Book Review: ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

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'Twas the Knife Before Christmas (A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery, #2)‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

It’s Christmastime both in my current reality and in Mistletoe, Maine… but a whole year has passed since the debut book in the ‘A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery’ series by Jacqueline Frost. This second book, ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas, picks up with Holly’s eventual settlement back home, a new friendship with reporter Ray, adventures with best friend Caroline, and romance with sorta boyfriend Evan (the sheriff!). Life’s good until Derek, a guy who was too handsy with Caroline, ends up knifed in a candy display. Did Caroline kill him in revenge? Her high-powered father? A stalker crush who seems to want to protect her? Or some colleague of Derek’s who thought he was a threat? Holly is determined to protect her bestie but she starts getting threatening notes again just like last time. Are the crimes connected?

I won this book through a cozy giveaway, but I went back and ordered the first one on my own so I could be ready and current on the series. I’m thrilled to have stumbled upon it and would definitely recommend the series as a definite holiday read. Holly is a great protagonist who only has a few pushy moments while trying to solve the murder; they’re necessary and make her even more relatable. The town is visibly pictured as a result of Frost’s wonderful descriptions and writing style. The little fun factors (Theodore the goat, Cindy Lou Who the cat, Cookie the rich neighbor… the list goes on) make it even more enjoyable.

The murder is clever. The list of suspects is believable. The investigation is paced well — not too slow, not too fast. The way the criminal is captured is kinda cool. And the resolution to all the stories is a great end to the book. I am thrilled about the character of Libby. She seems like she could really be an asset in the town but also shake it up a little. Only 23 but quite smart and worldly already. I’m very excited about this new series but sad I’ll have to wait a full year to read the next one. I’m also curious if the series will skip a year again or pick up sometime mid-year. Kudos to the author and publisher for providing a copy thru the giveaway contest. 4.25 stars!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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24 thoughts on “Book Review: ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

    Shalini said:
    December 15, 2018 at 6:12 AM

    Now you have made me want to get this book… Aahh my credit card is maxed out.. Well sorry maybe not… Hehehe

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 15, 2018 at 8:12 AM

      Next month!!!

      Like

        Shalini said:
        December 15, 2018 at 8:25 AM

        Hehehe…. I want to buy me gifts the whole year through… 😂 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        December 15, 2018 at 8:36 AM

        When exactly is your birthday? I don’t think I have it written down, but I thought it was 12/24 or 12/25.

        Liked by 1 person

        Shalini said:
        December 15, 2018 at 9:18 AM

        Hahaha none of those days.. You can gift me / wish me the whole year through. At one point, you would be correct 😂😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        December 15, 2018 at 1:01 PM

        I’ll comb comments in the past to see if I can figure it out. If I knew I wrote it down. Although I did lose a file on my calendar which it may have been in.

        Like

        Shalini said:
        December 15, 2018 at 2:47 PM

        That’s fine my darlin, wish me every day… And I would confirm advance or belated… Hehehe one day you would hit the truth

        Liked by 1 person

        The Cozy Pages said:
        December 17, 2018 at 2:03 PM

        You see how she works… she’s just trying to rack up all the birthday and christmas greetings and presents! I can’t tell you how many hints she’s been dropping… none subtle 😜😘

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        December 17, 2018 at 2:11 PM

        I know… I can’t figure out the exact date of it tho

        Liked by 1 person

        The Cozy Pages said:
        December 17, 2018 at 2:13 PM

        I think she said it’s actually after Christmas…. so that gives us 6 days??

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        December 17, 2018 at 2:13 PM

        I might have something in my comments from last year.

        Liked by 1 person

        The Cozy Pages said:
        December 17, 2018 at 2:16 PM

        And I think she did a post too about the one thing she cooks… which she cooks on her birthday! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

    tylerus said:
    December 15, 2018 at 6:41 AM

    Sounds like a lovely holiday “treat” read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Martie said:
    December 15, 2018 at 8:46 AM

    The words Christmas and knife in the title reads more Christmas creepy than Christmas cozy but I totally trust your review.

    Liked by 1 person

    robertawrites235681907 said:
    December 15, 2018 at 8:50 AM

    A lovely review, Jay. This sounds like an interesting mystery book.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 15, 2018 at 1:00 PM

      If you like holiday themed books, this is a good one to start with. Only 2 so far.

      Like

    Carrie said:
    December 15, 2018 at 9:32 PM

    Lovely review Jay! This series is my idea of the over the top quirkiness that I absolutely love but with a Christmas theme, love them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    December 17, 2018 at 2:03 PM

    I really wanted to get into this series… next year? Lol

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 17, 2018 at 2:13 PM

      Yes, she’ll have a third in Dec 2019 I’m sure. She has other books and a different name, too. I’m working on an author post with her for January, too.

      Liked by 1 person

        The Cozy Pages said:
        December 17, 2018 at 2:15 PM

        Oh great. There are just too many too kept up with! Lol. But I may try to pick up a NetGalley copy if I know it’s coming out.

        Liked by 1 person

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