Review - 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost

'Twas the Knife Before Christmas by Jacqueline Frost
Narrated by Allyson Ryan
Series: A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #2
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Date Read: December 21, 2019
Length:  8 hours 53 minutes
Source: Library via Hoopla
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 a larger-than-life candy bowl filled with peppermints on the town square, 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, a custom kitchen knife, engraved with Caroline's initials was found with him.

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-fiancĂ© 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.
My Review

This was great!  I listened to the first book in this series around the holidays last year so I was excited to check out this second installment this season.  Each book could be read as a stand-alone even though I think that the relationships between the characters would be best appreciated if the series is read in order.  I had a great time with this one and found it to be a wonderful holiday read.

Holly is looking forward to a nice murder-free Christmas.  She goes wither her friend Caroline to an event in town where a giant candy bowl is revealed.  Unfortunately, this year the bowl of candy has been topped off by a body.  The murder weapon near the body is one from Caroline's shop so Holly decided to do a little investigating herself.

I thought that this murder mystery was very well done.  I had no idea who the culprit was until it was revealed in the story.  Holly is just a wonderful character and she really does seem to have a knack for solving the crimes in Mistletoe.  The town does, of course, have a sheriff who is also quite capable and happens to be interested in Holly even if he doesn't always act like it.  In fact, I found that the mystery behind the sheriff's behavior to almost as interesting as the murder.

Allyson Ryan did a fantastic job with the narration of this story.  I loved all of the voices that she used for the different characters.  She added a lot of emotion into her reading which made everything a little more exciting.  She read the book at a very nice pace and I found her voice to be very pleasant.  I think I enjoyed this book a bit more because I decided to listen to the audiobook.

I would recommend this book to others.  I thought that this was a very well done cozy mystery filled with wonderful characters and quite a bit of Christmas spirit.  I wouldn't hesitate to read more of this fun series.

The Series
Book #1 - Twelve Slays of Christmas - My Review
Book #2 - 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas
About the Author

Jacqueline Frost is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Jacqueline is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC).


  1. I will never stop loving cozy mystery titles ;) Their wordplay are the best

  2. Oh it looks perfect for this period of the year

  3. You don't ever want to invite someone who is a murder magnet like Holly to your Christmas party!

  4. This series gets my attention because of the holiday and mystery combo. Glad it was a hit for book two. :)

    Merry Christmas, Carole!

  5. Oh I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I think I have the first one or maybe just checked it out from the library last year and didn't get to it. I've read even less holiday books this year. Fantastic review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  6. The series sounds good. Glad you enjoyed it. Merry Christmas.

  7. I hope that I never have to hope for a murder free Christmas. LOL. Sounds like a fun series. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

  8. I love this series and was sad that one didn't come out this year!! :(

  9. This sounds like such a cute cozy holiday mystery. So glad you enjoyed it!

  10. I really enjoyed Twelve Slays of Christmas! I'll have to check this one out! Awesome review.

  11. A brilliant pun in the title of this story!

  12. I love holiday themed books which aren't the typical Christmassy romcom kind of read. This one sounds like a good murder mystery!

  13. I am always looking for fun cozies like this. Great review!


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