Disclosure: I received an e-copy of Cherringham Secret Santa* for review, but the opinions below are my own and unbiased.
Earlier in the year, I reviewed Dead in the Water, the first full-length novel from the authors of the Cherringham series of novellas. That was my first visit to Cherringham and I really enjoyed it – you can read my full review here. So I was happy to be sent the very festive sounding Cherringham Secret Santa for review.
It’s set in the sleepy village of Cherringham, where the Christmas lights are about to be switched on. Bill Vokes has been playing Santa at this event for years, and always turns on the lights. But with the assembled villagers waiting, he suddenly disappears without a trace. There’s no obvious explanation so part time detectives Sarah and Jack step in to investigate. They discover that Bill Vokes is a Santa with a few secrets of his own.
Christmas and a crime novel didn’t initially seem like an obvious combination, but this was a really fun read. Obviously it helps if you already know some of the background to the Cherringham series. But it’s not a real problem if you haven’t read any of the other stories, as the authors quickly get you up to speed on the main characters.
Cherringham – Secret Santa is a short novella, with a touch of suspense and a satisfyingly festive ending. I reckon that makes it just about perfect for this busy time of year.
Bill Vokes has played Santa at the children’s Christmas show for years. But with the show just hours away, he vanishes with no explanation. The whole village is baffled. Did something bad happen to loveable Bill: upstanding citizen, churchgoer, life and soul of the party and the holiday season?
Jack and Sarah are on the case – and soon discover there are secrets about this Santa that no one could have imagined…
A cosy crime novel with a festive touch, perfect for this time of year – 8/10