Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Christmas Cozy Reviews - 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas + Slashing Through the Snow

 It's holidays season so here are two reviews for one of my favorite Christmas-y cozy mystery series!

Goodreads:  'Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

Blurb:  When a body turns up in the dumpster behind Caroline’s Cupcakes, the store’s owner is the main suspect. Everyone in town saw Caroline fighting with the victim on the night of his death. Worse, the murder weapon is Caroline’s custom-designed butcher knife. But Holly White knows that her best friend isn’t capable of murder.
Now, just ten days before Christmas, Holly’s up to her jingle bells in holiday shenanigans. 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. Add in her budding relationship with the sheriff, and Holly’s ready to fly south until springtime. But her mittens come off when Caroline is taken into custody. Can Holly wrap up the case in time for Christmas?

My Thoughts:   I loved getting to know Holly's friend Caroline a bit better - even if it involved her getting involved in a murder investigation!  The Christmas-y vibes are strong and lots of fun with a suspiciously jolly general contractor and the annual reindeer games at Holly's family tree farm.  This was a fun mystery with some development in Holly's life as well as her solving a murder in time to save her friend from spending Christmas in jail.  This was a fun read and really made me look forward to my next visit to Mistletoe, Maine - and luckily, I didn't have to wait too long! My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)

Goodreads:  Slashing Through the Snow by Jacqueline Frost

Blurb: Reindeer Games Christmas Tree Farm is going into the B&B business, and Holly White is looking forward to her new role as innkeeper. Even better, Mistletoe, Maine's sheriff, Evan Gray, has deputized his little sister Libby to help Holly wrap presents for Mistletoe's toy drive. But a cold wind ruffles the cheery holiday decorations when a new guest checks in: Karen, a vicious B&B critic, who could make or break the new inn. And the short December days turn even darker when Evan and Libby find Karen's dead body in the gift-wrapped toy donation box.
The suspect list is longer than Santa's naughty list, and local resident Cookie is on it, since her fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a metal nutcracker that she gave to Holly. So is Libby, who recently moved to town from Boston in less-than-savory circumstances. But cranky Karen was an oh-holy-nightmare to lots of the townsfolk, such as Evan's reporter friend Ray; Christopher, the inn's former contractor; and confectioner Bonnie, whose Gum Drop Shop was a direct target of Karen's scathing prose.

To figure out the killer's identity and clear Cookie's name, Holly and her friends brainstorm at The Hearth, the farm's café, while her mother keeps them fueled with Christmas goodies fresh from the oven. But if they can't put the culprit on ice, Holly may never see another Christmas.

My Thoughts:  Back to Mistletoe, Maine and another annual Reindeer Games at the Christmas tree farm - this one featuring Holly's new bed and breakfast.  It's Holly's unofficial second mother who is in the murder spotlight as a very grumpy critic is found dead within steps of the inn.  I liked that Holly and Evan were able to balance their relationship with their investigations - especially when neither was happy about the other.  We get to see more of Evan's sister Libby and her new relationship with reporter Ray.  The mystery was a good one and the ending was just perfectly sweet! My Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)  


  1. Don't think I've ever seen these books before, I love the titles!

  2. I've not come across JF but these sound like great Christmas reads. I really love the title of both of them.