Since reading Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger almost a year ago, I’ve become a fan of hers. I also did a Q&A with her a year ago this summer and it was such a delight. Today I finished reading Christmas Presents which is Lisa’s very first Christmas Novella. Madeline Martin is the owner of a successful bookstore called The Next Chapter Bookshop despite surviving almost being killed by Evan Handler years before even though some of her friends weren’t lucky and trying her best to take care of her father who suffered a stroke forcing him to retire from being the Sheriff. In comes true crime author and podcaster Harley Granger. He wants to speak with Madeline and find out where her missing friends are and if there was a second killer who helped Evan that night and if that second killer is involved with more missing women including college dropout Lolly. With Madeline’s childhood friend Badger and Harley they must figure out who the killer is before it’s too late.
I started this novella after I finished reading The Night It Ended yesterday. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy a Christmas novella but I really did. I love that the main character Madeline Martin is the owner of a book store. I like that it goes back and forth between the present and the past and with different characters points of views. I could picture myself in the story. My favorite characters are Madeline and Harley and I liked their love interests too.
While I sped through this novel and enjoyed it, I felt the reveal of who the murderer is and how it was revealed was a bit of a letdown. In my opinion I felt the ending was rushed.
Overall Christmas Presents will make a great Christmas gift for those who enjoy murder mysteries and Christmas wrapped into one. Thank you Netgalley for the early copy. If you didn’t get to read the story early, pre-order Christmas Presents coming out on October 24th of this year for either yourself or a Christmas gift for your friends and loved ones.