Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Santa 365 ~ Spencer Quinn (earc) review [@atriabooks @ChetTheDog]

Santa 365: A Chet and Bernie eShort Story (The Chet and Bernie Mystery Series)
Atria Books
November 24, 2015
add to Goodreads/buy from B&N/or Amazon

Santa doesn’t just deliver gifts—he takes them too!—in this delightful holiday e-short featuring New York Times bestselling sleuths Chet and Bernie.

He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. This year, jolly old St. Nick knows Bernie has been sleeping on preparations for a special Christmas celebration with his son Charlie. Enter Plumpy Napoleon, fresh from a short stint in prison, to save Bernie from the naughty list. Plumpy calls his latest business plan “Santa 365.” For a small fee (that only gets bigger), he’ll fill your life with holiday cheer, including elves, a festive party, gifts, and even a Christmas tree delivered right to your front door. Bernie signs on for the full yuletide experience. But after the blowout holiday bash, Bernie and Chet the dog discover one of Santa’s helpers helped himself to more than Christmas candy. The intrepid duo sets out to find the sticky-fingered perp and reclaim the stolen goods. Add in a surprise visit from Bernie’s mom, two elderly sisters seeking their own brand of justice, and an elf with a stocking full of secrets, and you have a Christmas mystery that only Chet and Bernie could possibly unwrap.
Whether you love that Thanksgiving is just about here and that it means Christmas is on its way . . . or you wish there were a few more weeks to go, you will enjoy 'Santa 365'.

In this e-only short story addition to the Chet and Bernie Mysteries series, Bernie celebrating Christmas with his son Charlie (and Chet, too, of course) when an opportunity presents itself. It may not be quite Christmas yet, but that's not stopping Napoleon - one of the crooks Chet and Bernie helped put away. Plumpy's new business, Santa 365, promises to bring the holiday cheer any day. For a fee, of course.

To make the holidays special for Charlie, Bernie agrees. The party goes mostly as planned, until a crime is discovered.

Now it's up to Chet and Bernie to crack the case and solve the day.

'Santa 365' is Christmas themed - with Santa, Christmas trees, presents and elves - but you don't need to be in a Christmas-y mood (or celebrate it at all) for this story. The focus is on Bernie and Charlie, the mystery and, as always, Chet's observations on the situation.

This story, as the author notes in the beginning, doesn't have to fit anywhere in the series, in particular. Some of the relationships or circumstances in the story may fit better between certain books, but it can be read whenever.

Chet's observations continue to be great: as per usual he has taken note of their finances, knows Bernie's the smartest guy around and is ready to grab any bad buy's pants leg.  A few of the lines did seem similar (if not the same) as ones in Scents and Sensibility the latest book,  Those may not be the same in the final version and,aren't noticeable if you don't read the novel and the short story close together.

'Santa 365' is a great read to get you in the holiday spirit . . . and then steal away some of that cheer. With Chet's brilliant and humorous observations and narration style, this is a read for fans of the series or new readers.

review copy received, via NetGalley, from publisher

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