It’s the time of the year to start thinking about the upcoming holidays. Living in San Antonio where snow is only a distant memory, I find it hard sometimes to get in the mood without a proper boost from a Christmas Cozy. So, this month I read the first in a very new series by Jacqueline Frost, The Twelve Slays of Christmas, part of her new Christmas Tree Farm Mystery series. This post is part of my series where I am writing about the most popular and recommended Cozy Mystery series.
The Twelve Slays of Christmas has just about the coziest setting possible — a family-owned Christmas tree farm that is part of a historic small town, Mistletoe, Maine. On the farm, which also has a cafe, “The Hearth” and other shops open during the holiday season, games are played for the twelve days of Christmas — the “Reindeer Games”. Each day a different holiday-related game is played. Tourists flock by the busload to the town to play these games and to bask in the holiday atmosphere that this quaint farm and historic town provide.
The story begins with Holly White, the 24-year-old daughter of the owners of the farm just having returned from Portland Maine. She had just been jilted by her fiance just days before her scheduled wedding. So, she returns home with her cat, “Cindy Lou Who”, and falls back into her old routine of helping with the games and the farm. Of course, a murder occurs which causes all who work at the farm to fall under suspicion. And, the farm has to be closed which places Holly’s parents’ livelihood in jeopardy since over half of their income is associated with the holiday season.
Holly begins her investigation in parallel with the new sheriff in town, Sheriff Evan Gray. Sheriff Gray just happens to be young, single and very good looking. Holly also soon meets a local newspaper reporter who also is young, good looking and available. Readers of modern Cozies will probably see where this is going pretty early in the book.
If the elements of The Twelve Slays of Christmas seem pretty familiar to seasoned Cozy readers, the way the book is put together with such lively charm and with so many holiday-related elements, made this book pretty irresistible to me, especially since I was looking for a way to help me get into the holiday mood. And, Holly is such an attractive heroine — her plucky character somehow reminds me of (an older) Nancy Drew. The way she picks herself up from personal adversity and gets back into the routine at her parents’ farm while simultaneously investigating the murder that threatens to ruin her parents’ farm’s income and reputation, is portrayed in such a lively way that I just kept turning the pages. What higher praise can I give a book!
If you want to read some of the other entries about highly recommended Cozy Mystery series, you can see them on the Most Recommended Cozy Mystery Series page.
P.S. By the way, this Christmas Cozy got me in such a winter-ized mood that I had my two tech-guys (my husband and son) bring in the Christmas bins from our garage over the weekend. I know it’s a little early for decorating – with Thanksgiving still down the calendar road, but I needed this winter Cozy! I walked Cocoa (our three year-old Yorkie “puppy”) two hours before writing this entry in 73* weather!