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Publisher's Summary

Filled with holiday charm and perfect for fans of Leslie Meier, Jacqueline Frost's charming series debut Twelve Slays of Christmas is set at a Christmas tree farm when the jolliest time of the year turns deadly.

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.

©2017 Jacqueline Frost (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Twelve Slays of Christmas

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Delightful Christmas Treat

I was drawn into this book from the beginning. The characters are fully fleshed out with realistic behavior and intentions. The plot is well developed and the villian isn't revealed until the end. I enjoyed the relationships of Holly and her parents, and the budding relationship between Holly and Evan Gray. This is a really entertaining book. I look forward to the next book.

40 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Christmas Cozy - just right!

This book is the definition of a cozy mystery. Wintery fun holiday imagery is woven throughout an ungory mystery. A pleasant, mild romance adds a nice touch without distracting from the mystery.

35 people found this helpful

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Absolutely loved this book!

I absolutely loved this book (and have already listened to it twice). After I finished it, I checked to see if there were more in the series. Sadly there weren't, but I'm hoping it will become a Christmas tradition for a new book in the series to come out every year. Reindeer Games is a magical place and I would love to have grown up there. I loved the mystery, romance, and magic of this story. More please.......

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Fun, wild ride in Mistletoe, Maine

When Holly White gets dumped two weeks before her wedding, in Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost, she returns from her relocated home in Portland to her hometown of Mistletoe, Maine. There her parents run a Christmas tree lot started by Holly's great- great- grandparents, but they have added a nice diner and hold a 100- year- old Christmas program called 12 Days of Reindeer Games at their location. Each day in the run-up to Christmas, the family holds a special event. The evening before the festivities are due to begin, Margaret Fenwick, president of the Mistletoe Historic Society, creates fights with many local residents over her complaints that their properties do not comply with historical standards, upsetting many people in the community. Then, later that night Holly goes outside, where she finds Margaret's body in the border of her family's property. The woman has been bludgeoned by a stake used to label the different types of Christmas trees.

Sheriff Evan Grey, newly relocated to Mistletoe from Boston, where he worked the homicide squad at the loss of his personal life, arrives on the scene. Holly decides to do her own investigation but keeps running into Sheriff Grey, who makes his disapproval of her actions very clear. In addition, Holly gets warning signs from the murderer, causing the sheriff to warn her off even further. Then in town, Holly runs into a reporter who took the yearbook class with Holly while she was a senior in high school and the reporter, Ray Griggs, a freshman. He seems to know everything about Holly, but she doesn't have any recollections of Ray. He seems romantically interested in Holly, but are his motives clear?

To me, cozy mysteries work best when they combine clever mysteries with creative characters. This book fits that description well. I chose to listen to this book because it was the month's choice of a Facebook book club I joined last month, and I'm glad I did. The mystery kept me fascinated and enjoying the plot, as well as the fun activities during the 12 Days of Reindeer Games. It made me start to wonder how we could create our own version of Reindeer Games here in my suburb of Los Angeles. The solution created just enough intrigue to make the answer not very obvious without being impossible to follow. And the conclusion wrapped up with just enough excitement to keep us on the edge of our seats without dragging out the suspense uncomfortably.

I also really enjoyed the characters in this book. We enjoy seeing the way that Holly gets reintegrated into Mistletoe society. I find it of interest that both Sheriff Grey and Holly discover that both love The Count of Monte Cristo, each reading the book once a year on average. I personally dislike this tedious book that goes on forever in each stage of the main character's life, so it did intrigue me that both characters like this book.

Frost works against some traditional stereotypes by making Caroline, the high school valedictorian who holds an MBA (Master of Business Administration) working to open up a cupcake shop. An MBA requires much more work than a typical M.A. Further, I was surprised to learn that the sheriff holds an MFA (Master of Fine Arts), which is considered the equivalent of a Ph.D. in the arts. Who would imagine that an artist would become a sheriff? Holly herself went off to college to study art, though that didn't work when she discovered she was not artistic, leaving her to work in an art gallery instead. However, she has found her own artistic outlet in making jewelry.

I enjoyed the audiobook narration of Allyson Ryan, who performs the book ably and enjoyably. She helps to keep the book moving dramatically without overly intensifying it. I did find it curious that Ryan tries to use a Boston accent for Sheriff Grey, though I didn't think it was entirely consistent, but she didn't try to use a Maine accent for any of the other characters.

I really enjoyed listening to Twelve Slays of Christmas. The book kept me attached to it and gave me a very pleasurable listening experience. I highly recommend the book and give it five stars!

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I don’t think I’m the target audience

So I have to admit, I only finished this out of boredom. I really didn’t enjoy it, but I also don’t think I’m the target audience.
The main character was annoying, and always looking for someone to protect her. She was a huge pain in the backside to the sheriff, which was supposed to be cute, but really could have landed her in jail or let a murderer go.
Also, these people eat so many sweets, they’re going to be diabetic before the new year.

But ... it was well done for what it was. So if you’re in the market for a book about a sugary sweet, light and fluffy holiday romance, you’ll probably like it.

7 people found this helpful

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An excellent Christmas cozy

Nothing gets me feeling more festive than… murder?

As November rapidly comes to an end, I felt a hankering to indulge myself in a Christmas cozy. So, after asking for recommendations in a Facebook group, I decided to check out Twelve Slays of Christmas; the first instalment in The Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series by Jacqueline Frost. I did not regret this choice.

Now, make no error, his mystery is not deep. In fact, there are many aspects of the story that are either cheesy, too cutesy, or just straight-up unrealistic.

However, with a cup of cocoa and a pair of warm jammies, I found Twelve Slays of Christmas to be just the book I needed to get into the Holiday spirit.

The descriptions of Mistletoe Maine, Particularly the Reindeer Games Tree Farm, made such a perfect setting for this novel. I could imagine the delight of being there in person.

Furthermore, the cast of characters that we meet through the course of the mystery were all quaint and charming (except for … you know … the killer). This fact enhanced by the delightful narration from Allyson Ryan; who did a fantastic job at bringing Mistletoe to life.

Overall, I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. I hope that the author decides to continue this series as I would love to hear more about Mistletoe and its residents.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Too Sweet For Me

Audible advertises this as a mystery ( a cozy), but it's more of a cheesy romance novel with just enough mystery throw in to hold it together. The entire book is sweet to the point of being saccharine. The 26 year old heroine is more like a sheltered 13 year old who is very immature and needs the strong sheriff and daddy to keep their baby safe from the big bad man. All the characters are two dimensional cardboard cutouts. Thankfully i bought it on daily Audible sale and didn't use a credit! This will make a great Hallmark TV movie.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Frustrating, unsympathetic main character

By the time the main character disregarded sound professional advice for the THIRD time for no particular reason, I began rooting for the killer. It still took three additional bad decisions for him to catch up with her.

4 people found this helpful

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Mediocre

This book only manages one charming character. The story is nothing special and the narrator adds nothing to it.

3 people found this helpful

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I loved it too!

This was a delightful read, I wish she had more books on audible as I am now hooked on the author.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Maureen
  • 12-23-19

I love this book..

Highly recommended...fun...good characters...very CHRISTMASSY....LOVE IT...only 2 in series...MORE PLEASE...

2 people found this helpful

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  • murder! she read
  • 09-17-21

Loved it

Great book, I didn’t guess the murderer and it was beautifully read too.
Merry Christmas

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Fylde Fan
  • 09-04-21

Schmaltzy cosy Christmas crime

Honestly not worth bothering if you're after any kind of brain testing crime thriller. The main character is not very likeable and the story itself is pretty silly. Without the pleasant-ish Christmassy theme running through it the whole thing would be absolutely dire.