About the Book
Book: The Nutcracker’s Suite
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian Christmas Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling
Release date: November 26, 2021
“Time to dance, sugarplum.”
A painter at the Meyer’s Toys factory, Clarice Stahl, knows something is
strange about the way so many men come and go through Mr. Meyer’s
office, especially one in particular.
Then murder strikes a little too close to home and uncorks a barrel of
When mob king, Mario Topo’s, enforcer goes missing the race is on to
prove he’s behind the murder. Police and mobsters alike are after Milo
Natale, and he who finds Milo first might determine the enforcer’s fate.
A race through the city, a new friend… or more… a new life in the
offing. Milo and Clarice must find who killed Topo’s man and why before
the police arrest him for murder or Topo’s men bump him and Clarice off,
This next book in the Ever After Mysteries combines “The Nutcracker
Suite” with a murder mystery set in the heart of 1920s Rockland.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona
Here Are Several Fun Facts & a Secret about The Nutcracker’s Suite
You’d think that while writing a book based on the fairy tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, I’d have heard “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in my head as I wrote. Well, I guess for a brief moment I did, because at some point, someone actually says that. “Dance, sugar plum!”
But Tchaikovsky isn’t who played in my head as I wrote. Over and over, word after word, my fingers did their bourres and glissades across my keyboard to one, rather unexpected song. “Ballerina” (I prefer the version sung by Buddy Clark. You can listen HERE.)
However, there are so many elements of the original ballet’s story in mine. I thought I’d share a few of them.
Let’s talk about the cast of characters.
Clarice Stahl is our “leading lady.” It’s kind of obvious where I got her name since the original character was Clara Stahlbaum.
Clarice works for Mr. Dieter Meyer, the owner of Meyer’s Toys. He gives her the job of painting nutcrackers. So, it’s not too difficult to see the connection to Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara the nutcracker, no?
All of 1925 Rockland is in the clutches of mob king, Mario Topo. For those not fluent in Italian, can you guess what “topo” is in that language? Remember… he’s the mob “king.” 😉
But I think my favorite name of all is Emiliano (I call him Milo) Natale (Christmas in Italian… just sayin’) who is known as “the nutcracker.” He’s an enforcer for Mr. Topo, and that means he squeezes people until they crack and do what Topo wants. Let’s hope he repents!
Yes, I had a boatload of fun coming up with this stuff! How’d you guess?
I have a secret to confess about this book. I’m writing this post when I’m only about a quarter of the way done. I went to get the synopsis for this tour and went, “oops!” You see, I forgot that I’d planned to make Milo going missing a big part of the plot.
Guess who has to flex? I’d better get back to it. They need to figure out who killed our victim… and why. And before Clarice is next!
Each book in this series is based on a fairytale. I have these stories to be exciting, creative and intriguing. I couldn’t wait to go back to the 1920s and see how the author incorporates a fairytale into a story filled with the mob, illegal alcohol, dolls and a mystery that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Clarice has a very unusual job of painting faces on nutcrackers. What a unique trade to have and it seems that her boss is impressed with her work. I began to wonder why she was suddenly working on a special project. Having the job of painting fifteen thousand dolls by hand was crazy. How is she suppose to do that all by herself? Sonething is strange here and the author had me hooked on the story.
When a murder occurs Clarice is helped by Milo to get away from the danger. Just what has she gotten herself into? With men coming and going from the place she works at, she knew something was wrong. Can she trust Milo? Milo seems like a scary guy and is determined to keep Clarice from going to the police. Now who can Clarice trust? I loved how the police turn up at the factory to question Clarice. Her voice is shaky as she tried to compose herself. Can you imagine being surrounded by detectives firing questions at you? The guilt of what she knows is causing her to be physically ill.
Just as I’m settling down into the story, the author throws a curve ball. Oh my I didn’t see this turn of events coming. Now Clarice is in a dilemma . Her world changed with some unexpected news, but not everyone is happy for her. These dangerous men keep getting closer to harming her and the detectives don’t seem to believe her story.
I was very impressed with how Clarice stood up to Mr. Topo. He doesn’t like how Clarice is turning down the completion of his order and there looks like trouble is heading her way. She is in way over her head but she continues to stand up for what is right. I liked how the author incorporated faith in the story and used several people from the Bible to represent how God loves us unconditionally. The ending is written with intensity as Clarice puts her life in danger to help solve the murder.
I will say that Milo is my favorite character because he is a good example of a man who has done many things that were against the law. He thinks that he can’t be saved but when God is shared with him, he begins to realize that he has been forgiven for his sins. I loved how protective he is with Clarice and always puts her safety first. The mystery is solved with the help of several people. I was surprised who the guilty person was and how quickly others tried to distance themselves from this person.
The ending is filled with bullets flying , deceit and corruption revealed and a person who finds redemption. I loved how realistic the story is and how creative the author is in combining faith with flawed characters and watch them make a choice to change their life forever,
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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Blogging With Carol, November 26
Texas Book-aholic, November 27
For the Love of Literature, November 28
By the Book, November 28
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 29
Inklings and notions, November 29
For Him and My Family, November 30
Rachael’s Inkwell, November 30
deb’s Book Review, December 1
Bizwings Blog, December 1
Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2
Genesis 5020, December 2
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, December 3
Simple Harvest Reads, December 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Connie’s History Classroom, December 4
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 4
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 5
Connect in Fiction, December 5
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 6
Mary Hake, December 6
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 7
Through the fire blogs, December 7
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 8
Lots of Helpers, December 8
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 9 (Author Interview)
Back Porch Reads, December 9
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away to three winners one Prize box each including a paperback of The Nutcracker’s Suite, themed goodies, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card in each!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.