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'Twas the Knife Before Christmas

A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery, Book 2
Narrated by: Allyson Ryan
Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (230 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Christmas delight, 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas will charm the stockings off fans 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 10 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-fiance 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.

©2018 Jacqueline Frost (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 12-18-18

Reindeer, Christmas Cheer, Cupcakes, Big Mistakes

The second in the series finds Holly White still in Mistletoe, Maine at her parents Christmas tree farm enjoying the Reindeer Games and looking forward to managing the inn that her family is building, when out of the blue, a man turns up dead at the Tree Lighting downtown . . . in a giant bowl of peppermint candies. And Holly's best friend is the prime suspect. Caroline, also daughter of the mayor, is soon arrested. Holly is determined to prove her innocence, which gets her into hot water with the sheriff, Evan Gray, who Holly has been dating . . . and who has been strangely distant lately. I really hope this series continues, because I am HOOKED!!! Its clean, fun and interesting. Holly can't seem to stay out of the investigations, which always involve those she loves. This one was especially magical, centering around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and I loved the way it played out. Murder solved! Bravo!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Christmas Read...

I was so anxious for this second book in the series to come out, and I wasn't disappointed. The mystery was well developed and I wasn't sure of the murderer until close to the end. But I especially love the recurring and new characters in the book. One of the things I love about Cozy Mysteries is that the characters in the books, and their personal lives, are as important as the mystery. Holly, her parents, Evan, Ray, Caroline, Cookie (& Theodore) have become like good friends. I enjoyed the addition of Libby, and Christopher was a really fun character - with a twist. I like how close Holly and her parents are. I also like the close friendship that has developed between Ray and Holly. I have hope that Holly and Evan's relationship will move forward in the next book, and perhaps with Ray and Libby as well. I enjoyed the side story with Ray's mom. I have listened to this book multiple times and I'm looking forward to having another in the series next holiday season.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Even better than the first

After having finished Twelve Slays of Christmas last week, I decided to head back into Mistletoe immediately and read ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas, the second instalment in the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series.

I was not let down.

First off, once again, the descriptions of Mistletoe and the Christmas Tree farm were beautifully cosy; I deeply regret that I couldn’t just hop into my book and see Reindeer Games for myself. All of the details from the farm's decor to the smells of the Hearth put me right into a festive mood.

As for the characters, they were all fun to return to and follow on this adventure - despite a few minor annoyances that I had with Holly.

However, what I enjoyed most about ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas was the obvious improvement of the author since the first book. This instalment felt more intense and dangerous in a way, but not so much so that it would be out of the ‘cozy’ category.

Finally, What really brought the spark of life to this novel, was the return of Allyson Ryan as the narrator; her expert ability to create separate character voices (including male) brought another dimension to the story.

Overall, there is nothing of note that I disliked about ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas; the improved writing, the cozy setting, and fantastic mystery, all make this a wonderful story to settle in with during the Holiday season.

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A+ Christmas Mystery Cozy

Love this series, and the performance is easy on the ears. I hope there is a third one!

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  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 12-23-18

Not as good as the first

The first book was entertaining and enjoyable. This one not so much. The story is flat and the plot formulaic. Holly behaved stupidly throughout the book. I finished it but I skipped over alot boring dialogue and stupid stunts. I might give the next book a try.

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Cozy Entertainment!

A thoroughly delightful Christmas mystery resplendent with interesting characters and yummy snacks. Puts one in the holiday mod!

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Holiday Series worth listening to

I thought this was better than the first one. I like to listen to Christmas books. The bad part is the next book isn't available yet.

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  • Alia
  • Rochester, MI, United States
  • 11-28-18

Fun & Cute Mystery

A nice follow-up to the first book, although the description seems to be a little off. There’s no mention of the ex-fiancé in this book. I think that refers to the previous one. A bunch of loose ends means more mystery to come next time! Although I hope the next one doesn’t have a full year’s gap, and it picks up where this one left off. Looking forward to it!

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LOVE THE BOOK

AS ALWAYS, I AM SADDENED THAT I HAVE FINISHED THE BOOK AND NOW MUST WAIT WAY TOO LONG FOR THE NEXT BOOK IN THE SERIES. THAT SAID, THIS WAS A VERY ENJOYABLE READ. I LOVE THE CHRISTMAS TREE FARM AND REINDEER GAMES. I AM PRETTY SURE I GAIN 5 LBS. JUST READING THIS SERIES. MOST OF ALL, I LOVE THESE CHARACTERS. THIS BOOK MADE SOME PROGRESS IN DEVELOPING THOSE CHARACTERS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS. NOW, WHAT DO I DO UNTIL NEXT YEAR?!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great read

Pretty interesting all the way through. Not a fan of the sherrif but it keeps you coming back to see how they work out.