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Secret Santa

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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,398 ratings  ·  353 reviews
The Office meets Stephen King, dressed up in holiday tinsel, in this fun, festive, and frightening horror-comedy set during the horror publishing boom of the ’80s, by New York Times best-selling satirist Andrew Shaffer.

Out of work for months, Lussi Meyer is desperate to work anywhere in publishing. Prestigious Blackwood-Patterson isn’t the perfect fit, but a bizarre set of
...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published November 10th 2020 by Quirk Books
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Aristotle Well "Dark Comedy," is one of the genres. It might be edgy though. But, yes it's funny.…moreWell "Dark Comedy," is one of the genres. It might be edgy though. But, yes it's funny.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,398 ratings  ·  353 reviews


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Johann (jobis89)
Dec 18, 2020 rated it liked it
“The horror hadn’t begun with Lussi... but it could end with her.”

Lussi Meyer is in desperate need of a job and finds one at the prestigious Blackwood-Patterson publishing house. She quickly finds herself the target of pranks by her coworkers, which culminates in a strange gift at the Secret Santa gift exchange. Her coworkers begin falling victim to horrific accidents and Lussi thinks her gift might be to blame.

First and foremost, Secret Santa is a fun, breezy read - the author has a sense of hu
...more
Sadie Hartmann
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank Krampus for Christmas horror.
I could just read any ol' books during December-just like I could watch any ol' movies too--but why would I do that when I can read and watch Christmas books and movies? There is absolutely nothing quite like sitting by the fire in the glow of the Christmas tree reading bloody, gory things with a holiday theme.
SECRET SANTA is a horror-comedy set in the '80s. A mash-up of all the camp and fun of GREMLINS laced with office humor/drama.
Lussi Meyer is an editor la
...more
Andrew Shaffer
Jul 08, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
There’s a lot of big hair in this book.
Cameron Chaney
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Quirk Books for sending me a copy of Secret Santa in exchange for an honest review! My full thoughts can be seen in my CHRISTMAS HORROR recommendation video HERE.

Christmas horror has been a favorite sub-genre of mine since I was a five-year-old watching The Nightmare Before Christmas for the first time. That love only escalated when I saw the Tales from the Crypt episode called "And All Through The House" and the trashy horror masterpiece Silent Night, Deadly Night. I credit these film
...more
JasonA
This might have been a 3.5-4 star read for me if the book description hadn't oversold it as "The Office meets Stephen King." It fails to deliver on both fronts; the "funny" wasn't very funny and the "scary" wasn't very scary. I've watched the Office many times and this was no the Office. Also, I'm getting tired of horror writers/books comparing themselves to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, etc. and not delivering (especially if you're just rehashing a concept that's been done numerous times. Stephen ...more
Max
Dec 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a decent holiday read, but it could've used a rewrite in a lot of areas. I loved the setting of this old literary publishing company and our protagonist, but there wasn't enough intrigue or a creepy factor that could keep me interested. It's length probably should excuse it's very slow-paced first half, but I actually found myself enjoying that part the most while being introduced to the characters. There was a lot of something going on in the second half, and from there I thought it de ...more
Catherine Woodward
*Many thanks to Edelweiss, Quirk Books, and Andrew Shaffer for a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review!*

Lussi Meyer has always been in publishing, and lives for horror. When she gets let go from her previous indie pub house (after it's acquired by the one of the Big Guys), she sets her sights on Blackwood-Patterson...the only game in town that might have her, determined to bring the 80's horror craze along with her and skyrocket the publishing house to fame along the way. Once she ge
...more
Kirsty
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was so excited to read this – I love books set in the publishing world, I love trash horror, and I love short novels. Perfect.

Unfortunately, I didn't find this scary or horrific at all – it's clear that the author usually writes crime novels, as this felt a lot more like a crime novel with some schlocky horror elements (specifically: Nazi devil doll) tacked on. And I LIKE schlocky horror, but I think if you're going to use it, then it has to be a central part of the story – and it has to be a
...more
Kaycee Sterling
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
I’m giving this book 5 stars because it was exactly what I needed! I really wanted a Christmas book but I’m not really into contemporary holiday books. I love creepy so what better than a holiday horror story! It was a quick read and surprisingly funny! If holiday horror sounds better than a holiday romance then I think you’ll love it too!
Derrick
This is the very first book I've ever won from a Goodreads giveaway! Big thanks goes out to Goodreads as well as the author and publisher. This was a really fun book to read. It was also fairly cheesy but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I felt like there was some good humor at times too. I wouldn't really say it's super scary. There were some creepy parts and some gory parts too. I enjoyed all the 80s references. I respect that the author states Stephen King was a big influence. As long as y ...more
Katie
Apr 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.
An homage to 80s horror and camp, this was pure fun. Honestly, it could have had more campy gore, but it was great none the less.
The Coycaterpillar Reads
Secret Santa was a mixed bag. A run of bad luck has hit Lussi Myer. She’s behind in her share of the rent, she’s lost her beloved editor role in a publishing house and she needs to find something fast! As you delve into this kind of dark comedy horror you realise that a lot of things aren’t as they seem. She lands the position of Senior Editor in the prominent publishing house of Blackwood-Patterson. Well, of course there is the small matter of her interview going horrendously and the boss takin ...more
Janelle Janson
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review to come
Ashley Daviau
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First off, can we all take a second to appreciate how fabulous and Gremlins like this cover is? Good, now that you’ve feasted your eyes, listen to me gush about this FANTASTIC Christmas horror. Now I’m not a huge fan of Christmas so I was hesitant to pick this book up despite seeing it all over #bookstagram but I’m so damn glad I did because I loved it SO much. This is the kind of Christmas story I can get behind where there’s mysterious creepy gifts and coworkers suddenly dying in weird, awful ...more
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
Prob 2.5
I didn't mesh with it as much as I would have liked
...more
Michael Hicks
Dec 21, 2020 marked it as quit-dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, netgalley
DNF at 40%. So far, the only real horror Secret Santa has to offer is the '80s nostalgia name-dropping ala Peter Clines and the cutesy-coy attempts at humor writing (ex. "Lussi's finely honed publishing instincts told her the basement was probably going to be downstairs."). Is anything spooky or frightening going to happen? I don't know, but I kind of doubt it at this point. And no, an attempted jump scare over a mouse in the basement doesn't fucking count. I'm out! ...more
Christine
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, christmas
I would not call this horror. It isn't, well, scary. There is nothing shocking or even thrilling about it. I think the book's problem, outside of the horror label (it is fantasy) is that it almost wants to be a parody but isn't. But it should be. ...more
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
This review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

Lussi Meyer is a genre-fiction editor who is let go from her job as an editor at the horror publishing house Broken Angel when they are bought out by a larger publishing company. Lussi has been turned down by every other publishing house to which she has applied for a job before she finally lands an interview at the renowned Literary fiction publishing house Blackwood-Patterson. Blackwood-Pat
...more
Stay Fetters
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Horror took you right to the precipice, where you could stare into the darkness without falling in. Without losing yourself. She enjoyed that feeling, giving death the finger."

This was cheesy 80’s holiday horror at its finest!

It’s no secret, like at all, that I don’t like Christmas. It’s one of the worst holidays in my opinion. But will I wish people a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays and celebrate the holiday with friends and family? Yes, I’m not a complete dick. But I do love horror and by
...more
crίѕтίŋα•●♥Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ♥●•
3.5 Santa stars ⭐️

“Delusions are as contagious as viruses. They can replicate in populations in a similar manner.”
- Fabien Nightingale

-—-

“All the best people are crazy”
- Lussi Meyer
Lizy
Note: I received this book through Netgalley, so special thanks both to Netgalley and to Quirk Books.

My full review is here.

Lussi's the newest hire at Blackwood, a mysterious and half-defunct publishing house that she's tasked with saving within the first month of getting hired. Blackwood is a creepy place in a bad neighborhood. Lights regularly flicker, iron bars cover every window, and Lussi's coworkers are, well... strange. Then a mysterious secret Santa gifts Lussi a creepy Perchta doll, and
...more
Bob Lingle
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For fans of 80's campy horror films and novels, Andrew Shaffer's Secret Santa should be your holiday read. This light-hearted, but frightful novel will be a great binge read, while your family binge drinks around the yule log. ...more
Alex | | findingmontauk1
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a fun, quick horror story centered around a Secret Santa gift exchange! Full review to come!
Matt (TeamRedmon)
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quite a fun and quick read. Full review to come.
Katie
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Andrew Shaffer's 'Secret Santa' is positively riddled with the type of dark humor I've come to expect from Quirk Books. This was a fast and hilarious read that perhaps I enjoyed more than most because I work in publishing and now I want to buy a copy for all of my colleagues.

No doubt, the 1980s witnessed a surge of readers hungry for horror fiction. In this dizzying world full of Stephen King wannabes, we meet ambitious genre editor, Lussi Meyer. Recently out of work, Lussi prepares for an inte
...more
Bill Riggs
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quick, fun, short Horror/Humor/Holiday read. Set in the 1980’s and chock-full of that decade’s horror nostalgia. When Lussi Meyer interviews for a publishing position she never dreamed she would be tasked with finding the next Stephen King and battling an ancient evil in order to save the company and herself.
Emily
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lussi Meyer is down on her luck, her and her friends have all been let go from their big publishing company right before the holidays. When Lussi sees an opportunity to work at Blackwood-Patterson she jumps at the offer, but not before the boss, Xaiver Blackwood, turns her down that he dies in her arms. His son now heir to the Blackwood-Patterson company hires Lussi without previous knowledge that his father turned her down. But the circumstances surrounding his fathers death and how it ties ba ...more
Laura (crofteereader)
Dec 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
I mean... It was short? Even though I'm someone who hates both Christmas and comedy, I was expecting more of, well, both of those. The book wasn't funny. It wasn't campy or particularly gory or any of the fun stuff. For a book this short, it was rather slow, with a lackluster cast and some seriously missed opportunities. The plot was one of convenience rather than cohesion or real progression. Plus... Nothing was gained?

But this isn't a one-star review. I loved the nods to horror culture and the
...more
Verri.nice
Cute and easy holiday pick but wasn't scary or funny.
I dont know if ill pick up another Andrew Shaffer book.
It was 3 stars just barely but the epilogue made me roll my eyes so far back into my head I nearly went blind. So I had to knock it down.
...more
Amanda (spooky.octopus.reads) Turner
If you look up "Percht" and peruse the images, you will find a whole host of demon-like Krampus creatures that will have you keeping the fire hot and peering out of your windows into the cold December darkness. I know this, because I did exactly this. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book were the hints of German folklore...and that creepy doll...so, naturally I wanted to know more about the gift that Lussi was given.

Lussi has been out of work for months, and she has just landed a (no
...more
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Andrew Shaffer is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books. He lives with his wife, novelist Tiffany Reisz, in Louisville, Kentucky, where he teaches at Lexington's non-profit Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and Louisville Literary Arts. ...more

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