by Cynthia Chow
Details on how to win an ebook copy of this novella at the end of the review.
All Wilson McKenna was hoping for was to spend a Hawaiian Christmas together for the first time with his girlfriend Benni. Before she can fly in from the Big Island, McKenna is talked into doing a favor that he simply cannot refuse. The Honolulu Community Theater is giving charity benefit performance of “A Damsel for Santa,” and their Santa has just come down with a case of malaria. McKenna’s tenant, aspiring private investigator Chance Logan, has talked him into doing far more outlandish deeds before, so convincing McKenna into filling in as Santa proves to be a breeze. It’s a charitable act McKenna soon regrets, as he’s immediately faced with a hot-flashing Mrs. Claus, weed-smoking crew, and a child star whose mother suffers from PTSD.
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Rehearsals haven’t even begun before the owner of a homeless shelter is murdered, a fast-approaching hurricane knocks out the power and phones, and the entire cast is locked in the theater with a killer. It’s up to McKenna, in an alarmingly uncomfortable Santa suit, to preserve the crime scene, question the suspects, and hopefully keep everyone alive until the police can arrive. With a cast of actors who are off the eccentric scale and not receptive to his interrogations, McKenna finds himself reluctantly relying on a nine year-old Temporary Assistant Elf Investigator to solve the mystery and save Christmas.
This Christmas novella arrives just in time for the holidays and serves up a generous portion of laughs and escapist reading. The classic locked-room scenario gets twisted with the inclusion of a zany collection of characters who unpredictably fall in and out of their roles. The very put-upon McKenna continues to be entertaining as he wades through the suspects, ensuring his success as Santa no matter how much he attempts to resist. Often a beacon of sanity is an ocean of chaos, McKenna is at his best when surrounded by chaos.
To enter to win an ebook copy of A Damsel for Santa, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “damsel,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 12, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please included your mailing address.
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