Twelves Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost is book one in A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series. It was originally published in October 2017.
Merry Christmas… what a great time to reevaluate life
I found the premise of this book to be very interesting. We meet Holly White just as she is on the heels of the nastiest of breakups. Well I take that back, being stood up at the alter is probably the very nastiest breakup. But being broken up with within days of your wedding is a close second. And that’s exactly what happens here. He even had the audacity to leave her for a yoga instructor and after reading this I don’t think Holly White is stretching more than her finger to grab some cookies.
The hometown that never forgets…
Holly finds herself now back in a town in which she seems like a celebrity. Everyone knows her wedding plans and everyone knows that they were broken at the last minute. Her family is practically famous because they own a tree farm which as you can imagine is a huge attraction. They even hold a Christmas ball and a somewhat terrifying downhill snowball rolling thing that I would never dare to sign up for. She seems to to have no problem jumping back into the world of work and busies herself creating neat jewelry items.
Stay out of it Holly!
I think one of my biggest takeaways from this novel was that Holly was blatantly told to mind her business in about 10 different ways. I honestly expected someone to shout it out to her in German at some point. It made me laugh every single time.
Sometimes it was a subtle “go away Holly” such as when she was low-key interrogating folks in Mistletoe.
At other times, such as when she would talk to the Sheriff as if she wanted to know more about him but we knew she really was digging for dirt, she was turned away with kid gloves.
Then there were times when her father would tell her to stop being nosey in a way that was a bit more forceful.
And of course there were people that were not even trying to play around with her and would have bludgeoned her if she said another word.
Perhaps I have not read any mysteries involving jewelry making but I thought that was a pleasant surprise. So many cozies involve cooking and I really appreciated that while this discussed holiday sweets it wasn’t the primary focus. I liked that the main character could be honest about the mistakes she made with her family and life that lead her back home.
The resolution of the mystery was an A+… it was very well crafted and I didn’t even see it coming. Well done in that regard for sure. I would read additional books in this series at some point in the future because I would like to see how many more ways Holly can think of to ignore “stay out of it Holly!”
I received this book in exchange for my review.