‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas Review

Title: ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas (Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #2)
Author: Lena Gregory
Published: November 2018
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Readership: Adult
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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 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.

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 run-ins with an ex-fiancé looking to make amends, 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.

I enjoy Christmas as much as the next person, but I’m also not someone who has to read Christmas-y books as the holiday approaches, but I’d heard good things about ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas so I thought I would give it a shot, and I’m glad I did.

Holly White lives and works on the Christmas Tree Farm – a business that’s been in her family for years. When her best friend Caroline is accused of murdering a man she was caught on camera arguing with publicly, Holly sets out to prove her friends’ innocence. This is not as easy as it sounds – Holly’s working out the beginnings of a relationship with the town’s sheriff, and due to her interference now has a target on her back when the real killer catches on to what she’s doing.

This was honestly just a crazy-Christmas-filled adventure from start to finish. Holly is a capable and independent woman who works with her family, but has plans of her own (and a craft side-business to boot!). She’s got a reputation as being a bit of a magnet for problems like this at Christmas time, so her family and friends rally around her.

Aside from the real Christmas holiday park vibes that you get when reading this book, I loved two things: Holly’s unwavering dedication to her best friend, Caroline, and her desire to sort out her relationship with the Sheriff. Both are incredibly endearing traits (and it doesn’t hurt that these characters are always wonderful side-characters to read about).

If you’re looking for a cozy mystery for the Christmas season, look no further.

Although I might recommend having some treats on hand, because all the talk of food in this book made me hungry!

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