All About Joyce:
Read about Joyce's two mystery series: the Betty Trenka series and the Lady Margaret Priam series.
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Books by Joyce Christmas
Lady Margaret Priam Series | Betty Trenka Series
-- Lady Margaret Priam Series --
Fawcett, June 2000 (Paperback)
Paperback, 216 pages
Everybody who is anybody is bending an elbow at Dr. Dale Reeves' fiftieth-birthday bash. But Lady Margaret Priam is uneasy -- the glittering crowd includes not only Dale's wife but also his mistress: not just his spoiled children but his wife's lover as well. Not to mention her beautiful new secretary, the instigator of this glamorous affair, a wild Texas filly with a penchant for kicking up trouble all over Manhattan.
Lady Margaret's fears are quickly justified. For even before the birthday cake is cut, someone will take a shortcut to death, off the terrace and down-down-down to fulfull a killer's devious wish...
"The Lady Margaret series is one of the most consistently satisfying ones."
"Anyone who enjoys a cerebral, character-based mystery will want to try this charmingly original novel."
--Harriet Klausner for Painted Rock
Click Here to read the review from The Internet Writing Journal®.
Going Out in Style
Fawcett, June 1998 (Paperback)
Lady Margaret's Best Friend, Dianne Stark, is being harassed by an unknown man, but is the stalker someone from her past or her present? When Dianne's look-alike sister is murdered, Margaret sets out to discover the killer and learns some truths about herself in the process.
Fawcett, 1996 (Paperback)
An unwilling Margaret joins a committee for a decorator showhouse and has her hands full with troubled chairlady, Gloria Anton, whose brother died mysteriously years before in the house being decorated to death by a pack of high-strung interior designers. Then there's a murder - or was it an accident? And Margaret must find the truth about family secrets that are haunting the present.
A Perfect Day for Dying
Fawcett, 1994 (Paperback)
Everybody needs a winter holiday in the Caribbean, so when Paul takes a job as party coordinator for Lord Farfaine at his island hideaway, Margaret goes along for the fun, and two murders. She manages island magic as easily as blackmail, and finds an ally in a small local boy who knows his way around his island paradise still recovering from its colonial past.
It's Her Funeral
Fawcett, 1992 (Paperback)
ISBN 0-449-14702-9 $3.99
Paul's mother, the fabulously rich Texan, Carolyn Sue Hoopes is mixed up in shady real estate development in glamorous Queens, and the neighborhood doesn't like it one bit. So who killed busybody Frances Rassell at the construction site? Margaret plunges into a blue-collar world with blue-blooded aplomb to find the answers.
A Stunning Way To Die
Fawcett, 1991 (Paperback)
Severn House, 1991 (Hardcover)
Margaret's friend and sometime employer, antiques dealer Bedros Kasparian needs help: he's found a gorgeous woman in his shop, and she's dead. Margaret's investigation takes her to Beverly Hills, and the marvels of Forest Lawn cemetery, and she uncovers motives reaching back to the golden days of Hollywood and World War II.
Friend or Faux
Fawcett, 1991 (Paperback)
Margaret returns to Priam's Priory, the family estate in England, to rescue her brother the Earl of Brayfield from a visiting Indian Maharajah and his entourage. There are plenty of suspects when the Maharajah's Indian wife is murdered. Is it the gold-digging English wife? The ne'er-do-well Priam cousin? The Maharajah himself? A pickup polo match, the ghosts of Priam's Priory, an old-fashioned steam circus and a visit to Harrods food halls help Margaret solve the crime.
A Fete Worse Than Death
Fawcett, 1990 (Paperback)
Is the Archduke Niklas the real thing, the last of a great ruling family of Europe? And is Emma, Lady Ross, really no lady at all? Against a background of titles for sale, fashion victims and a costume ball, Margaret and Paul - and her new friend, bicycle messenger Marcus - figure out who wanted Emma dead.
Simply To Die For
Fawcett, 1989 (Paperback)
Lady Margaret helps launch an unwilling debutante into society with a lavish coming out party that includes murder and tangled family relationships.
Suddenly In Her Sorbet
Fawcett, 1988 (Paperback)
The first book of the series introduces Lady Margaret Priam and her Eurotrash friend, Prince Paul Castrocani, plus Margaret's on-going romantic interest, police detective Sam de Vere, and follows their investigation of the poisoning of society grande dame, Helene Harpennis, chairlady of Harpennis Foundation charity ball.
-- Betty Trenka Series --
A Better Class of Murder
Fawcett, November, 2000 (Paperback)
For the first time ever, Lady Margaret Priam and Betty Trenka join forces--to solve a high-tech Manhattan murder among the very rich.
To her delighted surprise, suburban sleuth Betty Trenka finds herself ensconced in a luxurious New York City hotel--preparing to investigate the wealthy, ruthless computer entrepreneur Gerald Toth for her country neighbor, Ted Kelso. An expert tester of software programs, Ted has been offered a suspiciously large sum to approve Toth's top secret new brainchild.
But a murder on a foggy Connecticut beach ups the ante especially when an unmarked computer disk is found at the crime scene. Suddenly Betty and her newfound friend, the elegant Lady Margaret Priam, are surfing the social scene for a cunning killer--and playing real-life computer games where death is only a mouse click away. . . .
"Fans of the both the Betty Trenka and the Lady Margaret Priam mystery series are going to be in heaven with Joyce Christmas' latest mystery offering. The styles of the two sleuths blend perfectly: Betty's no-nonsense approach and Margaret's elegant deductions make for entertaining reading. As always, the dialogue is quick and witty and Christmas' dissection of the Manhattan social scene is dead on. Highly recommended."
--The Internet Writing Journal
"The story line is fun and enjoyable as both women stay in character yet work well together. Anyone who reads this merger novel will agree that Ms. Christmas has pulled off a coup and hopefully will not only have her two heroines star in their own tales, but come together again in a future story.
--Harriet Klausner, Painted Rock
Click Here to read an excerpt.
Mood to Murder
Fawcett, June, 1999 (Paperback)
Betty takes a temp job at the local high school and is soon plunged into the world of today's disaffected youth. With witchcraft, violence and murder in the air, she will need all her powers of detection to solve this puzzle.
Click Here to read the review by The Internet Writing Journal.
Downsized To Death
Fawcett, 1997 (Paperback)
Betty returns to her old company to help clear out some files, and deal with the illness of her beloved old boss. In facing the reality of her own and others' mortality, she finds that "naturally" isn't necessarily the way old people die.
Death At Face Value
Fawcett, 1995 (Paperback)
ISBN 0-449-14801-7 $4.99
The past comes back to haunt Betty in the shape of a childhood friend, a former world-famous high fashion model who's running from the discovery of a murdered house guest. Betty, who is helping an eccentric, self-styled "genius" prepare his memoirs, helps her old friend (not an easy task) and finds the murderer of not one but two young women.
This Business Is Murder
Fawcett, 1993 (Paperback)
Introducing Betty Trenka, an unwillingly retired office manager who seeks to make a new life for herself in a small Connecticut town, in spite of the fact that she is totally undomesticated. She takes a temp job with a local firm, and discovers that someone is downsizing the company by murder.
Three earlier novels by Joyce Christmas are currently out of print: Hidden Assets by "Christmas Peterson" (Avon); Dark Tide (Avon); and Blood Child (Signet/NAL).
You can also read short stories by Joyce in:
Murder, They Wrote II
Edited by Elizabeth Foxwell and Martin H. Greenburg
Boulevard Books, 1998 (Paperback)
Sixteen all new stories in the tradition of Jessica Fletcher mysteries by Anne Perry, Margaret Maron, Gillian Robert S., Elizabeth Daniels Squire, and others, including "Up the Garden Path" by Joyce.
Malice Domestic V
Presented by Phyllis A. Whitney
Pocket Books, 1996 (Paperback)
Short stories in the cozy tradition by 16 top mystery writers (Sharan Newman, Sue Henry, Alan Russell, Patricia Moyes, Carolyn Wheat, Susan Rogers Cooper, etc.) including Joyce's Macavity-nominated story, "Takeout."
And check out
Edited by Jan Grape, Dean James and Ellen Nehr
Carroll & Graf, 1998 (Trade Paperback)
This reference book, called The Woman Mystery Reader's Indispensable Companion, contains articles by and about Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Michaels, Joan Hess, Elizabeth George, Carolyn Hart and many more, and includes Joyce's essay on the Aristocratic Sleuth, "Something to Love and Laugh at."