Book Review: Santa Claus Bank Robbery by Tui Snider

A little over a month ago, I joined Lone Star Literary Life’s book blogger team. LSBBT is a tour group of readers living in my home state of Texas. I love that I have the opportunity to support my fellow Texans in this small way. Over this coming year, I hope to introduce you to some fun and fantastic reads. Before I share my thoughts on Tui Snider’s Santa Claus Bank Robbery, a little info about the book!

SANTA CLAUS BANK ROBBERY

A True-Crime Saga in Texas

by TUI SNIDER

Cover Santa Claus Robber hi res

Genre: Nonfiction / Texana / Texas History

Publisher: Castle Azle Press

Date of Publication: December 8, 2019

Number of Pages: 146 pages + black & white photos

Scroll down for Giveaway!


Synopsis

When Marshall Ratliff dressed like Santa Claus to pull a Christmas-time heist, he thought it would be easy. Unfortunately for him, when the citizens of Cisco heard Santa was robbing a bank, they came running – with loaded guns in hand! 

But can you blame them? In 1927, the only way to earn the $5000 Dead Bank Robber Reward was to kill a bandit while the crime was in progress. 

This bungled bank robbery led to a wild shootout and a getaway with two little girls as hostages. And that is only the beginning! 

Tui Snider’s true-crime tale reads like a comedy of errors as the consequences of the Santa Claus Bank Robber’s actions escalate to include a botched car-jacking, one of the biggest manhunts in Texas history, and a jailbreak leading to a deadly conclusion. 

Meanwhile, it’s up to readers to decide whether or not a mysterious blonde helped these gangsters escape. And if so, did she get away with murder?

 

CLICK TO PURCHASE!

goodreads link


Review

4 of 5 Stars

There is truth stranger than fiction, an old saying which aptly describes the larger-than-life accounting of Tui Snider’s Santa Claus Bank Robbery. I grew up near Ft.Worth, Texas, to a family with deep Texan roots. No matter how much I’ve read, or road trips to one-stop towns I’ve made, I’m constantly learning something new about my home state. This is the first I’ve heard of this historic event, and I’m very pleased to have been indoctrinated by Tui Snider.

I was pulled into Santa Claus Bank Robbery, as I’m sure many of you were, from the title. The idea of Santa robbing a bank is so hilarious and absurd, I couldn’t help opening the cover. While the exterior design isn’t as strong as it could be, the title is enough to pull you in, and sepia-toned photographs easily convey the time period. The interior design is excellently done; with images merging past and present without detracting from the narrative.

Santa Claus Bank Robbery: A True Crime Saga in Texas, begins by setting the stage for the lives and times of its people. The 1920s: prohibition and a post-war economy mark a period of transition from the older stricter regime into a more modern world. Folks cling to religion, while constantly bending the rules. West Texas is a curious blend of lawlessness and faith in human goodness. It’s also a time rife with robberies and bank heists, and like today, many shades of moral gray. 

With the setting firmly in mind, Snider introduces our four burgeoning bank robbers. Three are career criminals, with another simply looking for an opportunity for a better life. One of the criminals was so well known to the town, he needed a clever disguise. With Christmas approaching, Santa seemed like the obvious solution. Were they bad men? Did they mean for anyone to get caught in the cross-fires? And most compelling of all, what happened to their mysterious blonde accomplice? Snider attempts to answer this and more as she describes the events surrounding the robbery with well-researched facts and eye-witness accounts. What should have been a simple heist, turned into the shoot out that became a legend. It’s difficult to imagine modern law officers arming the public to prevent a bank robbery. Yet this is precisely what occurred as Marshall Ratliff and his gang robbed the Cisco, Texas bank in 1927.

Non-fiction isn’t for everyone. All too often the genre’s authors relate the past like stuffy college professors repeating another lecture. Tui Snider is one of those rare non-fiction authors who spins truth with the same finesse as a master storyteller. Before you know it, you’ll be a living spectator among the historical (hopefully dodging all the bullets). Snider’s retelling of Santa Claus Bank Robbery allows you to peek into a tumultuous time when Texas was still wild, and the people willing to risk it all in the name of prosperity. 

**I was provided with a copy of Santa Claus Bank Robbery: A True Crime Saga in Texas by the author and this is my voluntary and honest review.**


book trailer

Book Trailer Screen Shot to Hyperlink


MEET TUI SNIDER

Author Pic

Tui Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, photographer, and musician specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cemetery symbolism, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction, but then I moved to Texas!”

Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences, and bookstores.This fall, she will speak about the Great Airship Mystery of 1897 at this year’s UFO Congress and teach a course on Understanding Cemetery Symbols at Texas Christian University. She also shares weekly info-videos based on her research at her YouTube channel.

Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including WFAA TVCoast to Coast AM, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman WakingShades of Angels and many more. She has several more books in progress.

 

  WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    TWITTER  ◆ 

  AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE    GOODREADS 

◆  INSTAGRAM  ◆   YOUTUBE  ◆

 


GRAND GIVEAWAY

Giveaway Santa Claus Bank Robbery SMALL

GRAND PRIZE (US only)

Signed Paperback +$10 Amazon Gift Card

+ Thank You Post Card

2ND PRIZE (US only)

Signed Copy + Thank You Post Card

3RD PRIZE (International)

Kindle eBook

 

December 12-22, 2019

 

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY


XTRA Santa Claus Promo


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