My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MF
Maine innkeeper Holly White returns to sleuth another seasonal slaying in the third Christmas Tree Farm mystery from author Jacqueline Frost.
Reindeer Games Christmas Tree Farm is going into the B&B business, and Holly White is looking forward to her new role as innkeeper. Even better, Mistletoe, Maine’s sheriff, Evan Gray, has deputized his little sister Libby to help Holly wrap presents for Mistletoe’s toy drive. But a cold wind ruffles the cheery holiday decorations when a new guest checks in: Karen, a vicious B&B critic, who could make or break the new inn. And the short December days turn even darker when Evan and Libby find Karen’s dead body in the gift-wrapped toy donation box.
The suspect list is longer than Santa’s naughty list, and local resident Cookie is on it, since her fingerprints are all over the murder weapon, a metal nutcracker that she gave to Holly. So is Libby, who recently moved to town from Boston in less-than-savory circumstances. But cranky Karen was an oh-holy-nightmare to lots of the townsfolk, such as Evan’s reporter friend Ray; Christopher, the inn’s former contractor; and confectioner Bonnie, whose Gum Drop Shop was a direct target of Karen’s scathing prose.
To figure out the killer’s identity and clear Cookie’s name, Holly and her friends brainstorm at The Hearth, the farm’s café, while her mother keeps them fueled with Christmas goodies fresh from the oven. But if they can’t put the culprit on ice, Holly may never see another Christmas.
I was so excited when I realized there was a third book in this series and picked this one up in audio format as well. I really like this series, it’s perfect if you’re in the mood for a cozy series set around Christmas. Each book in the series takes place around Christmas, so another year has passed since the last book. It’s interesting to see how things have progressed in a year and fun to have each book take place around Christmas. Each book showcases different parts of Christmas in the town of Mistletoe as well as certain events that return in multiple books.
Slashing Through the Snow was a lot of fun to listen to and I really enjoyed it. This time the mystery is about a critic who got murdered while she was staying in Holly’s inn. Holly’s friend Cookie becomes the main suspect and Holly gets involved in trying to solve the mystery. I liked seeing the mystery progress, there were plenty of clues and more clues and information that come to light throughout the book, but I just couldn’t seem to make sense of it. I kept feeling things didn’t make sense and I knew some people weren’t the murderer, but I didn’t know who was. It kept me guessing and the reveal was a good twist. I liked how the reveal put some earlier clues in a new light and how we learned what’s going on with some of the other suspects as well.
I liked reading about Holly and it made sense why she got involved in the mystery. It did bother me a bit though how she and her boyfriend talked about the mystery. Evan is the sheriff and asks her to stay out of it, but Holly keeps investigating. I know she has to for this to be a cozy mystery, but it bothered me a bit they couldn’t find an agreement on it and I didn’t enjoy reading about them arguing. Luckily there are some sweet scenes with the two of them as well, but the arguing made it a bit harder to feel their romance at times. I had predicted the surprise Evan had for Holly and thought it was quite obvious, but it was fun seeing how she reacted to the surprise.
The ending wrapped everything up nicely and I liked the Christmas eve timed ending. I had hoped to find out how Libby’s trial went, but I guess we’ll find out in the next book. I enjoyed listening to this one and think the narrator fits the book well and I like the voices she does for the different characters.
To summarize: Slashing Through the Snow is a fun Christmas themed cozy mystery story. I was excited to listen to this third book in the series and following Holly as she gets involved in another mystery around Christmas. I made sense why Holly got involved in the mystery as her friend Cookie was the main suspect. I didn’t like how Holly and Evan kept arguing about her involvement in the mystery, but there are some sweet scenes with them as a couple too. The mystery kept me guessing, there were plenty of clues and suspects. There is new information and clues coming to light through the book, but things didn’t fell on it’s place till late in the book. I was sure some people weren’t the murderer, but couldn’t figure out who was, it was a nice reveal and I liked how it made sense. After the reveal the Christmas eve timed ending was sweet and I liked how everything got wrapped up.