Shannon moonlights as Santa Claus' little helper at the mall, and when Santa and an elf turn up dead Shannon appears to be next on the killer's list. Spinelli is placed back on homicide and goes undercover as Santa to help capture the killer. He catches a great deal of grief along the way but will he capture the heart of his little Santa's helper as well?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nick Spinelli is a homicide detective who has just lost his partner ... the partner retired. Because he is now the only one in the department without a partner, he is temporarily reassigned to assist in the Child Services division of the Social Services Department. The social worker he is assigned to assist is a beautiful woman, Shannon O'Hara. And she has the red hair to go with her name. Unfortunately for Nick, she doesn't take to him at all. She feels he is cold and uncaring when it comes to children having to be removed from their homes. But Nick knows only too well what it's like to be a child in the system. Nick is also helping his team investigate the murder of Santa Claus and then a Christmas Elf. Shannon has been working part at the same store as an elf ... is she a suspect ... or is she next on a hit list? Nick is sent back to homicide, undercover, as the store Santa Claus. He hopes to catch the killer. And if he captures the heart of Shannon, that would be okay, too. I adore the characters. Nick is a sweetheart, has a smile to die for, and a soft spot for Shannon. His sense of humor is off the charts, even when he's in trouble with his boss. If he weren't so good at his job, she'd probably fire him for insubordination. Shannon has a tough job and a soft heart. She knows there are children that absolutely need to be removed from their parents' care for one reason or another, but it breaks her heart when she has to. This is a Romantic Suspense by a new author to me. It's a short, fast read, only 124 pages. It's not highly suspenseful, but it is an entertaining way to spend an hour or two. There are two other Nick Spinelli books that follow this one. I'm looking forward to reading more about Nick and Shannon's adventures. Many thanks to the author / Melange Books, LLC / Netgalley for the digital copy of this book. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite Covert Exposure is a Nick Spinelli Mystery by Valerie J. Clarizio. Detective Nick Spinelli’s sadness caused by his partner’s retirement turns to outrage when temporarily transferred to Social Services. His foul mood changes after meeting Shannon O’Hara, the caseworker he is to assist. She is beautiful, aloof, and Nick’s attitude with her clients easily offends her. A mall Santa Claus and his elf are murdered, and Shannon was his little helper. Nick goes undercover as Santa to solve the case, but working alongside Shannon only increases his attraction for her, and Shannon’s cool demeanour towards him. Another elf is severely beaten, and angry parents threaten Shannon in court. Nick convinces her that she needs protection, but it may be too late to save Shannon after she disappears. Valerie J. Clarizio has written a very nice book. Covert Exposure (A Nick Spinelli Mystery) is a pleasant, light-hearted romance-suspense. I think the theme is good and like how the author neatly combines the social work segments into the mystery. It had a natural approach, and she was not hesitant to make her characters show their true feelings. Readers will get a brief, but effective glimpse into the operations of Social Services. I like Nick a lot and think he has a great sense of humour, especially when he is with Shannon, who was too emotional, although nice. The dialogue was unforced and contained sufficient wit at times. Covert Exposure is not too violent or graphic. It is a short, fast-paced story that's quickly read.