If you’re looking for Christmas spirit in the pages of a good book, here are some seasonal titles with a holiday backdrop from big names available now. Just add eggnog and a Yule log.
▪ The Mistletoe Promise, by Richard Paul Evans (Simon & Schuster, $19.99) — The bestselling author (The Christmas Box) offers the story of a lonely woman who enters into a no-strings-attached contract with a man who’s looking for nothing more than a companion during the holidays. The contract ends on Christmas Day — or will it? The audiobook (Simon & Schuster Audio, $29.99) is read by actress January LaVoy.
▪ A New York Christmas, by Anne Perry (Ballantine, $18) — The bestselling author has written the 12th in her “Christmas Stories” series. The 176-page novella is set in December 1904, when Jemima Pitt is back (and all grown up) and traveling to New York as a chaperone to a young-bride-to-be. There’s a murder (Jemima is framed) and a handsome young police officer to help her unravel the mystery.
▪ Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas, by Stephanie Barron (Soho Crime, $25) — This is the 12th in the “Being a Jane Austen Mystery” series in which the beloved novelist is cast as an amateur crime-solving sleuth. This one sends Jane and her family to celebrate the holidays at the Vyne, the posh estate of the prominent Chute family. Of course, there’s a murder and Jane can’t help but join in the investigation.
▪ The Nightingale Before Christmas, by Donna Andrews (Minotaur, $24.99) — The award-winning author offers the 18th in her Meg Langslow series and another in her avian-themed mysteries, following 2013’s Christmas yarn Duck the Halls. Meg is roped into helping organize a designer show house when one of the designers is murdered. There are plenty of suspects and twists as Meg tries to figure out whodunit.
▪ Winter Street, by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown and Co., $25) — The bestselling author (June’s The Matchmaker) has written her first Christmas novel. It’s set at the Winter Street Inn on Nantucket, where Kelley Quinn and his second wife, Mitzi, are preparing to welcome their dysfunctional family home for a merry Christmas. Until Mitzi is caught smooching Santa Claus (and not in an “under the mistletoe” way).
▪ My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins (St. Martin’s Griffin, $18.99) — The bestselling young adult author edited this romance anthology and contributed the short story “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown.” Eleven other bestselling YA authors, including Rainbow Rowell, offer their holiday-themed visions.
— Celeste Williams