Mistletoe Malice – Kathleen Farrell, £9.99 paperback
A rediscovered festive classic with fangs. The fire is on, sherry poured, presents wrapped, and claws are being sharpened. In a seaside cottage perched on a cliff, one family reunites for Christmas. While snow falls, a tyrannical widowed matriarch presides over her unruly brood. Her niece tends to her whims, but fantasises about eloping; and as more guests arrive, each bringing their secret truths and dreams, the Christmas tree explodes, a brawl erupts, an escape occurs – and their ‘midwinter madness’ climaxes.
Another Little Christmas Murder – Lorna Nicholl Morgan, £9.99 paperback
A classic country house mystery republished for the first time in nearly seventy years. When Dilys Hughes finds herself snowbound in the middle of a bleak and lonely stretch of Yorkshire, she has no option but to accept help from passing motorist Inigo Brown, who is on his way to visit his uncle. Arriving at his uncle’s remote country house, Wintry Wold, the couple encounters a less than warm welcome from Inigo’s new young aunt, Theresa. Why is she reluctant to let Inigo see his uncle, and is he really as ill as they are told? As the snowstorm brings more stranded strangers to their door, Dilys starts to realise that all is not as it seems at Wintry Wold. When the morning brings news of the death of Inigo’s uncle, Dilys sets out to investigate – was it a natural death, or was it murder?
Before Your Memory Fades – Toshikazu Kawaguchi, £9.99 paperback
On the hillside of Mount Hakodate in northern Japan, Cafe Donna Donna is fabled for its dazzling views of Hakodate port. But that’s not all. Cafe Donna Donna offers its customers the extraordinary experience of travelling through time. From the author of Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Tales from the Cafe comes another heartfelt story of lost souls hoping to take advantage of the cafe’s time-travelling offer. Among some familiar faces, readers will also be introduced to:The daughter who begrudges her deceased parents for leaving her orphaned, The comedian who aches for his beloved and their shared dreams, The younger sister whose grief has become all-consuming, The young man who realizes his love for his childhood friend too late.
The Premonition – Banana Yoshimoto, £12.99 paperback
Yayoi lives with her perfect, loving family – something ‘like you’d see in a Spielberg movie’. But while her parents tell happy stories of her childhood, she is increasingly haunted by the sense that she’s forgotten something important about her past. Deciding to take a break, she stays with her eccentric but beloved aunt Yukino. Living a life without order, Yukino seems to be protecting herself, but beneath this facade Yayoi starts to recover lost memories, and everything she knows about her past threatens to change forever.
Mystery in White – J. Jefferson Farjeon, £8.99 paperback
On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea – but no one is at home. Trapped together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their midst.
So Late in the Day – Claire Keegan, £8.99 hardback
After an uneventful Friday at the Dublin office, Cathal faces into the long weekend and takes the bus home. There, his mind agitates over a woman named Sabine with whom he could have spent his life, had he acted differently. All evening, with only the television and a bottle of champagne for company, thoughts of this woman and others intrude – and the true significance of this particular date is revealed. From one of the finest writers working today, Keegan’s new story asks if a lack of generosity might ruin what could be between men and women.
A Winter Book – Tove Jansson, £9.99 paperback
A collection of some of Tove Jansson’s best loved and most famous stories. Drawn from youth and older age, and spanning most of the twentieth century, this newly translated selection provides a thrilling showcase of the great Finnish writer’s prose, scattered with insights and home truths. It has been selected and is introduced by Ali Smith. 13 stories from Tove Jansson’s first book for adults, The Sculptor’s Daughter (1968) plus seven of her most cherished later stories (from 1971 to 1996), translated into English and published here for the first time.