Age Appropriate For: 13 - 30
Best for Ages: 13 and up (topic of suicide, very mild romance)
Description: When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.
“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”
Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night.
As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin and the company are dragged to perdition.
This was the best Christmas book I read this year. I bought this one and read it toward the beginning of the Christmas season. It isn't a light read. A man is threatening to end his own life. However, I'm really glad I read this story.
This story had the feel of a Sherlock Holmes mystery, but with a distinct Christian feel to it. Detective Jasper Hollock is a lovable character with real faults, a good brain, and fun quirks. He is someone you can feel sorry for, cheer for, and wish you could be his friend. I really hope that this is not the last book with Jasper in it. I would love it if this became a series.
The side characters were amazing. Denny was lovable and a great balance for Jasper. He added a lot of comic relief. Miss Leslie was one of my favorite characters. There are some hints of romance, but there isn't any touching or even much noticing.
There are two mysteries going on at once in this book. The first being a candy factory being sabotaged. The second is Mr. Rudin has asked Jasper to make a case for him to stay alive, as he is thinking of ending his life. The first mystery kept this book from being completely down. The mysteries were both built well, and the resolution was satisfying.
Schamel tackled a big topic - the meaning of life and the reason to keep living. She lived up to the challenge and gave a meaningful answer that wasn't easy, cheesy, or trite. That alone is worth a lot.
I highly recommend this book for those who love Christmas stories, books with depth, and tales that entertain and inspire.