The Best and Worst of Christmas #TheDeathsofDecember by Susi Holliday @SJIHolliday #BlogTour @HodderBooks

Ho-ho-ho… and … yeah, some of you who know me are aware that I dislike Christmas with a passion! I always have. I wonder is it because I don’t like to plan and organize things so all this xmas madness is unwanted stress for me? I remember having to write an essay at school (at 19 years old, mind!) because I was late to the religion studies (in fairness, the teacher didn’t like the very pagan me anyway!) and I wrote 3 A4s of why Christmas sucks. No need for me to say, teacher was. not. impressed. at. all! 😉 

But enough about me… Crime readers can rejoice and fill their stocking with a hot off the press book by Susi Holliday“The Deaths of December”

You can find more information about the book at the end of the post because first I am happy to share with you a guest post by Susi- “The Best and Worst of Christmas”. Have a read and let me know in the comments what your ‘best and worst of Christmas” are. 


The Best and Worst of Christmas

by Susi Holliday

Christmas Shopping

Best: It’s so satisfying when you find the perfect gift for someone, and know that when they see it their face will light up (and you’ll be in the good books for a long time afterwards).

Worst: Crowds. Tables full of crap that no-one needs. Finding out the thing your child wants more than anything in the world, ever, is sold out in every on and offline store in the UK (and you’ve left it too late to order it from the US).

Christmas Cards

Best: So many great designs now and loads are on 3-for-2 offers so they don’t have to cost a fortune. You love receiving them and stringing them up on your wall. Happy and festive.

Worst: Why are stamps so flippin’ expensive? You get cards from people you’d decided to stop sending to. You missed the last posting date.


Best: It’s so great to catch up with your siblings and their kids and your aunties and your grandparents, it’s such fun seeing everyone on Christmas Day and having a fun family party.

Worst: Everyone is secretly pissed off because no one is having the Christmas they actually wanted. You remember why you never see your brother for the rest of the year. Your teenage nephew has been sneakily drinking martini all day and has vomited under the tree, where there are still presents for the relatives who are only coming over in the evening.

Christmas Dinner

Best: All that food – all that drink – you can’t wait to eat, drink and be merry before passing out in front of Christmas TV.

Worst: The turkey won’t fit in the over and needs to be sawed into chunks to cook it. Someone forgot to make the trifle. You’ve run out of red wine. Some f**ker has eaten all the After Eights and put the wrappers back in the box.

Christmas TV

Best: Oh, those lovely films that you used to watch as a kid! You can watch them all again, nibbling on twiglets and basking in the glow of the roaring fire.

Worst: Mrs Brown’s Boys.

White Christmas

Best: It’s happening – it’s going to snow on Christmas Day – the kids will love it.

Worst: You slipped on the icy back step and twisted your ankle. It’s 27th December and you’ve run out of milk. You’re snowed in.

Christmas Presents

Best: Wow, your husband really paid attention to all the little hints you’ve been dropping for the last four months. He’ll be rewarded handsomely for this.

Worst: There’s no problem with it having that charity shop smell – there are some great finds to be had if you care to look – but a tatty handbag with a squashed boiled sweet in the inside pocket is not what you’d come to expect from your sister. She’s getting bath salts next year.

35218597It looks like a regular advent calendar.

Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors…and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one.

The police hope it’s a prank. Because if it isn’t, a murderer has just surfaced – someone who’s been killing for twenty years.

But why now? And why has he sent it to this police station?

As the country relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must race against time to catch the killer. Because there are four doors left, and four murders will fill them…

It’s shaping up to be a deadly little Christmas.

The Deaths of December on Goodreads | Amazon UK | USA

Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
384 (ebook) Mulholland Books

(Hodder & Stoughton)

Mystery/ Crime/ Thriller November 16th, 2017

6541380Susi (S.J.I.) Holliday grew up near Edinburgh and spent many years working in her family’s newsagent and pub before studying microbiology and statistics at university. She has worked as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry for over 16 years, but it was on a 6-month round-the-world-trip that she took with her husband 10 years ago that she rediscovered her passion for writing. Her first novel, BLACK WOOD was published in 2015, the second, WILLOW WALK in June 2016, and the third, THE DAMSELFLY in February 2017. Her next novel THE DEATHS OF DECEMBER (as Susi Holliday) will be out in Nov 2017. You can find out more at, or on Twitter and Facebook @SJIHolliday.


    • 😀 I get it… my and hubby munch a lot of after eights lately and while they’re quite light, it still shocks me every time seeing the mountain of wrappers… time to lay off the sweets, I think 😀


  1. Very entertaining guestpost, lots of nodding my head involved haha. I also hate those crowds of Christmas shoppers and when it turns out they don’t have what you’re looking for or not in the size you need (if I even know what I’m looking for exactly, sometimes I just walk around hoping I’ll see something interesting because people ‘don’t need anything’)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 Glad you enjoyed it! I agree on the shopping, although living in a tourist town shopping is always a headache.. man, I love to complain! 😀 hahaha..
      There’s this craziness in Ireland whereby people shop a whole pile of everything bc the shops are closed for a day.. I’m talking boxes of biscuits/chocolates/crisps… boxes of wines, beers etc… it’s like getting ready for apocalypse.. and then there I am wth my usual daily shop in between them wondering what did I miss 😀

      Liked by 3 people

  2. hehe well this is very appropriate post for this year… or is it too early? I think the rule is past Bonfire Night all the christamassy feelings come out 😉 I just *hate* the big crowds and how pushy people get around this time of year. No joke- I’ve actually been shoved into the road by people around Oxford Circus when I’ve been getting off work. And the tube is a nightmare… wow I sound like a scrooge don’t I? I like a lot of the songs though (just to balance it out)
    Also on the topic of shopping I SO RELATE to what you said in the comments- it’s the same in the UK- the shops are closed for one day and everyone just goes into panic mode- like “what if I run out of milk? Or tea? Or biscuits to go with my milky tea?” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is early for xmas! for me, anyway… one of my ex colleagues had xmas presents wrapped mid october and I just groaned!
      Oh my goodness… your experience with crowds sounds horrible.! This is exactly the type of thing that makes me despise people 😀 I hate crowds because in crowds it’s as if we lose the decency and just stmp on toes and shove with elbows… ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

      • hehe oh no!! That’s terrible. Well, my sister used to work in retail, in a Christmas department… from August… People actually go Christmas shopping in AUGUST!!!
        hehehee I know right 😉 I *hate* Oxford Circus around this time of year with a passion now :/ Even when I’m working round there I’ll try and walk somewhere else to get the tube to avoid it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The only holiday I read specific books for is Halloween. This book has death in the title and I would still be unwilling to read it for Christmas atmosphere, so no offense to the author. Ha Ha. I do like Christmas when there are children in the house, but I won’t be having grandchildren anytime soon. Bah Humbug. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bah Humbug- you and me both! I must prefer the new years Eve for some reason, I always have… but then again, everything is so different in Ireland compared to Estonia… I think my festive moods have gne to pot wishing for things to be like they were in the past… ah well…


  4. I love the time before Christmas, this “jõuluootus”, because it feels merry and festive. And it’s beautiful cause it’s dark outside and there are lights and decorations everywhere. But I do not care so much about Christmas itself. Yes, it’s nice to receive presents and see your family, but in the end it’s always meh and then it’s over and then starts cold and bleak January and I wonder what was that I waited for and where did it go?!? It was different when I was child and I believe (hope) it would be different again when (if) I have children.

    The worst part of Christmas is of course crowds and this shopping craziness and panic you described: it really seems sometimes that people are getting ready for apocalypse. And in Estonia here are quite a few people. I can only imagine what it could feel to live in a big city, I believe I would hate hate hate Christmas then. 😀

    Last year I spent my Christmas in Ruhnu, where only about 60 people live in winter. It was nice! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally understand your comments… I think that’s why I never really liked xmas either.. it was just a day of anxiousness but then poof, in a few hours it was all over… like, you’d expect something big and wonderful to happen but it never did 😀 of course, the family time was and is always wonderful. I had a tradition with my mom to always go for a walk to the graveyard after xmas dinner because the graveyard is tucked away and all the candlelight made it look so eerie and beautiful…

      Ruhnu! That must have been magical! It’s one of the islands I haven’t been to yet… actually, I haven;t even been to Saaremaa 😀 lol… but I have been to Kihnu and Osmussaar- best places ever for camping and disconnecting.. 🙂


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