Saturday, December 06, 2014

Books That Take Place During the Christmas Season

Specifically fiction books for adults that I have read (or plan on reading) that take place during the Christmas season:

written in the 1300s:

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

written in the 1600s:

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (online here)

written in the 1800s:

The Night Before Christmas (1832 short story) by Nikolai Gogol
A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens
The Chimes (1844) by Charles Dickens (online here)
The Cricket on the Hearth (1845) by Charles Dickens (online here)
The Last Dream of Old Oak (1858 short story) by Hans Christian Andersen (online here)
Framley Parsonage (1861) by Anthony Trollope (online here)
The Mistletoe Bough (1864) by Anthony Trollope (online here)
Christmas Day at Kirkby Cottage (1870) by Anthony Trollope
Little Women (1880) by Louisa May Alcott (online here)
Christmas at Thompson Hall (1894) by Anthony Trollope (online here)
The Other Wise Man (1895) by Henry van Dyke (online here)

written in the 1900s:

The Gift of the Magi (1905 short story) by O. Henry (online here)
The Wind in the Willows (1908) by Kenneth Grahame (online here)
The Flying Stars (1911) a Father Brown mystery by G.K. Chesterton (online here)
The Dead (1914) by James Joyce (online here)

written during the 1930s:

The Thin Man (1934) by Dashiell Hammett
Hercule Poirot's Christmas (1938) by Agatha Christie
Christmas Holiday (1939) by W. Somerset Maugham
The Sister of the Angels (1939) by Elizabeth Goudge

written during the 1940s:

Calamity Town (1942) by Ellery Queen


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) by C.S. Lewis
Maigret's Christmas: Nine Stories (1950) by Georges Simenon
A Child's Christmas in Wales (1955) by Dylan Thomas
A Christmas Memory (1956 short story) by Truman Capote
The Finishing Stroke (1958) by Ellery Queen


A Long and Happy Life (1962) by Reynolds Price


A Clubbable Woman (1970) by Reginald Hill
Red Christmas (1972) by Patrick Ruell (aka Reginald Hill)
Gravity's Rainbow (1973) by Thomas Pynchon
Rest You Merry (1979) by Charlotte MacLeod

written during the 1980s:

Death of an Englishman (1981) by Magdalen Nabb
Murder for Christmas (1982) short stories, various authors
Jerusalem Inn (1984) by Martha Grimes
A Raven in the Foregate (1986) by Ellis Peters
A Rare Benedictine (1988) by Ellis Peters

written in the 1990s:

Not a Creature Was Stirring (1990) by Jane Haddam
A Season for Murder (1991) by Ann Granger
Doomsday Book (1992) by Connie Willis
A Stillness in Bethlehem (1993) by Jane Haddam
Morality Play (1995) by Barry Unsworth
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997) by J.K. Rowling
The Last Resort (1998) by Alison Lurie

written during the 2000s:

The Sibyl in Her Grave (2000) by Sarah Caudwell
Skipping Christmas (2001) by John Grisham
Say When (2003) by Elizabeth Berg
December Heat (2004) by Luiz Alfredo Garcia Roza

written during the 2010s:

The Holiday Murders (2013) by Robert Gott
The Mistletoe Murder (2014, posthumous short stories) by P.D. James


There is another list of stories and books suitable for the season here.


  1. Great list, a few I've read, many I've heard of. I think I'll look for the ones by Trollupe. Not much time for reading right now as I have to finish knitting some Christmas gifts. People suggest listening to recorded books while knitting but I much prefer reading the real book.


    1. Trollope is available online if that works for you. I find my mind wanders when I'm listening to books on audio.

  2. I've got think about this because I know I've read some holiday book I don't see on your list. The only one that comes into my head right now is another Charles Dickens, The Cricket on the hearth. Oh and Dylan Thomas, a Child's Christmas in Wales. I'll keep thinking about this. :) Hugs-Erika

    1. We have a book with all the Dickens Christmas stories in it; I don't know why I just listed the one. And yes, of course- Child's Christmas in Wales! I'll have to add that! Thx :)

    2. I added the Dylan Thomas to the list :) Thx!