A day in the life of Merry Wilkinson by Vicki Delany

Where did the year go? Summer’s over and it’s now fall, and before you know it, it’ll be Thanksgiving and then Christmas. The busiest time of the year for me. I own a design and gift shop called Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, on Jingle Bell Lane, in Rudolph New York. Rudolph calls itself America’s Christmas Town. Obviously, November and December are our busy season, but we also promote ourselves as your Year-Round Christmas destination.

Essentially, Christmas never ends in Rudolph. Some might think that’s a bit too much Christmas, but we do it because we love it. I was born into a Christmas-loving family. My Dad’s name is Noel. My siblings are Eve, Carole, and Kris. My mom, who’s an internationally renowned opera singer, is another matter, but over the years she’s taken the whole Christmas thing without too much complaint.

My dad’s a former mayor of Rudolph and he serves as the town’s official Santa Claus. In July Santa Claus (aka Dad) came to Rudolph to have his summer vacation on Lake Ontario. We made a big deal of it with a boat parade, official welcome to the town, costumed elves, Santa meeting delighted kids on the beach. I even made a summer version of my Mrs. Claus costume. Alan Anderson, local woodworker and toymaker, didn’t bother to wear something seasonal when representing Santa’s Head Toymaker, and he just about melted in the heat.

It was a lot of fun, and everyone had a great day. Until. . .

Oops. Better not say too much. I’ll let you read all about it in Hark the Herald Angels Slay, the third book in the “Year-Round Christmas” mystery series, coming November 28 from Penguin Random House.

The town of Rudolph, New York, has the Christmas spirit all year long—but when homicide heats up a summer holiday, it’s up to shop owner Merry Wilkinson to wrap up the case.

In Rudolph, Christmas in July heralds Santa’s arrival by boat to begin his summer vacation at the lake, and Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, is looking forward to a busy weekend. But she’s caught off guard when her ex-fiancé, Max Folger, unexpectedly arrives with a team from a lifestyle magazine wanting to do a feature on the July festivities.

It’s clear that Max’s visit has less to do with business and more to do with winning back Merry’s heart. Merry has too much on her plate to deal with an old flame, but when Max is found strangled to death in Mrs. Claus’s Treasures, she must find out who wanted him dead—and stop a killer from ruining the summer holiday cheer.

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Hark the Herald Angels Slay. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends November 28, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
Vicki Delany also writes the Lighthouse Library series under the name Eva Gates, and the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series. Body on Baker Street, the second in the series, was released in September by Crooked Lane Books. Find Vicki at www.vickidelany.com. She regularly runs giveaways and contests on Facebook.

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