If you only have time to read one new story this Christmas season, I recommend Sharyn McCrumb’s novella Nora Bonesteel’s Christmas Past.
The 160-page story has two threads. Sheriff Spencer Arrowood and Deputy Joe LeDonne set out to arrest an elderly man on Christmas Eve. The man committed a hit-and-run, dented a senator’s car. The senator insists the old man be arrested even on Christmas Eve.
The Arrowood-LeDonne thread works out in an unexpected way.
In the core thread, Nora Bonesteel agrees to help her neighbors, an outside wealthy woman and her husband. They decided to spend Christmas in their summer home in the east Tennessee mountains.
The couple comes from Florida. They bring the kind of Christmas tree a Floridian would bring. The tree stirs up the spirits in the old historic mansion.
Nora uses her “second sight” to help set things straight.
As always, McCrumb sprinkles the book with folklore and history.
It is hard for me to express how much I like Sharyn McCrumb’s Ballad Novels. McCrumb fills them with history and real people.