When two men dressed up as Father Christmas rob a London jewellery store and one of them ends up dead on the floor, shot by his own accomplice, it’s certainly one of the more unusual cases for Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd and her team. But as Helen begins to investigate, it turns out that the case is even more bizarre than she suspected.
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Some background information:
- A Bullet for Father Christmas is a novelette of 9300 words or approximately 30 print pages. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- The inspiration for A Bullet for Father Christmas was the success of a previous Christmas story, the holiday romance Christmas Gifts. The success of Christmas Gifts inspired me to write another Christmas story. However, I didn’t want to write another contemporary romance, so I decided to write a Christmas mystery instead. And since I already had an established mystery series, I decided to make A Bullet for Father Christmas a Helen Shepherd Mystery.
- As a result, A Bullet for Father Christmas also marks the fifth appearance of Detective Inspector Helen Shepherd, her assistant Police Constable Kevin Walker and forensic medical examiner Dr. Rajiv. All three characters were introduced in The Cork and the Bottle and also appear in Overdose, Bank Job and Open Season.
- Charlotte Wong, the forensics tech from Bank Job, also reappears in this story. What is more, the team acquires a fifth member in Police Constable Martin Jackson.
- PC Walker acquires a love life in this story (well, he does have a date), while Helen acquires a family or at least a niece called Olivia.
- Because it’s a Christmas mystery, I don’t just have Father Christmas a.k.a. Santa Claus commit a robbery and then kill him off (or at least, a guy dressed up like him) – no, the story is also chock full of Christmas-related puns and jokes, mostly courtesy of PC Walker. What is more, we also see PC Walker climbing into a chimney and Helen going Christmas shopping.
- But have no fear, the criminal (and dead) Santa from this story is not the real deal, so Christmas is safe.
- Coincidentally, A Bullet for Father Christmas marks the first time that there is a shot on the page in a Helen Shepherd Mystery and that shot is an accidental discharge.
- This time around, the geeky Easter eggs are lots of Christmas related puns courtesy of PC Walker as well as several references to Groot, the alien tree from Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as Helen’s quest to procure a Groot toy for her niece.
- The cover image is a collage of stock photos by John De Boer and m4tik.