Saturday, October 7, 2017

Twelve Slays of Christmas

Author:  Jacqueline Frost
Series:  A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date:  October 10, 2017

Description:  When Holly White’s fiancé cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime—exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm.

When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn't watch out, she'll end up on Santa's naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.

My Review

This is the debut book for the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series.  I was drawn to this book by the beautiful cover , the Christmas theme, and let's be honest who wouldn't be curious about a holiday themed cozy written by Jacqueline Frost.  I'm glad that I was provided an ARC by the publisher because this was a delightful, whimsical debut of what promises to be a terrific series. 

The characters in this book are well written for a debut book. The author has crafted authentic, whimsical, fun, dimensional characters that will draw readers in and keep them coming back for more.  I really liked Holly White, the main character. She has returned home to recover from a broken heart but she is strong, independent and begins to rebuild her life.  She is loyal to her family and determined to find out who killed one of the townspeople on her parent's tree farm.  The Christmas theme really added to the whimsical, magical holiday feeling that this author created.  Add in a touch of romance for Holly and I think this author has created a cast of characters that reader will really enjoy to and want to read more about.

I thought the mystery was well done.  The victim had been getting into disagreements with many of the townspeople so there were plenty of suspects to choose from.  The author did a terrific job of weaving the clues throughout the story and throwing in plenty of twists and turns.  The author revealed the killer's identity in a very climatic fashion.  As you may have already guessed, I didn't figure out the identity of our culprit until the portion of the book where the author began the veal.  The light bulb went off and it just came to me (which probably won't happen again for another year.)

I think this was a very well done debut cozy mystery for Jacqueline Frost.  It has everything that I look for in a cozy mystery - terrific characters, quaint/charming setting, and a well crafted mystery that kept me guessing.  Throw in the Christmas theme and I couldn't have been more delighted or entertained as I read this book.  I am excited about this series as well as to see where this author takes the characters and the readers.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, through Netgalley.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this book too. Thanks for sharing your review.