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Don't Miss These Fun Holiday Mysteries
Ballard, Mignon F. Hark The Herald Angel Screamed
It’s Christmastime in the seemingly tranquil town of Stone’s Throw, South Carolina, but amid all the caroling, cookies, and cheer, a murderer casts a not-so-jolly pall on the holiday season. Augusta Goodnight, guardian angel, sometime sleuth, and welcome boarder with longtime resident Lucy Nan Pilgrim, comes to the aid of her friends when, as Lucy Nan is searching for the perfect Christmas tree on her grandmother’s abandoned estate, a mysterious stranger plummets to his death from the mansion’s balcony. Lucy Nan can’t shake off childhood stories of the ghost of a girl who fell from the same spot long ago---has the ghost come back to haunt the living, or is there an all-too-human murderer at work?Mysterious events are soon heating up faster than spiced punch left on the burner, and it will take Augusta’s help, not to mention some celestial Southern cooking, for peace to be restored and Christmas lights to shine once again in the little town of Stone’s Throw.

Bary, Dave. The Shepherd the Angel and Walter the Christams Miracle Dog
In this “hilarious” (USA Today) national bestseller, Pulitzer Prize–winning humorist Dave Barry pens one of the warmest, most delightful Christmas stories ever. The year is 1960, and the Christmas pageant at St. John’s Episcopal Church is a very big deal. Doug Barnes is a shepherd this year, which is better than being a Three King, because you get to carry a stick. There are problems, however. The girl he likes is playing Mary opposite a Joseph who is depressingly smart, athletic, and cute; the family dog is doing poorly, and they have no idea what they’re going to tell Doug’s little sister, Becky; and his dad’s just gotten a flat tire, which means they might not even get to the pageant. But Christmas is a time of miracles. And for Doug and his family, this will be the most miraculous Christmas of all.

Brown, Rita Mae. Santa Clawed
As Harry well knows, there's santahardly a place on earth cozier than Crozet, Virginia, at Christmastime. The snowflakes drifting lazily down, the soft glow of the winter light, the sound of old carols in the streets...even cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter get into the spirit batting ornaments and climbing the holiday tree. In fact, it's this year's tree that Harry and her husband, Fair, have gone to fetch when they find the one they've chosen grimly decorated with a dead body.

The tree farm is run by The Brothers of Love, a semimonastic organization that tends to AIDS patients. The brothers live in a monastery atop the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Harry is surprised to find an old high-school friend associated with The Brothers of Love. Christopher Hewitt wasn't a bad man, but good works weren't exactly one of his priorities. But then, if even Scrooge could turn over a new leaf, certainly Chris could. And after the scandal that all but destroyed his life, there were probably few in Crozet who needed the gift of a second chance more.

Harry knows she shouldn't take it personally, but it was her tree under which someone left the corpse...

Carl, Joanna The Chocolate Snowman Murders
Lee McKinney Woodyard knows that being in the luxury chocolate business isn’t all sweetness and light, and neither is the holiday season. But she tries to draw the line at cold-blooded murder.As treasurer of WinterFest, Lee is up to her elbows in the arguments, egos, and last-minute mix-ups that happen behind the scenes. But she’s coping, even when the guest juror of the art show shows up drunk. Lee leaves him to sleep it off, and is stunned the next day when her husband, Joe, discovers someone has put the visiting dignitary into a permanent state of repose...

Morrell, David Spy Who Came For Christmas
It’s Christmas Eve in Santa Fe, but among the revelers on Canyon Road, a decidedly unholy scene is taking place. A desperate man, dressed all in black, feverishly seeks refuge for himself and the squirming bundle he holds tightly against his breast. Agent Paul Kagan’s bundle is a baby who has the power to change the course of global events. His pursuers are his former colleagues—members of the Russian mafia who will stop at nothing to accomplish their mission. Now Kagan is a spy on the run—he must ensure this baby’s survival, even if it will cost him his own life.
Just a short distance away, Kagan will find an unexpected pair of allies—a mother and her young son, who huddle together after a horrible episode of domestic violence leaves them home alone, with no means of transportation.
And so, with the exquisitely honed skills of his profession and the help and good faith of a weary woman and a disillusioned boy, Kagan must take on forces that will stop at nothing. In the course of a wild and violent night, the unlikely trio learn lessons of generosity, courage, and selflessness, discovering within themselves the luminous strength of the true Christmas spirit.

Murphy, Shirley Rousseau. Cat Deck the Halls
Molena Point, California, makes Christmas a traditional affair but the dead stranger the village tree puts feline PI Joe Grey and his tabby lady into a pickle....

Sefton, Maggie Fleece Navidad
A special holiday knitting mystery from the national bestselling author of Dyer Consequences—with delicious recipes and knitting patterns!It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the knitters of Fort Connor, Colorado, who are furiously working on their holiday projects. Juliet, the town’s “little brown wren” librarian, is known for her beautiful handmade Christmas capes, and she has extra reason to be joyful this year—she’s in love. But as soon as she finds happiness, death finds her.Suspicion falls on a newcomer to the knitting group, but Kelly Flynn and the rest of the crew aren’t convinced of this person’s guilt. It’s up to them to separate the true lion from the lambs— before someone else gets fleeced…

Washburn, Livia J. The Christmas Cookie Killer
Christmas comes to Weatherford, Texas, in this delicious new entry in the national bestselling series.Yuletide is here—and retired teacher cum amateur sleuth Phyllis Newsom looks forward to finishing up this unlucky year. But she won’t be hanging up her apron just yet—because this year’s Christmas bake-off is going to be cutthroat.Phyllis would like to think she’s entering the Christmas cookie contest for the fun of it—but that’s not exactly true. She can’t imagine anyone beating her snowflake-shaped lime sugar cookies. Then, during her annual Christmas cookie exchange, Phyllis heads over to the elderly Mrs. Simmons’s home and finds her dead, in a pile of lime sugar cookies. But with a number of names on Santa’s naughty list, this case may be a hard cookie to crumble.

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Comment by I. J. Parker on December 27, 2008 at 12:33am
Well, selling books is their business, but if anyone here grumbles: Poisoned Pen is probably the independent bookstore that is most actively supportive of mystery authors. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, you nice folks at Poisoned Pen.

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