Return of the Magi by P.J. Tracy
Emil Rice has a silver tongue and sticky fingers, the only problem is that his charm always gets him into trouble and he's never been very good at not getting arrested. Twenty-two times he's been caught and twenty-two times he's sworn never to steal again, but it's on his twenty-third arrest when Emil realises he may have picked up more than he bargained for. Sentenced to community service at a secure mental health facility, Emil is unwillingly befriended by two elderly female patients who believe he is the final part of a big cosmic plan that will change their lives forever...
I promised myself I wasn't going to read any Christmas books this year as I find they are all very similar but this one breaks the mold. A Christmas story about a thief ? Well that's different!
The story begins with Emil who's eight years old being driven by his mum to spend Christmas at his grandparents house. He comes across as a kind little boy so when we next hear of him years later it's such a surprise to find out that he's a repeat offender and has been in and out of prison most of his life. I'm not going to go into what the rest of the story is about as there are plenty of spoilers on Amazon without me adding to them. Especially since this is a short story.
I'll just say that I really enjoyed it and it made me laugh out loud. I liked Emil even although he was his own worst enemy. I liked the other characters in the book and their own stories of what they are doing at Christmas. I could see this as a film with Eddie Murphy playing Emil and Maggie Smith as one of the two sisters Emil meets. A book that will warm your heart and make you laugh. I would love to read more about Emil.
Out for kindle download at 99p.