Callie Parrish and her BFF, Jane, love presents at Christmas, but what they find under the tree isn't a gift from Santa Claus. It is Santa in person--murdered and dumped under the tree the friends decorated with much joy for the holiday season. They see this as a personal insult.
The investigation takes Callie away from her job as a cosmetician at Middleton's Mortuary and to fascinating places--especially after Sheriff Harmon makes Callie an undercover deputy. She finds clues at Safe Sister and the Turkey Trot but can't solve this case until the killer identifies both Jane and Callie as the next victims.
When her brother, Frankie, urges Callie to add recipes, she says, "No!" Everyone knows that Callie can't cook, but her brother wins, so Pa's and Rizzie's recipes appear in the back of the book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Callie Parrish Christmas Mortuary Cosmetology News… In Fran Rizer's Christmas novel, A Corpse under the Christmas Tree, Callie ‘Calamine Lotion’ Parrish is the main protagonist in a panoply of memorable characters, including her family, the ever patient Sheriff Harmon, the Middleton twins, and Big Boy, her dog who’s very shy about ‘doing his bidnez’ in public. Callie couldn’t celebrate Christmas without her BFF blind Jane. I’m relieved to report Jane gave up shoplifting in the second novel in the series and turned her oral talents to working as a phone sex operator at the expense of breaking off her engagement to one of Callie’s brothers. That didn’t stop Callie’s family– she insists on calling them rednecks but they’re considerably more than that– from inviting Jane to celebrate Christmas. So as Christmas winds down, what could possibly go wrong? The title offers a clue, A Corpse under the Christmas Tree. Callie couldn’t fit her extra-giant humongous tannenbaum through the door, so the girls (who hate being called girls by guys) set up and decorated the tree on their front veranda. There, someone left a fully-wrapped Santa under it. Dead. Or as Fran and Mickey Spillane might say, dead as hell. (See Fran Rizer’s Kudzu River.) Sheriff Harmon worries about a possible break in. It’d difficult to determine because, thanks to Callie’s housekeeping standards, he can’t tell if the place has been trashed or not. This is a story about birth and death, one on the floor of the Gullah Grill and the other wrapped around a tree, and somehow the author makes it all seem hilarious. About the Author Fran Rizer writes cozies, but she slips in a bit of sly and gently naughty humor. She’s also a keen observer, both of eye and ear, and she writes some of the best 30-something dialogue in the business. The author is a dedicated researcher, a necessity for a heroine who works as a cosmetician in a South Carolina funeral home. The setting in the village of St. Mary’s is probably a tip o’ the cloche to Aunt Agatha. About the Book The playful typography at first led me to think the book might be a collection of short stories, but no, it’s another full-fledged Callie novel. Each chapter is demarcated by an Alice-in-Wonderland-like separator shaped like a Christmas tree that read something like: ¿ ON THE FIRST D A Y O F CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME A CORPSE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE This perfectly coincides with a trademark of the Callie series that never contain a chapter 13. Notice that Fran knows what modern celebrants have nearly forgotten: The first day of Christmas is the 25th, meaning January 5 is the 12th day of Christmas, followed by the final feast of the season on January 6. That’s right, you can officially keep your lights and decorations up through the 6th of January and give a Callie book any one of those days. You know… just in case you overlooked Auntie Maude in Dubuque. ¿ ON THE ELEVENTH D A Y O F CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME ELEVEN AXES GRINDIN’ I have no axe to grind, but in the interest of full disclosure I’m a colleague, fan, and friend of the author’s. That said, if you enjoy Christmas and chicklit cozies, you’ll love this Callie story. But wait… there’s more! The book includes a number of southern recipes making it a gift that keeps on giving. ¿ ON THE TWELFTH D A Y O F CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME TWELVE EGGS A’NOGGIN