Sleigh Bells and Slain Belles
It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Gresham, where the newly restored Lonesome Pine Ballroom is finally ready to host its first event, the Gingerbread Ball. The event, put on by the Gresham Ladies Society, is a chance for adults to leave the children with babysitters and spend the evening in formal wear and celebrating the reason for the season—the Christmas Campaign for Coats, which makes sure all the children in Shawano County are warm for the winter.

Things turn icy when Lena Andrews, the village’s Christmas princess, is found dead following the ball in her bed. Sleeping next to her is Joshua Callahan, a detective with the sheriff’s department and nemesis to Zachary Gagewood, the local bookstore owner and resident sleuth.

Zachary decides to put past slights aside in order to find the real killer. The prospects of Joshua’s innocence grow dim when a second woman he’d been intimate with, a former beauty queen, also turns up dead. With the help of an old friend, can Zachary be Joshua’s personal Santa Claus and give him the greatest gift of all—his freedom?