#NikkiLeClairDay #BookTour: My Book Review for #LockingUpSanta by @NikkiL_Books #cozymystery #suspense
A sequel to an immensely enjoyable book must shoulder a tremendous burden: To live up to reader expectation that comes from the success of its predecessor and to carve its own unique place in reader’s hearts. Thankfully, Locking Up Santa by Nikki LeClair effortlessly rises to the challenge. This book honors its cozy mystery pedigree by wrapping readers’ minds and hearts in characters and plots that we willing embrace. LeClair is like the Pied Piper of the literary world. Her seductive tune is the lyrical magic in the words she selects to stir our emotions. Readers will unapologetically and gratefully follow.
Locking Up Santa continues the story of Phoebe Mercer, a former legal assistant, who is now CEO of beauty empire, Lavish Looks. Lavish Looks is the multi million dollar company founded by Edie Edwards who readers will remember as the delightfully humorous and sometimes bombastic ghost from Haunting Me. Well, both Edie and Phoebe are back in this sequel. Where Haunting Me focused on Phoebe’s quest to find Edie’s missing will and uncover the truth surrounding the societal Martin’s death, Locking Up Santa has an underling drama that threatens to shake the very foundation of Lavish Looks. The accused Santa in question is firmly entrenched in Lavish Looks’ organizational hierarchy.
What LeClair does here is walk a delicate tightrope allowing readers to see how Phoebe handles the professional crisis that threatens her tenure as CEO. Phoebe is an intelligent, sensitive and intelligent woman who can easily fall prey to corporate machinations. In addition, a few missteps early on has Phoebe questioning her own competence. Fortunately, Phoebe has Edie and a few others in her corner as champions.
Nikki LeClair delves into Phoebe’s psychology. I enjoy how LeClair takes an arguably risky move that some authors fear: LeClair isn’t afraid to cast Phoebe in an unfavorable light at times. For the woman balancing her personal life and an empire, Phoebe has moments of being self-centered and not present for her friends. This fact makes her real to readers as we, perhaps, reflect on our own lives and preoccupations that may have others viewing us as less than caring.
Similarly, Edie’s nephew Porter, who Haunting Me readers will recall played a huge role in Phoebe’s life, has moments where his good guy persona (at least in Phoebe’s eyes) is tarnished. I like the character of Porter. Like all of LeClair’s characters, we can see them evolving as the story progresses. No character in this book is stagnate; each character keeps readers constantly guessing and invested in the plot.
While LeClair’s writing strength is in characterization and plot, she is certainly no stranger to the beauty derived from description. Readers know that a writer’s imagination is best served by the words she selects. LeClair excels at literary artistry. As readers, all we need to do is close our eyes and open our hearts to the charm of Locking Up Santa. LeClair does the rest by feeding us powerful emotions, descriptive brilliance and marvelous humor.
Locking Up Santa is the perfect book in which to welcome in this holiday season. Nikki LeClair uses the key of her writing talent to unlock mystery and unlock splendor. Unlock your curiosity by inviting yourself to enjoy the wonder that is Locking Up Santa.
Nikki LeClair lives in Canada with her loving husband and her two rambunctious children. When she isn’t ordering her children to behave or begging her Border Terrier to listen to her, she sits behind her lap top plotting out the next adventures of her characters.
She is a fan of a good glass of Pinot Noir and can’t live without her favorite tea blends. She enjoys hearing from readers and fans of her work. You can find her on Twitter at @NikkiL_Books or on her Facebook Fan Page Nikki Le Clair.
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