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Why Did Santa Leave a Body: Yuletide Tales of Murder and Mayhem

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We all have our idiosyncratic holiday traditions, but 11 local mystery writers have created something extra special for this year. Instead of reading The Night Before Christmas, some less traditional types might consider reading Why Did Santa Leave a Body: Yuletide Tales of Murder and Mayhem. Rather than settling in for a long winter's nap, there may be more sinister reasons why no creatures are stirring, not even the mice.

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For these twisted tales, the local authors who contributed stories didn't necessarily include sugar plums or well-adjusted, dapper snowmen. Writers include Minnesota Book Award winner Brian Landon, author of the well-known Doyle Malloy mystery series; Michael Allan Mallory, who is a member of the American Association of Zoo Keepers and Mystery Writers of America, and is currently president of the Twin Cities chapter of Sisters in Crime.

There's also Barbara DaCosta, who describes on her blog her story, "For Want of Some Gloves," about a craggy man who turns to panhandling: "I tackle the layers of honesty, thievery, and assumptions that so easily can creep into our lives."

And since all of the authors actually live in Minnesota, we can expect some realistic winter descriptions to really put the cold in cold-blooded.

Common Good Books, located at 165 Western Avenue North in St. Paul, is hosting a reading of Why Did Santa Leave a Body: Yuletide Tales of Murder and Mayhem on Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m.