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Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #1

Twelve Slays of Christmas

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When Holly White's fiance 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.

311 pages, Hardcover

First published October 10, 2017

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About the author

Jacqueline Frost

4 books401 followers
Jacqueline Frost is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Jacqueline is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC).

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 871 reviews
Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,728 followers
December 14, 2018
Until a few weeks ago, I'd never heard of this author or series. I entered a giveaway contest for a cozy mystery group and won the second book late last week. Since I usually try to read in order, and I had some time this week, I got a copy of this first book, Twelve Slays of Christmas, from the 'A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery' series by Jacqueline Frost and devoured it throughout the last 24 hours. I needed a little Christmas cheer this week and this book brought it!

Who wouldn't love a series about Christmas on a tree farm in Maine? I dream of moving to Maine one day, so this was a good alignment for me as a reader. I have a few other Christmas series I enjoy, and now I'll be adding this one to the list of regulars. Holly White was dumped by her fiance just weeks before her Christmas Eve wedding. She trudges home feeling sad but hopeful for a new life. She's just in time to help her parents coordinate and run their annual holiday shenanigans. This year they've added fun new Reindeer Games for 12 days to help bring spirit to the town. At least until a prominent member of the town's historical society threatens to shut them down for falling out of ancient building or land code. But then... the poor woman's found bludgeoned to death by the very wooden tree signs she complained about to Holly's father. Which citizen was so angry (s)he took matters into their own hands? Holly's determined to find out all the while fighting her attraction to the sheriff who's moved to town from Boston to get away from major crimes. I guess life never goes the way you plan, huh?

As a new series, it's off to a great start. I really like Holly and Evan (the sheriff). It will turn romantic, which will be fine, but I'm hopeful that's not the center of the stories. There is also a younger guy, a reporter she knew years ago, who might give the sheriff some competition. And Caroline is a charming potential best friend, not to mention the cute and lovable parents and employees at the tree farm. I like the premise and the setting. The writing is good and felt natural for most of the narrative and dialog, only a few forced areas which I believe will disappear as the series matures. There's a mature subtle humor at times, but it definitely still falls within the cozy realm. I recommend it for all cozy fans and holiday story readers alike.

I'm giving 4.25 stars to this debut and feel really excited to dive into the second one later this month -- 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas. Sounds scary!
Profile Image for Sheri.
1,152 reviews60 followers
July 14, 2018
Mistletoe, Maine sounds like a delightful place to enjoy all the wonderful sights, sounds, tastes, and wintery fun of the Christmas season. Reindeer Games would be such a fun family outing or even a friendly competition between friends. Oh, and the shopping… the Twelve Days of Christmas sounds superb but in my case it would likely turn into Two Days of Shopping Heaven and then a maxed out credit card! So much Christmas cheer in Mistletoe, you definitely find yourself in the holiday spirit!

It truly is a cozy mystery – as you read you’ll find yourself wanting to curl up in front of a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa and a plate of cookies. The mystery isn’t easy to solve as you find yourself liking the characters so much that they can’t possibly be suspects in the murder. Just like Holly, you find yourself wondering if you really can trust the people you think you can trust. All around a five star read with a great setting, likeable characters, a dash of romance, and a murder mystery. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!
Profile Image for Rebbie.
142 reviews113 followers
September 9, 2017
Holly White heads home to Mistletoe, ME for Christmas after breaking up with her fiance a mere two weeks before their wedding date. Once Holly is home and preparing to celebrate the holidays with her family, a local woman is found murdered on Holly's family's tree farm. Suspicion falls upon Holly's dad, who was recently seen arguing with the woman right before she was murdered.

Of course, Holly sets out to prove her dad's innocence and capture the real killer before he strikes again. Surprisingly, the backdrop of a cozy Christmas was perfect in conjunction with this murder mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and it's made me wish that Christmas was upon us already! :)
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,230 reviews1,549 followers
September 10, 2017
Holly White thought she would be spending her Christmas holiday getting married to her fiance and heading out on her honeymoon. Instead Holly's fiance breaks up with her with less than two weeks to go until their planned Christmas Eve wedding and she packs her things to return home to Mistletoe, Maine where her family runs a tree farm. Jumping back into working at the farm to help her parents during the busy season leading up to Christmas helps Holly take her mind off of the end of her relationship.

The excitement and magic of the upcoming Reindeer Games has everyone in the town excited except for those that have had a run in with the president of the Mistletoe Historical Society, Margaret Fenwick. Margaret has been on a rampage leaving lots of folks upset handing out fines in the name of the Historical Society which hasn't made her the most popular in town but Holly never expected to end up finding Margaret murdered just on the outside of the farm. Now Holly knows her family and employees are all suspects so she's determined to find out who the real murderer is to take the suspicion off of those close to her.

Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost is the first book in the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series. This cozy mystery series is definitely one for Christmas lovers everywhere and will certainly get readers in the mood for the upcoming holidays. From the main character being named Holly and working on a tree farm with all sorts of fun Christmas activities to the name of her cat, Cindy Lou Who the entire book just oozes Christmas and had a smile on my face for the biggest part of the book.

The fun Christmas side of the story aside there was also a nice little mystery going on with a bit of suspense when Holly begins nosing about and the murderer doesn't take too kindly to it leading to threats. The local Sheriff was also a potential budding love interest for Holly as he's new to town and takes his job seriously leading to the pair spending quite a bit of time together which leads to hoping we see more of that story line in future books. In the end this one was a big ball of Christmas fun and I'll certainly look forward to more of these characters in the future.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,486 reviews7,781 followers
January 30, 2019
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

It’s 30 below today – perfect time for another overdue book review. Especially one that is set in the wintery wonderland known as Mistletoe, Maine.

Holly White finds herself the exception to the rule of the old adage “you can’t go home again” after being dumped by her fiancé right before her wedding. However, there’s no better place to turn a frown upside down than her family’s Christmas tree farm and café. In fact, the only downside to the entire town is the President of the Historical Society who spends her days . . . .

And fining people for atrocities such as “failing to use a historically accurate paint shade” when they attempt to spruce up their homes/businesses. Yep, Margaret Fenwick is a thorn in everyone’s side. The question is, who in town decided she was more than a nuisance and determined it was time to . . . .

When Holly’s own dad is labeled suspect numero uno in Margaret's murder she goes sniffing around – only to receive some very clear messages that she better stop or . . . .

Okay, this was a pretty good cozy mystery. If you follow me, you are well aware that I am an addict a lover of all of the Christmas things so the title, cover, location, etc., etc., etc. were all perfect. I wasn’t annoyed by Holly’s curiosity since her own father was involved, and really she didn’t go as far over-the-top as some other leading ladies in books like these I have read – plus she did her snooping with the local authorities being in the loop for the most part. Speaking of local authorities, Sheriff Evan Gray is a pretty good choice when it comes to a potential love interest. Oh, and dare I forget the icing on the cake when it comes to a “cozy” – the MC’s career. Always cutesie, always the most speshul of all the speshuls that ever speshuled, Holly’s handmade jewelry simply FLIES off the shelves . . . .

But it’s also 100% perfect for a series like this.
Profile Image for Brenda.
4,232 reviews2,733 followers
December 18, 2021
Holly White returned home to Mistletoe, Maine after being dumped a week before her wedding by her loser fiancé. Reindeer Games, the family Christmas tree farm, soothed her broken heart and with the lead up to Christmas and all the usual activities, Holly didn’t have time to feel sad. That was until President of the Mistletoe Historical Society, Margaret Fenwick was killed and left in the sleigh. Sheriff Evan Grey was immediately on the scene, and with Holly attempting to find the killer, and being threatened herself, it seemed there was a killer in Mistletoe who wasn’t afraid to stop and nothing to avoid capture.

Twelve Slays of Christmas is the 1st in the Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series by Jacqueline Frost and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I’ve read #2 and #3 so knew I needed to read the first story. Plenty of Christmas festivities, this one was fun and quirky with clues, hints and twisty innuendos to keep me on my toes! I’m looking forward to #4 now 😊 Recommended.
Profile Image for Diana | Book of Secrets.
799 reviews594 followers
December 25, 2022
★ Christmas Cozy Mystery ★

TWELVE SLAYS OF CHRISTMAS is a wonderful start to Jacqueline Frost's Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series. When Holly White gets dumped by her fiancé two weeks before their wedding, she packs up her meager belongings and heads home to Mistletoe, Maine. With the holiday season in full swing, Holly offers to help out at her family's tree farm.

Tragedy strikes when the president of the Mistletoe Historical Society is murdered on their property. Margaret Fenwick was a grump known for pressuring businesses to stick to stringent historical guidelines for the town or else, but did it make someone mad enough to kill?

This was a fast-paced and well written mystery with plenty of holiday cheer and a bit of romance. I loved the cold, snowy, cozy atmosphere of the book. Mistletoe felt like a real place. I enjoyed trying to fit all the pieces of the mystery into place. I was very shocked to discover the culprit, but it made total sense. Looking forward to continuing this series...next Christmas!
Profile Image for Sabine.
595 reviews76 followers
October 29, 2017
The colourful, whimsical cover design caught my attention and I wasn't disappointed. This story is a wonderful read that combines the spirit of Christmas and an exciting and fast paced cozy mystery that I couldn't put down.
It left me with warm feelings and looking forward to the cold Christmas season.
Wonderful characters in a village that I would love to visit.

This book makes it on my Top 10 list of 2017.

Grab a hot apple cinnamon tea and some yummy cookies and enjoy the magic of Christmas with this mystery.

I requested this book from NetGalley and am thankful that Crooked Lane Books and the author provided me with a copy.
Profile Image for Juli.
1,899 reviews490 followers
October 17, 2017
Holly White returns to Mistletoe, Maine after her fiance breaks off their engagement for a younger woman he met at the gym. The family business, Reindeer Games Christmas Tree Farm, is just what she needs to help put her life, and heart, back together. The farm, and town, are gearing up for Christmas. The Twelve Day of Reindeer Games at the farm, plus cookies and hot cocoa, are really packing in the tourists and locals. Everything is holly jolly until the head of the local historical society, Margaret Fenwick, is found beaten to death, her body gruesomely stuffed into the Reindeer Games sleigh display. Unfortunately the owners and staff at the tree farm immediately become suspects because the weapon happens to be a spike used to identify trees on the farm. Holly's father, Bud, was seen arguing with the annoying woman just before her death, making him look guilty. Holly knows her dad is not a killer....so she is on the case to ferret out the murderer!

I love holiday theme cozy mysteries! And I'm pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The background theme of a Christmas tree farm and all the holiday events really added to the plot of the book. The mystery moved along at a great pace with some great amateur sleuthing, several possible suspects, and some surprises along the way. I enjoyed Holly as a main character, she is intelligent and has spunk. The side characters were all believable and well-written. The murdered woman was annoying, but she was meant to be. I have dealt with over zealous historical society people before when I was a reporter.....and they can be incredibly over-the-top and annoying...just like Margaret Fenwick. Luckily, none of the ones I knew were ever murdered. :)

This is Jacqueline Frost's debut novel. I am definitely going to read more in this series! Although it's not even Halloween yet, this book really got my holiday spirit going! Great theme, awesome cover, and a fun read!!

**I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,799 reviews487 followers
December 7, 2018
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a fantastic time with this cozy! I had heard some really good things about this book so when I noticed that my library had a copy of the audio available, I decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed. Once I started listening to this book, I didn't want to put it down.

Holly White has moved back home after her fiance decided to break things off just before the wedding. It works out that she is home just in time to help out during the busiest time of her at her parents' Christmas tree farm. When someone is murdered at the farm, things change quickly and everyone is a suspect. In order to get the farm open again, Holly decided to look into the murder herself and things get even more interesting.

I loved the characters in this book. Holly really felt real to me. She was smart and well-adjusted. I loved that she had a great relationship with her parents. Her parents were wonderful and I thought the way they wanted to protect Holly felt very authentic. Sheriff Evan Grey was great. I really appreciated the fact that he was a capable officer. He was calm and seemed to be able to handle just about anything. I really liked the relationship that developed between Holly and Evan over the course of the story.

I liked the fact that the mystery kept me guessing until the very end. There were quite a few possible suspects and a whole lot of people in town that had some kind of motive for the murder. There were several characters that I didn't completely trust. As new developments were discovered, I found myself trying to piece everything together but I couldn't figure out exactly what happened in this story until the big reveal was made.

This was the first time that I have listened to Allyson Ryan and I thought she did a wonderful job with this book. I found the voices that she used for the characters really added to the story. I thought that she did a great job of expressing the characters' emotions through her reading. I thought she had a very pleasant voice that was easy to listen to for hours at a time.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well done cozy mystery and would be the perfect choice for the holiday season. I am looking forward to reading more in this series very soon.

Initial Thoughts
I had a fantastic time with this cozy. The characters in this book were wonderful and I loved seeing them interact at the Christmas tree farm. I was stumped by the mystery for most of the book but had a lot of fun mistrusting some of the possible culprits. I really enjoyed all of Sheriff Grey and Holly's scenes together and couldn't help but hope for something to develop between the two of them. The narrator did a great job with this one and really brought the story to life. I do hope to listen to more of this series.

Book source: Library via Hoopla
Profile Image for Mark Baker.
2,101 reviews159 followers
December 16, 2020
When Holly White calls off her wedding, she returns to her family’s tree farm in Maine just in time for the annual Reindeer Games, which take place in the twelve days leading up to Christmas. However, the night before the games are set to start, Margaret comes in causing problems in her quest to keep the town exactly historically accurate. When Holly finds Margaret dead among the trees a few hours later, the police start looking a little too close to home. Can Holly clear her family and friends before Christmas?

If you are looking for a Christmas cozy, this one is perfect. Each page oozes Christmas cheer, and the games sound like a ton of fun. I’d love to visit and play myself. Unfortunately, I did feel this got in the way of the mystery at times, and Holly spent quite a bit to time reacting to events rather than actually investigating at other points. Still, it held together well overall, and we got a great climax. The characters are already sharp, and their relationships help add to the Christmas cheer.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Profile Image for The Sassy Bookworm.
3,467 reviews2,363 followers
October 22, 2017


descriptionThis cover is getting a much coveted 5 Star rating from yours truly. Why? Because it is is just SO damn fun and festive. Fabulous use of graphics. A great representation the story. Good composition and title work as well.description

descriptionAfter her breakup, Holly is back home in Mistletoe, Maine and helping out on her families Christmas tree farm. The reindeer games are coming up, and the town is buzzing with excitement. When a member of the local historical society is murdered on the property, all eyes are on Holly and her family. Holly just can't believe anyone in this small town is a murderer and makes it her mission to find out who did it and get the family farm back in business.


I enjoyed this one a lot. It was suitably festive. Well written and paced. The plot was engaging and kept me guessing right up until the end. I loved the small town Christmasy feel. I loved the characters both secondary and main. They were quirky and delightful. There is a tiny smidge of romance in this one between Holly and the sheriff. I am not a huge fan of romance in my cozy mysteries because it often feels forced or underdeveloped. This one was neither, and it struck the perfect balance. The only thing I missed was a few recipes at the end. I think it would have been a nice touch to have a few of the drink and cookie recipes that were featured in the book included at the end. All in all, though this one gets two thumbs up from yours truly.description




Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,928 reviews386 followers
December 12, 2021
I think I'm getting sentimental in my old age! I really enjoyed this Christmas mystery & romance. There are all the cozy mystery details: a heroine coming home to a small town when her Christmas Eve wedding gets cancelled, the loving parents ready to welcome her, the family Christmas tree business for her to slide back into, and the mysterious death on the tree farm just days before December 25th. Not to mention the handsome sheriff who shows up to investigate the murder and the charming newspaper reporter who seems interested in more than the story.

Just in case you're wondering about the title, there is only the one death, right at the book's beginning, not twelve as I had mistakenly assumed. The title is merely a play on the Twelve Days of Christmas. Although Holly (yup, that's her name) gets threatened regularly. In fact, there are piles of cheesy Christmas details, but I guess I am less of a grinch than I thought, as I really didn't mind. My absolute favourite detail was Holly's cat named Cindy Lou Who!

There is a mystery to be solved and Holly puts a lot of thought and effort into it, despite the sheriff's repeated suggestions that she butt out. This is also typical of cozies and if I worked in any kind of law enforcement role, I wouldn't be able to read them. It worked for me in this instance because the plot was at least as much about finding Holly a new love interest as it is about solving the murder.

This reminded me a lot of Vicki Delany's Year Round Christmas series, except that I think I like this one a little more. Perhaps I like Holly's lumberjack father or Holly's cat more than I thought. Actually, I think it's her better attitude towards law enforcement; she treats them as allies, not like incompetents as Delany's characters tend to. Unless Jacqueline Frost has another pen-name that she writes under, this is her only series. And with a name like Frost, how could she write anything but Christmas stories?
Profile Image for Christy.
664 reviews
December 21, 2020
I was looking for a good cozy mystery set around Christmastime, and this one delivered. The adorable cover is what initially drew me in, but the entire thing was a delight and very good on Audio.

Holly White has just been dumped by her fiancé, so she heads back home to be with her family. Mistletoe, Maine is awesome...and I wish I could visit this place. It's so magical and full of holiday cheer. Her family owns a tree farm called Reindeer Games and the President of the Historical Society is found murdered there. Suspicion quickly turns to her father, and other staff members of Reindeer Games. I thought the mix of mystery and Holiday themed activities and games described was so good. This book definitely got me in the Holiday spirit. Going straight in to the 2nd book in this series.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books406 followers
December 2, 2021
Holly White’s fiancé calls off their engagement, so she moves back home to her parents’ Christmas tree farm. 🎄❄🎄❄

Unfortunately, she arrives just in time to witness a murder. Margaret is in charge of the historical society and has been making a nuisance of herself trying to nag the town’s residents into complying with code regulations. She has plenty of enemies. This was a cute, Christmas-y cozy with a mystery I enjoyed. There were a lot of characters to keep up with and while I didn’t spend enough time with any of them to feel a strong connection (yet!) I really enjoyed how much Christmas cheer there was on every page. Delicious foods. Beautiful decorations. And of course, Christmas trees! 🎄❄🎄❄
Profile Image for Linda ~ *Chatcozy* on semi-hiatus.
1,210 reviews15 followers
October 1, 2018
I can easily say this story embraces the fun and magic of the holiday season. Author Jacquelyn Frost creates an amazing setting for Reindeer Games, a Christmas Tree Farm located in historic Mistletoe, Maine. Many charming characters immediately felt like family and good friends to me. The protagonist, Holly, has ended her engagement and returned home to help her parents during their busiest time of year. When a local grouch, Margaret Fenwick, is killed with a stake used to identify the different kinds of trees for sale, the farm is shut down as the crime scene is processed. Fortunately, Holly strikes up an easy camaraderie with Sheriff Evan Gray, an ex-Homicide detective from Boston. They wonder who would profit from Fenwick's demise? Could her close involvement with the local Historical Society be a connection?

When Brie starts sleuthing around town a barrage of threats begin against her and her family and each one is more vehement than the one before. Can Sheriff Gray catch a killer before the violence escalates and ruins the beautiful Reindeer Games tree farm? I enjoyed the entire story and the feel-good ending Ms. Frost treats cozy readers to.

I received an ARC in a Goodreads Giveaway.
Profile Image for LORI CASWELL.
2,482 reviews280 followers
October 21, 2017
Dollycas’s Thoughts

The White Family owns and operated the Reindeer Games Christmas Tree Farm, “a holiday paradise” and hosts The Twelve Day of Reindeer Games drawing tourists from near and far. Holly White was supposed to be getting married on Christmas Eve but her fiancé called it off when he met another woman. So Holly is home in Mistletoe helping her family with the festivities. Games like the snowball roll and find the pickle, treats baked up fresh by her mom, and trees as far as the eye can see. Where better to spend the holidays than Mistletoe, Maine?

Then Margaret Fenwick’s dead body is found in one of the sleighs and the murder weapon is a wooden stake Holly’s dad made to mark the types of Christmas tree rows. That makes him a suspect, but Holly finds out there were several people not happy with the president of the Mistletoe Historical Society. With the farm closed for a police investigation her family isn’t making any money and the people in town for the games and their trees are not happy. Holly decides it is up to her to slay the killer or at least catch him so the games can begin.

I loved this story. What a wonderful debut for this series!

Ms. Frost’s descriptions brought Mistletoe and the Reindeer Games farm to life. As we traveled around, from the cafe to the guest house, from the forest of trees to the entrance gate, and even Holly’s parent’s house and the reindeer stable. Pictures formed immediately in my mind. I could almost smell the hot chocolate, the cookies and the pine trees. Her writing style makes it easy and fun to escape right into the story.

The author has also created some fantastic characters. Holly is a strong women growing through a huge change. Her life is not going how she planned and soon realizes she is happy the wedding was called off. Her parents are very supportive. I like that she thinks of her dad as her personal Paul Bunyan. Her mother can be found in the cafe kitchen baking up cookies and whoopie pies, always there to talk. Holly thinks she got her creative side from her mother. Delores Cutter, known to everyone as “Cookie” has quite a past but now she runs the Holiday Mouse Christmas Craft Shop on the farm and has a pet goat named Theodore, after her late husband. Be prepared to laugh, this lady is a hoot and a holler. We also meet Sheriff Evan Gray, a transplant from Boston. He came to town hoping for a slower life never expecting to have to deal with a murder in Mistletoe.

This mystery is very well written with a blizzard of twists, a couple were downright chilly. With Holly not being home for a long time and the sheriff new to the community everyone seemed to be a a suspect. Holly knew her parents had nothing to do with the murder but she knew it had to be someone who knew their way around the farm. I was right there along with Holly tried to solve whodunit.

This is a terrific holiday mystery. Fix yourself a cup of hot chocolate, grab some frosted sugar cookies, and curl up in your favorite cozy spot and enjoy! I sure did!
Profile Image for Lynn Cahoon.
Author 87 books2,037 followers
January 15, 2021
Fun Christmas set cozy with a touch of romance. Loved the main character and her sleuthing style.
Profile Image for Alan.
Author 15 books313 followers
December 7, 2020
When Holly White's father is accused of murdering the president of the local historical society, Holly springs to her father's aid.

Holly is such a relatable and likable protagonist. The secondary characters are quirky and fun. The intriguing plot moves forward nicely and contains plenty of twists.

An all around good read for the holidays.
Profile Image for Ms. Woc Reader.
533 reviews705 followers
October 28, 2021
I was lucky to have been provided an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a great series debut and a perfect book to get you into the holiday spirit though Christmas is a few months away. Our heroine Holly has returned home after a breakup with her fiancé and the cancellation of her Christmas wedding.

It's not all fun and games anymore at Reindeer Games once Mrs. Fenwick turns up dead. And Holly's father is the number 1 suspect after having a public argument with him. Holly must solve the mystery while getting reacquainted with the town she left years ago.

This mystery hits all the right beats a cozy mystery should and you'll want to add it to your holiday reading list.
Profile Image for Barbara.
41 reviews
December 11, 2021
OMG! I absolutely loved this book. I want to live there and have this life. I loved all the characters in this story. Every day this week I had a really bad day and when I would sit down to read this it uplifted my spirits and had me happy and looking for to the next day. I cannot wait to read the next two books. I hope the author continues to make more. This book keeps you in the Christmas spirit and sprinkles a murder mystery with it. It's warm and cozy and keeps you wanting more. Glad I found this book and author.
Profile Image for Elle G. Reads.
1,597 reviews774 followers
November 27, 2019
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Actual Rating: 5 stars

Cozy Mystery | First in a Series

Twelve Slays of Christmas is a festive who-dun-it ! I thoroughly enjoyed this one and look forward to many more books in the series. Who doesn't adore a Christmas themed novel? Especially when it takes place in such a magical place like Mistletoe, Maine! The setting truly felt real to me as the author did a wonderful job at describing just how homely this place is. The characters are what really make the book though and I loved Holly, her family, Cookie, and the dreamy Sheriff who will hopefully be striking up a romance with Holly. These two had electricity at their first meeting and while the book ISN'T a romance it's nice to watch these sweethearts fall for each other.

That being said, Twelve Slays of Christmas is the perfect start to the Christmas Tree Farm mystery series and I am crossing my fingers that Jacqueline Frost will write many more books in the series. As of now there are only two. I plan to read the next on before Christmas!

Why not curl up on a cold winters night and try this one out? I promise, you won't regret it! You'll enjoy the festivities that are taking place, the realistic and charming characters, and a who-dun-it that will SHOCK you in the end!
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,910 reviews852 followers
December 28, 2018
Romance took too much time, IMO. Other than that it was a cute cozy mystery and beautifully described the Christmas Holiday season on a Christmas Tree farm that was delightful. Great narration, too.
Profile Image for Tari.
2,426 reviews72 followers
November 21, 2017
Holly White has returned home to Mistletoe, Maine after a very abrupt cancelling of their wedding by her fiance. Once she's home she realizes she never should have left. Mistletoe is like a Christmas fairyland and she's anxious to participate in all the Reindeer Games that her mom and dad sponsor every year on their Christmas tree farm. That is, until someone is found murdered on the tree farm property and the place is shut down while they investigate. Holly tries to coax handsome Sheriff Gray into letting them open sooner but to no avail. She is determined to find out who the killer is and clear her family and farm of any negative backlash. Someone starts making threats to Holly and the farm as well which makes her even more determined but can she investigate and still get out with her life intact?

I absolutely loved this book! The blurb on the cover is right, it definitely got me into the Christmas spirit. Christmas is my favorite holiday to begin with and after reading this, I wish I could live in or visit Mistletoe, Maine!

I like that Sheriff Gray wasn't one of those sheriffs that puts down the sleuth for investigating. He was actually concerned for her safety and even said they should work on the case together--although he had come to know Holly well enough that I think he realized there were going to be some things she'd still go out on her own and investigate.

The newspaper reporter, Ray Griggs, wasn't the typical jerk reporter that some mysteries have had. I actually kind of liked him a little once I started to trust him--in the beginning I wasn't really sure he was who he said he was especially since Holly couldn't remember going to school with him. Maybe he would be a good one for Holly's friend Caroline ;) hehe, of course I'm Team Evan!

I didn't completely guess the killer although the person had crossed my mind at times. I did have someone else in mind. The ending and reveal was very exciting and to me it couldn't have ended better! I can't wait for the next book, I'm that anxious to find out more about these characters that I would love to call my friends.

Disclaimer: I was sent an advance copy of this book to read and review with my honest opinions. Thank you to Crooked Lane Publishing and the Cozy Review group.
Profile Image for Lorraine.
1,068 reviews80 followers
December 11, 2017
What great fun it would be to live in Mistletoe, Maine around Christmas! Jacqueline Frost’s Twelve Slays of Christmas is one totally enjoyable holiday cozie. Holly White, the daughter of the owners of Reindeer Games Christmas Tree Farm, returns from Portland, ME as her fiancé has met someone more ‘Zen’, and he cancels their Christmas Eve wedding only two weeks before Christmas Eve. As Holly arrives home, she is determined not to let everyone in the small town of Mistletoe pity her because of the breakup. Thus, Holly jumps right into all the Christmas activities, The Twelve Days of ‘Reindeer Games’ as well as assisting her mom in The Hearth, the tree farm’s shop where her mom does all kinds of baking and serves her customers a little bit of Christmas magic in the form of peppermint twist hot cocoa, hot caramel hot cocoa, whoopie pies, all kind of Christmas cookies such as snickerdoodles, Christmas chocolate chip, and reindeer gingerbread cookies. That definitely sounds like a place I would love to be! Holly, on her trip to the tree farm, discovers a dead body on Reindeer Farms property. She calls the sheriff, a relatively new person to Mistletoe, and Sheriff Gray rushes to the scene, and closes the tree farm as it is the crime scene. Holly, knowing her family needs the profits from the tree farm to live and being an outgoing person, decides to ask a few questions about the murder victim, but finds she is next on the killer’s list. She is asking too many questions. Sheriff Gray, 31, has told Holly that as sheriff it is his job to solve this case, and she should back off.
Holly, 26, tries to behave herself & not get involved, but all this is affecting her family. Maybe one more question?! The Christmas Games are fun and a bit ridiculous, but it is Christmastime so why not! Tourists arrive to see Mistletoe and play the games. It is truly great fun for all the characters and definitely the reader. I will be looking for the second installment in this series as I had blast reading this book. Extremely well done! My congratulations! 5 stars
Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,473 reviews1,087 followers
September 24, 2017
A fun Christmas themed mystery - small town with quaint decorations and a likable heroine.

After breaking up with her fiance, Holly comes home to help out her parent's family business just in time for Christmas. Apparently they go all out with themed parties and actual reindeer themed games. Naturally a murder ruins the party, and Holly tries to solve the crime since her father is a main suspect.

I read this one during the summertime, nowhere near the Christmas season, but it still made the magic of the holiday come alive, almost too much so. I've never seen a town celebrate Christmas to this degree, but that's one of the fun things about themed cozy mysteries.

Somewhat sanitized which is typical of many cozies, Holly isn't a perfect heroine. The love people have of her earrings is a little strange, and the stereotypical characters don't add much to the story, but the mystery itself isn't bad even if it's pretty hard to solve with the clues given. There isn't a big surprise or twist in there, it's more a story to read because you're enjoying the environment of a cozy instead of marveling at the creativity of the mystery itself.

There's the romantic subplot too, which is just okay since the romantic interest is light without any steam or intrigue. Still, it fits the sub-genre well and is kind of expected when you're picking up a book like this.
Profile Image for Shawna Shaheen.
324 reviews4 followers
October 11, 2021
This is the first book in series. Holly moved from Portland ( where she was going to marry her fiance Ben but he decided he found somebody younger) to her hometown in Mistletoe Maine. She loved her hometown and her family and her older friend Cookie ( she got her name from her late husband cause she loved to bake) and there Christmas Tree Farm The Hearth Cafe. She don't understand why she left in first place with Ben. Holly Parents were doing a Special Event ( every Christmas) Twelve Days Of Reindeers. Which had all kinds of things to do to win prizes. Like Going The Gingerbread, and Big Frosty Snowball Roll and more things to do. A woman named Paula came in the Cafe ( where there were all unimaginable yummy 😋 Christmas Treats that Holly mother made for customers and different kinds of drinks) Paula was ranting about Margaret ( the Historical society leader) that she fined her 57.00 dollars because she painted her gift shop a pink shade. And Margaret said it was up to code. Margaret was getting everyone in a tether. Mr. Fleece to ( Reindeer Keeper from Bud Holly dad farm that had all sorts of animals) Margaret telling Mr. Fleece that he need to get a livestock permit for the reindeers Kevin Noel and Chrissy ( real name Christmas) . And Mr Fleece told Holly he was telling at her and he even screamed at Holly. And even Holly dad Bud and Margaret got in an argument. Margaret then was dead on Holly Family tree 🌳farm 🚜 in one of their sleighs. . So u know who was first suspect u guessed it Holly father Bud. A Sheriff Evan was on the case. And Hollie and him were both were kinda getting chummy at the end. A Roportor Ray was intrigued by Holly too when the were in high school. He a freshman her a senoir. She did not remember him. But he was intrigued by her even then. Love the 🐱 Cindy Who from the Grinch 🎥movie. I would absolutely love to go to that town it seemed magical Christmas everywhere. If you a magical plot to bring you back to childhood this the book of Christmas
Profile Image for Loraine.
3,024 reviews
January 11, 2018
A Christmas cozy mystery with all the elements that make a cozy good: interesting characters, a disliked victim, a small town where everybody knows everyone's business, and lots of suspects and clues with a little romance thrown in as well.

Holly White has returned to her home in Mistletoe, Maine after canceling her wedding with only 2 weeks to go. Her parents run a Christmas tree farm and village there, and Holly jumps right in to help. Life becomes a mix of mistletoe, reindeer, fun activities around the village, and murder.

Holly manages to find out who she is and what she wants to do with her life as she gets involved with helping her family keep the farm and village alive as well as figure out who the murderer was. Sheriff Gray was such a great support to Holly (even though she didn't follow his suggestions very well) and really worried about her safety. Lots of wonderful secondary characters especially Cookie. The ending was perfect as they honored Margaret, the victim. Overall, a good Christmas cozy that included lots of Christmas spirit.
Profile Image for Ashley Marilynne Wong.
391 reviews20 followers
August 4, 2017
Aw, this was beautiful! This atmospheric Christmas mystery set in a Christmas tree farm was indeed the perfect holiday read! The plot was intriguing without being overly cheesy and pretentious and the narrative actually radiated joy; it made me feel as though I was amongst the close-knit community, joining in the festivity, having fun. As I read the book I saw myself savouring with great relish the steaming mugs of hot cocoa, delicious gingerbread men and refreshing and therapeutic cups of peppermint tea! And not to forget the mystery part—it was simply engaging because everyone is a suspect! What's more, Holly was simply lovely and from the moment she and Sheriff Gray met, I could already sense something between them! Cute and sweet! Thanks for the ARC of this book. Jolly good read!
Profile Image for Melike.
390 reviews
December 16, 2018
A wonderful cozy holiday mystery with a little bit of romance mixed in, set in the delightful town of Mistletoe, Maine. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did an excellent job. I will be sure to read the rest of the series.
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