Monday, December 24, 2007

"Sanity Clause" by Steve Brewer

From: The Last Noel. Worldwide, 2004

With his reporter wife wanting a new laptop for Christmas, Santa-phobic New Mexico P.I. Bubba Mabry takes a $3000/week job watching Santa's Workshop at a local mall, making sure none of the Santas brings bad publicity down on the mall as in the past. The task proves impossible when Daniel Gooch, a former famous inventor-cum-the mall's best Santa, is found dead minutes before starting his shift.

Bubba hadn't seen anyone enter the locker room from the front, and the security chief who hired Bubba says no one entered from the back. Fired by the mall, Bubba is hired by the head of Joyous Noises, a Christmas charity that stands to inherit Gooch's patents.

Opposing Joyous Noises are Gooch's former business partner and his sister, who want to have Gooch declared mentally incompetent in light of his switch from CEO to Santa.

Bubba has a take on Santa and Christmas I can almost guarantee you haven't heard before. From an anthology of longer Christmas stories, the multi-chapter format allows for deeper character development.

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