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Short Synopsis
A hard-boiled elf is framed for murder in a North Pole world that plays reindeer games for keeps, and where favorite holiday characters live complex lives beyond the month of December.

Full Synopsis
Fired from his longtime job as captain of the Coal Patrol, two-foot-three-inch 1,300-year-old elf Gumdrop Coal is angry. He's one of Santa's original elves, inspired by the fat man's vision to bring joy to children on that one special day each year. But somewhere along the way things went sour for Gumdrop. Maybe it was delivering one too many lumps of coal for the Naughty List. Maybe it's the conspiracy against Christmas that he's starting to sense down every chimney. Either way, North Pole disillusionment is nothing new: Some elves brood with a bottle of nog, trying to forget their own wish list. Some get better. Some get bitter. Gumdrop Coal wants revenge. Justice is the only thing he knows, and so he decides to give a serious wakeup call to parents who can't keep their vile offspring from landing on the Naughty List. But when one parent winds up dead, his eye shot out with a Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model BB gun, Gumdrop Coal must learn who framed him and why. Along the way he'll escape the life-sucking plants of the Mistletoe Forest, battle the infamous Tannenbomb Giant, and survive a close encounter with twelve very angry drummers and their violent friends. The horrible truth lurking behind the gingerbread doors of Kringle Town could spell the end of Christmas—and of the fat man himself. Holly Jolly!

"Harmon's over-the-top use of Christmas symbolism and imagery contrasts effectively with Heller's intentionally flat portrayal of the jaded Coal. All that's missing from this production is holiday Muzak." ---AudioFile

"Ad man Harmon delivers a witty satire on the meaning of Christmas. If you don't long to attend the Loading of the Sleigh Parade, you deserve coal in your stocking." ---Kirkus

"I must have made the nice list this year, because Santa brought me Ken Harmon's The Fat Man. I double-dog dare you not to laugh." ---Steve Hockensmith, author of the Holmes on the Range series

"It's the 'Naughty List' for you, if you don't buy this book for Christmas!" ---Louise Penny, author of A Brutal Telling

"Noir and Christmas go together like Santa and his reindeer in this stylish elf fable by Ken Harmon, a newcomer who knows noir like he apprenticed with Hammett. An excellent stocking stuffer for the mystery lover in your family." ---John Lescroart, author of the Dimas Hardy novels

The Fat Man

A Tale of North Pole Noir

Author Ken Harmon

Narrated by Johnny Heller

Publication date Oct 27, 2010

Running time 6 hrs

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