Christmas Eve, and it's Clothes in Books 700th entry....

Christmas themed books, pictures and blog entries:

It’s Christmas Eve, and this is the 700th entry on the Clothes in Books blog, so we've taken the obvious theme of seasonal books.

We started with an Advent procession early in December, and now there are Christmas entries all over the blog last week and this week: Carolling as a (possible) cover for murder came up, and Holden Caulfield’s pre-Christmas skating date in New York. Years ago the thought of a special seasonal outdoors ice-rink seemed very exotic and American, but now we have them all over the UK so it's not so special. (Not that they rent out little flippy skater skirts in British rinks, everyone wears jeans.) There’s a Christmas snowglobe and some horrible gift ties. Coming up there’ll be more Christmas crime (Father Brown and a Victorian pastiche), a childhood favourite, and some skiing.

There’ve been various wintry entries over the past year: Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her? discusses the wisdom of going out ‘to the ruins’ on cold December nights – no good will come of it. Heavy snow was a feature of several books. In Harriet Lane’s terrific Alys Always the snow was a blank canvas before the heroine (?) decides to change everything.

The Sittaford Mystery is a satisfying Agatha Christie (and - unusually – a book not featuring any of her regular superstar detectives) and the snow is a very important feature, for reasons you wouldn’t necessarily guess.

There’s a reference to a modern-day Anna Karenina in a fur hat in Nicholas Mosley’s Impossible Objects – a wonderful book from 1969 – and this was the right picture for that one.

The Dark Winter by David Mark was a great new crime story – first of a series – set in Hull over a cold wintry Christmas.

From last year’s seasonal entries, we particularly recommend Nancy Mitford’s Linda and Fannie getting their Christmas presents in The Pursuit of Love: ‘My wicked parents turned up trumps’, and some lovely pictures - this is Fanny's fur hat: 

An absolute favourite picture and headline was this one:

'En route to the House-Party of Death' – Agatha Christie again, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas of course.

And to round it all off, there's Bridget Jones’s brilliant description of why Christmas is so annoying, in her entry on going back to the office in January:

It seems wrong and unfair that Christmas, with its stressful and unmanageable financial and emotional challenges, should first be forced upon one wholly against one’s will, then rudely snatched away just when one is starting to get into it. Was really beginning to enjoy the feeling that normal service was suspended and it was OK to lie in bed as long as you want, put anything you fancy into your mouth, and drink alcohol whenever it should chance to pass your way, even in the mornings. Now suddenly we are all supposed to snap into self-discipline like lean teenage greyhounds.

--- she has to wear that very short/non-existent skirt to get over it.

A Happy Christmas to all blog readers, supporters, commentators and contributors.


  1. Moira, hope you and yours have a good one and that there's plenty of hard-boiled/noir waiting under your tree!

    1. Thank you Col! And a Happy Christmas to you and yours, and wishing you a big pile of nuanced, feelgood books featuring plenty of detailed clothes descriptions. Hope you have a great festive season, and look forward to more merry blogging in 2014.

  2. Moira - All the best to you and those you love! Happy Christmas and a happy, healthy 2014. Thanks for 700 excellent blog posts! I look forward eagerly to more.

    1. Thank you Margot, and the same to you - hope you have a great Christmas, and looking forward to more all round in 2014.

  3. 700 posts, how do you do it? I am totally frazzled trying to keep up with end of year posts, sign up for challenges, wrap up for challenges posts.

    Lovely links to Christmasy posts here. Did I tell you I got a copy of The Becket Factor by Michael David Anthony? Looking forward to reading it.

    Puzzle Doctor at In Search of the Classic Mystery pointed out to me that Dark Winter was set at Christmas (at one of his Christmas posts). Which I had totally forgotten.

    1. I'm sure there are plenty of other things I should be doing Tracy... I hope you'll enjoy the Becket Factor. Yes it's funny about Dark Winter - I don't particularly think it's a Christmas-y book, but when you look back the whole setting at that time of year is important.

  4. Moira: Congratulations on 700 posts. It takes alot of thought to come up with your consistently excellent posts.

    I am not much of a skater. When I was younger I would skate occasionally. Even for Canadian boys like myself who were poor hockey players being on skates usually involved having a hockey stick in hand and playing a pickup game. For girls I do not ever remember a Saskatchewan girl wearing a "skater's skirt" unless they were in a figure skating club. Probably because of her weather a short skirt in winter, especially if it is an outdoor rink, is just too cold.

    1. Yes, it doesn't seem practical does it? When I was young (and ice-skating wasn't on the horizon as something I might ever do myself) I used to watch the competition figure skaters on the TV and wonder why they weren't frozen to death. I think I'm still not completely sure....


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