The Strange Case of the Disappearing Presents

After a very fast turnaround my non-murder mystery The Strange Case of the Disappearing Presents is up for sale at Kids’ Mysteries. Here’s the blurb:

The people of Spruce Valley were nervous. Two days of heavy snow had kept everybody inside their houses, as well as cutting off the town from the outside world. Nobody wanted a third snow day to spoil preparations for the Christmas celebration. Happily, the weather broke early on Christmas Eve morning, and snowplows began clearing the town’s streets even though the roads into and out of town were still clogged with snow.

People went about their business. There was much to catch up on! The festivities were to take place in the town square with its huge Christmas tree. Every year, Hamley-Schwarz, the largest toy shop in town, wraps 100 presents and arranges them beneath the tree. After carols and Christmas cookies, the much-loved Mayor Bailey, dresses as Santa and arrives on a sleigh, then hands out the presents to the town’s children.

By six o’clock everything was ready, and a soft snowfall welcomed the townsfolk to the beautifully decorated square. The town clock chimed six times, and the music began.

But behind the scenes is panic. Christine Cringle, the person in charge of the presents, has discovered that all of the presents have vanished! Only a small group of people knows about the theft, and it’s hoped that the case can be solved without having to cancel everything.

Everybody is a suspect, and Christine has asked a group of trustworthy citizens to quietly investigate the incident. Mayor Bailey is due to arrive at 7:30 and nobody wants to let him down.

How could this have happened? Who would be so cruel as to steal the children’s presents on Christmas Eve? It’s up to you to solve the mystery and save the Christmas celebration.

Like the others on the site, this lets ~25 children take part. Eight perform as characters with written answers to the questions asked by everybody else, who are designated as investigators. It’s not 100% my copy – when I’m done writing I hand it over to the owner of the site, who Americanises the dialogue a little and checks over the plot etc. – but is pretty close.