Although I’m a total Scrooge when it comes to Christmas music — I overdosed many years ago and haven’t been able to enjoy most Christmas carols since — I always do enjoy wintry and Christmasy stories as we move through December. This year is no exception.
Partly by chance, I opened Patrice Greenwood’s latest Tearoom mystery a few days ago — Red as Any Blood. I hadn’t realized it was a Christmas-themed story, but it is. I liked it a lot, partly because it was perfect for the season. The title comes from The Holly and the Ivy, by the way. I hadn’t remembered the line, but it is —
The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good
If I’d recognized that, I would have known it was set at Christmas. Well, it worked out perfectly even though I did not recognize the lyric.
Once reminded that I do enjoy Christmas-themed stories at this time of year, I recalled that waiting on my Kindle was a Regency titled A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong. Well, obviously this would be a good time to open it up. I like it so far — I like the falcons and I like the two lead characters. It’s going to be a pretty swoony type of romance, that’s clear, but I think I’m in the mood for that.
Speaking of Christmasy Regencies, I do recommend these novels by Theresa Romain. I liked all of them. She’s one of the few writers who can write a sex scene that I can stand to read.
Okay, segue to fantasy — of course The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is a perfect choice to re-read at this time of year.
So is Wintersmith — not for Christmas, but for winter. It wasn’t my favorite of the Tiffany Aching stories, but I think that’s because I didn’t read it in the proper wintry frame of mind.
Rachel Neumeier’s Winter of Ice and Iron is one of the most satisfying fantasy reads I’ve enjoyed all year. I closed the book already aching for more of the characters and setting, and immediately settled in for a reread…