Books For Winter!

Hetty Monksea
4 min readDec 23, 2023

Hello all, I hope you’re keeping cozy and comfy in these chilly days before Christmas time. Here is a list of my favorite children’s books to read in winter by the fire. Make sure to warm those hands up!

Mistletoe & Murder

by Robin Stevens


“It was two days before Christmas, and we were sitting in Fitzbillies tea rooms in Cambridge.”

Daisy and Hazel are spending the Christmas holidays in Cambridge in hope to take break their detecting for once. However even murder does not stop for Christmas as they find out when an awful accident occurs resulting in a terrible death. However when Daisy and Hazel inspect the scene they discover it is not an accident at all but murder! The two of them must race to save the case before the police or their rival detectives George and Alexander…

This is the fifth book in the brilliant Murder Most Unladylike series by author Robin Stevens, however this can be as a standalone without having any knowledge of the previous books. A thrilling murder mystery set in beautiful Cambridge, this story is perfect for the time of year. Hazel and Daisy are one of the best duos and I always enjoy their dynamic. The plot is exciting and gripping, keeping on edge throughout and the setting is so realistic you might actually think you were in Cambridge with them! If you enjoy crime stories this is definitely for you! 5 out of 5 stars!

The Way Past Winter

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave


“Mila swayed and blinked the world into focus.”

Mila has spent her entire life surrounded by snow. Not once has she seen Spring. Then one day a nameless stranger arrives with a band of men with him. Mila knows there is something wrong about this man but she doesn’t quite know what until she awakes the next morning to find her older brother Oskar has gone. Not only has he gone but all the men and boys in the village have vanished too, gone with the stranger. However one boy remains, a young mage called Rune. Together Mila and Rune decided to follow the stranger in hopes of finding the missing men of the village….

Such a beautiful story from the phenomenal author Kiran Millwood Hargrave. I love how Mila has to find her way past winter to find spring again, a great metaphor for overcoming hardship to find the beauty in life again. I also enjoyed how Kiran used a “Pied Piper of Hamlin” retelling style to tell Mila’s story. The journey Mila and Rune go on is spiked with adrenaline and highly enjoyable for the reader, their characters are both so wonderfully portrayed as well, making it a fun read. The Scandinavian forest style setting enhances the magic and mystery of the story, bringing these elements to the forefront of the novel. And, as always .Kiran’s language is poetic, beautifully and impeccably spun. 5 out of 5 stars!

The Very Merry Murder Club

edited by Serena Patel and Robin Stevens


“Another thin cry made her turn.”

From a murdered ballerina, to Santa mystery, to a cat crazy lady. From a thief daughter’s, to frost spirits, to a scrabble murder. From dad-stealing funhouse, to wrongly accused poetess, to a suspicious neighbor. A body in the snow and a family trapped on an isolated island…

This is a brilliant little collection of entertaining and exciting stories from a brilliant collection of authors including the great Elle McNicoll and the awesome Sharna Jackson. I enjoyed the stories’ diversity and differences from one another and the connection threading them all together being Christmas/New Year. The stories were were not too long to be boring but not too short to be baffling. Each of the stories’ narrators felt alive, the settings perfectly wintery and the language enticing you into these tales of detecting at Christmas time. 5 out of 5 stars!

Thanks for reading!

Hetty Monksea



Hetty Monksea

A bookworm and cat/guinea pig lover. Writing a story... Follow me on Twitter/Pinterest/Substack: @ATaleofJourneys