Top Ten Prefect Christmas Presents!!

1. Hercule Poirot Box Set - Agatha Christie
Folio Society £110

"Sumptuous! Lush! And any other joyous word that can describe these wonderful books! This collection of Hercule Poirot novels include, 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles', 'The ABC Murders', 'Death on the Nile' and no collection would be worthy without it, 'Murder on the Orient Express'. With stunning illustrations from Andrew Davidson, you can tell this is a collection that has been lovingly crafted before even thinking about putting this out to the general public. This is a perfect gift for any Christie fan. If you can't stretch to all four, then the Folio Society sell them individually as well. With these books as a present you will score so many Brownie points!

Hercule Poirot Folio Society"

2. A Different Class of Murder - Laura Thompson
Head of Zeus £20

"I met the author, Laura Thompson at an event for Agatha Christie as she had written Christie's extensive biography a few years back. She informed me that Lucan was her new subject of interest and so I have been waiting (im)patiently for this book to arrive. And now it has and not only is the subject matter intriguing, but the book is divine, too! The infamous murder of Sandra Rivett and the more intriguing and infamous disappearance of her murderer, Lord Lucan has been a source of great debate. This new look at the case is to mark the fortieth anniversary of what was to become one of the most bizarre cases of recent time. This one has as many twists and turns as a Christie - and it's all true! A huge treat for any lover of crime!"

3. A Sherlock Holmes Companion (An Elementary Guide) - Daniel Smith
Aurum Press £16.99

"This is a lovely book which feels well-researched. You can feel that Smith has a clear devotion to Conan Doyle and his great detective as both are dealt with respect. Smith gives synopsis' of all the works that include Holmes and highlights the many incarnations of Holmes on TV and Radio which I found fascinating. The book ends with an interview with Mark Gatiss who plays Holmes' brother, Mycroft in the latest reincarnation, 'Sherlock'. An essential read for any Holmes fan. I already have a couple of copies for friends who are total 'Sherlockians'!"

4. That Glimpse of Truth - David Miller
Head of Zeus £20

"I know there are four (yes, FOUR) publications from Head of Zeus in this Top Ten - but that is because they have produced such sumptuous books, ones that you really crave and look amazing on your bookshelf. This is a leaf a few major publishers could take out of Head of Zeus' book! Regardless, if you know of anyone who loves to read then you will score many points with this magnificent tome. Whether you agree if all 100 stories here are indeed 'the finest' is up to the individual reader, however there are some astounding names here to back up the editor's claim. Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Saki, Elizabeth Taylor and Somerset Maugham sit alongside contemporary writers such as Kate Atkinson, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and the amazing Angela Carter who died far too young but left us a wonderful legacy. This isn't crime - but such a lovely collection simply had to be brought to your attention."

5. Death Sentences - ed by Otto Penzler
Head of Zeus £20

"Taking the theme of books, bookseller and the world of literature, Otto Penzler has gathered together a first-class collection of authors to contribute to this collection. Some are re-issues and some are original pieces for this book. With such writers as Jeffery Deaver, Laura Lippman, Andrew Taylor, John Connolly and my personal favourite, the brilliant Thomas H. Cook, this is a collection that will thrill and chill any crime fiction fan on Christmas day."

6. The Face in the Glass and Other Gothic Tales - Mary Elizabeth Braddon
The British LIbrary £8.99

"The British Library have made sterling work at re-printing forgotten writers. Braddon isn't forgotten as 'Lady Audley's Secret' is still in print, but her other work, notably her Gothic stories have been sadly forgotten. A prolific writer, the British Library have gathered together some of Braddon's best Gothic stories and with a great cover, this will make a smart little present for someone who likes a good old-fashioned ghost story at Christmas. "

7. Batman - A Celebration of 75 Years
DC Comics £29.99

"Who would have guessed this guy was 75! Superman may have had the strength, but Batman always had the brains. Classed as comic's 'great detective', Batman has always been a strategist like a fine Chess player. There have been many comparisons between Batman and Sherlock Holmes and his endless 'games' with his arch-nemesis, The Joker (himself compared to Moriarty) are legendary. In a lovely hardback edition and printed on high grade paper to show off the brilliant artwork, are some of Batman's finest moments during his illustrious career. "

8. The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell
Whole Story Audio Books £29.78

"I have to admit that although I made it to the end, 'Cloud Atlas' nearly beat me. However, I am a great admirer of any author who tries to take his writing style and deliver it from a different angle. That is why David Mitchell is one of those authors that divides his readership. But with this unabridged audio version of his new book, I am finding the experience much more enjoyable. Maybe it is the plot is more accessible, but I am sure it is due to the wonderful narrators on this unabridged recording of Mitchell's new novel. The full book is spread over 21 discs and the different narrators mean that with each new voice the whole book is refreshed. For me, it is an experience whilst listening to this book. This is perfect for any who prefer an audio book. Here you get the whole book and a feel that it is being 'performed' for you rather than simply being read. Excellent work from Whole Story!"

9. Oxford Dictionary of Quotations - Elizabeth Knowles (ed)
OUP Oxford £30

"Ever wondered who said that half-remembered quote rattling around in the back of your brain? Then this is the perfect book to find the answer. I promise you will find many more hidden gems in this marvellous book. This is a luxury tome and holds 20,000 quotes and is perfect for dipping in and out of. This book is an endless source of fascination and not surprising that different editions have been re-issued since the first edition in 1941! Again, not crime but a great idea for anyone who is not a great reader of fiction, but loves their facts!"

10. The Petticoat Men - Barbara Ewing
Head of Zeus £18.99

"Taking a fictional stance on the celebrated case that took Victorian England by storm, Ewing showcases the infamous transvestites, Stella and Fanny. Their case may be the current 'cause celebre' but these are dangerous times. I first heard of 'Stella and Fanny' at a talk last year and was intrigued to see what Ewing had done with these stars that shocked Britain. This is a book well-worth investigating!"