Tuesday, February 20, 2018

"Double Deck the Halls" by Gretchen Archer

Henery Press, 2017

The annual Bethesda, Maryland convention Malice Domestic has announced its 2017 nominees for the Agatha Awards, honoring traditional mysteries as typified by the works of Agatha Christie, containing no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence. An April 2018 vote of Malice attendees will determine the winners. In the meantime, as part of the announcement, the Best Short Story nominees are freely available online.

Gretchen Archer's nominated story takes place in the world of her Davis Way series. Davis is the lead undercover investigator for a Mississippi resort and casino, but this particular story is told by Davis's grandmother, Dee, who finds herself captured by a Santa's elf who has strapped a bomb to Davis's friend, Bianca.

Archer's previous short stories have gone into the viewpoints of various characters in Davis's circle, and Granny proves quite the character, resourcefully trying to save Bianca while a captive herself.

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