Book Review: Baby It’s Cold Outside by Gemma Halliday and T. Sue VerSteeg

TSV and GJ BICO BSynopsis: Tessie King thought she knew all there was to know about tracking down bad guys after helping to find her father’s killer. But when she’s locked out of the Royal Palace Casino in South Lake Tahoe during an ice storm, she’s suddenly faced with the task of tracking her own would-be assassin.

It’s Christmas Eve, the town is encased in ice, and it’s impossible to get an officer to respond without a dead body. With besties Tate and Britton in tow—and head of security, Alfie, desperately trying to keep track of all three—they set out to find the person responsible.


Will they find the attempted murderer before he can finish the job? Or will Santa be returning Tessie’s gifts this year?

My thoughts: Now, I know this is a holiday short story, but a story this short is nothing short of a crime – especially when it is such an amusing escapade! I adore holiday short stories. I love little snack bite reads that introduce you to characters and all that is going on in their world. And when the writer – or in this case writers – deliver the goods without giving away previous mystery jaunts they are diamonds in the rough. With Baby It’s Cold Outside Halliday and VerSteeg sparkle brilliantly without divulging previous capers. Time spent with the folks at Royal Palace Casino and Resort is well worthwhile, with writing that is captivating, contemporary, and witty.

Baby It’s Cold Outside is a delight to read, rich with snappy dialogue and bursting with entertaining characters. Tessie is effervescent, fetching and rib-tickling. Britton is hysterical, nurturing and an enchanting bombshell dujour. Tate is magnetic, uproarious and zesty. Alfie is a richly developed player in this feisty, zany series.

The only drawback was the way too quick whodunit reveal. Halliday and VerSteeg dropped the ball by telling who the culprit was rather then showing us with an extra chapter or two. The additional pages would wrap up this adventure firmly and still keep this Tahoe Tessie volume short.

Baby It’s Cold Outside is clever, intriguing and a wickedly exciting page-turner. Newcomers will be intrigued by VerSteeg and Halliday’s witty humor and smart storytelling to check out the rest of the series.


Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.


Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco


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