Everyone loves the countdown to Christmas, even if in many UK supermarkets it starts the second all the Halloween tat has been cleared away. But Advent has a deeper and more lasting significance. It is a time of looking forward, of anticipation, but also of reflection. You can click on a daily window to discover a fine crime novel – and a beautiful piece of music. Both choices are mine, and I make no claim that the 25 books are the best of anything, and neither are they in order, but I offer them as a personal selection of what I consider to be the very best of crime fiction.