The month is December and you know what that means. Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Christmas candy, Christmas music, and, most importantly, Christmas gifts! My family is always asking me what I want for Christmas and I always say the same thing: a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers. Which usually gets me the “what?!” face and then I tell them more succinctly: books!
There are a lot of great books out this month, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to wait until the 25th for some of them. S.M. Stirling is coming out with a new Conan book this month, there is a new Jack Ryan story sets in the 1980s, and two Amanda Flowers books this month. And I’m just supposed to wait until the 25th to start reading all that? No way!
I’m also looking forward to the new Sunshine Vicram book as the last two have been quite entertaining. A Groundhog Day-esque story from Tomihiko Morimi about a college student reliving their years in four alternate universes called The Tatami Galaxy is another one of my most anticipated. Plus, a new Adrian Tchaikovsky and the latest in the Sun Eater series.
If you’re looking for gift ideas, any of these books look to be good ones. Or simply look at my best books of 2022 lists for Mystery & Thriller, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, and Horror.
December is another loaded month no matter what you celebrate. Let’s take a look at the best upcoming books for December 2022.
Best Upcoming Cozy Mystery Books: December 2022
Bookclubbed to Death by V.M. Burns: Mystery writer Samantha Washington owns a bookshop in North Harbor, Michigan. When the local library is flooded she ends up relocating the Mystery Mavens Book Club to her shop. Unfortunately, she soon makes an enemy of the book club’s leader, Delia. She’s a powerful book reviewer and Sam can ill afford to get on her bad side. Before she can make amends, the woman is found dead on the floor of her shop. Now, Sam is the biggest suspect and she’ll have to set out to clear her name.
A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones: This will be the third installment in the hilarious Sunshine Vicram series. This book sees Sheriff Sunshine Vicram investigating a series of women who have gone missing while also dealing with a rebellious daughter and the man she’s interested in. The same man whose family is looking to oust both him and Sunshine.
Honeymoons Can Be Hazardous by Amanda Flower: The latest book in Flower’s Amish Matchmaker series sees Millie run into her non-Amish best friend Lois’ ex-husband Gerome in a small Ohio town. Only he is not alone, he is married to a new, younger woman. When the new wife turns up dead, all eyes turn to Lois as the prime suspect. Millie is no stranger to solving murders and will set out to clear her best friend’s name.
Frozen Detective by Amanda Flower: Another Amanda Flower book? It really must be Christmas time. This one features a wealthy doctor inviting a group of associates to visit a luxurious ski resort. Darby Piper and Tate Porter, a team of private eyes, are among the guests as they seek to investigate anonymous threats against the host. However, those threats turn all too real and they have a murder investigation on their hands.
Devil's Delight by M.C. Beaton with R.W. Green: The beloved Agatha Raisin series continues here. Agatha is on her way to a wedding when a terrified young man comes running towards her, naked. The man is part of a naturist group and she’ll find herself caught up in a murder case featuring fantasy games, witchcraft, ice cream, and intrigue. Agatha will find out just how deadly the ice cream business can be.
Best Upcoming Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books: December 2022
The Tatami Galaxy by Tomihiko Morimi: An unnamed college student is persona non grata on campus. He’s seemingly made all the wrong moves since coming to the university and now finds himself on the verge of making another. Then he encounters a self-proclaimed god that offers him another way. He will get the chance to see how things could’ve played out in a series of adventures that will take him to four parallel universes. They all offer him the chance to start fresh as a freshman as he searches for the life he really wants.
Ashes of Man by Christopher Ruocchio: The fifth book in the Sun Eater series. This series manages to combine the best parts of space opera and epic fantasy into a wonderful little package. Hadrian Marlowe is a hero to some and a murderer to others. The truth of who he is? You’ll just have to start back at the beginning and find out. (I’m leaning hero.)
Conan - Blood of the Serpent by S.M. Stirling: An all-new Conan novel?! And it’s written by S.M. Stirling?! It really is Christmas. Thank you, Santa! This story will be set early in Conan’s life as he leaves his home to cut his away across the Hyborian Age.
The Dixie Apocalypse by Richard Fossey: America has been ravaged by natural disasters, terrorism, plagues, and a lack of gas. The country is now controlled by martial law and things have reverted to a primitive lifestyle. A retired lawyer-turned-professor named Willoughby Burns befriends a US General who enlists him as a civilian commissary officer. Now, Will will make his way through Louisiana and Texas in hopes of restoring a sense of peace and order.
The Bear and the Serpent by Adrian Tchaikovsky: The second book of the Echoes of the Fall trilogy will come out this month as well. Maniye is the daughter of Wolf clan’s chieftain and the queen of the Tiger. The tribes have been enemies for years which makes her an outcast. However, she can shift into both forms and refuses to disown either. This makes her a target as her father hopes to rule the north.
Best Upcoming Horror Books: December 2022
Midnight by Dean Koontz: The people of Moonlight Cove, California are changing in different ways. Some have lost touch with their own emotions and some are surrendering to the animal urges inside of them, but things are scariest of all for the ones who aren’t changing. They are being hunted.
Cursed Bunny: Stories by Bora Chung: One of the rise stars of Korean horror writing makes their debut with a collection of unique and absurd fables. The stories go from throught-provoking to stomach-turning, sometimes on the same page.
A History of Fear by Luke Dumas: Grayson Hale is the most infamous murderer in Scotland. The American killed his roommate and said that the Devil made him do it. Now, Hale is found dead in his prison cell with a manuscript left behind. A manuscript that will answer the question once and for all: Was he telling the truth? Or was he simply delusional?
Lair of the Crystal Fang by S.A. Sidor: In the sewers beneath Arkham a crystalline formation is uncovered which hints at darkness in the city’s past. Shortly after news of the discovery leaks, a series of bizarre murders take place. Journalist Andy Van Nortwick will team up with Jake Williams and Maude Brion to uncover the truth of the murders. The truth may lie in the world of the supernatural.
Out of Aztlan by V. Castro: This is a collection stories about the descendants of Aztlan (the mythical homeland of the Aztec people) as they seek to overthrow their oppressors. Creepy or scary stories look to be one about an ancient goddess rising in a lake of blood to purify the earth and another about a mother avenging the daughters of the community with a special batch of salsa.
Best Upcoming Mystery/Thriller Books: December 2022
Hidden in Snow by Viveca Sten: Stockholm police officer Hanna Ahlander heads to her sister’s lodge in Ari, a ski resort paradise, for a break. That break doesn’t last long when a teenage girl goes missing and she can’t help but to investigate. She ends up taking a job with the local police department and is officially on the case with Detective Inspector Daniel Lindskog. Time is against them and each new clue leads them to a darker, more sinister truth.
The Widowmaker by Hannah Morrissey: Clive Reynolds disappeared twenty years ago which has made the Reynolds name become synonymous with murder and mystery in Black Harbor. Photographer Morgan Mori returns to her hometown and is soon drawn into their world. She photographs a Reynolds family get-together where she witnesses a homicide that leads to the discovery of a clue in another case. Investigator Ryan Hudson is on the case and Morgan’s dark history could be key to unlocking the truth.
The Devil's Weapon by Peter Kirsanow: This is a continuation of W.E.B. Griffin’s Men at War series. In April of 1940, Dick Canidy and the agents of the OSS head to Poland in search of Dr. Sebastian Kapsky, a man with deep knowledge of German superweapons that could help swing the war. The search for him will take them into the middle of a war zone.
A Dangerous Business by Jane Smiley: In 1851 Monterrey, Eliza Ripple is working in a brothel after the death of her husband. She has a better life and financial security, something few women had at the time. The dead bodies begin piling up outside of town which leads Eliza to confront that darkness. Eliza is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s detective Dupin and teams up with her friend Jean to solve the mystery.
Red Winter by Marc Cameron: A new Jack Ryan? It must be Christmas! This story takes us back to 1985 during the Cold War as Jack goes behind the Iron Curtain in search of a potential defector who claims to have details of his government’s espionage plans. There’s only one man for the job and you know who that is.
Best Upcoming Romance Books: December 2022
The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique: Kate Jenkins has a vision to achieve her culinary dreams and is on the cusp of opening her own Parisian restaurant. Her neighbor thinks she’s a crazy American tourists and a woman known as Garrance, the Spice Master of Paris has warned her of the previous owner’s failings at the restaurant, but she is undisturbed. Then a series of unfortunate events leads to her entire staff quitting. Kate is about to give up when Garrance offers to help in exchange for working with her son, Charles. He’s a world-class chef and a jerk, but she isn’t left with much choice. Working with them in the kitchen will lead her to opening her mind to new ideas, include romantic ideas of Charles.
The Sisters of Sea View by Julie Klassen: Their father’s death left the sisters with no money. The first impulse is to sell the house, but Sarah comes up with the idea to open their home to guests instead so they may stay together. Suddenly, they find themselves playing host to eligible gentlemen. Sarah becomes attracted to a Scottish widower, but feels torn between love and duty. While Viola, who wears a veil to cover a scar, takes a job reading to invalids as she prefers the company of elders to those staying in her home. However, her first client ends up being a young, wounded officer. She regrets taking the job at first, but will grow from it.
Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca: Louisa “Lulu” Malone is a successful attorney who is obsessed with her work. Everything is going right in her life until one day she realizes that it really isn’t. She gets introduced to the world of Renaissance Faires by her cousin and decides they are just what she needs to escape and joins up. It’s just what she needs…except for Dex MacLean, her traveling companion for the summer and the Faire’s Casanova. For Dex, he’s really never had to work to get women…until he meets Lulu. The two are forced to spend many days and nights together and begin to open up in ways that they haven’t before. The stress of the old life begins to fade, but what will happen when the Faire is over?
The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev: Sixty-five-year-old Bundu Desai inherits a million dollars which is exciting and terrifying. She fears that it will reveal a secret for her youth so quickly spends it on a condo in a retirement community in Florida. Her daughter-in-law Aly is blindsided as she lives with Bundu despite divorcing her son. The move encourages Aly to make a change in her career. While Aly’s daughter, Cullie, is faced with losing her business and pitches a new idea to investors: a dating app. The only problem? She’s never been on one. Cullie will team with her mother and grandmother to do the research.
Ms. Demeanor by Elinor Lipman: Jane Morgan loses everything after being caught having sex on the roof oh her apartment building. She’s charged in court and ends up with six months of home confinement. Life is looking pretty bleak for the foreseeable future until she learns there is another resident in her building on an ankle monitor. His name is Perry Salisbury, a white collar criminal, and the two end up striking up a friendship. Can her house arrest have a happy ending?