6 reads for winter

One of the best things about the winter season, even when the weather is rainy and miserable, is that it gives us the perfect excuse to snuggle up indoors and get some reading done. And even if we don’t get snow – it came and went here in North Wales over the course of one day – it’s fun to visit wintry worlds where the snow reaches up to your knees but you don’t have to worry about hypothermia and cold toes.

So here are my six winter reads.

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

I’ve been reading Terry Pratchett novels for years (and years and…) but this was the first Wee Free Men novel that I bought. I’m currently reading The Shepherd’s Crown which is the last of the Tiffany Aching novels and it’s just as enchanting. But I’m telling you about Wintersmith in this blog post, so here’s the blurb:

Tiffany Aching put one foot wrong, made just one little mistake . . .

And now the spirit of winter is in love with her. He gives her roses and icebergs and showers her with snowflakes, which is tough when you’re thirteen, but also just a little bit . . . cool.

And if Tiffany doesn’t work out how to deal with him, there will never be another springtime . . .

Crackling with energy and humour, Wintersmith is the third tale in a sequence about Tiffany Aching and the Wee Free Men – the Nac Mac Feegles who are determined to help Tiffany, whether she wants it or not.

Hogfather (also) by Terry Pratchett

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Yes, it’s another Terry Pratchett novel and this time, it’s the Word Wizard’s take on Father Christmas. I loved both this novel and the TV version of Hogfather with David Jason as the man himself.

Here’s the blurb:

‘Twas the night before Hogswatch and all through the house . . . something was missing.

Superstition makes things work in the Discworld and undermining it can have consequences. When Death realizes that belief in the Hogfather is dangerously low, he decides to take on the job. But it’s just not right to find a seven-foot skeleton creeping down your chimney and trying to say ‘ho, ho, ho’.

It’s the last night of the year, the time is turning, and if Susan, gothic governess and Death’s granddaughter, doesn’t sort everything out by morning, there won’t be a morning. Ever again . . .

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

It may be an old one, but A Christmas Carol has to be on any list of winter/festive novels.

Scrooge learns his lesson as the three spirits take him on a merry haunt to convince him to change his ways.

My favourite film or TV version has to be Scrooged with Bill Murray.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

This is probably my favourite Poirot novel by Agatha Christie, closely followed by Death on the Nile and Curtain.

Snowed in on the Orient Express train with a cast of suspects, victims, and supposed allies, Poirot is tasked with solving the murder of a thoroughly unpleasant individual.

My favourite TV telling of this has to be the David Suchet version.

A Christmas Aether by Pete Oxley

Written as a companion to the Victorian sci fi/fantasy series, the Infernal Aether, A Christmas Aether features three short stories.

In ‘A Christmas Aether’, Augustus Potts, beaten and bloody amidst the demon-infested London East End, is visited by three familiar spirits who reveal terrifying insights into the past, present and future. Can Augustus save himself before it is too late?

In ‘The Ballad of William Morley’, a zealous police officer struggles with personal loss in the midst of increasing unrest resulting from the Aether’s demonic invasion. Can he retain his sense of right and wrong while everything crumbles around him?

Finally, the newly rediscovered scientific/occult document ‘The Potts Demonology’ provides valuable insights into the changes which took place in the late 19th Century, as well as the creatures which forced this chaos onto the world.

A Shadow Falls in Darkacre (by me)

I’m finishing with a novella that I created for subscribers to my author newsletter last Christmas. Set in the world of my novels, this adventure takes place the year before Haven Wakes begins and in the days leading up to Yule. Yes, Hartley Keg is there of course, and Blessing and Frobisher, but there are plenty of new faces too, both good and questionable.

If you’d like to read A Shadow Falls in Darkacre, sign up for my mailing list before 22nd December. You’ll receive a free short story to say ‘thanks’ and I’ll post the link and password to A Shadow Falls in Darkacre in the newsletter that goes out on Christmas Eve.


Whatever you read this festive season, all the best for the holidays and a most marvellous new year.