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Solve by Christmas

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  56 reviews
When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.

“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”

Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue
ebook, 106 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by Vision Writer Publications (first published 2017)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  64 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Chautona Havig
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it

I really wanted to love Solve by Christmas because it has everything I like in a book. Mystery, self-discovery, character growth, and all in a well-paced narrative that keeps you interested. It does!

In fact, there are so many things that I loved about it. Let’s start with those. Maybe it’ll make writing what I didn’t love easier.

The cover:
Some people might think that it’s not fair to put so much stock into a cover (pun intended for those who know cover design), but a good cover is a huge bonus f
Amber Schamel
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This story may be my favorite out of all the books I've written so far. A historical Christmas mystery with a Sherlock Holmes flavor. ...more
This was the best Christmas book I read this year. I bought this one and read it toward the beginning of the Christmas season. It isn't a light read. A man is threatening to end his own life. However, I'm really glad I read this story.

This story had the feel of a Sherlock mystery, but with a distinct Christan feel to it. Detective Jasper Hollock is a lovable character with real faults, a good brain, and fun quirks. He is someone you can feel sorry for, cheer for, and wish you could be his friend
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jasper Hollock is, in some ways, a Sherlock wannabe type of detective/private investigator -- the main difference being that Jasper lives in Colorado, 1913 -- and he is just breaking into the business. Actually Harper is on his first real case. He's a stickler for the details, and knows (or tries to know) how to look for the right kind of clues too.

The writing style is pretty good. There's some killer similes that really stood out to me -- loved those. For example: "Like a feral rat from a house
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, owned-books
Jasper Hollock has two cases to solve before Christmas.

1. To find out who is sabotaging the Rudin Sugar Factory.

2. To prove to Mr. Rubin that life is worth living.

I absolutely loved this book! I was very surprised when the author said that it was her first mystery... you couldn't tell at all! The plot was amazing and kept me guessing until the end. I was completely surprised by the ending, which is great for a mystery.

I absolutely loved the setting of the book. It fit perfectly. Denny was pro
I liked it! No, wait, let me rephrase that - it was amazing! :D

The way this book is written is so easy to read and the story-line quickly brought me in! I absolutely enjoyed reading this - everything about it is great!

The plot:
Ahhh! I loved it! It's definitely a different sort of mystery-book! The small back-story was really good as well!!! :)

The characters:
Jasper - he's a pretty nice detective. That's all. ;) Actually no, he was a great main character! He had his really funny moments and his mo
Deanna Snodgrass
Wonderful book with a twist of mystery. I enjoyed solving the case right along with Detective Hollock, and thought the author did a great job at addressing the issue of hopelessness in one's life at the same time. Bringing in the message of a loving, saving God who forgives us of our sins just put the icing on the cake for me. Well done! ...more
Do you need to get in the Christmas cheer? This one will do it, and it's even a historical mystery ;)

Jasper has two deadlines to reach before Christmas: find out who's sabotaging Mr. Rudin's sugar factory, and help Mr. Rudin to see the reason why he shouldn't take his life. The days tick by for the flustered Jasper Hollock.

There were so many fun quirks and scenes in this story. Jasper and his three mirror. Denny, who wants to help Jasper with the cases and a romance ;) Mr. and Mrs. Rudin who ar
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Solve by Christmas is a charming mystery with a plot line that brings to mind It’s a Wonderful Life. Detective Jasper Hollock wants to be taken seriously as an investigator, and he gets a chance when two cases fall into his lap. Outwardly, he’s a bit of a curmudgeon, but inside he’s more accepting than he lets on. It takes the hero-worship of an upstart street-kid to soften Hollock when he realizes not everyone is out to hurt him or do him wrong. The story is set in 1913, and I enjoyed learning ...more
Becky Smith
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was SO MUCH fun to read, as the main character Jasper tries to solve TWO cases before Christmas. Besides the history and the mystery, my favorite part of the book is the Council of Mirrors and the conversations that took place in front of them. I chuckled over lines like: “Good thing he wasn’t an author.” and about someone building a snowman in the driver’s seat of a car. And I love the story line about trying to discover what makes a life worth living, as well as the other good morals ...more
When this book came up for review with CelebrateLit was really looking forward a cozy Christmas mystery. A little drama with Mr. Rudin’s situation and a lot of suspense with the other mystery happening at the factory. I knew it would be a quick read and light on the depth of detail simply due to the short number of pages to the book. A Cozy Christmas Mystery Novella if you will. I got some of that but if I am going to be honest, I didn’t get near what I wanted or expected. I left the book feelin ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Content Review:
Christian or Secular: Christian
Profanity: None
Sex&Violence: Mild violence.
Trigger Warnings: Discussion of suicide—which isn't carried out.
Disclosure: None.

Solved by Christmas is the first book that I've read by this author. I've long been a fan o
Deana Dick
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love mysteries that keep me guessing. The author has risen to the challenge with a story that takes on Sherlock Holmes meets Scrooge. I say Scrooge because why would Mr. Rudin want to ruin Christmas for his family, friends and employees by contemplating suicide on Christmas Day? Dare I say there is much more to Mr. Rudin than we know. He is a powerful man who runs The Rudin Sugar Factory. I loved the descriptions of the factory and how the machines kept things running. I loved the setting that ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amber Schamel captivated me with her first historical mystery, Solve by Christmas, set in Denver, Colorado. Young Jasper Hollock is trying to solve two cases by Christmas. Someone was sabotaging Rubin’s Sugar Factory that needed to be solved, plus Mr. Rubin had told Jasper he would end his life on Christmas Day if he could not give him a reason to live. The characters are three dimensional with vivid conversations and scenes that kept the action flowing. Jasper had a side kick, Denny, that broug ...more
Merie Shen
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a pretty fun read! I love Christmas stories, and SOLVE BY CHRISTMAS is one of the best ones I've read. Amber Schamel writes a great mystery, especially along this unique storyline.
I'll admit I started suspecting and assuming from the beginning... to my own surprise, I guessed right about the final culprit! (Probably only 'cause I just assume that everyone is a prime suspect in mysteries. That's why it's not my genre :P) Though I definitely did have my doubts as the story progressed.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
We meet Jasper Hollock and he has two cases to solve before Christmas. A candy factory that is being sabotaged and the second is to Keep Mr Rudinn alive as he might end his life.

The mysteries are great and keep the reader glued to the book. Jasper is a person who can either bother your or you sympathize with him. I for one sympathize. He gets better as he goes along. His friend Denny is perfect in every way and people will like him.

The growth in the characters is what makes the book great the pa
Connie Carpenter
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a new to me author. I loved her style of writing. The characters are well developed. I loved that this book kept me guess about what was going to happen next. There are some discussions of suicide (although not carried out) which did not bother me too much, but I wanted to make sure that it is brought up in my review. Detective Jasper was odd. But I liked his character. I would love to read more from this author.

I was provided a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging progr
Janet Sketchley
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Industrial sabotage during the early days of the North American unions, and a seemingly impossible quest to convince an old man not to take his own life. The narrative feels a bit formal, or perhaps earnest, which fits a historical tale. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Jasper (the detective) and Denny, the young errand boy who wants to be his assistant.
I have decided something. While I love Nancy Drew, I am not, in fact, a fan of Holmes-esk detectives. I found pretty much all of the characters a bit cliche, especially the love interest. I was pretty happy that I guessed who was guilty. I also really loved how the ending was handled. There were some pretty weighty subjects handled, and they weren't wrapped up perfectly, or glibly. They were handled seriously and realistically.

Probably wouldn't re-read for personal reasons, but I would recommen
Marguerite Gray
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Captivating mysteries that need to be solved by Christmas as a matter of life and death. Will Jasper be able to use his detective skills in time to change the future?
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Solved By Christmas" by Amber Schamel is a who did it story that keeps you guessing to the end! I kind of knew who the guilty person was but it was fun to read! The story was also about Jasper's finding his boss a reason not to commit suicide on Christmas! I hope there are more books coming about Jasper and his cases because the ending makes this reader think there is. The sabotage that threatens the Rudin Sugar Factor starts out mild but is beginning to get more dangerous, Jasper is beginning ...more
Floyd Larck
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is not one of those books to pick up when you have a lot to do. This is a book you make time for and sit down to enjoy. Some books I read a page or two but this one is hard to put down once you get started on it.

The author did an excellent job on the story line. Without adding any spoilers there was one scene I visualized in my mind. An excellent example of following one of Stephen King's sayings: Description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's imagination.
Janice Sisemore
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books
Solve by Christmas

Jasper has a couple of cases to solve. A very good mystery. I never guess who did it. So many good points about the book, loved the boy Denny, he is an orphan and he was in the orphanage but went to another home since he was older. He wants to help Jasper solve the case and I really loved his character. I received an advanced copy of the book from the author. Definitely recommend it.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
I adored these characters and I was sorry to see the story end! With an original plot, a lot of mystery and a hint of romance Solve by Christmas was an entertaining read from start to finish. I'm really hoping that this is just the beginning of a series, because I want to know more about these characters and see what happens to them in the future.

Plot: Private Investigator Jasper Hollock is excited to be getting his first real case at the Rudin Sugar Factory. As he meets with Mr. Rudin, who's li
Sarah Vanscoyoc
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the first book I’ve read by Amber Schamel and it was definitely a unique one! I had no idea what to expect, but what I found between the covers was an intriguing story with a hero I didn’t quite like most of the time and a mystery that kept me thinking. I have to say that though this book wasn’t exactly my “cup of tea,” it did contain an important message and I enjoyed walking through the mystery with the characters.
Ms. Schamel has an interesting writing style, filled with very unique de
Solve by Christmas is a mystery that flows smoothly and is hard to put down. It is a true mystery with the detective following the facts and sniffing out the other clues.
Detective Jasper Hollock, former with the police, works for his mentor and family friend, Gustov Rudin, as a detective for his company, Rudin Sugar Factory. Mr. Rubin gives him one mystery to solve: find a reason for him to live and find it before Christmas. Jasper gathers clues from his wife, his charity giving to a local orpha
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fun read! This is the first book I’ve read by Amber Schamel and I’m totally glad that I went out on a limb on a new-to-me author. I don’t read many mysteries so the book was also an adventure! It is a well-written book with a nice plot filled with twists and turns and great characters. It is a fast-moving book and anyone who enjoys a good mystery will surely enjoy this one.

The setting is 1913 in Denver, Colorado. Jasper is a private investigator working for a sugar/candy company. The own
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
{I did this review five hours ago and put it in the wrong spot...} I received this book as an advanced review copy however all reviews and opinions are 100% my own.

It took me a long time to get really into this story as I find it difficult to read ebooks so that has jaded me slightly. However, the writing and the amount of research shows and I really appreciate that those details as it makes it more believable. Frankly, so far I find Detective Holloway irritating. Rude to literally everyone he d
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not one, but two cases to solve that mean saving a life and livelihood of a respected and beloved man greet us in Solve by Christmas. When I read a guest post from our author, I totally got the vision of Detective Jasper being an equal mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Barney Fife, and I totally connected with him because while I tend to be smart, I am oh so clumsy and at the most inopportune times too! The quirkiness of both Jasper and Denny made me smile- especially the way Jasper talked out his ...more
Erica Nicole Pait
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this sweet and surprising book 4 stars. It was not at all what I was expecting. Don't ask me what I was expecting, because I can't for the life of me remember, but this... this was not it. This was much better. Usually I don't go for the historical mysteries as much, it's not my cup of.... eggnog???.... (lame Christmas joke alert!) but this one was nice. It was funny, and serious. Sweet and cynical. A balanced book. I loved how each character was his own person, (or her own person...) ...more
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Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call "historical fiction at its finest". A homeschool graduate from a family of 12 children, Amber found her calling early in life. First published at age 21, she has continued to hone her craft and has been awarded the Christian Indie ...more

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