Friday, December 22, 2006

"Here Comes Santa Claus" by Bill Pronzini

From: Spadework by Bill Pronzini, Crippen and Landru, 1996.

The Nameless Detective's girlfriend Kerry drags him into playing Santa Claus for four hours at a gala charity benefit.

The crime portion of the story begins when an ornery nine-year-old named Ronnie punches Nameless in his pillow-padded stomach, then refuses to get off his lap. Nameless threatens to stuff the pillow down Ronnie's throat. Ronnie goes and gets his father, whom Nameless recognizes as a thief he helped send to San Quentin for grand larceny.

Even at his most curmudgeonly, Nameless's narration is appealingly anecdotal, a treat to read.

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