’TWAS THE KNIFE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
By Jacqueline Frost
This is only the second in the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series, yet they are already a staple for cozy lovers who believe Christmas just ain’t Christmas without being able to visit Mistletoe, Maine.
Holly White is sitting with Cookie and Caroline at their brand new shop in town: Caroline’s Cupcakes. Although this is a new venture, the town is absolutely loving it and they’re on track to becoming a huge success. Holly has just had a long day at her family’s Christmas tree farm, Reindeer Games, and is enjoying her “vanilla cupcake therapy” while listening to Caroline talk about her date that became headline news. Caroline’s father is the mayor and she’s afraid she spoiled his bid for re-election. She’d gone out on a date with Derek, the son of a judge, and when he got a bit too feisty, Caroline shot him down…right in front of a reporter.
Heading into town for the annual tree lighting ceremony, a glass vat full of peppermints is unveiled to the crowd; a vat that contains both candy and the dead body of Derek. No longer feisty, a butcher knife (owned by Caroline) has done him in.
Evan, the officer who once saved Holly’s life but who has been distant recently, sees Caroline as the primary suspect. So it’s up to Holly to find out who really committed this horrible crime. Turns out Derek had a crazy ex-girlfriend who runs the local wine shop, there’s a new “face” in town that could be Caroline’s stalker, and so many more suspects to choose from that the story never slows down.
Frost has created a wonderful world that’s fun and festive, while also producing memorable murder plots. Now, an Inn is soon to be built that Holly will run. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the inside of that place looks like…but I hope it’ll be one of the coolest crime scenes ever!