Plot SummaryEdit

No one likes to be alone during the holidays. For New York's most posh dating service, Personally Yours, it is the season to bring lonely hearts together. But Lt. Eve Dallas, on the trail of a ritualistic serial killer, has made a disturbing discovery: all of the victims have been traced to Personally Yours. Eve soon enters an elite world of people searching for their one true love - and one killer searching for his next victim.  

--The Penguin Group


Please reference the Holiday in Death Map for locations or approximate locations of sites listed here.


Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.

Story Dates: December 17-24, 2058[1]

Day One (Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2058)Edit

Chapter 1 Edit

4 a.m.: A sleeping Eve Dallas is having a nightmare: She has just killed her abusive father, but he rises from the dead to menace her. She awakens screaming and calms down by cuddling her cat, Galahad. She broods momentarily until her husband, Roarke, who is off-planet at the Olympus Resort that he owns and is building, calls on the tele-link. He sees she’s weary and decides to return to New York that evening.

Eve sneaks out of the mansion and drives her police car through Manhattan. During the drive she broods about Christmas and all the gifts she needs to buy, especially for Roarke.

En route to Cop Central, she responds to Dispatch’s call about a domestic dispute at 6843 Seventh Avenue. There Eve finds Marianna Hawley dead in bed, beautifully made up and artfully arranged, and naked except for an ornament of a bird in a tree attached to an ear and a silver garland wrapped around her body.

Officer Delia Peabody, Eve’s aide, arrives at the scene. Preliminary ME findings show that Marianna was bound, sexually molested, and strangled to death. Eve and Peabody find a tattoo, “My True Love,” on Marianna’s shoulder. Peabody identifies the ornament as a partridge in a pear tree – the first of the traditional gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas. They examine Marianna’s video transmissions for the night before – conversations with her mother and Jeremy Vandoren, her boyfriend. Eve tries to envision how the murder took place. She and Peabody bag evidence and leave.

Chapter 2 Edit

Now at Cop Central, Eve and Peabody examine the security video disks of the corridor outside the door to Marianna’s apartment. Marianna enters, alone, at 4:45 p.m. Santa Claus, bearing a gift with the partridge ornament, arrives at 9:33 p.m. and is invited in by an unsuspecting Marianna. Santa leaves at 12:30 a.m., looks directly at the security cam, and dances to the elevator.

Eve and Peabody visit Jeremy Vandoren at the Wall Street brokerage firm where he works. Eve tells him Marianna is dead and asks him to come to the morgue for a visual identification. He breaks down, shows them the engagement ring that he was going to offer Marianna that evening, and tells them that he and Marianna met six months ago through Personally Yours, a dating service.

Eve spends the rest of the work day interviewing Marianna’s friends and associates but finds no hints of anyone who would want to kill her. On the way home, she calls Dickie Berenski, NYPSD’s chief lab technician, who reveals that Marianna had been tranquilized, that her body had been disinfected to remove all trace of semen, and that she was wearing high-end cosmetics most likely brought by the murderer.

Evening: Eve arrives home, exchanges insults with Summerset, finds Roarke in their bedroom. They have wild passionate sex. She discusses the case and her feelings about it with Roarke.

Day Two (Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2058)Edit

Chapter 3 Edit

Eve and Peabody arrive at Bloomingdale’s to follow up on Marianna’s purchases there Tuesday afternoon. They discuss Christmas shopping. Eve questions store clerk about Marianna’s purchases and if anyone was watching her. Peabody goes to check on purchases of Santa Claus suits. Eve goes to jewelry department to check on Marianna’s partridge hairpin. Eve buys necklace for her friend Mavis Freestone.

Eve and Peabody visit Personally Yours, the dating service on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. Peabody admires “golden Adonis” (Brent Holloway). Eve and Peabody meet Piper and Rudy Hoffman, “managers” of Personally Yours, question them about how they screen their clients, tell them about Marianna’s death. Piper takes it badly.

Chapter 4 Edit

5 p.m.: Sarabeth Greenbalm finishes work as a stripper at the Sweet Spot, reflects sourly on how her life has gone and how her payments to Personally Yours were wasted. She opens the door to Killer Santa.

Back at Cop Central, Eve discusses case with Captain Ryan Feeney, head of Electronic Detective Division and her former training partner. He offers the EDD services of Detective Ian McNab, even though McNab and Peabody don’t get along. Eve researches Marianna’s matches from Personally Yours, which include Charles Monroe, the licensed companion first introduced in Glory in Death (second book of series). Peabody complains about McNab.

Eve and Peabody are dispatched to second murder scene, Sarabeth Greenbaum’s apartment on West 112th St. Sarabeth is wrapped in a red garland with a pin of two turtledoves and “My True Love” tattooed on her right breast.

Close to midnight: Eve arrives home, finds Roarke in his home office. He feeds her bread and soup. They discuss the Christmas party scheduled for Dec. 23 and decorating Christmas trees for the first time. They discuss Sarabeth’s murder. Roarke researches Sarabeth’s financials, finds the payments to Personally Yours. They have wild passionate sex.

Day Three (Thursday, Dec. 19, 2058)Edit

Chapter 5 Edit

Morning: Eve is working in her home office, researching Personally Yours. She discovers Piper and Rudy Hoffman are the owners, fraternal twins, and probably incestuous lovers. She and Roarke share loving embrace, seen by an embarrassed Peabody. McNab shows up, to Peabody’s annoyance, and Eve puts him to work on the Hawley file. Nadine Furst, reporter for Channel 75, calls Eve on her car’s com-link, Eve cuts her off.

Eve and Peabody arrive at Personally Yours, ask Rudy and Piper for clients matched with Sarabeth. They resist, Eve sends Peabody to request warrant. Dickie calls with info that makeup used on Marianna was Natural Perfections, which is sold by the All Things Beautiful salon in the same building as Personally Yours.

Eve and Peabody visit All Things Beautiful. Eve asks about personalized scents. Eve meets the manager, Simon Lastrobe, who recognizes her as Roarke’s wife and fawns over her. Eve asks for the Natural Perfections client list. Eve purchases a bottle of personalized scent for Dr. Mira.

Chapter 6 Edit

Afternoon: Eve and Peabody battle hordes of holiday shoppers in midtown Manhattan. Eve punches out airborne purse-snatcher, has less success getting information on partridge hairpin at jewelry store, buys gift for Leonardo, Mavis’s lover.

En route to Cop Central, Eve has conversation with Nadine Furst, makes subtle hint about dating services. Eve updates her boss, Commander Whitney, talks to McNab, and meets with Dr. Mira for a profile on the killer.

Eve arrives home, gets updates from a bickering Peabody and McNab. Roarke offers his assistance to McNab. Eve and Peabody visit Donnie Ray Michael, one of Marianna’s matches. He provides an alibi, says the Natural Perfections cosmetics were a gift for his mother, and flirts with Peabody.

Chapter 7 Edit

Afternoon and evening: Eve arrives home, gets recorded update from McNab. She goes into Roarke’s library, searches for works by William Butler Yeats. Summerset suggests a first edition that Roarke doesn’t own, offers to make purchase arrangements. Eve thanks him grudgingly.

Eve goes upstairs to the bedroom, sees undecorated Christmas tree. Roarke says he’ll decorate it, takes Eve to holograph room, creates simulation of Swiss chalet. They have wild passionate sex. They discuss the case. Eve gets call from Dispatch: “dead at scene” at Donnie Ray’s apartment. Donnie Ray is found dead with a bracelet of three calling birds on his wrist. Eve arrives home at 4 a.m., gets two hours sleep.

Day Four (Friday, Dec. 20, 2058)Edit

Chapter 8 Edit

Eve and Roarke discuss the case over breakfast. Eve decides to focus on Rudy Hoffman as her chief suspect and to put Peabody and McNab undercover as Personally Yours clients. McNab doesn’t like the idea of Peabody doing undercover work.

Eve hires Mavis and Trina to fix Peabody up as a client. Eve visits Charles Monroe, who was a match for Marianna. Charles tells her that he’s looking for someone to share his life, not trolling for customers. Eve warns several other clients, returns home to find Mavis auditioning a song for Roarke (the music producer). A dolled-up Peabody makes a grand entrance.

Chapter 9 Edit

Afternoon: At Cop Central, Eve does a one-on-one with Nadine Furst, pushing the Personally Yours connection but holding back on the killer dressing as Santa. Nadine sees dressed-up Peabody and immediately realizes she’s going undercover. Peabody debriefs Eve on her initial consultation at Personally Yours.

Evening: Eve arrives home to find a glorious Christmas tree in the front parlor. Roarke carries her off to the bedroom. They have wild passionate sex. They discuss the case while Roarke decorates the bedroom tree. Roarke tells Eve that McNab is obviously attracted to Peabody, which annoys Eve.

Day Five (Saturday, Dec. 21, 2058)Edit

Chapter 10 Edit

Morning: At Cop Central, Eve tries to whittle down the list of potential murder victims at Personally Yours, gives list to Feeney. Peabody and McNab show up, bicker a bit, and are sent off to arrange meets through Personally Yours. Eve realizes that victims were connected to the theater.

Eve is called to 341 West 18th Street, where Cissy Peterman and Jacko Gonzales report an assault attempt by Santa Claus. Eve learns that Cissy is an off-Broadway actress and used Personally Yours while she and Jacko were separated. Eve reports to Commander Whitney, fails to get protection for the potential targets or permission to alert the media.

Chapter 11 Edit

Peabody and McNab meet their matches at the Nova Club (owned by Roarke). Peabody fumes about having to work with McNab. Peabody’s first match is a dud. Roarke shows up and works the bar, much to Eve’s annoyance. Peabody’s next match is the “golden Adonis” she ogled during her first visit to Personally Yours; he turns out to be commercial model Brent Holloway. Brent molests Peabody and she punches him. Roarke smoothly escorts Holloway out and puts him down for the count.

Back at Eve’s home office, Peabody tries to apologize for jeopardizing the operation, Eve tells her to forget it, suffers flashback to her own abuse. She and Roarke argue about their relationship, then have wild passionate sex. Later Eve awakes to a call from Dispatch: Holloway has been found dead.

Day Six (Sunday, Dec. 22, 2058)Edit

Chapter 12 Edit

Eve and Roarke visit the crime scene: Holloway is wearing a choke chain with four calling birds on it. Eve finds hair from Santa’s beard and fibers from his costume, questions Holloway’s droid, Rodney, and finds perverted sex toys. Lab tech Dickie determines Santa’s costume is high-quality.

Eve returns home. Roarke makes her agree to spa treatment that evening in return for his financial data on Holloway, which indicate that he was blackmailing Piper or Rudy.

Chapter 13 Edit

Eve visits the salon and learns that Simon was Holloway’s regular consultant. She finds Simon giving McNab a treatment. Simon takes the news of Holloway’s death badly. Eve visits Personally Yours after Peabody has confronted Piper and Rudy about Holloway’s indecent behavior and takes them down to Cop Central for questioning. She confronts Piper and Rudy separately about their payments to Holloway, and Rudy eventually admits that Holloway caught Piper and him on an incestuous love vacation and blackmailed them on it.

Chapter 14 Edit

Eve fails to convince assistant prosecutor Carla Rollins to hold Rudy on murder charges, although she gets permission for Dr. Mira to do a profile. She updates Cmdr. Whitney, who orders her to take the night off to rest or face a physical. When Eve arrives home, Summerset tells her the Yeats book she wants as a gift for Roarke has been located, and she orders it. She heads for the bedroom intending to do some work rather than face the spa session, but Roarke bullies her into taking a painkiller and tranquilizer, and he delivers her limp body to Trina, who puts her through a spa treatment. Eve later wakes up in bed with Roarke. They have wild passionate sex. Eve is furious to find out about the spa treatment and that Summerset put his medical training to use on her sore shoulder, and she fights with Roarke until she is willing to admit that she was pushing herself too hard.

Day Seven (Monday, Dec. 23, 2058)Edit

Chapter 15 Edit

Eve visits Dr. Mira’s office to get the profile on Rudy. She runs into Nadine Furst, who has been getting treatment from Dr. Mira following the almost-fatal attack on her in Glory in Death. Eve doesn’t get the profile. She returns to her office to find McNab, who reports that Rudy and Piper both buried complaints against Holloway in their files, and that Rudy had told the staff not to let Piper work with Donnie Ray Michael. Eve goes to Personally Yours to ask Piper about Donnie Ray. Piper says Donnie Ray had wanted to date her, which made her uncomfortable. Eve tries to convince Piper that Rudy has too much control over her life, but Piper refuses to believe Rudy killed either Donnie Ray or Holloway.

Eve meets with Nadine at the Down and Dirty Club and does a one-on-one interview. An hour later, Chief Tibble gives a similar statement at a press conference. Peabody reports that she and McNab have found the jeweler who made the calling-bird necklace. Eve is confronted by Jerry Vandoren, Marianna’s boyfriend, and she gives him what little comfort she can. Eve visits the jewelry store and speaks with the manager, but the description of the necklace’s purchaser sounds like another theatrical disguise.

Chapter 16 Edit

Eve takes the jeweler’s security disks back to EDD, where she and Feeney discover to their dismay that the necklace customer’s voice is nothing like Rudy’s. She returns to her office to find Peabody talking with Charles Monroe. Charles tells her that Cheryl Zapatta, one of his Personally Yours matches and a ballet dancer, had called him for a date after breaking up with her boyfriend – and that Santa had shown up at her door. But Eve then finds that Dr. Mira’s profile concludes that Rudy is unlikely to be the killer.

Eve rushes home to dress and primp for the party – an awkward sequence that Roarke thoroughly enjoys watching. They host the Christmas party, which is sumptuous beyond belief. Peabody shows up with Charles Monroe on her arm, which annoys Eve, but Peabody stands her ground. Eve and Dr. Mira talk briefly in the library about Rudy and Piper; Dr. Mira tells her that Piper’s situation is nothing like Eve’s horrendous childhood. Eve confesses that the holiday is stressing her because of all her newfound friends and obligations. Eve gives Dr. Mira her present – the customized perfume – which Dr. Mira declares to be “wonderfully thoughtful.”

Chapter 17 Edit

Eve and Roarke dance and watch all their friends enjoy the party. Mavis and Leonardo give Eve their Christmas present: a box of polished wood to hold their memories and their wishes. Eve and Roake kiss, but Cmdr. Whitney interrupts with the news that Piper Hoffman has been attacked.

Eve and Feeney go to the hospital where Piper is resting comatose. Eve interrogates Rudy, who returned at the end of the attack and was knocked down by the attack. Eve surmises that Piper knew her attacker and didn’t suspect him. Eve and Feeney go to the Hoffmans’ home and canvass her bedroom, where they find the attacker was in such a hurry to leave that he left behind his tools and cosmetics. Eve plays back the scenario and nearly chokes on a flashback to her childhood. She goes down to All Things Beautiful and realizes that Simon is the Santa Claus killer. She and Feeney rush to Simon’s apartment, but discover that he’s fled.

Chapter 18 Edit

Back at her home office, Eve and her team examine Simon’s large cache of disks – old movies, porn, and his rape/murders. When Eve and Roarke go to bed, she nearly breaks down from the memories of her father, and Roarke comforts her until they fall asleep.

Day Eight (Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2058)Edit

Early morning: Eve wakes and is amused to find McNab asleep in a sleep chair with Galahad perched on his head. When McNab recovers, he tells Eve about Simon’s mother, who was an actress, suffered from mental illness, and killed herself on Christmas Eve. He also tells her that Simon was a theater major and lived with his mother until her death. Eve and Peabody, who are not speaking to each other, visit the salon. Eve opens Simon’s locker and finds the Santa costume and the “My True Love” tattoo box. They visit Piper at the hospital and learn she had regained consciousness but immediately had a hysterical fit.

Chapter 19 Edit

With the doctor’s help, Eve has Piper revived and gently leads her to describe Simon’s assault. En route to Cop Central, Eve and Peabody have an encounter with a cab driver, giving Eve a chance to air her frustration. She tells Peabody that her objection to Charles Monroe came from her being a friend, not her boss. Eve tries to walk 30 blocks to Cop Central and winds up in the cab of the driver she had just fought with. At Cop Central, she finds the lab techs full swing into a raucous Christmas party. She browbeats Dickie into giving her a lab report that nails Simon as the killer. She calls Roarke to tell him she’s going to Simon’s apartment – and finds Roarke waiting there for her.

Chapter 20 Edit

Roarke finds a hidden disk that explains why Simon is obsessed with the “My True Love" Slogan – it was engraved on a box left under the Christmas tree year after year for his absent father, who never came home. When an enraged Simon finally smashed the box, his mother hanged herself the next morning. Eve realizes that Simon, on the run, went back to the Hoffmans’ apartment, but when she and Roarke arrive there, they find him gone again. Eve gets surveillance, and she and Roarke go home.

Peabody and McNab end up having Christmas Eve dinner together, and Peabody enjoys it more than she had imagined. But she finds Santa waiting for her at her apartment. Unable to draw her weapon, she turns on her com-link.

Eve and Roarke finish some wild passionate sex when they hear Peabody’s voice on Eve’s com-link and rush to her apartment in a snowstorm. Peabody tries to fight Simon, but gets tranquilized. Eve and Roarke arrive to find Peabody naked and bound but unhurt and Simon escaping out the window. Eve pursues, blood in her eye, and captures Simon. She fights off the temptation to finish him. She returns to Peabody and comforts her, and resolve their quarrel. Down at Roarke’s car, Eve and Roarke realize it is midnight – Christmas Day – and kiss.

Memorable QuotesEdit



Character ListEdit

List of Main Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Secondary Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Recurring Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Minor Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

List of Peripheral Characters Appearing in this BookEdit

Trivia Edit

Other Covers Edit

Additional covers here

Holiday BL UK edition cover German 1st edition cover German Book Club edition cover BR edition cover Holiday Audio
US 1st edition Blue Lady cover UK edition cover German 1st edition cover German Book Club edition cover BR edition cover Brilliance Audio unabridged edition cover

Other ReleasesEdit

Footnotes Edit

  1. Pg. 5.


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