One of Santa’s elves, Gumdrop Coal, has been fired from his job. Standing just two-foot-three-inches tall, the 1,300-year-old elf has also been framed for murder. He now must find out who set him up before the culprit brings down Santa and stops the Christmas cheer!
Gumdrop is angry at the injustice. After all, he is one of Santa’s original elves. As the originator and head of the Coal Patrol, he was responsible for leaving lumps of coal to those children who made the Naughty List. When Gumdrop started cracking down on the parents of those who were naughty, his actions resulted in the death of the father of a naughty child.
Santa, never comfortable with the Coal Patrol, decided it was time to replace him. His replacement, Charles “Candy” Cane, did away with handing out of lumps of coal. He also began making other changes that didn’t set right with Gumdrop.
Not only was Gumdrop relieved of his duties, but he was also accused of murder. He and his old friend Dingleberry Fizz noticed how much harder Santa and the elves were working and knew something was not right in Kringle Town. While most elves were busy working on the toys to be delivered at Christmas time, there were others who were up to no good.
The two decided to find out who committed the murder, why Santa was losing weight at a rapid rate, and who was actually behind the unrest affecting the North Pole as Christmas quickly approached. While Gumdrop battles his way through Mistletoe Forest, Pottersville, and Misfits Island, he finds surprising support in unlikely places. He also wonders who he can trust and who should be added to the currently defunct Naughty List.
The Fat Man, a Tale of North Pole Noir, was conceived by newcomer Ken Harmon who provides a fascinating and fun look at the behind-the-scenes activities of Kringle Town where Santa’s elves are busy year round creating the toys that Santa carries to homes around the world on Christmas Eve.
Written in the noir fashion of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, The Fat Man is one of those rare, wonderful stories that only come along once in a while. It was well worth the wait!
The Fat Man (Santa) is a heartwarming story that will have you laughing out loud at Harmon's marvelous dialogue. This fast-paced noir mystery really is a must-read for everyone who enjoys a good holiday story!
A special thank you goes to Dutton, a member of the Penguin Group for providing a complimentary copy for review. If you are interested in purchasing The Fat Man, a Tale of North Pole Noir, it is available at Amazon.com.