He applied the Page 69 Test to The Fat Man, his debut novel, and reported the following:
In The Fat Man – A Tale of North Pole Noir, Gumdrop Coal is a hard-boiled elf framed for murder. In the dark shadows of Kringle Town, someone is playing reindeer games for keeps. Getting Gumdrop out of the way is only part of the scheme. Santa, the Fat Man, is next and then Christmas.Visit Ken Harmon's website.
Page 69 is part of an interview between The Marshmallow World Gazette’s ace reporter, Rosebud Jubilee, and Charles “Candy” Cane, the elf that had Gumdrop fired from managing the Naughty List through The Coal Patrol. From Rosebud’s line of questioning and Candy’s evasiveness, the reader would come to the conclusion that there is, indeed, a rat in the figgy pudding.
Jubilee: So, Cane, what can you tell me about this charge of overworked elves?
Cane: Please call me Candy. I ﬁnd it much sweeter, don’t you?
Jubilee: How is Santa’s health? The scuttle- butt is that you’re working elves’ ﬁngers down to nubs. What gives?
Cane: Truth be told, elves’ ﬁngers are already nubs. That’s a joke, Miss Jubilee, no reason to glower so! Although, I must say the ﬁre in your eyes is positively radiant!
Jubilee: Listen, daisy, if you don’t give me the square right now, I’m gonna use this pen to let a little daylight into that noodle of yours. Start jawing before you learn just how much mightier the pen is over the sword.
Cane: Business before pleasure, eh? Very well. Several weeks ago, I dismantled the entire Coal Patrol organization. I found the practices barbaric and without mercy, so I proposed to Santa that we concentrate on giving children, all children, something for Christmas, regardless of their behavior. We feel that if children know they are loved, and these gifts are a reﬂection of love, they will behave accordingly.
Jubilee: But some elves think—
Cane: What I tell them to think, Miss Jubilee.
Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.