When a body turns up in a larger-than-life candy bowl filled with peppermints on the town square, Holly White is horrified to learn her best friend Caroline is the main suspect. Everyone in town, including Mistletoe, Maine’s sheriff, saw Caroline fighting with the victim on the night of his death. Worse, a custom kitchen knife, engraved with Caroline’s initials was found with him.
Now, just ten days before Christmas, Holly’s up to her jingle bells in holiday shenanigans and in desperate need of a miracle. Juggling extra shifts at her family’s Christmas tree farm and making enough gingerbread jewelry to satisfy the crowd is already more than she can handle and now she has to find time to clear her best friend of murder. Add in her budding relationship with the sheriff, and a personal stalker dressed as Santa Claus, and Holly’s ready to fly south until springtime.
But her Sherpa-lined mittens come off when Caroline is taken into custody. Can Holly wrap up the case in time for Christmas…even after she gains the true killer’s attention?
The Knife Before Christmas – my review
I think we can all agree that cosy mysteries have the punniest titles and the absolute best covers. Throw in a Christmas setting and I’m absolutely powerless to resist, which explains how I ended up with a review copy of ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas, which is the second book in Jacqueline Frost’s Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series. I read (and reviewed, here) the first book in the series – Twelve Slays of Christmas – last year and was quite charmed by it, so was pleased to see there was a new one out this year.
As was the case then, I really enjoyed this! I feel like these books have exactly the right balance of Christmas-iness, romance, and whodunnit suspense for me. There’s a relatively small cast of characters (presumably since it is so early in the series) who are all just quirky enough to be lovable but not annoying, and the town sounds amazing (please tell me there is a real life Mistletoe and Reindeer Games somewhere? I want to spend Christmas there!)
These books are quick, festive, & fun reads, and I’d recommend both to fans of cosy mysteries and Christmas. I gave this one 3 Christmas stars, a big much of coffee and plate of ‘bling’ed gingerbread!
‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas is out now. I received a free review e-book copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviews but only chose to read it because it sounded like a book I would enjoy (life’s too short to read books we don’t think we’ll enjoy). All opinions on my blog are my own.