It’s my stop on the Blog Tour today for Trish Harnetiaux’s The Secret Santa, and I’m delighted to share with you my review.
When husband and wife Henry and Claudine organise their company’s Christmas party in a remote mansion, they expect it to be a night to remember.
But the festive mood quickly turns sour when a sinister gift is unwrapped in the Secret Santa gift exchange.
As heavy snow traps the guests inside the mountainside lodge, it quickly becomes clear that one of the party is out for revenge.
It’s no longer just about enduring the evening. It’s about making sure you get out alive.
Real estate agent and architect Claudine and Henry Calhoun are finding business a little too slow of late so when pop sensation Zara contacts Claudine to view a mansion on their books she is more than determined to show the house off. However, this isn’t just any old mansion but Montague House, the first house Calhoun & Calhoun ever sold . The problem is Claudine promised Henry he would never have to go back there and now it looks like everything Henry has tried to keep buried is about to come back to life!
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a great paced ‘closed room’ type mystery with a well thought out back story full of secrets and lies.
It moves along with a good flow, looking back at the history of Calhoun & Calhoun and the secrets Claudine and Henry have kept hidden about Montague House. Delighting us with the wonderful cast of characters we meet at the company’s annual holiday’s party, now taking place at the mansion, so that Zara can attend and also view the property, the tension mounts when a Secret Santa gift throws Claudine into blind panic. Who bought it? How did they get it? And what do they know?
The Secret Santa game used in the story is different to the one I’m used to here in the UK, but sounds far more exciting! With the chance, each turn, to steal the gift last opened, it lends itself really well to the story and highlights Claudine’s devilish character. Not a particularly likeable character but superbly told with her ferociously determined nature coming through more and more as you read along.
The book gathers great momentum as it moves along divulging more and more about the buried past, weaving twists and turns into the story and throwing suspicion onto different characters.
Will it all fall apart for Calhoun & Calhoun??? Read it and find out!
A great festive read.
Thank you to Rachel Kennedy at Arrow Publishing for my advance copy and spot on the blog tour.