New Releases: Christmas Fiction

christmas_bellsIt’s December and some of you might be looking for a novel with a holiday theme to read during the month.  Here are some new fiction releases that might take your fancy:

A Christmas Escape – Anne Perry

A Christmas EscapeLonely Charles Latterly arrives at his small hotel hoping that the island’s blue skies and gentle breezes will brighten his spirits. Unfortunately, there’s no holiday cheer to be found among his fellow guests, who include a pompous novelist, a stuffy colonel, a dangerously ill-matched married couple, and an ailing old man. The one charming exception is orphaned teenager Candace Finbar, who takes Charles under her wing and introduces him to the island’s beauty. But the tranquility of the holiday is swiftly disrupted by a violent quarrel, an unpleasant gentleman’s shocking claims of being stalked, and the ominous stirrings of the local volcano. Then events take an even darker turn: A body is found, and Charles quickly realizes that the killer must be among the group of guests.

A Knights Bridge Christmas – Carla Neggers

A Knights Bridge ChristmasClare Morgan is ready for a fresh start when she moves to the small Massachusetts town of Knights Bridge with her young son, Owen. Widowed for six years, Clare settles into her job as the town’s new librarian. She appreciates the warm welcome she and Owen receive and truly enjoys getting the library ready for its role in the annual holiday open house.

Clare expects to take it slow with her new life. Then she meets Logan Farrell, a Boston ER doctor in town to help his elderly grandmother settle into assisted living.Slow isn’t a word Logan seems to understand. Accustomed to his fast-paced city life, he doesn’t plan to stay in Knights Bridge for long. But Daisy Farrell has other ideas and enlists her grandson to decorate her house on the village green one last time. Logan looks to Clare for help. She can go through Daisy’s book collection and help him decorate while she’s at it.

As Clare and Logan get his grandmother’s house ready for the holidays, what neither of them expects to find is an attraction to each other. Better than most, they know all the crazy things that can happen in life, but everything about Knights Bridge and this magical season invites them to open themselves to new possibilitiesand new love.

Away in a Manger – Rhys Bowen

Away in a MangerIt’s Christmastime in 1905 New York City, and for once, Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to the approaching holidays. She has a family of her own now: she and Daniel have a baby son and twelve-year-old Bridie is living with them as their ward. As Molly and the children listen to carolers in the street, they hear a lovely voice, the voice of an angel, and see a beggar girl huddled in a doorway, singing “Away in a Manger.” Bridie is touched by the girl’s ragged clothes and wants to help her out ifthey can. They give her a quarter, only to watch a bigger boy take it from her. But Molly discovers the boy is the girl’s older brother. They’ve come from England and their mother has disappeared, and they’re living with an aunt who mistreats them terribly. Molly quickly realizes that these children are not the usual city waifs. They are well-spoken and clearly used to better things. So who are they? And what’s happened to their mother? As Molly looks for a way to help the children and for the answers tothese questions, she gets drawn into an investigation that will take her up to the highest levels of New York society.

An Island Christmas  – Nancy Thayer

an-island-christmasAs Christmas draws near, Felicia returns to her family’s home on the island to marry her adventurous, rugged boyfriend, Archie. Every detail is picture-perfect for a dream wedding: the snow-dusted streets, twinkling lights in the windows, a gorgeous red and white satin dress. Except a lavish ceremony is not Felicia’s dream at all; it’s what her mother, Jilly, wants. Jilly’s also worried that her daughter’s life with daredevil Archie will be all hiking and skydiving. Wondering if their handsome neighbor Steven Hardy might be a more suitable son-in-law, Jilly embarks on a secret matchmaking campaign for Felicia and the dashing stockbroker.

As the big day approaches and Jilly’s older daughter, Lauren, appears with rambunctious kids in tow, tensions in the household are high. With the family careening toward a Yuletide wedding disaster, an unexpected twist in Nancy Thayer’s heartwarming tale reminds everyone about the true meaning of the season.

Ornaments of Death – Jane K. Cleland

Ornaments of DeathChristmas lights twinkle throughout the cozy coastal town of Rocky Point, New Hampshire, and Prescott’s Antiques auction venue has been transformed into a winter wonderland for Josie Prescott’s annual holiday party. Josie is especially excited this year-Ian Bennington, a recently discovered distant relative, will be joining the fun. Both Ian and Josie are, it seems, descended from Arabella Churchill, a 17th century royal mistress. The party is a success and Ian is a hit. It gives Josie an unexpected thrill to have family-and unexpected dread when he vanishes. Ian doesn’t keep his dinner date with Josie’s good friend, Lavinia, or his lunch date with her. Surely, he would have done so-if he could. Ian has given his daughter two priceless 17th century watercolor miniature portraits, one of Arabella and one of her lover, King James II, and they’ve gone missing, too. Knowing that after her nasty divorce, Lavinia is facing financial ruin, Josie can’t help wondering if her friend is behind the theft-and Ian’s disappearance. Determined to find Ian, Josie uses her knowledge of antiques to track the miniatures. In doing so, she learns the true meaning of Christmas-and the true meaning of family.

All summaries from the publishers.

-posted by Sonia, Reference Services

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