“Twelve Slays Of Christmas – Christmas Tree Farm Mystery #1” by Jacqueline Frost

Cosy mystery that’s a great Christmas comfort read.

Well, this is about as cosy as a mystery can get. It’s like one of those drinks that coffee shops sell where the coffee is the least important part and the impact comes from all the cream, syrups, spices and festive sprinkles that tell you it’s Christmas.

The coffee in this book is the beating to death (off-camera to avoid unpleasantness) of an unpopular woman who runs the local Historical Preservation society.

Then the festive syrups and sprinkles start.

The murder weapon is a three-foot-long wooden candy cane with a sharp point at one end. The crime scene is a Christmas tree farm in the town of Mistletoe, Maine, that hosts the annual Reindeer Games over the twelve days of Christmas. Almost every scene is packed with festive food or festive games or jolly people in costume or tourists looking for a special Christmas treat.

Our heroine is Holly White, whose family run the Christmas Tree farm. She’s returned home to her family after her fiancé broke off their engagement a couple of weeks before their planned Christmas Eve wedding. Holly is brave, creative, glad to be home and determined to find out who the murderer is despite receiving multiple death threats.

Our hero and principal love interest is Sherriff Grey, an ex-Boston PD homicide detective who reads “The Count Of Monte Christo” and is trying to leave murders behind. He seems to split his time between trying to solve the murder and preventing Holly from being killed.

The plot is strong on heart-warming, rich with suspects, low on threat and has just enough complexity and action to keep everything moving along at a good pace.

In other words, “The Twelve Slays Of Christmas” is the perfect brew for tuning out the world for few hours and wrapping the idea of Christmas around you like a blanket.

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