• 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas

  • A Christmas Tree Farm Mystery, Book 2
  • By: Jacqueline Frost
  • Narrated by: Allyson Ryan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,698 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 listeners say about 'Twas the Knife Before Christmas

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

Repeat of a wannabe detective who doesn't learn

The main character irritated me in the first book, but I decided that she might learn and grow up a bit in the second book. She did not. This book was disappointing only because of the constantly amateur ways that Holly, the main character, acted in almost every chapter. She is oblivious to the two guys who definitely like her and are cautiously pursuing her, possibly because of her ditziness. She is annoying and irresponsible to say the least. She doesn't care about putting herself in danger or ruining an investigation by inserting herself into the investigation no matter what. It doesn't make sense, half of the things she does, and that's the most annoying part. I am unsure of why the Suave, responsible, smart, and apparently handsome Sheriff even likes her. She's not strong, she's not smart, she's not a go-getter, she is just childish and that's about it. I like every other character in the book, except the main character! How is that even possible? Other than that, the story might have been good. But with Holly being as silly as she is, I just can't even finish it. I stopped at chapter 14. She doesn't tend to use common sense, but she's quick to jump into dangerous situations that are very unnecessary. She also can't think on her feet and make up an excuse for why she's doing half of the things she does. Which makes it even more ludicrous! Okay, I am done with my rant... But if you just want to listen to something to fill the time, you might be okay with this book. But otherwise if you would like a real mystery then I suggest you find another Series to read...

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

10 people found this helpful

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Grrrr

Story line is good. Women are existentially hyper sensitive. Mens personality is too feminine. Why is heroine always in danger at Christmas? Who would want to go to tree farm where is there always danger? Holly has no confidence in police work , she never honors police request grrr just grrr

7 people found this helpful

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Same as the first

This one was basically the first book all over again. And the Boston accents were excruciating to listen to.

5 people found this 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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Seriously? Did she learn NOTHING in the first book

I struggled to finish this book. I feel like I read the FIRST book a second time. Once again, the main character got herself into one dangerous situation after another, despite the repeated warnings that others kept offering. It was beyond annoying, and I felt sorry for the people she repeatedly hurt with her bullheadedness, but really felt NOTHING for her. Maybe it just hits a nerve, and others will like it, but I am finished with this series.

4 people found this helpful

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Will there be more?

I’ve really enjoyed the two books in this series. This one was written in 2018 and I see no others. I hope this series wasn’t discontinued. 😟😟 They are the epitome of a cozy mystery!

4 people found this helpful

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pretty good

It's cheesy but a cute story. A Hallmark movie with murder, like all these kinds of books are. Still decently solid.

2 people found this helpful

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FIVE STARS BUT FOR THE MAIN CHARACTER

I am enjoying this book and enjoyed the first one, also. However, I agree with one reviewer who did not like the main character. Holly comes across as immature and annoying. Despite that, I like the story line and I like the other characters, especially Cookie, who I love. She has a great outlook on life and makes me laugh. The mystery is good in both of the stories. I just wish Holly would act a little smarter and not act like a 13-year-old sometimes.

2 people found this helpful

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amazing

Another amazing book!! I strongly recommend this book, a fun mystery and holiday thrill, and super fun!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alison Bennett
  • 11-03-21

Oh dear!

What a shame - I read the first Christmas book and loved it, so easy to listen to. Because the first book was good I selected the second - there were times when I thought I was still listening to the first book. There were at least five sections that were identical to the first book.
On the whole the story was good. The narration was excellent and she brought the book to life.

4 people found this helpful

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  • linda
  • 10-27-21

lovely gentle Christmas tale

my 2nd time listening to a Jacqueline Frost Xmas tale. more or less the same story but with different victim...I was sad the romance between them didn't blossom in the year between but enjoyed the 2nd coming together. love the attentive mum and dad...it's a harmless tale and perfect for bedtime listening. 💖

4 people found this helpful

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  • Marie V.
  • 01-19-22

Very cosy daft mystery!!

It’s a bit daft and cheesy when the story could have been very good. If the author hadn’t recycled the happenings from the first book and come up with new ways of the heroine being stalked it could have been good. I can see an hour and a half hallmark series though!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lucy Lindsay
  • 01-12-22

Somewhat hooked

Listened to the first book on a whim, hunted out the second and binged. Next stop book 3. Yes it is a slightly cheesy theme and yes not always are all strings tied up but very listenable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kent Bird Lover
  • 12-19-21

OMG what an irritating lead character

She knows more about the law of evidence and solving crimes than the sheriff. She's proud of being 'curious', read insufferably nosey. She ignores all advice about keeping safe and is surprised when her idiotic actions put her friends and family in danger.

The sheriff isn't much better. In real life, he'd charge Holly with obstruction! Instead he just breathes on her and sometimes kisses her.

Other than that it's a fun Christmas tale.

1 person found this helpful

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  • kaz shaw
  • 09-18-21

Twas the knife before Christmas

Brilliant story and narration from start to finish. Loved it. Would truly recommend to listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-27-22

Boring

Exactly the same things happened in the previous Book as this one!! Boring. writer must try and come up with a different plot.

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  • puppy
  • 01-11-22

Great Christmas murder mystery

Once again she nailed a great Christmas murder mystery definitely worth the read and I will be reading the next.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Carôle
  • 01-09-22

Similar to the first one

Not as Christmassy cute as the first one. The characters are still great, but Holly is getting tediously annoying. (To the extent that you find yourself thinking ‘serves you right’, when ordinarily you wouldn’t/shouldn’t think such a thing)!

I’m not sure about trying book 3, to be honest…

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  • Lynn
  • 12-30-21

Enjoyable, but a little silly at times.

It was well read, but I would like Holly to have a more distinct voice; she doesn't sound as I imagine her. It is a magical story, but that is problematic - it makes it sillier than it needs to be. The danger scenes are well written. How the characters can eat so much and not get fat, work all day and night without being tired, suffer serious injuries but recover almost immediately, have long conversations whilst playing bingo is more mysterious than revealing the culprit. It is implausible nonsense, but a lot of fun.

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  • Jane
  • 12-19-21

EXACTLY the same as book one. I mean exactly.

UGH. The protagonist has a death wish. I have never read a book with so many ridiculous situations. Holly refuses to listen to anyone and despite being almost killed numerous times still goes off alone. Really? surely one of her friends would accompany her.
This book is exactly the same as the first. she is threatened again- I mean what are the odds?- and ignores all advice . The love interest should really get over her disrespect for him and move on.
I can't believe they made a second book so similar to the first.
luckily I think there isn't a third.

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  • Linelle Northcott
  • 11-28-21

Charming

Fun story well written. Characters are cute. Descriptions of the delightful town and locations are best part of the book. Accents ate a little off but do not detract from the heart warming story.