Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1: Classic Crime
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays are upon us, which means it’s time to start thinking of the perfect gift for the bookworms in your life - or maybe even for yourself! This holiday season, I’m dividing my Holiday Gift Guide into two parts: Part 1, today's post, is themed "Classic Crime," and shares my top recommendations for fans of classic mysteries and detective novels.
If you're shopping for a reader who loves the classics (think Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie), you've come to the right place. Whether you're looking to gift a new edition of an old favorite read, a new book recommendation that will be up your reader's alley, or even some fun bookish merchandise that I personally love, you will find it all listed here!
Read on for my top gift recommendations for the classic crime reader in your life, and stay tuned for Part 2 of my Holiday Gift Guide (themed for contemporary crime readers), coming soon!
Part 1: BOOKS
OLD FAVORITES - NEW EDITIONS
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie - Facsimile Edition
I have this edition of Christie’s bestselling novel, and it is one of my favorite additions I’ve made to my personal library! Whether or not the person you’re shopping for already owns a copy of this book, they are sure to love this stunning facsimile edition. This is one of those beautiful books you just want to display front and center in your collection - and it’s the perfect choice for a gift, because it’s something a reader might not splurge on for themselves!
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS by Agatha Christie - Facsimile Edition
(Note: the trade paperback edition of this book also has a fun photo insert with images from the movie adaptation!) In honor of the film adaptation of this Christie novel, William Morrow has also recently released a beautiful facsimile edition of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. I’m already planning to gift this book to one of my friends this year—I just love the old-school design of this cover!
LITTLE GREY CELLS: The Quotable Poirot - Agatha Christie Quote Book
I received my own copy of this book last year, and it continues to hold a spot of honor on my bookshelf! Fans of Agatha Christie will love this charming and witty collection of some of Hercule Poirot’s greatest quotes. This is the perfect “stocking stuffer” gift for the Agatha Christie fan in your life - or for yourself!
MODERN READS IN A “CLASSIC CRIME” STYLE
IRENE by Pierre Lemaitre
Speaking of Hercule Poirot—if you're shopping for a reader who loves Christie's iconic detective but also loves gritty and dark crime books (or TV shows), Lemaitre's trilogy will be right up their alley. This mention comes with a warning: Lemaitre’s stories are much, much darker and more violent than Christie’s! The real comparison here is the main character. An eccentric detective in France, Camille Verhoeven finds himself tackling some seriously dark and disturbing cases, but the lead character’s wit and personality will delight readers, and will conjure up memories of Christie’s famed detective.
THE WHOLE ART OF DETECTION by Lyndsay Faye
Perfect for the Sherlock Holmes reader in your life, Faye’s short story collection is as witty and smart as its author—Faye effortlessly brings to life Conan Doyle’s iconic characters in her original short stories. Faye is a lifelong Sherlockian, and her deep understanding and love of Conan Doyle’s work shines through in this collection. Readers will enjoy stories spanning Holmes’ career in THE WHOLE ART OF DETECTION—and I felt instantly at home in the world Faye has crafted in each and every one.
The Dark Iceland Series by Ragnar Jonasson // Read My Review of SNOWBLIND
Jonasson’s Icelandic crime series will be a new favorite for your classic mystery reader. These books are set in the present day in Iceland, but they pay homage to the classic mysteries of Agatha Christie. Atmospheric, engrossing, and perfect winter reads. Fun fact to include when you gift these books: author Ragnar Jonasson began translating Agatha Christie books from English into Icelandic as a teenager! There are 5 Dark Iceland books on sale now in the UK - you can grab them via BookDepository - but US readers can find book one, SNOWBLIND, on sale now, and book two, NIGHTBLIND, releasing before Christmas!
A DEADLY THAW by Sarah Ward // Read My Review
This is book 2 in Ward’s series, but I had no trouble reading this book as a standalone. Ward’s writing feels like a blend between Scandinavian crime fiction and a classic detective novel; it’s that kind of slow-burning, engrossing mystery that you want to cozy up to with a mug of hot chocolate. A DEADLY THAW follows police officers investigating the case of a woman who was incarcerated for killing her husband… but then his body shows up again, mere months following her release from prison. (If you’re thinking “how is this possible?!”, that’s exactly what the story’s detectives thought, too!)
THE BIRDWATCHER by William Shaw // Read My Review
Last but certainly not least, Shaw’s THE BIRDWATCHER is an absolute stunner of a novel. Emotionally engaging, brooding, and masterfully plotted, THE BIRDWATCHER is a slow-burning mystery that highlights the very best of classic crime, with a quirky, endearing spirit all its own. It follows a police officer who is himself a murderer - and finds himself confronted by a case with ties to his own dark past. THE BIRDWATCHER is exceptional British crime fiction with pacing and atmosphere that will appeal to readers of classic detective novels, and a genuinely endearing main character.
Part 2: BOOKISH MERCHANDISE
Perhaps the person you’re shopping for already has a library overflowing with books to read—I know how that goes! Below are some of my favorite pieces of crime fiction merchandise. I own products from these brands myself and absolutely love them—note that none of these are sponsored mentions, they are simply brands I absolutely love!
Storiarts sells some of my favorite bookish merchandise. In fact, two years ago I was given my first-ever Storiarts product (a Jane Eyre scarf!) and I love it to this day. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll already know how much I love scarves… so it will be no surprise that I’ve got a Sherlock Holmes scarf on my wishlist this year!
OUT OF PRINT
Another fantastic bookish merchandise company, Out of Print sells some of my favorite socks ever. I own the Edgar Allan Poe socks pictured above, and this year the Sherlock Holmes socks are on my wishlist! Out of Print also has a whole Agatha Christie line available right now that I love. // Shop Out of Print here!
I’ve only ever owned one candle from Paddywax, but I loved it. The Edgar Allan Poe candle pictured above smells like cardamom, absinthe, and sandalwood - it’s perfect for the winter months.
Last but certainly not least - what crime fiction gift guide could leave out Clue?! My family gets majorly competitive about Clue… and I pride myself on being undefeated (!!) for the past few years. I’m gifting this “Book Edition” of Clue to one of my best friends this holiday season - it combines two of my favorite things, books and Clue, so it’s pretty much perfect to me!
That's a wrap on Part 1 of my Holiday Gift Guide! If you have any questions about the books and products recommended here, you can always reach me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you for reading! xx A