Book 61 of 50 Book Challenge, Book 5 of the Holiday Book Challenges
I found piles of this one at Half Price Books, all with remainder marks as thought it was the title that didn't fly last season.
It was awesome.
Gumdrop the Elf leads the Coal Brigade until Santa fires him. Then a guy is murdered using Ralphie's Red Ryder BB gun and Gumdrop is the prime suspect.
You don't get to be the leader of the Coal Brigade by being the shiny happy elf, so you can guess how this goes.
Pretty much every pop-culture Christmas reference is made at some point in this one, and it is kinda dark for awhile. For example, Kringle Town has a shadow land called Pottersville. Tiny Tim drives the ferry between the two. The Misfit Toys live on their island and there are rumors that a Misfit Mafia is stealing the "good" toys.
Not to go all SPOILER but the end is rather warm and fuzzy and true-meaning-of-Christmas-y.
This book is the most fun I have had in this challenge.