Narrator: Neil Dudgeon
Series: Cherringham #25
Published by Lübbe Audio on December 21, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Novella, Christmas
Length: 2 hrs 35 mins
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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 ...
I had to go to a Christmas luncheon out of town for work and was trying to pick something to start listening to for my ride back home. (Lunch, by the way was at The Twisted Olive in Green, OH – delicious!) Around town I’ve been listening to holiday music, but on trips over say 15 minutes when I’m by myself, I prefer listening to books. I always enjoy the Cherringham novellas, and Secret Santa has been on my to-read list since last Christmas.
Santa is missing. Bill Vokes always plays Santa, but this year, after donning his costume, he steps outside for a cigarette and just disappears. Sarah’s dad is worried, so she and Jack start looking around. Sarah and Jack make a formidable team. He’s former NYPD and she’s smart, curious, and good on a computer. And there are a lot of deaths/crimes in Cherringham for them to solve. For a small town in the Cotswalds, it’s a dangerous place, right up there with St. Mary Mead and Cabot Cove.
Bill and his wife have enough money to live comfortably without working, but no one knows for sure where the money came from. And Sarah can’t find anything on the internet about Bill. Obviously, he has some secrets, but what are they and are they the reason he disappeared?
Sarah and Jack find some clues, talk to some people, and of course solve the case. It’s a light mystery – no one even gets killed, and I like that Sarah and Jack are still friends, close friends, but there’s not that will they/won’t they nonsense, at least not in this one.
I will always keep the Cherringham novellas in mind when I want a fun, quick read. I listened to the audio this time around, though, and I’m not sure that I loved the narration. Jack just sounded more gruff than I thought he should. I think I’ll stick to the e-book collections from now on.