Crombie's Christmas by Julia Hughes

I first encountered Detective Inspector Crombie in Julia Hughes' first Celtic Cousins' Adventure A Raucous Time

Although he isn't the main character Crombie has a big part to play in that story and he comes over as a kindly but taciturn character with a great deal of potential. I liked him a lot and wanted to read more about him. 

Crombie only has a fleeting part in the second adventure A Ripple in Time but he plays a bigger role in An Explosive Time. I've got An Explosive Time in my WTBR folder and plan to read it soon but was pleased last week to find on Julia Hughes' Blog a link to this D.I. Crombie short story which I'd missed.

There's something about this author's writing style that I really enjoy: there's a sense of fun, of not taking life or the story too seriously. Deftly written with a nice, light touch which entertains and keeps the pages turning, Crombie's Christmas is an amusing short story with an unexpected ending.

To quote from the book description:
Detective Inspector Crombie finds himself spending Christmas in the Italian equivalent of the House of Usher. After picking a fight with the wrong cat, Crombie finds a poetic justice in having the very last word; and finally gets the best Christmas present of all time.

Crombie's Christmas is a quick read but it includes some new aspects to Crombie's character and more back story about his home life. I suspect that Mrs Crombie might become a force to be reckoned with. The book also includes a taster for a new D.I. Crombie series that Julia Hughes plans to publish later this year which is good news. You can get details of all her books on Julia Hughes' Author Page at Amazon and keep in touch with progress on the new Crombie series on her website.