the 12 Days of Christmas Reads recommendations in one place, you can check out this handy landing page. And be sure to download my London-set Christmas novella, Kiss Me at Midnight.