'Twas the Knife Before Christmas: A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery

'Twas the Knife Before Christmas: A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery

by Jacqueline Frost

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A Christmas delight, ’Twas the Knife Before Christmas will charm the stockings off readers of Joanne Fluke and Leslie Meier.

It’s out of the cupcake tin, into the fire for Holly White’s best friend, Caroline. Can Holly clear Caroline’s name in time to go caroling?

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? Find out in ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s second pine-scented Christmas Tree Farm mystery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683318040
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 74,446
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Jacqueline Frost is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Jacqueline is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). This is her second Christmas Tree Farm mystery.

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'Twas the Knife Before Christmas: A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the second book in the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series written by Jacqueline Frost. When a body turns up in the dumpster behind Caroline’s Cupcakes, 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, Caroline’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a custom-designed marble rolling pin. This is a great book with well-developed characters. Once I started reading this book I didn’t want to put the book down until the end. I can’t wait to read then next book by this author. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader’s copy of this book. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
jody714 More than 1 year ago
Lots of humor combined with suspense and romance make this Christmas cozy mystery a page turner. Loved the town devoted to Christmas - so full of interesting festivities. Great group of characters and loved the interaction between them. Looking forward to reading more about this town and characters.
moohnshine More than 1 year ago
A cozy fun holiday adventure, Twis The Knife Before Christmas will have smiling and trying to figure out the mystery with Holly. In this second book of The Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries and should be on your top holiday season reads list. It is fun and mysterious. In this book Holly's friend Caroline is framed for murder and it is up to Holly to find the real killer. But that is not all on Holly's plate. Her budding relationship with the town Sheriff is fizzling out and she finds he is keeping secrets. Holly has two mysteries to solve, 1. Who killed Caroline's date? and 2. Who is the sheriff spending all his time with? In between helping her parents run things at the tree farm, making decisions for the new inn and figuring out how to help Caroline, Holly finds herself run raged and not enough time in her day for much else. It is all wearing on her. To top it all off, it seems the killer has made her his next target. Leaving threats of candy and death, the killer is warning Holly she is next if she doesn't stop sticking her nose where it does not belong. Can Holly find the killer before she is next? I really enjoyed this story. It was a fun and cute read with lovable characters. The series is set in the perfect holiday town. Making it fun and charismatic. The book flows steady and strong throughout. I did not read the first book in the series, but would not mind going back to see how all this began. You don't have to because this can be read as a stand-alone. But I wish I had. You would get more background story on Holly. Overall this book is a fun holiday read. It has great characters and the plot line is mysterious. The twists and danger will have you on the edge of your seat. But the Christmas setting makes it the perfect holiday read for your collection. So if you love a good murder mystery with a dose of fun and laughter, then this book is for you.
BunnySTx More than 1 year ago
‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost is book two in her “A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery” series. Holly is back with her friends and family, and when her best friend is arrested for murder then you know that Holly is going to do some investigating of her own. Danger, of course, is hot on her heels as the murder wastes no time targeting Holly and telling her to back off before things get serious. I love that this book picks up where things left off with the first book…although it’s a year later of course. I’m shocked by some of the things that have happened and others that…haven’t happened in this story. But I love that the author catches you up quickly on the goings on in town. The author wastes no time giving us the murder mystery and quickly all the evidence points to her friend Caroline. This story moves at a great pace and you’ll be sucked into the book before you know it. I was beyond eager to figure out who the bad guy is. I like that the author gives you clues, but also throws in a couple red herrings to throw you off if you’re not totally focused. This book is a grand read. There isn’t anything that I don’t like about this book. I will say that there are a couple of editorial errors here and there, but nothing so bad that they distract from the story. Just minor punctuation. I’m mildly disappointed at the lack of romance, but the tastes that the author gives us more than makes up for it because you get to just honestly let your imagination run wild a bit. Overall I am rating this book 5 out of 5 stars. I totally enjoyed this book and devoured it in no time flat. I love the characters, and the world the author creates makes me want to find Mistletoe, Maine and move there to be around these characters. If only they were real! If you have read this author’s first book or are just looking for a great holiday story this book is PERFECT and I highly recommend you grab it up.
kimdavishb More than 1 year ago
‘TWAS THE KNIFE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, the second book in the Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries by Jacqueline Frost, is the first I’ve read in the series but by no means the last. The first few pages had me wanting to sit by a roaring fire hung with stockings and a mug of marshmallow-topped hot cocoa sitting by my side. I was captivated by the cleverness of the settings, the Christmas activities and charming characters which so effectively captured the holiday spirit! Protagonist Holly White’s family owns a Christmas tree farm, called Reindeer Games, in Mistletoe, Maine. Those names alone sets the tone of the story. I adored the Christmas events the family hosts, such as Bling That Gingerbread, Blind Sled Challenge, plus many others and how the entire family is devoted to give every visitor the best holiday experience ever. Holly White is as delightful as they come. She is a true friend to all she meets and when her best friend stands accused of murder, she’s willing to risk everything and prove her innocence. The pace of the mystery was well plotted and provided enough believable suspects to keep me guessing. The unique twist at the conclusion captures the magic of the season and has me counting down the days until the next installment! I was provided a copy with the hopes I would review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
BeagleGirl123 More than 1 year ago
I really like this series, and this is only the second book! 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas is Jacqueline Frost's (it took me a moment to realize how PERFECT her name is as an author of mysteries that take place on a Christmas tree farm!) second book in the series, and it flowed just as smoothly as the first. It's been a full year since Holly White returned home to Mistletoe, Maine to work with her parents, and a lot's been happening - an inn is being constructed on the farm (and Santa Claus may or may not be the contractor...) and Holly is set to be its resident innkeeper, Sheriff Evan Gray has distanced himself from Holly, and Holly's bestie is accused of murder after her despicable date ends up dead in a giant candy jar! Danger lurks around every corner, and Holly must stay on her toes before she becomes the next victim. The reveal of the killer at the end surprised me, and there were lots of suspects to choose from. Loved, loved, loved it!
ceaker More than 1 year ago
I admit, if a book is from a series, I have to read them in order. It's just one of my things. Somehow I didn't realize when I signed up to read this one that it was the second in a series. I had time, so I bought the first book, Twelve Slays of Christmas, and read it first. This story is completely fine on its own, but I am glad I read the first book before this one. I am really enjoying this series! I sure hope there will be more to come. The main character, Holly is very curious (aka NOSY!). Maybe she should have become a cop, because she definitely has a knack for asking the right questions and kicking over the right rocks to solve a case. But this sure gets her into some very compromising (and dangerous) situations. I've never been to Maine, but I can totally picture a town that does all things Christmas. Jacqueline Frost does a nice job of describing the scenes at the Reindeer Games tree farm and in Mistletoe, Maine, transporting you right smack in the middle of it all for the Christmas season. She makes it a place you would absolutely love to visit. I found all the characters to be enjoyable, and ones you'd like to have as your own friends. Both books made for a delightful, easy read, especially if you're looking for a story to help get you in the holiday spirit, but also packed with plenty of suspense. ****I am voluntarily reviewing this after receiving a free copy. Big thanks to the author and Cozy Mystery Review Crew for the opportunity.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost has us journeying to Mistletoe, Maine. Holly White works at the family café The Hearth on their tree farm in addition to making her popular recycled glass candy jewelry and working with the construction crew on the families’ new inn. Holly had no idea she would have to make numerous design choices for the inn which she will be running when it is completed. Holly and her best friend, Caroline West, who owns Caroline’s Cupcakes, meet up for the town tree lighting ceremony where they will unveil the “Guess How Many Mints are in the Bowl” contest. When the cover is removed from the giant bowl, a deceased Derek Waggoner is inside. Unfortunately, Caroline had a very public incident with Derek the night before which puts her at the top of Sheriff Evan Gray’s suspect list. Caroline’s alibi consists of eating cupcakes and watching Cupcake Wars (who doesn’t love that show) on her new smart fridge in the bakery. Now Holly must work in sleuthing in between her other duties. The killer, though, does not appreciate Holly sticking her nose into the case and warns her off with boxes contained threatening notes and peppermints (just like the one in the big bowl). When Caroline’s prints are the only ones found on the murder weapon, Sheriff Gray arrests her. Holly is determined to have her friend out of jail and home before Santa comes riding into to town. ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas contains plenty of Christmas cheer with the Reindeer Games, Holly’s jewelry, a construction crew that resembles Santa and three of his elves, making gingerbread houses, sleigh rides, a Christmas tree lighting and special Christmas magic. While some of the Reindeer Games sound like fun, there are others that I am surprised there were any competitors (decorating a gingerbread house blindfolded). Holly is an energetic and creative woman who is doing three jobs with the help of her friends, Cookie and Caroline. Holly owns a cute cat that she has named Cindy Lou Who. Holly’s romance with Evan Gray seems to have stalled out over the last few months. He has some issue that is keeping him occupied, and he has not confided in Holly. She just might need to do a little reconnaissance. I am glad that the author is letting their romance progress at a slower pace (let is develop naturally). While the new inn is being built, Holly’s mother decided to have the kitchen at The Hearth remodeled. The remodel was supposed to be completed weeks ago plus the carpenter manages to create chaos on a daily basis. The whodunit has multiple suspects, good clues and misdirection. Holly questions people around town while trying to find the guilty party and clear Caroline of the murder charge. Holly finds herself in some sticky situations. While ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas is the second A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery, it can be read alone (easily). I am giving ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas is a charming cozy mystery with friendly characters and plenty of Christmas fun that will put you in a festive mood.
LolaReviews 3 months ago
I had fun listening to the second book in this Christmas themed cozy mystery series. It was a great mystery where who the murderer was surprised me, but it did make sense, which was great. The mystery does follow a similar pattern to that in book 1 with the murderer resorting to threats quite quickly, but it does add some tension and danger to the mystery. It was slightly jarring to have a time skip of a year between book 1 and 2, but that was only an issue at the start. I liked seeing how the characters were doing and how the reindeer games are on again and we get to see a few games they also did in book 1 which was quite fun as it feels like a tradition that way. The town and characters are fun to read about and I liked the Christmas vibe the whole book has. The narrator did a great job with this book and I enjoyed listening to it.
ganderson523 10 months ago
Mistletoe, Maine is a fun place to live and work. The town is a Christmas village with themed shops and is a great place for tourists to visit. Holly White's family owns a Christmas tree farm, Reindeer Games, where visitors are treated to much more than picking out a tree. Every day, the farm hosts different fun games to get in the spirit of the holidays. The Hearth is a place where her mom makes all kinds of goodies with the perfect hot beverage to go with it. Her dad has always wanted an inn to add to the farm and now one is in the works and Holly will be the innkeeper. But the night of the town tree lighting is ruined when the body of local businessman Derek is found in the six foot tall candy dish full of candy that was intended for townspeople to guess the number of candies in it. Holly's best friend Caroline, owner of Caroline's Cupcakes, was seen yelling the night before at Derek and accusing him to be too handsy. When Caroline's monogrammed knife is found with the body, the sheriff has no choice but to arrest her. Evan, the sheriff, and Holly have had a relationship that has slowed down lately but this really chilled things when he arrested her BFF. So, Holly does her own investigating to prove that Caroline is innocent. When she gets too close for someone's comfort, her life is endangered on more than one occasion. Derek was a womanizer and trouble maker and there are plenty of woman and men who might want him dead. While she is trying to free Caroline, Holly is also trying to figure out why Evan seems to have withdrawn from her. What she finds out is not what she expected. This is a fun mystery with great characters, setting and a plot with twists and turns to keep you guessing and pages turning....a great book to read anytime of the year. I have already purchased the first in the series that I want to go back and read. I received a complimentary ARC from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.
LisaKsBooksReviews 10 months ago
Somehow, I missed the first book in this series, TWELVE SLAYS OF CHRISTMAS. Now having read, ‘TWAS THE KNIFE BEFORE CHRISTMAS I’ll never miss another one! I’m always a little leery to start a series if I haven’t read the first book. I need not have worried with this second installment of the Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries. Author Jacqueline Frost has a fluid writing style that pulled me in immediately. I instantly fell in love with the first three characters I was introduced to, and that was before I had even finished the first chapter. On and on I read about the wonderful town of Mistletoe, Maine, Reindeer Games Christmas Tree Farm, and all the delightful locations in this story. It was like holding a Hallmark Christmas movie in my hands! (if you know how much I love those movies, you’ll get what a compliment this if from me) Now that I’m done gushing (maybe) about how wonderfully lovely things are in, ‘TWAS THE KNIFE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, let’s get to the mystery of the tale. It starts off early in the book with a body discovery so original, well, all I can say is kudos to author Jaqueline Frost. The story just keeps gaining momentum as the author leads readers on an investigation full of more twists and turns than stripes on a candy cane. Just when I knew I was getting close to an answer something new was thrown in that at me second guessing myself. The reveal took me by surprise. I will be going back and reading the first book in this series. If you’re new to it as well, you can read, ‘TWAS THE KNIFE BEFORE CHRISTMAS without feeling lost. But I bet, like me, you’ll be grabbing up a copy of the first book as soon as you can!
AmyWeidenaar 12 months ago
There is nothing not to like about this book! This is the second time I've read a book that had a town called "Christmas" and themed the town off of it. The other was a historical romance. I still find this to be a very unique premise. However, killing off someone and revealing them at the town Christmas tree lighting definitely kicks things up a notch! Knowing that they're going to open a Bed & Breakfast in future books also gives so much room to go in future books. I need to go back and read the book before this. Thankfully, I'm only jumping into the series at book 2. I could tell that I missed some things though and instead of it being a spoiler, it teased me just enough to make me really want to go back and read it. I can't say that I didn't guess who did it because I was wonderfully led down a few paths only to question myself again. So, I'm sure that I guessed at one point, I just didn't stick with it through the whole thing. There were laughs mixed with suspense throughout. I did not expect it when the climax of the book came. I honestly thought it was going to maybe be a little suspenseful but the drama would come a different route when I was suddenly hit with it. I particularly enjoyed the closeness of the family and the support they show their friends. Thank you to Jacqueline Frost, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and share my honest thoughts and opinions with others. Reasons I enjoyed this book: Entertaining Great world building Easy-to-read Page-turner Original Funny Wonderful characters Whimsical Happily Ever After
bwilhoite More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite Christmas series. It's so fun and FULL of Christmas! Holly sure gets herself in a lot of trouble trying to prove her best friends innocence. Author Jacqueline Frost sure does know how to write great characters and a perfect cozy town. To Reindeer Games to additions being made, Holly isn't the one spying through out the town. Come see what all is going on in Mistletoe this time!
Chewie_the_Mouse More than 1 year ago
I have been looking forward to this book since I finished The Twelve Slays of Christmas last year, and was thrilled when this one came out in time for the holidays. I loved the main character Holly White. She is the queen of multi-tasking, as she juggles helping her parents run the tree farm during the busy holiday season, taking over as head decision-maker for the new inn (currently under construction), managing her in-demand jewelry business, and trying to clear her best friend of murder charges. The mystery itself was a good one...plenty of suspects, and I liked that Holly actually goes out and tries to pro-actively interview people and learn things, instead of just occasionally stumbling onto a clue, like some cozy heroines are prone to do. Maybe the police should consider hiring her as a "special consultant". I also enjoyed the fact that the police were actually competent, and arrived at the same conclusions themselves. I love this series enough to read it even without a crime. I enjoy reading about the (non-sleuthing) activities of Holly and her friends and family just as much as the mystery element of the story. I'd happily pick up each new installment around Christmas just to enjoy all the fun and excitement at Reindeer Games! As an added bonus, this book included the mysteries contractor Christopher, who *may or may not* bear more than a passing resemblance to a certain red-clad visitor we all look forward to at this time of year. I hope he pops in at some point in a future book! Five out of five giants hunks of extra-sharp cheddar!
KTempleton More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful holiday read. The setting of the Christmas Tree Farm and the town of Mistletoe was described perfectly, I wanted to go visit, participate in the Reindeer Games, and eat Caroline’s cupcakes. The characters have wonderful chemistry making reading about them an enjoyable experience. The mystery was full of twist and turns to keep me engaged throughout the book. I was surprised at who the actual murder was when he/she was revealed. The author adds touches of humor throughout the book, one example is where the body is found. I recommend this book to all mystery or Christmas fans. I voluntarily agreed to read a copy of this book supplied by NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own and in no way have been influenced.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
It is Christmas time again in Mistletoe, Maine and Holly is getting ready for all the festivities. Not only that, but she is assisting with the renovations to open an inn on the property of the family tree farm known as Reindeer Games. Her best friend Caroline also needs cheering up after her blowup with her "handsy" date is publicized. Trying to cheer her up, Holly invites her to the tree lighting ceremony. When the tree is lit and the huge candy dish is unveiled, there is Derek, dead in the candy bowl with a knife from Caroline's cupcake shop in him. Of course, she is the main suspect. Although this is only the second book in the series, I am enjoying it very much. The characters range from smart, independent Holly, Caroline the daughter of the mayor who is always on display and tries to please everyone, to Cookie who loves to bake and has a pet goat named Theodore who she talks to like he is her husband and Evan, a local detective who is Holly's "friend". Holly's parents are a great part of the series, with their protective nature and often being in the right place at the right time. Evan's sister makes an appearance in this story and it looks like she might stick around for a bit. It gives Holly another friend, confidante and sleuth to work with. The plot for this story was well-paced and developed. I enjoyed watching Holly attempt to solve the mystery, putting herself in the path of the killer. There are some close calls that were quite entertaining, yet dangerous. There are a couple of side stories rounding out the book that all made it an enjoyable read. I love the setting of the town that loves and celebrates Christmas is a wonderful way, of course, what else would you expect from a town called Mistletoe. The murderer was on and off my radar as the story progressed, yet the ending was unexpected. Throw in a couple of Christmas miracles and you have a great holiday story. The publisher, Kensington Publishing, generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, opinions and ideas shared are my own.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts Mistletoe, Maine, the perfect place to celebrate Christmas. Holly White’s family’s tree farm is a magical place this time of year with its Reindeer Games. All kinds of treats and festivities are planned and a contractor named Christopher has promised their new inn will be ready to open by Christmas Eve. The first big Mistletoe event is the annual tree lighting. Everyone is gathered in the town square but when the big moment arrives the night turns from Merry to Scary. There, next to the tree is a huge candy dish full of peppermint candies and a dead body. The man was stabbed with a monogrammed custom made knife. A knife that belongs to Holly’s best friend Caroline. The deceased is the same man that got handsy with Caroline at a recent dinner and the whole town was witness to her dressing him down. With all the evidence it isn’t long before Caroline is behind bars. Holly knows her friend is no killer, she just has to prove it. But the killer is watching every move Holly makes and leaving her special warning gifts. When the gifts escalate to real harm Holly just hopes she will survive until the killer is caught. I loved the first book in this series, Twelve Slays of Christmas last year, so I put this book on my reading calendar several months ago. I was so excited to start reading and the author exceeded all my expectations. The White family are such wonderful characters. They make everyone feel right at home and try to make their tree farm experience as merry as possible. Holly hands her hands full as she has been put in charge of all the building choices for the new inn, in addition to helping her mother in the cafe and making her glass jewelry, a business that has really taken off. I wanted to sit back with a couple of cups of hot chocolate and savor my visit to Mistletoe, but there is so much happening that was impossible. The author sets a brisk pace and fully draws the reader in. Chasing down clues, running from a creepy Claus, keeping up with the tourists, Holly takes on a wild ride, at times literally! The pages were flying. Ms. Frost’s descriptions really take us there. A sleigh ride around the tree farm was described in such vivid detail, I was enjoying the scenery and after a scary moment, I was feeling chilled to the bone and was pulling a blanket over myself. The blindfolded games played were also described so well. I easily pictured what was happening and was laughing at loud. Great ideas for family get-togethers too. I also enjoyed the details along the way as the inn neared completion and the entire subplot was heartwarming. I am ready to call in my reservation today. This was an exciting holiday read, cozy mystery lovers will be overjoyed. It will also get you truly into the holiday spirit. Fun and entertaining, a book you will not want to put down. I loved it and I can’t wait for next year. I already have saved a date on my calendar and added this story to my Best Reads List for 2018.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
The town of Mistletoe, Maine celebrates Christmas all year, but things really ramp up in December. Holly White works with her parents on their Christmas tree farm, which boasts a restaurant, the holiday reindeer games events and a soon to be inn. When a local bad boy is discovered upon the unveiling of the candy contest, Holly immediately starts to defend her friend Caroline, who was one of the last seen with the deceased, unfortunately, yelling at him. Holly rushes toward quite a bit of danger without regard for her own safety at times, which adds a lot of action to the story. Sheriff Evan Gray continues to be an unknown quantity in Holly's personal life, plus there is what is turning into an intriguing multi-book story playing out. I like a lot of the secondary characters, including Cookie, Holly's parents, Ray and his mom, I hope the author continues to use them in the storylines.
TheCozyReview More than 1 year ago
When a body turns up in a larger-than-life candy bowl filled with peppermints on the town square just before Christmas, Holly White is horrified to learn that 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. 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. -- Series: A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery - Book 2 Author: Jacqueline Frost Genre: Cozy/Holiday/Culinary Mystery Publisher: Crooked Lane Books Publishing Date: November 13, 2018 This newest book from Jacqueline Frost is a wonderful addition. The characters are warm and inviting. The location is magical for the holidays, and the cupcakes will have the readers mouthwatering. 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas will keep readers guessing and inspire them with the holiday traditions. Holly is a wonderful friend who’s not afraid to get into the middle of a murder investigation to help her best friend. She jumps in, head first to clear Caroline’s name, and to bring her back to where she should be, home and not in a jail cell. Christmas will be ruined if Holly can’t figure out who the killer is and she isn’t about to let that happen. She puts herself in danger, but that doesn’t stop her. All the warnings in the world won’t prevent her from finding the killer and saving Caroline. The town of Mistletoe is known as Christmas town, and everything about it screams holiday spirit. It is the type of town people can only imagine and wish for at Christmas time. But it also has a darker side that has nothing to do with the holiday spirit, which Holly always seems to be bringing out into the public eye. It is, however, a perfect place to spend a few hours visiting and savoring the atmosphere. Other characters, such as the Sheriff and Holly’s parents are delightful and add additional interest to the story. They make Holly’s life happy and filled with fun. This book wouldn’t be the same great read if the characters weren’t as developed as they are. The writing is smooth, fast-paced with an easy plot to follow. Overall this is a wonderful holiday book, and a growing holiday series that delights readers and leaves them anticipating the next book. I happily recommend 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas, and the previous book, Twelve Slays of Christmas.
bookwomen37 More than 1 year ago
Last Christmas I read the first book in this series and this new one did not disappoint. The series is Christmas Overload. Holly has moved back home to Mistletoe, Maine and her family's Christmas Tree Farm. Mistletoe Embraces all things Christmas. The are Santas, Reindeer Games, Sleigh Rides, Shopping, Eating, Baking, and a Town Christmas Tree with a Body in the Giant Peppermint Candy Dish. Holly's best friend Caroline is accused of the crime so Holly sets out to solve the crime. The best part of these books is the Christmas Setting, the small town and the characters. I really like the way everyone works together and cares for each other. The mystery was OK. The solution was good and did make sense. This series does not have to be read in order. This book really does get you in the Christmas Mood so I would suggest reading during the season. Enjoy
jwilhoite211 More than 1 year ago
Holly White is looking forward to a calm Christmas, unlike last year when she was involved in a murder investigation and was almost the next victim. Unfortunately her best friend is accused of murdering her dinner date after she publicly yelled at him and it ended up as a news story. Holly and Evan's relationship has hit a snag...he keeps sneaking around on his days off and is shutting Holly out. Now she has two mysteries to solve. This was a really fun story and perfect for this time of year. Oddly enough, it got me a little more into the Christmas spirit :) J. Frost did a great job with this story and now I'm invested in these characters and can't wait to see which direction the stories ahead take. Side note - I love that Holly has a car named Cindy Lou Who. 4.7 stars. I voluntarily reviewed this book on Netgalley. #backgrounder #netgalley #twastheknifebeforechristmas
Shelly9677 More than 1 year ago
I love holiday themed cozies and Twas the Knife Before Christmas was no exception. The book is endearing and overflowing with Christmas spirit. The characters are fun and likable. The story takes place in Mistletoe, Maine where Holly makes jewelry and manages her family’s Christmas Tree farm and friends Cookie and Caroline own a successful bakeshop. Caroline is suspected of murder after a very public disagreement with a man who got quite “handsy” with her is found dead in the town square. Holly is determined to clear her best friend’s name, even if it means putting herself in danger. I love the author’s descriptions and engaging writing style.
Rockport_rocker More than 1 year ago
This second entry into the Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries is even better than the first. Jacqueline Frost creates a small town that feels both real and fun. Time spent at the games could easily be a distract from the plot but both the reader and the participants have so much fun that those games are a delightful and unique characteristic of the series. ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas is a Christmas murder mystery with the real feel of the holidays including the best and the worst they have to offer. I love when Christmas novels really include the holiday much more than those that just take place in December. The plot and people should be enough to carry any reader who does not appreciate the holidays, but be warned that this town is year-round Christmas. I don’t think anyone would have a problem reading this book as a stand-alone. The relationships are well laid out without interfering with the plot as are the roles of each characters. I highly recommend this holiday treat to anyone looking for a good cozy read or for a book to put them in the holiday spirit. I was excited to get an ARC of ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas from Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley and will enjoy sharing it with my friends. #Knife Before Christmas #NetGalley
PreppyBookQueen More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary advance reader's copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to give a positive review. As a huge fan of cozy mysteries, and of Christmas themed reads, this book jumped out at me, and I knew I had to give it a try. I hadn't read the first book in the series going into it, but that definitely didn't hinder my enjoyment. While I was expecting to like it, I really wasn't prepared for just how much I ended up loving it, and how invested I truly was into the story unfolding within the pages. Mistletoe, Maine is a charming and quaint little town with a big heart for Christmas, and a neighborly group of inhabitants. Holly White has grown up in this lovely little community, and Christmas is especially a big deal for her and her parent's, as they run a Christmas tree farm. Their family farm, Reindeer Games, is complete with a lovely little cafe, plenty of Christmas activities, and enough merriment to brighten even the scrooge's in the world. However, not everything is going to be fun and games this season, as Holly soon finds herself dragged into the middle of a murder mystery. What's supposed to be a sweet holiday event at the town's Christmas tree lighting turns deadly-literally-when the man who escorted her best friend to a dinner the night before turns up dead in a giant bowl of mints. To make matters worse, her best friend Caroline was seen publicly arguing with the man over his "handsy" manners on their date, and she soon finds herself the top suspect in his murder. Holly is determined to clear her dear friend's name, even if it means encroaching on the local sheriff's territory, who just also happens to be her boyfriend, and painting a target on her own back. The mystery keeps the reader guessing right until the end, and is definitely a page turner. I loved how well developed and three dimensional all the characters were, and I ended either loving or absolutely hating each one introduced throughout the story. Most of all though, I loved the beautiful writing that seemed so original for the cozy mystery category, and the way the setting is described so vividly that you'll literally feel like you're right there experiencing the beautiful Reindeer Games farm with Holly and all her friends and family. I'm actually glad that I never read the first book going into this one, as now that I'm desperately wanting to read another of Holly's adventures, I can go ahead and do so. I'll also be highly anticipating the release of book three in this series, and I encourage anyone looking for a cozy, Christmas mystery to go ahead and pick this one up. Final Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I couldn't have adored it more, and I can honestly say that it's right up there with The Domestic Diva and Maine Clambake series as my favorite cozy mysteries of all time. Thanks so much to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for allowing me to advance read this.
Tangen More than 1 year ago
cozy-mystery, christmas, friendship, family, law-enforcement, murder-investigation, amateur-sleuth, women-sleuths Mistletoe, Maine is a very friendly town that emphasizes all of the positive things of Christmas and most of the townsfolk are very likeable. A few, however, are anything but, like the guy who turns up dead in a giant candy bowl in downtown. Unfortunately, the chief suspect is the mayor's daughter who has a cupcake shop against the parent's wishes and, more importantly, is best friends with amateur sleuth Holly White whose family operates the tree farm with a twist. But there is a decent suspect pool, only the sheriff appears unwilling to investigate but Holly keeps trying despite personalized threats. There are enough twists and red herrings to keep the suspense going and the reader from doing other things! I requested and received a free review copy from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley.