They wanted MacGuffin

Hot Toy - Jennifer Crusie

A screwball comedy with a touch of romance, this short novelette tells a story of a woman and a man who both want to buy the same popular toy – an action figure of Major MacGuffin – for Christmas. Or do they?

Trudy needs the MacGuffin for her five-year-old nephew Leroy. His father left his mother for his secretary. Leroy’s mother, Trudy’s sister, drowns her pain in gin. Leroy himself is not sure if Santa really exists. Trudy is determined to prove to him that yes, Santa exists, he knows what Leroy wants for Christmas, and she would do anything to get his coveted MacGuffin for him.

But the toy is elusive, sold out everywhere, and many other people, each for their own reasons, compete with Trudy for the single MacGuffin left in the entire town. Spies and lies, secret codes and deceitful bastards are involved in Trudy’s hunt for the MacGuffin the day before Christmas. The action gallops. The dialog sparkles. The secret agents of several nations fire at a stuffed talking cow. The reader laughs. And in the end, Leroy’s Christmas wish does come true. So does Trudy’s. Kind-of.