Private Investigators Frankie Barker and Johanna Obrien are looking forward to a relaxing Christmas holiday with Frankie's mother, Selma. When they stumble upon a body behind some trees while picking out their perfect Christmas tree, their relaxing holiday is put on hold.
When Sheriff George Ryker asks for their help on an unrelated case, they soon realize that the two cases are connected. They uncover some disturbing details about the victim's life but can't understand why anyone would want him dead, and especially what he could have done to cause someone to attack him so viciously.
Johanna smiled. "But those are memories you'll always have and treasure."
She nodded. "And traditions I'll always keep alive."
"I'm glad," Johanna said. She looked toward the stove. "I see you've got your pot of famous chili cooking." She sniffed appreciatively.
Frankie wiped her hands on her apron. "And my homemade cornbread is ready for the oven tomorrow. All I need to do now is wait for Mom to get here." She walked over to the counter where the coffee maker sat. She poured two cups of coffee and carried them to the breakfast nook where they ate most of their meals. Johanna joined her and they gazed out of the window at the fat snowflakes beginning to fall.
"It's snowing. I didn't hear anything about snow on the weather forecast. I hope your mom doesn't have any trouble with the weather."
"Nah, she'll be okay. She's used to driving in the snow. We're not due for any major accumulations as far as I know. I worry more about the rain turning to ice."
"I forgot you grew up in worse weather than we ever get here." She stirred some cream and sugar into her coffee. "I can't wait to see what our artificial tree is going to look like."
Frankie's eyes sparkled. "We'll fix it up and no one will ever know that it's not real. I'm going to make some homemade eggnog, or Mom will, and we'll play Christmas songs. It'll be so much fun!"
Johanna reached across the table, grabbed her hand, and squeezed it. "I love the way your face lights up this time of year. You're like a little kid waiting for Santa."
"I suppose I still believe in Christmas miracles just like when I was a kid." She pulled a small notebook with attached pen from her apron pocket.
"This is my list of everything we need to get finished before Christmas. I think we've got most of it done. We just need to drag out the tree decorations."
"I can't believe it's almost Christmas. It seems like yesterday it was Thanksgiving."
"Me either. This month has flown by."
The gate intercom buzzed startling them. They looked quizzically at each other. "I don't know who that could be," Johanna said, rushing to the security panel, which was unobtrusively located on the wall outside of the breakfast nook. She pushed the intercom button.
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