Throughout December, many find themselves with days off from work and school. To fill this free time and escape the chaos of seeing family and friends around the holiday season, The Eagle has compiled a list of cozy mystery novels for you to enjoy. Each of the novels on this list features gripping storylines and an intricate web of suspects for you to choose from.
Here are five mystery novels to keep you on the edge of your seat this December:
“The Housemaid” by Freida McFadden
The Winchesters seem like a perfect family. With a handsome husband and beautiful daughter, Nina Winchester seems to have it all. But when she hires Millie Calloway to be her housekeeper, it becomes clear that things aren’t as they seem.
Millie cleans until the kitchen is spotless, cooks and takes care of the Winchesters’ daughter, but Nina never seems satisfied. Millie soon realizes her bedroom door locks only from the outside, but by the time she uncovers the family’s deeper secrets, it’s too late. Like the Winchesters, Millie has secrets of her own. To keep her job, she relies on the fact that they haven’t figured out what she might be hiding. Millie struggles to keep her secrets close, while uncovering what might be causing Nina to treat her so poorly.
“Hercule Poirot’s Christmas” by Agatha Christie
In “Hercule Poirot’s Christmas,” the affluent Simeon Lee calls his four very different sons and their wives to his home for Christmas. After announcing his disappointment in them and claiming that he is going to change his will, Lee is murdered.
What starts out as a family reunion — albeit with a couple of suspicious characters — soon turns into an investigation into Lee’s murder. With almost a dozen suspects, many of whom have a reason to dislike Simeon Lee, this novel plays into Christie’s classic themes of family troubles, inheritance and layers upon layers of secrets.
“A Good Girl's Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson
Five years prior to the start of “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder,” Andie Bell, a high school student in Fairview, Connecticut, was murdered. Everyone in town knows Sal Singh, Andie’s boyfriend, did it.
Pippa Fitz-Amobi, a current high school senior in Fairview, isn’t convinced that Sal is guilty and decides to turn the case into her senior capstone project. As Pippa uncovers more and more secrets, she puts herself in danger and is left wondering if the true killer is still at large. This exhilarating mystery has many suspects, and it seems that everyone Andie knew has secrets.
“Rock Paper Scissors” by Alice Feeny
From New York Times bestselling author Alice Feeny, “Rock Paper Scissors” presents a twisted world full of lies, strained relationships and too many secrets.
Husband and wife — Adam and Amelia Wright — win a weekend stay at a remote getaway in Scotland. As the plot progresses, it becomes clear that they didn’t end up in such a remote location by accident, and that they aren’t safe. Nothing in this story is random, and changing points of view provide as many surprises as the thrilling plot twists.
“After the Funeral” by Agatha Christie
Christie is famously outsold by only the Bible and Shakespeare. Her impressive career has lasted over six decades, so it's no surprise that a second one of her mysteries has made this list.
“After the Funeral,” the 33rd Hercule Poirot Mystery, tells the story of events unfolding after — you guessed it — a funeral. Richard Abernathy, the master of a Victorian mansion, passes away. At the funeral, his sister Cora highlights the possibility of murder, and soon, her own sudden death launches an investigation into the murders. The large Abernathy inheritance might suggest familial involvement in the killings, but Christie ensures that the reader is left questioning until the end — who had enough motive to kill?
Whether one is looking for a quicker read or a complex thriller, there is a novel on here for every reader. Each of these authors brings something different to the world of mystery and will leave you looking over your shoulder.
This article was edited by Sara Winick, Patricia McGee and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis, Olivia Citarella and Charlie Mennuti.