Six great books for Christmas gifts

02 November 2016

Tales of mystery, murder, imagination and romance to put under the tree, chosen by Kate Saunders for Saga Magazine.

Rather be the Devil by Ian Rankin

Inspector Rebus is haunted by a 40-year-old unsolved murder. Maria Turquand was a beautiful young woman, killed in a hotel room – the same hotel where a famous rock star happened to be staying. Rebus is as shambolic and stubborn as ever, and as ruthless in getting at the truth. Essential crime-reading.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson

Twelve stories make up this witty, surprising Christmas garland. I wouldn’t normally turn to Winterson for an injection of yuletide spirit, but these stories are wonderfully imaginative and entertaining, and they come with enticing recipes. Fans of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit will want to try Mrs Winterson’s Mince Pies. Divine.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

What makes women fall for convicted murderers? Hamish Wolfe is handsome and a master manipulator; Maggie Rose is a lawyer, trying to resist Wolfe’s charms while he begs her to take on his case. This heart-thumping thriller keeps up incredible levels of suspense; a perfect energiser for Boxing Day.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


The Lunar Cats by Lynne Truss

Yes, it’s a cat book – but wait! Even non-cat people will laugh at this rollicking, ridiculous and hilarious novel by one of Britain’s funniest writers. Retired librarian Alec Charlesworth (first met in Cat Out of Hell) consults a group of brilliant 18th-century scientists, who are all cats. Blissfully barmy.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern 

The beautiful Laura lives in a forest cottage on the west coast of Ireland. Her peace is shattered by the arrival of a documentary crew (don’t you hate it when that happens?); sound-man Solomon discovers Laura’s amazing gift for mimicking all sorts of noises. It’s gorgeously romantic, feet-up, escapist reading.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide To British Birds by Bill Bailey

Amazing facts (the bar-tailed godwit absorbs part of its innards to save weight on migration), mingle with the author’s own avian experiences – an owl perched on his head but ‘I was wearing a wooden-fence-coloured shirt, so fair enough’. Enlivened by his own daft sketches, this is a joy for the bird or Bill-fancier in your life.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


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