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Christmas is a time when Santa Claus, that big fat benevolent bearded guy, flies across the skies to bring Christmas gifts to well behaved children. Sadly there are times when Santa gets into trouble, has to solve murders, or is involved in a murder or two himself. Heck sometimes Santa IS the victim, as we can see in the first book listed below.
Most of the times mystery novels with Santa Claus are cozy mysteries, where nothing scary, gory or horrific happens, and these books are suitable to read with (or for) children around Christmas time as well. However at times even thrillers and scary mysteries include a santa or two within their story line.
So let’s see some of the fun mystery books that have Santa Claus as one of their main characters.
There Goes Santa Claus by Nancy Mehl
There Goes Santa is the 4th – and the last book in the Ivy Towers mystery series by Nancy Mehl. It is a fun cozy mystery series worth checking out. The series follows Ivy and Amos living in Winter Break, Kansas, who at some point got married. In this last novel they are looking forward to enjoying their first Christmas as a married couple.
Just a few days before Christmas both wake up due to some weird noise on their rooftop. Amos even tells Ivy jokingly that Santa has arrived early. To his big surprise, however, it’s not Santa falling off from their roof, but a dead man – granted, dressed in Santa clothes.
Now Ivy and Amos have to put aside their Christmas plans to solve the murder of Santa. Why was he on their rooftop and most of all, who killed him?
It is a fun book which reads easily and despite the murder involved, manages to put you in positive Christmas spirits.
Santa Murders by Bob Moats
Santa Murders is the 31st book in the Jim Richards murder novels series. I’ve read some of the books in the series, but granted, not all. The very first book was published in 2009, so the author was really busy during the last 4-5 years to write 31 books.
In Santa Murders the story is about a naughty santa with murder on his mind. Of course the evil guy is not the real Santa, but an eccentric local preacher who also doubles for Santa at the mall. Jim Richards, the private investigator, along with his wife have to look into death threats received by him, and if things aren’t difficult already, they also have to find who killed a Vegas mobster dressed in Santa Claus.
Santa Murders is an enjoyable cozy worth reading to put you in the Christmas spirit. At less than 200 pages it’s a quick read as well. Recommended.
The Santa Claus Killer by RJ Smith
The Santa Claus Killer is not a cozy mystery, let me start with that. It’s a thriller with some dark and gruesome elements that literally make your skin crawl and send shivering spikes up and down your spine. However it is a really worthwhile reading. It’s in fact so far the first and only book by the author RJ Smith and I hope it won’t be the last. It almost reads like a horror novel.
The story takes place in New York and while I’ve never been there before, I could literally see everything in front of my eyes. The descriptions are really vivid and very realistic. The killer (who works as Santa during this time of the year) is a diabolical sociopath who literally terrorizes Manhattan in the kindest time of the hear: Christmas.
If you like Stephen King as author, you will enjoy The Santa Claus Killer by RJ Smith. Eerie, horrific and compelling at the same time, once you start the book, you won’t want to put it down. I’ve read it recently, review is coming soon on my blog.
Murder on the First Day of Christmas by Billie Thomas
Murder on the First Day of Christmas is the first in the Chloe Capstairs mystery series. The story is about Chloe and her mom Amanda, both home Christmas decorators who stumble upon a severed hand at the house of a customer. Not only that, but it seems that every house they go to decorate for Christmas (all houses of the upper class elite) is targeted by a murderer.
And this brings the mom-daughter team to start on a second part-time job, that of a crime solver. There are many characters in the book and figuring out who the killer is, is not quite easy. However it’s a really fun cozy with lots of lough out loud moments, which makes it a great read for the Christmas holiday.
Christmas Crazy by Kathi Daley
Christmas Crazy is the 3rd book in the Zoe Donovan cozy msytery series. This time around Santa is the murdered victim and Zoe has the job to solve the murder, which has so many twists it can give anyone a headache.
It is a fun cozy with a mixture of Christmas holiday and romance that makes for a light reading. Well worth checking it out, in fact the whole series is a great read. Each book is focused on a particular holiday. The first is about Halloween, the second about Thanksgiving, and now the third about Christmas. I wonder what holidays will the author focus in the next book.
As a special mention, here is Santa Jack, the latest novella in the Repairman Jack mystery series by F. Paul Wilson. Currently the series has 15 books with a few additional novellas included.
If you’ve never read a Repairman Jack novel before, I think Santa Jack is a great way to start. At less than 50 pages it’s a quick read, perfect to get you familiar with F. Paul Wilson’s work.