Holiday Reads or Not? by Paty Jager

paty shadow (1)I’m not one of those people who has to buy every romance or mystery book that deals with a holiday. In fact, over the 50+ years that I’ve been a reader,  I’ve had one Nora Roberts set of romance books that were Christmas books that I read every year in December, but I didn’t read any other Christmas books. Then a friend wrote a Thanksgiving novella. I pull that out and read it in November. But that’s about it for reading holiday themed books.

And yet, I seem to write a lot of holiday themed books. In my romance books I’ve written three Christmas Stories, a 4th of July, New Year’s, Halloween, and Valentine story.

In my mysteries, I’ve now written a Christmas and a Halloween story. Last November I put out Yuletide Slaying with Sheba the pony-sized mutt as the character who discovered the dead body.

And this month, going with the theme of an animal finding the body in the holiday stories, Lewis, Crazy Lil’s orange cat, finds the body in Haunting Corpse, book 9 of my Shandra Higheagle Mystery series.

I found while planning this book, I didn’t really think about the holiday. My mind was focused on the murder and who could have done it. The Halloween party was merely used as a means to gather information for Shandra and Ryan and the reader. But I had fun writing the party, the costumes, and the conversations.

Do you find as a reader that you like to read between the lines of the conversation and character’s actions, to try and discover the murderer? Or do you just let yourself go with the flow of the story and be surprised at the end?  Writer’s do you try to make your characters’ conversations relevant to giving clues or do you just write what comes to mind and drop a hint here or there?

Here is the blurb and cover of my newest Shandra Higheagle Mystery.

Haunting Corpse 5x8Desertion…Wrath…Murder

A runaway bride, murder, and arson has Shandra Higheagle sleuthing again. Sorting through the debris of her best friend’s childhood, Shandra believes she must solve the murder before her friend becomes the next victim.

Stumbling upon a dead body, Detective Ryan Greer is determined to bring the killer to justice before Shandra becomes too entangled in her friend’s dysfunctional past. He hopes he’s not too late. Her deceased grandmother has already visited her dreams, putting Shandra in the middle of his investigation and danger.

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4 thoughts on “Holiday Reads or Not? by Paty Jager

  1. A Halloween party sounds like a great setting for a scene in a mystery. I don’t write holiday themed books, although one of them, Snake Face, takes place close to Christmas. It’s more of a road trip than a holiday story. I did write a short story for my blog that is actually a Christmas story that takes place “offstage” during that book’s time frame: Santa Claus Check in at the Fat Buddha Spa. My favorite holiday-themed books are Ann Myers’ Santa Fe Café series. When I looked up a link to the first one, Bread of the Dead–it’s about Dias de los Muertos–I found that it’s on sale right now. I love the characters and the setting. A culinary cozy set in the City Different. Perfect for this time of year. This link goes to all sales outlets.


  2. As a cozy mystery reader and writer, I love the stories set around holidays, especially Christmas. What time of year could be cozier? I’m working feverishly to get my second cozy mystery, Frost on the Bloom, published. It starts out on Christmas Eve!

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