New 2023 Christmas Mystery & Thriller Books

Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by Taylor

‘Tis the season to be festive! As the holidays draw nearer, I wanted to share some of the most-anticipated new Christmas books of 2023. Most of these mystery novels are either set during Christmas, or have some sort of holiday season-related themes or plot points.

I’ve split this series into two parts. This list (part one) features mystery books, thrillers, and even a holiday ghost story anthology! Check out part two for new 2023 holiday romances and contemporary fiction. There’s something for everyone!

new 2023 holiday mystery books and thriller novels

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2023 Holiday Mystery & Thriller Novels

Not everyone wants to read contemporary romances during the holidays, and there’s nothing wrong with that! If you’re looking for a holiday-inspired cozy mystery or an intense thriller set during Christmas, you’re in the right place.

You’ll find a mix of exciting new 2023 Christmas mysteries below, from popular authors like Peter Swanson and Jennifer McMahon.

The Christmas Guest by Peter Swanson

The Christmas Guest book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Novella

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An art student is invited to her classmate’s manor house in the Cotswolds for the holidays.

But despite the village’s festive and cozy appearance, dark secrets haunt the area – and the classmate’s brother is being investigated for murder by the local police.

I really enjoyed this quick and engrossing read. In fact, I read it in one sitting! It’s twisty and atmospheric, with a snowy winter setting.

Publication date: September 28th, 2023

The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett

The Christmas Appeal book cover

Genre: Mystery/Crime

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If you’re looking for a holiday murder mystery, this is a great choice! It follows a theater group in England as they prepare for their upcoming Christmas production – until a dead body is found onstage.

Two lawyers pore over letters and emails, digging into the group’s rivalries, idiosyncracies, and strange absences to identify the killer.

(This novella features characters from Hallett’s novel The Appeal, but it can be read as a standalone.)

Publication date: October 24th, 2023

My Darling Girl by Jennifer McMahon

My Darling Girl book cover

Genre: Horror/Thriller

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Alison is a children’s book author with childhood trauma, due to her mother’s alcoholism. As she prepares for the holiday season with her husband in their Vermont home, she gets a call with a dying wish from her mother: she wants to spend her last days with Alison and her family.

But soon after Alison’s mother arrives, unsettling things start to happen. Alison feels things aren’t quite right with her mother.

Publication date: October 3rd, 2023

Christmas Presents by Lisa Unger

Christmas Presents book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Crime

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A small town bookshop owner and a true crime podcaster team up to solve a cold case that may be linked to a more recent murder.

But as Christmas approaches – along with a blizzard – they find there’s more danger in their hometown than they would have ever guessed.

Publication date: October 24th, 2023

The Winter Spirits: Ghostly Tales for Frosty Nights

The Winter Spirits book cover

Genre: Short Stories/Gothic/Horror

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This holiday ghost story anthology brings back the tradition of telling haunted tales during Christmastime.

It features spooky Christmas stories from popular historical fiction and modern Gothic authors like Bridget Collins, Jess Kidd, Natasha Pulley, and Catriona Ward.

Publication date: October 19th, 2023

Hercule Poirot’s Silent Night by Sophie Hannah

Hercule Poirots Silent Night book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Crime

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Agatha Christie’s famous detective, Hercule Poirot, is back in this fifth installment of Sophie Hannah’s murder mystery series.

Set in 1931, just a week before Christmas, Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool are asked to investigate the death of a man at a Norfolk hospital.

While they investigate, they stay at Catchpool’s mother’s crumbling mansion – and have to deal with his dysfunctional family.

Poirot is desperate to solve the case in time to return home for Christmas (and prevent more murders) – but someone might have other plans for him.

Publication date: October 24th, 2023

I hope these new 2023 Christmas mystery and thriller books help put you in a festive mood this season. Happy reading!

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