Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Audio Rating: 5 stars
Narrator: Gary Furlong
Length: 3 hours, 56 minutes
Tom Lewis is an actor on a popular television show, playing Detective Fox. Everything was going great until a tabloid reporter outed him, and now he’s out of work while the powers that be decide whether to continue with the show (or maybe even recast). Money is running out, and he needs a job soon or he’ll be broke. Tom’s beloved agent comes to him with a job opportunity that will pay very well for seven weeks’ work. The problem is, that job is playing Santa at a posh department store, and the idea of doing that makes Tom shudder. However, for 20,000 pounds, his desperation wins out over his artistic scruples.
Eli Mason is a young actor, fresh out of a prestigious acting school, who got one of the ten scripted, speaking roles as an elf in the department store’s Christmas extravaganza. When he realizes Tom Lewis is the actor who’ll be playing Santa, he’s very excited. His guilty pleasure is watching Tom’s show, and he’s got a crush on Tom/Detective Fox (both the actor and character). Eli begins flirting with Tom from the git go, and Tom seems receptive. One night, after a drunken cast party, Tom and Eli go home together, and Tom lets Eli in on his secret kink…tease and denial.
While on a smoke break, Tom overhears two workers from the department store making plans to recruit some other employees and a few unsuspecting people and fleece the store for a lot of money. Tom figures he can call the police, but an idea hits him. What if he solved the mystery of the robbery and the perpetrators, effectively bringing Detective Fox to life? He could be he a hero and most likely get his job back. Every detective needs a sidekick, and Eli is perfect for that role. Will they be able to get to the bottom of the Christmas Caper? Is their fledgling relationship more than just a holiday fling? Only time will tell.
This was wonderful! I enjoyed it so much. Tom and Eli were a delight, and the background characters, mainly JJ and Tamika, played their roles perfectly. The plot was fun and held my attention from beginning to end. I also thought the mystery was well written and plotted. Isobel Starling never lets me down when it comes to a great whodunit, and Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper was no exception. I loved being in on the whole thing and knowing who was who, but I really enjoyed reading about Tom, Eli, and to a lesser extent, JJ and Tamika, figuring out what was happening. I’m not going to give you any spoilers, but I’ll tell you the chase and capture of the bad guys was fantastic and made me cheer and laugh at the same time.
The sexytimes were extremely sexy, and the tease and denial kink made it even sexier. What I thought was really great was Tom, the big, buff man, was the submissive bottom, and Eli was in charge of Tom’s pleasure. Starling made this bit of role reversal interesting, and wow, was it awesome to read.
The ending tied everything up neatly. I expected it, but it was still perfect. It gave me exactly what I needed and it made me happy. I highly recommend this one. It has a little something for everyone, and having it all take place during the Christmas holiday made it even better.
My, my, my! What a great audio! Let me give you an idea of just how great. My husband and I were going to the beach. I wanted to listen to Detective Fox and the Christmas Caper on the drive down and finish it while we were enjoying the bonfire and the perfect sunset. Headphones are somewhat uncomfortable for me, so I asked him if he would mind if I could just play it without them. That would mean he’d have to listen as well. He agreed, and I turned it on. An hour in, he was just as absorbed in the story as I was. We listened to the whole thing together…all four hours of it. The Hubs is very supportive of my reading choices, but they’re not really his thing, so for him to listen to, and actually enjoy, a story like this? It’s a really big deal!
Gary Furlong is the narrator, and he’s amazing. He’s narrated four other books by Isobel Starling, and believe me, she scored a real winner with him. He’s got a melodious British accent as it is, but he can handle other accents as well. Also, he can make it easy to tell exactly what character is speaking, including women. Furlong’s voice pulls me right into the story, and I immediately become immersed. I (or we, because…the Hubs) listened from beginning to end, only stopping to roast a few hotdogs on the fire.
There was a lot of humor in the story, and Furlong really pulled that off. He had a certain lilt to his voice. He was able to make me see the characters in my head…right down to their ornery smiles and funny lines. I got the feeling that the narrator was genuinely enjoying himself as he read.
Above, I mentioned the sex and the tease and denial kink. Those scenes were nicely written, but hearing them being brought to “life” was incredible. There was legitimate heat, and with Gary Furlong’s voice and narration, my heart was pounding. Once again, thanks to his narration style, I was able to visualize everything that was happening.
If a good mystery, strong characters, laugh out loud humor, and the smooth voice of a talented narrator is your thing, you definitely have to pick this up. You will not be disappointed. I can’t recommend this enough.