SUGARPLUMS AND SCANDAL brings together the best of romance and mystery in one delightful collection of Christmas tales. In the expert hands of six of Avon's best storytellers, the holiday season takes on an air of love and scandalous surprises! Filled with Christmas miracles, romance, and... read more
Lori Avocato opens this anthology with "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth". Pauline Sokol specializes in investigating medical fraud so of course she takes up her mother's challenge when she reads about poor Lenny Niski and his dentures in their newspaper. Humor and mayhem follow... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Lori Avocato opens this anthology with "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth". Pauline Sokol specializes in investigating medical fraud so of course she takes up her mother's challenge when she reads about poor Lenny Niski and his dentures in their newspaper. Humor and mayhem follow when Pauline goes undercover at the office of dentist Dr. Elfin Santana.
"All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" is a phenomenally quirky story. The various names of the characters at the dental office are quite a hoot. Lori Avocato's gift at incorporating humor into a storyline is very apparent and readers will want to go on further investigations with the spunky Pauline after reading this story!
Dana Cameron's "The Lords of Misrule" is a Christmas mystery set in the 1700s. The Chase family is preparing for a fabulous Christmas when Mr. Chase's gift of jewelry for his wife is discovered missing. This theft is quickly followed by a death. Margaret and her brother, Tommy, seek to uncover the perpetrator in this Christmas tale.
"The Lords of Misrule" is a superb tale of intrigue. Dana Cameron draws the readers into this cozy story while carefully revealing layers of suspense. The touch of romance provides a sweetness to the story while the mystery keeps the reader guessing as to who is behind these incidents.
Mary Daheim's "The Ghost of Christmas Passed" is a Christmas gathering featuring Judith Flynn and Renie. Both share some old family photos with Judith's mother as they uncover the mystery of what happened to Uncle Bart.
What a confusing overload of characters! Fans of the series will probably recognize most of the characters and enjoy this Christmas reunion but those new to the series will have difficulty keeping the various people and their relationships straight. Mary Daheim generally writes a phenomenal cozy mystery but "The Ghost of Christmas Passed" will appeal more to those readers who are already familiar with this particular series.
"Partners in Crime" by Cait London is a charming tale of misadventure. Cecilia Lattimore knows someone is out to get her when she finds her organized home in clever disarray- nothing obvious but little things taken out of the neat order she keeps in her life. She suspects the police chief so when she meets Joe Berenger as he rescues her from three men, she agrees to utilize him as a bodyguard. Who is at the root of this Christmas mayhem?
Cait London has crafted a very clever tale with "Partners in Crime". Cecilia is an endearing character with her quirk of organizing everything. Berenger's gruffness is the perfect contrast to the always in control and neatly structured Cecilia. The inclusion of Cecilia's annoying ex-fiancé and ex-husband add a touch of humor to the plotline although readers will want to smack both of them for their overbearing comments to Cecilia. Cait London successfully wraps this tale up with a satisfying conclusion that left this reviewer cheering!
"Holly Go Lightly" by Suzanne Macpherson is a ghostly tale of Christmas joy. Nick Fredricks is about to make a huge mistake by marrying the uptight Gwen. His deceased ex-fiancée, Holly Townsend, hopes to change his mind and has a surprise in store for him.
Suzanne Macpherson's heartwarming tale is literally about the Christmas spirit! Holly's hijinks as she tries to reach out to Nick are hilarious and the cat, Jingles, deserves recognition for his antics as well. Suzanne Macpherson has a gift for the absurd and her characterization of Holly truly showcases this. "Holly Go Lightly" is a tale readers will enjoy.
"A Very Vampy Christmas" by Kerrelyn Sparks focuses on the star vampire of the hit vampire show, Don Orlando. Maggie O'Brian is horrified by Don's womanizing ways as it has completely ruined the appeal of costarring with him on the Digital Vampire Network soap opera, As A Vampire Turns. Maggie discovers that Don's bluster hides a secret and she plans to help him uncover a mystery.
Kerrelyn Sparks writes a phenomenal vampire story! "A Very Vampy Christmas" is no exception as the humorous interaction between Maggie and Don Orlando will keep the reader laughing while the growing romance between them is sweetly sensual. Ms. Sparks has a definite eye for detail and it is the little things that she includes that really make her vampire stories work. "A Very Vampy Christmas" concludes this anthology with a bang and should generate new fans for Ms. Sparks with this spectacular story.
This book contains the following stories:
All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth – Lori Avocato
The Lords of Misrule – Dana Cameron
The Ghost of Christmas Passed – Mary Daheim
Partners in Crime – Cait London
Holly Go Lightly – Suzanne Macpherson
A Very Vampy Christmas – Kerrelyn Sparks
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