A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by Vision Writer Publications on September 1st 2017
Source: Celebrate Lit
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Mystery & Detective
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.
Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.
Christian or Secular: Christian
Sex&Violence: Mild violence.
Trigger Warnings: Discussion of suicide—which isn’t carried out.
Solved by Christmas is the first book that I’ve read by this author. I’ve long been a fan of Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, Agatha Christie and of course, Sherlock. It’s no surprise that I fell in love with this cover. Honestly, this is one of my favorite covers this year! I love the colors, the font choices, the model…I love it all. Yes, I might fangirl over a good cover!
Unfortunately, the book just didn’t hold my attention. I have a few issues as well that I’d like to address.
I felt like Mr. Rudin’s depression was downplayed and alarmingly presented in a way which made him come off as a quirky old man. If someone tells you that they want to commit suicide it shouldn’t be taken so lightly. I know this is fiction but it feels irresponsible to me to present mental illness is such a light manner.
Second, I felt that Detective Jasper Hollock was a rather odd fellow himself. One oddity was that rather than prayer, he sought answers in front of a wall of mirrors. Why did he seek answers in the mirrors? What’s the symbolism there? Why three mirrors? What’s going on here that I’m missing? Is there some profound meaning there that I just didn’t get?
Then, the romance—if you can call it that—felt cliche and forced. Honestly, Jasper was rather rude at times to Bet and I felt like she deserved better. He never really cared for her until she became injured and suddenly he progressed from hate to head over heels.
Last, the mystery had a good premise and I wish it had been more fully developed. The villain was disappointing and I felt he lacked motive. Honestly, I was really hoping the culprit would have been the wife or even Bet! Wouldn’t that have thrown a wrench in the love-hate story?! I feel like if the book had focused more on the mystery and less on Mr. Rudin’s storyline, it would have been more cohesive and developed.
The characters in Solve by Christmas are loveable and it’s easy to want them to succeed. I feel that with time and more focus on one solid storyline rather than multiple arcs that this book could have been a really fun read.
Would I read this author again? Yes. I would read again. This book wasn’t one of my favorites but I think there’s promise there.