Published by Tyger Books on September 16, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Short Story
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In a department store in London, a little girl called Sophie visits Santa’s magical forest with her grandfather. As they emerge from the forest, Sophie’s grandfather reports her missing… but the little girl’s right there. Is she a ghost, a twin, an alien abductee—or is there some simpler explanation? Twenty-six-year-old amateur sleuth Emily Castles has fifteen minutes to figure out the puzzle before the police are called and Christmas is ruined.
Real Elves is my first Christmas read of the year and it was a cute little mystery, a little silly maybe, but it has a light-heartedness that fits Christmas. And I would love to visit the Magic Forest, pick a golden apple, and see Santa. It’s a short story, only 35 pages or so, so I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. I will say that there’s no violence and it has a happy ending all around.
I’ve read a couple other stories featuring Emily Castles. She’s smart, funny and a bit quirky, but I don’t think you actually get much of a feel for her characters here, it’s more about the magic and mystery, not the recurring character. That does mean it works well as a stand-alone though. It’d be a nice gift to sneak into a stocking or a small gift exchange.