When we think of love, romance and passion, crime and thriller fiction is not the usual genre of books that spring to mind, but if you’re looking for some Valentine’s Day reads with a bit of twist, check out the titles below!
And if you’ve left it to last minute to get your writing beau the perfect gift, why not give the gift of editing this year?
Christmas time is not only a time for joy and laughter, but it’s also a time to take a step back and slow down; enjoy some time to kick back and relax after what has, quite frankly, been one heck of a year. With that in mind, I’ve curated a list of Christmas-themed crime and thriller novels to get you in the mood for the holidays and for you to indulge in with your favourite tipple and a mince pice. These reads will have you gripped to the edge of your seat from Christmas Eve all the way to New Years day!
Whether you’re looking for a read for yourself, or a present for the crime fiction lover in your life, click the images to find out more – and try to shop indie if you can! If you’re after gift ideas for your writer friends, check out my Shop Small Gift Guide for writers, or why not give the gift of editing this year?
Before I wanted to be an editor, I thought about pursuing a career in the law. Funny, no? However, my poor memory and terror of public speaking put paid to that quite quickly. But, if you think about it, the jobs aren’t that different. Now apologies to my lawyer friends if this is totally reductive, but if you think about it, really, all lawyers are just story tellers. Both the defence and prosecution are given the same building blocks – the facts – but it is their job to weave these together to present their client’s side, their narrative, their story, to win the case.
This is what fascinates me about legal thrillers and why I love to read John Grisham and Steve Cavanagh. But also why I devoured the debut novel by barrister Alex Churchill, THE NIGHT LAWYER.
It’s safe to say that to new writers and authors, once you leave the seclusion of your writing desk, the world of PUBLISHING is a little daunting? There is so much jargon, so many processes, ways to do things, ways not to do things, that it can all be a bit much! When I first joined the industry, I was a little flummoxed too. I loved books more than anything, but I didn’t understand a think about how a book was actually made.
The single most important piece of advice I can give an author is to READ. Step into the mind of your customer – your readers! – and devour as much as you can. What do you like as a reader? What don’t you like? Which characters make you smile, frown? Which characters are you compelled to read on about even though you don’t like them? What plots have been done to death? What plots can you do differently? What books are winning prizes, what books are flying off shelves – and a lot of the time they aren’t the same!
Researching your reader isn’t just for the marketers, but for the author too – and if you’re an indie author, you’ll be wearing both hats anyway! – as knowledge of the market is invaluable. Not only will you find out about your fellow authors and your readers, you’ll also find ouy so much about yourself as a writer.
So why wait to start your education? I have the perfect thriller to kick you off!
One of the benefits of lockdown has meant that on my days off, I have actually had a chance to read. Before, me and the boyfriend would head off somewhere to make the most of our time in Australia, but arriving back home just in time for a pandemic has freed up the diary somewhat.
The latest in my library has been EIGHT PERFECT MURDERS (or RULES FOR MURDER in the UK) by Peter Swanson.
What’s not to love for the crime and mystery book editor reading a crime and mystery thriller about a crime and mystery bookseller? The premise is clever and this twists unexpected. It’s compelling reading with a narrator that so draws you in that you can’t help but turn the page. Dark, literary and genius.
My only bugbear is that the narrator does give away the plots and twists to some classic mystery novels – not all of which I have got round to reading. You have been warned. But I guess it just tells me I have homework to do.
I’ll definitely be looking for more from this author and would recommend to my crime-fiction-loving pals and authors! Plus (at the time of writing) it’s 99p on UK Kindle!
Thank you to the publisher and author for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
It is already 25 December 2019 here in Australia. This year, Christmas feels a little different as we’ll be celebrating in the sunshine of Adelaide’s summer. I seem to have a mental block over this, with the warm weather and festive spirit not really computing. To be honest, I don’t feel Christmassy – even though I really want to! I’m sure eating my weight in mince pies this evening will sort that out in no time. However, what is also different is that because my boyfriend is working throughout the day, I’ll also be working at my desk too – maybe with a Celebrations tin to ease the pain. However, it will feel weird knowing that my family and friends are on the other side of the planet celebrating without me.
Now as I pack away the world’s smallest violin, I am aware that I have it comparitively easy. There will be many people who will be spending their Christmas not munching on far too much food and other indulgences, but will be busy looking after us. I’m talking about our emergency service workers. I say this every year because it is a cause close to my heart but it feels especially potent this year with our adoptive country battling some of the worst wildfires on record. There will be those actively fighting the blazes, those treating the injured as well as those helping those affected get to safety.
But also back home, the emergency services will still be up and running, helping those affected by the flooding that is hitting the country at the moment but also dealing with the accidents, mishaps and emergencies that the festive period can bring. With the NHS in particular being a much talked about topic at the moment (no politics – it’s Christmas), it’s just as important to acknowledge the fundamental role that our healthcare and emergency services do during the holiday season and not take it for granted.
So what I’m trying to say is whilst you’re eating your Christmas turkey or your Christmas barbeque, extend a thought to the lifeblood of our emergency services, ensuring we’re safe this Christmas.
One way I’ve been doing this is reading Adam Kay’s – author of the downright amazing This is Going to Hurt – new book, Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas. It’s another hilarious and heartbreaking account of life on the wards of the NHS, but all based around the Christmas shifts that Kay seemed to have the bad luck to draw almost every year in his medical career! A short but entertaining read, it reminds us of those at the frontline of the emergency services, but Kay’s unbridled wit can’t fail to bring some festive cheer!