A Mind Reader's Christmas (Eric Beckman Mysteries, Book 4) by Al Macy

Release date: November 8, 2017
Subgenre: Supernatural mystery

About A Mind Reader's Christmas:


Eric Beckman, a mind-reading private investigator, is spending Christmas in snowy Vermont with his wife and daughter. He needs a break from solving cases, but the townspeople convince him to look into the village mystery: Every holiday season, someone switches the baby Jesus with one of the other figures in the town’s nativity scene.

With the help of his ten-year-old daughter, also a mind reader, he soon learns that some of the residents of the small town are not who—or even what—they seem to be. There’s something supernatural going on in Newburn, Vermont.

His investigation causes an escalation of strange happenings, and soon, swapped manger figures are the least of the town’s worries. If Beckman can’t adjust his view of the world—force himself to believe in things he never thought possible—the Christmas vacation could turn out to be his family’s last.

A Mind Reader’s Christmas may be read as a standalone book or as Book Four in the Eric Beckman series.




When I looked down the hill, my daughter laughed at my fear.
The sun had set, and huge snowflakes stuck to Cosmina’s sled and pink parka. I pushed the tail of my cheap plastic sled into the snow and rested my hand on the pointy end. Devil’s Hill was the steepest run in the park—if it had been a ski area, a double black diamond sign would have warned away inexperienced sledders. Like us.
Halfway down the hill, a monster dog tugged its bundled-up owner along a walking path, straining against the leash. Other than that, the area was deserted.
In the distance, lights winked on in the throwback-to-the-1800s town of Newburn, Vermont. That’s where I was taking a Christmas break from my business, Eric Beckman Investigations.
Cosmina, ten years old and cute as a snow princess, threw me her thought. <It’s okay, Dad. Piece of cake.>
That’s right, my daughter knew I could read her mind. Although I’d kept my secret from most of the world, she’d figured it out when she was a toddler. That Dad could hear her thoughts was no more remarkable than that he could understand the words she spoke aloud.
More importantly, I had passed my ability on to her—she could read minds, too.
It’s not a piece of cake. I pointed.What about that tree?A massive pine loomed next to the ill-defined path that a sled might take. “Everything looks soft, sweetheart, but that trunk would—”
“But, Dad, I can steer it. I know I can.” She tapped the steering bar of the red-runnered Flexible Flyer. Cosmina had inherited her mother’s stubbornness. She pushed the fur-covered hood of her parka back and turned on her irresistible, dimpled smile. Her black hair began picking up snowflakes.
I looked at my watch. No, we’d better get back. Mom’s probably wondering where we are. Let’s leave this one for tomorrow.
Our communication was a mix of thought transfer and normal-human tongue wagging. When home with my wife, Viviana, we tried to communicate with sound waves only, but it was hard to keep from slipping into our habit.
The town rumor was that every year, one kid hit that tree when sledding down Devil’s Run. Time to call it a day. I looked back along the path that would take us to our cozy rental. If we didn’t leave soon, we’d need snowshoes. When I turned back to Cosmina, she was gone.
Aargh! Just like her mother—she does whatever she wants. She was belly down on the sled, already ten feet away, accelerating over the snow-covered ice toward the killer tree.


About Al Macy:

Al Macy writes because he has stories to tell. In school he was the class clown and always the first volunteer for show and tell. His teachers would say, “Al has a lot of imagination.” Then they'd roll their eyes.

But he put his storytelling on the back burner until he retired and wrote a blog about his efforts to improve his piano sight-reading. That's when his love of storytelling burbled up to the surface, along with quirky words like “burble.”

He had even more fun writing his second book, but was bummed by nonfiction's need to stick to “the truth” (yucko). From then on it was fiction all the way, with a good dose of his science background burbling to the surface.

Macy's top priority is compelling story lines with satisfying plot twists, but he never neglects character development. No, wait … his top priority is quirkiness, then compelling story lines, then character development. No, wait …