Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.
This is a very, very short addition to the Laundry Files series. It pokes a bit of fun at the English Christmas traditions, a lot of fun at corporate bureaucratic culture, and then wraps itself up in a tidy conclusion. All to the tune of "Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas". As I was reading this, I thought my file was corrupted - I was 20 pages into a 38 page story and I still wasn't sure where the conflict was and had only one clumsily inserted clue about the nature of the antagonist.
To be honest, I didn't think this is a very good example of Mr. Stross's abilities as a writer. If it were longer he could have added more subtlety and mystery, but the very short length meant he had to pare the story down to it's absolute bare essentials. For me, the long setup and short conclusion threw the balance and cadence way off. A crucial read for fans of the Laundry Files series, but not recommended for people who aren't already familiar with the series.