In a department store in London, a little girl called Sophie visits Santa’s magical forest with her grandfather. As they emerge from the forest, Sophie’s grandfather reports her missing… but the little girl’s right there. Is she a ghost, a twin, an alien abductee—or is there some simpler explanation? Twenty-six-year-old amateur sleuth Emily Castles has fifteen minutes to figure out the puzzle before the police are called and Christmas is ruined.
REAL ELVES is a standalone story set in London. It first appeared in the anthology Naughty or Nice in aid of Kids Need to Read. The Emily Castles mysteries can be read in any order.
Review: Helen Smith is such a witty writer. The humour in her books is not deadly obvious, it is subtle and clever and that is what makes her books so enjoyable! This is a lovely festive short story, it will literally take an hour maximum to read ad is perfect for when you've been out in the shops at Christmas time because it sums up what those Santa's grotto sections of department stores are really like.
These books always feature an elements of magic and mysticism and this little offering is no exception but its not so much that it will put you off if you're not a fan of a little bit of make-believe, perfect for this time of year really,. The storyline is well rounded and the characters are interesting.
I expect that the characters would mean a little more if you had read the other Emily Castles books because I'm sure there are some inside jokes in there somewhere. I own the other Emily Castles books but shamefully I haven't read them yet. This definitely encourages me to do so because of the way that this authors writes. This was a refreshing break from some of the other Christmas novellas out there because it is something a little bit different and it is such a quick read, how can you not read it?