When Holly White’s fiancé 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.
This book is two of my favourite things – a cozy mystery and a Christmas story.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that most normal people don’t start thinking about Christmas until the end of November, but that has just never been the way that I roll. So naturally, upon seeing this ARC on Netgalley, I just couldn’t turn it down.
I’m going to begin by mentioning that I would absolutely die to live in Mistletoe, Maine. These people celebrate Christmas right – with ample baked goods and a down-hill snowball making race. Sometimes themed towns can come across as a little cheesy and unrealistic, but my love for all things Christmas leads to me to ignore that this town might have fit that bill.
Admittedly, although I’m a mystery veteran, the riddle in this one caught me a little by surprise. (That may or may not have been because I was too busy day dreaming about living there – who am I to say?) Thanks to the fit to form cozy mystery template, I got to watch Holly test her sleuthing skills in a valiant effort to clear the names of those that she loved and cared for. All while being warned off of too much snooping by both the killer who left her threats at every turn, and the handsome detective who just tried to keep her safe – seemingly from herself.
In the end, I got that feel-good, justice-is-served, ending that I appreciate so much from this genre. I’m more than a little excited to read the rest of the series so that I can visit Mistletoe and have a taste of the holidays all year round.
For anyone who thinks that this charming book might be their cup of tea, it will be released on October 10th and it can be pre-ordered on amazon here: