Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

Christmas Tree Farm, #1
MYSTERY

rating

When Holly White's fiance 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.

A fun Christmas themed mystery - small town with quaint decorations and a likable heroine.

After breaking up with her fiance, Holly comes home to help out her parent's family business just in time for Christmas. Apparently they go all out with themed parties and actual reindeer themed games. Naturally a murder ruins the party, and Holly tries to solve the crime since her father is a main suspect.

I read this one during the summertime, nowhere near the Christmas season, but it still made the magic of the holiday come alive, almost too much so. I've never seen a town celebrate Christmas to this degree, but that's one of the fun things about themed cozy mysteries.

Somewhat sanitized which is typical of many cozies, Holly isn't a perfect heroine. The love people have of her earrings is a little strange, and the stereotypical characters don't add much to the story, but the mystery itself isn't bad even if it's pretty hard to solve with the clues given. There isn't a big surprise or twist in there, it's more a story to read because you're enjoying the environment of a cozy instead of marveling at the creativity of the mystery itself.

There's the romantic subplot too, which is just okay since the romantic interest is light without any steam or intrigue. Still, it fits the sub-genre well and is kind of expected when you're picking up a book like this.




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