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I love reading suspense novels, and always have one in my rotation, especially when in a reading slump. I love the dark, mysterious vibes in a mystery, and one of my favourite things about them is the cozy ambience featured in most stories, often reminding me of fall, and let’s face it, Halloween.

That being said, winter mysteries are just as good. There’s just something about a blizzard, loss of signal or electricity, that really ramps things up for murderers. Go figure.

Since we have a good three months of winter ahead of us, snuggle up with a hot chocolate and one of these novels to get you out of the cold-weather blues:

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

I love everything Alice Feeney writes and honestly think she’s so underrated. I was super pleased when she came out with a winter thriller for this very reason! Her work is really very well written and hooks you immediately.

Mr. and Mrs. Wright are having marital troubles. Adam Wright has face blindness (he can’t recognize anyone, including his wife) and is a workaholic. Amelia Wright pens a letter to her husband every anniversary he’s not allowed to read. When they win a trip to Scotland they both believe it’ll make or break their ten year wedding anniversary. But did they win this trip? One of them is lying.

One by One by Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware is super popular in the mystery community, and she’s one of those authors where I read every book she comes out with! Like Feeney, I was so excited when she wrote a snowy suspense novel, especially with the perfect, winter-glam setting!

A group of coworkers from a London-based tech start up get snowed in during a corporate retreat at a ski chalet in the French Alps. Things take a turn when an avalanche hits and leaves the group stranded inside – except for one of them who was on the slopes when the avalanche hit. Now things get messier inside as the group starts to dwindle…one by one.

No Exit by Taylor Adams

No Exit was Adams’ breakout novel and it’s no wonder why – the premise gets you hooked and each page sucks you in. This book is more on the creepy side, and so good!

Darby, a college student, gets stranded in a blizzard on the way to see her dying mother. She finds a rest stop filled with a few…characters. Going outside to call her mother, she makes a disturbing discovery: a child, locked in an animal crate, is in a van parked outside the rest stop. With the weather getting worse, the protagonist has to figure out which stranger took the child and why.

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

The first winter mystery I remember reading! I’m a huge Shari Lapena fan and have read most of her books several times – An Unwanted Guest is no exception and one of my favourites!

A group visits a cozy inn during a winter storm. Picture it – champagne in coupe glasses, fire roaring, opportunities to ski or drink wine galore, and a pretty landscape of the woods. Naturally, a blizzard strikes, cutting electricity, leaving the guests to fend for themselves. A guest dies in what appears to be an accident but after a second death, panic strikes. Who’s picking off the guests one after the other?

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

I was recommended this novel by an intern several years ago and was surprised at how good it was! I had never heard of Becca Fitzpatrick and would recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read a mystery by an author outside of the well-known gang I’ve mentioned everywhere else.

Britt is backpacking the Teton Range when her ex-boyfriend Calvin wants to come along. As she tries to figure out her feelings for her ex, she’s stranded in a storm and finds a remote cabin. There are two men in the cabin who wind up being fugitives and keep Britt hostage. Forced to guide them off the mountain, Britt has to keep safe until Calvin can find her.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

I love all of Lucy Foley’s books and this one has a particularly cozy vibe – fireplaces, champagne, the holidays – which makes it a must-read for mystery lovers.

A group of friends from Oxford has a yearly tradition to ring in the New Year together! This year, they decide to visit the Scottish Highlands. Bring on a blizzard and years of resentment and a murder, and you have yourself a great read. 

Are you a warm or cold weather person? Do you enjoy reading books taking place at the time of the year you’re currently in? I hope you found this short list helpful and enjoy watching the snow fall outside your window as murderers clink champagne glasses, walk in the snow, and do what murderers do best: murder.

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