Review of ‘Twas The Knife Before Christmas

‘Twas The Knife Before Christmas

A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery, Book #2

Jacqueline Frost

5 Stars


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 the dumpster behind Caroline’s Cupcakes, 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, Caroline’s fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a custom-designed marble rolling pin. 

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-fiancé 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.   (Goodreads)


The writing style flows smoothly and it defines the characters very clearly by their actions and words.  The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and she brought Christmas alive in my mind.  I could picture all of the trees, decorations and great food in my mind.  I felt like I was right there in Mistletoe, Maine, and I wanted to stay and enjoy the Christmas spirit.

The characters are well developed and well rounded.  Holly is smart, caring and loyal.  The relationship between her and her parents is very heartfelt and she is so happy that she came back home.  Although she has not been back for long, she has made some lifelong friends.  

The mystery was well plotted and there were enough clues to sift through and suspects to consider,  and I thought it was not easy to solve.  In fact, the real culprit was not even on my radar.  I would not have even cared if there was no mystery to solve, I was enjoying spending time with Holly and all of her friends and family.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  I thought this book (and series) was very good and I am looking forward to reading the next one.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley, which I greatly appreciate.

Twas the Knife Before Christmas: A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery by [Jacqueline Frost]