Yes, it’s Christmas, and despite being mostly in a recliner with an ice pack on her operated back, Auntie M has found her holiday spirit. And to that end, she’s sharing two books with you that are perfect for the season.

Rhys Bowen’s new Molly Murphy Mystery, Away in a Manger, is filled with Bowen’s usual knack for historical details that bring Manhattan in 1905 to life.

Molly has her own family: her husband, Daniel, a police captain whose business Molly would greatly like to become involved in; their baby son, Liam, and their 12 yr-old ward, Bridie, so Molly is looking forward to these holidays, even with Daniel’s mother there helping out.

A visit to see FAO Schwartz sets the tone for the little family. Then a set of carolers in their New York City neighborhood adds to the festiveness, and one young girl with the voice of an angel catches Bridie’s attention. The family try to help by giving the girl a quarter, which an older boy immediately takes from her.

This is her older brother, and they’ve emigrated with their mother from England, only to have their mother disappear. The aunt they are staying with mistreats them, yet Molly soon sees these children are educated and have been given a proper upbringing before coming to America. So what has happened to their mother?

Molly’s efforts to find the children’s mother soon leads to a tale of family intrigue and probably murder, with more planned unless Molly can stop the villain and save the two children in time to be home to celebrate Christmas. Vintage Bowen, nicely plotted and atmospheric.


Jane Cleland’s Ornaments of Death is the next offering perfect for the holidays. The tenth Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery blends her own knowledge of antiques with a mystery during the Christmas season.

Josie’s New Hampshire Antique shop in the coastal town of Rocky Point is dressed as a winter wonderland for her annual holiday party. Josie is excited as Ian Bennington, her distant relative, will be there for the holiday. The recently discovered descendent is the hit of Josie’s party and gives her ties to a royal mistress.

And then Ian suddenly vanishes, and it’s soon discovered that he’s not the only thing that’s missing: two valuable watercolor miniatures Ian had given his daughter are also missing.

It will take Josies’ knowledge of antiques to track the miniatures and wend her way to Ian and solve the dual mystery. A perfect holiday treat for cozy readers who enjoy antiques and New England.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from Auntie M to all of you! Enjoy your celebrations and take time to read a good book~