The Blood in Snowflake Garden

The Blood in Snowflake Garden

by D. Alan Lewis

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937035358
Publisher: Kerlak Enterprises
Publication date: 02/13/2013
Pages: 350
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)

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The Blood in Snowflake Garden 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
FionaRobynIngram on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Do you believe in Santa? In an alternative universe the North Pole is not the enchanting frosted Christmas card place everyone would like it to be. In this reality, the North Pole is an industrial complex of dingy factories, churning out masses of toys. Elves have no rights and are basically the worker ants of society; not many reindeer can fly and those that can are worked every inch of their short lives. And as for Santa, think again. Santa is a grief-stricken, guilt-ridden, sentimental old drunk who has let the reins of command slip from his hands. His territory is riven with racism, human/elf conflict, labor problems and worker revolts, and a faltering economy. While Santa surveys his life through the bottom of a bottle, power has surreptitiously been transferred to a shadowy figure, someone who has other ideas for the North Pole, including contracts with major U.S. armaments manufacturers. Detective Max Sneed is dragged out of retirement when Vlad Volsky, the much-loved Premier of gun-free North Pole City, is mysteriously shot to death in Snowflake Garden. He is joined in his investigations by Robert Watson, a journalist for a London newspaper, who is keen to help Max untangle the intricacies of this far from simple murder. The novel echoes the political turmoil of the sixties, in a different kind of Cold War with Santa being the victim of McCarthyism and banned from U.S. airspace for his so called Communist tendencies¿delivering toys to children in Russia and the Eastern Bloc countries!The author succeeds admirably in creating a kind of parallel universe in which the reader can totally believe. The politics, internal bickering, dissatisfaction, dark secrets, and failed lives and loves all serve to enhance the image of a truly dystopian fairy-tale gone horribly wrong. The various characters have complex motives and underlying reasons for their strange behavior. This includes Santa, who might just be the murderer. Max Sneed and Robert Watson find themselves in a veritable labyrinth of conflicting facts and stories. The main characters share a common dark history in which the seeds of the current situation were planted many years ago. The author uses several flashbacks to introduce this backstory but I found this device bogged the story down. The novel would flow better and faster without so much often-extraneous detail behind it. The author has a mordant wit and uses black humor and satire to highlight the sad reality behind the tinsel empire. An enjoyable, thought-provoking read for detective novel fans looking for a different kind of murder.First reviewed for Readers Favorite by Fiona Ingram
AJayLee More than 1 year ago
I will never see the ‘Night Before Christmas’ in the same light. I’m not one for mysteries, but the story that Lewis puts before his reader is far more than just a simple whodunit. In his ‘alternative universe’, he uses history and human nature that we are all too familiar with to pull you in. We soon forget the mythical North Pole that we have all grown to love as a child, and like any celebrated city, we find out that this place too has a dark underside. We find ourselves not unlike Robert Watson, a visiting English Journalist, whose images of Santa, Mrs. Claus, and even the elves are turned inside out as he finds out that they are human, with all the weaknesses and issues that occur in our day to day lives. When I first picked up this novel, it was out of curiosity to see if Lewis could pull off a crime novel in a place that we think of as a dream land. He does more than simply ‘pull it off’. He transports the reader to a place that becomes one of the characters itself and he keeps you guessing until the very end.
Reviews-ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Fiona I. for Readers Favorite Do you believe in Santa? In an alternative universe the North Pole is not the enchanting frosted Christmas card place everyone would like it to be. In this reality, the North Pole is an industrial complex of dingy factories, churning out masses of toys. Elves have no rights and are basically the worker ants of society; not many reindeer can fly and those that can are worked every inch of their short lives. And as for Santa, think again. Santa is a grief-stricken, guilt-ridden, sentimental old drunk who has let the reins of command slip from his hands. His territory is riven with racism, human/elf conflict, labor problems and worker revolts, and a faltering economy. While Santa surveys his life through the bottom of a bottle, power has surreptitiously been transferred to a shadowy figure, someone who has other ideas for the North Pole, including contracts with major U.S. armaments manufacturers. Detective Max Sneed is dragged out of retirement when Vlad Volsky, the much-loved Premier of gun-free North Pole City, is mysteriously shot to death in Snowflake Garden. He is joined in his investigations by Robert Watson, a journalist for a London newspaper, who is keen to help Max untangle the intricacies of this far from simple murder. The novel echoes the political turmoil of the sixties, in a different kind of Cold War with Santa being the victim of McCarthyism and banned from U.S. airspace for his so called Communist tendencies--delivering toys to children in Russia and the Eastern Bloc countries! The author succeeds admirably in creating a kind of parallel universe in which the reader can totally believe. The politics, internal bickering, dissatisfaction, dark secrets, and failed lives and loves all serve to enhance the image of a truly dystopian fairy-tale gone horribly wrong. The various characters have complex motives and underlying reasons for their strange behavior. This includes Santa, who might just be the murderer. Max Sneed and Robert Watson find themselves in a veritable labyrinth of conflicting facts and stories. The main characters are well-rounded and believable. They also share a common dark history in which the seeds of the current situation were planted many years ago. The author uses several flashbacks to introduce this back story but I felt this device bogged the pace down in places. The author has a mordant wit and uses black humor and satire to highlight the sad reality behind the tinsel empire. An enjoyable, thought-provoking read for detective novel fans looking for a different kind of murder.
LindaThorne More than 1 year ago
Lewis offers to take you on a journey to a faraway place you've heard of since childhood. Only things at the North Pole are not as they've been portrayed in fantasy or in real life. Santa does exist, but he's got a drinking problem. Elves are seeking equal rights while some humans say they are too simple, that all they want to do is bake. The action in the story begins almost at once and continues at a solid pace that will keep your interest. There is a mystery to solve with many complications along the way. You can call it a fantasy, but it is also a traditional mystery with all the twists and turns. I highly recommend this a "great read."
JadaWynn More than 1 year ago
I was expecting this to be a typical Christmas story where someone has to help Santa save Christmas like every other holiday movie or story. I was completely wrong. Instead, this is a fantasic leap in to a North Pole unlike anything we've seen before. Disgruntled elfs and labor problems, a Santa who is dealing with depression and drinking heavily, a naughty Mrs. Claus and the man holding the place together is shot to death. So Santa calls in a grumpy, yet lovable retired cop named Max to take on the case. But we soon learn that he and the victim had a bad history. A reporter named Rob Watson helps him along the way, but is soon infatuated by the lovely, Candi Claus. This is not your typical Christmas story. The story moves well with great flashbacks to Santa's past as well as Max's backstory. All of the characters are well rounded and lovable in their own ways. The bad guys have their own unique charms. The mystery its self will keep you guessing all the way till the reveal. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
EmmaWates25 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to lose yourself in, especially with the holidays here. The story opens with Max Sneed, a retired police detective being informed of the murder of Vlad Volsky, the Premier of the North Pole and Santa's right hand man. From there, we start digging into the mystery which quickly turns out to more then anyone expected. What makes this story so much fun is that the North Pole isn't what we expect. Dark and dirty. The book takes a serious look at life at Santa's city, but has so much humor and charm and never takes its self to serious. The list of suspects is wde ranging and all have motives. The characters are well-rounded and believable. The conspiracies and motives all are sound and well explained. The story has a number of well executed flashbacks which show the readers Santa's backstory and Max Sneed's past problems with the victim. This is really a great book and a must read for the holidays. Not your typical christmas story but certainly one of the best.