Oh no, here it is two days before Christmas and a nightmare has happened. Parents, ask your children to please leave the room and make sure they aren’t listening by the door. We will have to speak quietly and I’m going to say this in a whisper. Santa Claus has been murdered!

The horror of it all. Let me tell you what happened. Private Investigator Barb Jackson, owner of Jackson Investigators, went to the mall with her friend Kelly to do some last minute Christmas shopping. To say the mall was crowded would be an understatement. Kids were lined up waiting to see Santa himself but no one could find the jolly elf and the mall would be closing in an hour.

Barb and Kelly decided to head home but the last thing they wanted to do was get tangled in the sea of kids so they went the long way around, behind the Christmas tree. As the two friends were heading for the door Barb noticed something sticking out of the fake snow under the Christmas tree. Being a private investigator she’s naturally curious so she just had to see what that strange black object was in the fake snow. She was sorry she did. What Barb saw was a boot, a black boot attached to the very dead body of Santa Claus.

While Barb protected Santa’s body Kelly ran to get the mall police, hopefully someone competent. Within minutes the mall was closed. After all, it wouldn’t be wise to have the children see the season’s hero lying dead behind the Christmas tree, under some fake snow, lying in blood. No one should have to see something that tragic.

Well, thank goodness it wasn’t the real Santa, it was one of his helpers, Marvin Garvin, who was murdered. Not that it was good that Marvin was murdered but at least Santa would be able to make his yearly journey in two days.

But who killed Marvin and why? Barb started investigating even though Police Detective Smith told her not to. Barb felt bad that Detective Smith wouldn’t be sharing his last Christmas in this upstate New York town with his wife and son. The family would shortly be moving to California where his older parents needed him. Barb wanted to help solve this crime before Christmas for Detective Smith.

So the question remained: who killed Marvin Garvin and why? The “why” was easy. Barb found out that, like some of Santa’s helpers, Marvin liked his alcohol and he also liked the ladies. At the time of his death Marvin was on again/off again with three different women.

But who killed him? Was it a girlfriend? An ex girlfriend? An angry tot who never received his candy cane while waiting to speak to Santa? Well, with the help of her friends Mandy, Kelly, and her aunt Mona, Barb was going to find out who done the deed even if it killed her, which just might happen. She considered even letting Police Detective Smith help her.

“The Blonde Before Christmas” by Anna Snow is a cute little cozy novella that can be read lickety split. There aren’t any recipes but there is lots of food talk. What cozy doesn’t have food mentioned?

Private investigator Barb Jackson is a great lead character. She cares about others, is always looking for a good man (and who isn’t), loves to eat, a bit of a pushy broad, and very likable. She’s surrounds herself with her two best buddies who are always willing to help her investigate. Her aunt Mona works at the police department and occasionally bends the rules by giving Barb some inside information. It’s always good to have an insider helping an investigation.

There are few chuckles in this story and that appeals to me. I like a little laugh with my murder mysteries.

Author, Anna Snow has a slew of other cozies out there and I plan to read as many as I can.

Put your feet up for an hour and read “The Blonde Before Christmas.” But don’t let the kids know about the death of Santa’s helper. We don’t want to upset them. Oh, and you can let them back in the room now.



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