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    'Twas the Knife Bfore Christmas

    After listening to the first book earlier this year I decided to listen to book 2 as well. This is a great sequel. A year has passed and it's time again for Christmas but another murder shakes up the town again this year. And Holly White gets involved again when her best friend Caroline turns out to be the main suspect. It was a bit jarring with how book 2 is a whole year later than book 1, but that makes sense for it to be set at Christmas time again. I had expected Holly and Evan to be a couple now, but they're actually having some troubles and not as close as I had expected. It didn't take long to get a hang of what had happened (or didn't) in a year and I quickly settled in to enjoy another mystery set during Christmas time. It was a good mystery that kept me guessing. There were plenty of suspects and suspicious characters. I had predicted one thing quite early on, which was quite interesting twist, but that didn't help me figure out the identity of the killer. By the end I wasn't sure who had done it and the character I suspected for a little bit, turned out to be more unlikely as the story progressed. Then when other suspects got cleared I was left scratching my head to see how it would all tie together. But it did. The murderer made sense and I noticed some hints looking back that I hadn't realized were hints. Just like the first book in this series this mystery also has the murderer resorting to threats. I thought the pattern was a bit too similar to the previous book as I figured not all murderers would handle her snooping the same way. But on the other hand the threats give a chilling touch to the mystery and show how Holly is in danger. It made sense how Holly got involved in this mystery with her best friend being the main suspect. I liked seeing how Holly and Caroline are good friends now and I liked seeing how Caroline's cupcake shop was doing now. And construction is underway for an inn on the reindeer games property which was exciting and I hope that it will play a role in book 3 if there will be another one. Evan , the love interest, did got on my nerves a few times. I don't know how often he says let me handle this. And while his behavior makes sense with how he's concerned for Holly's safety he was a tad too overprotective at times. I don't feel the romance at times and then at other times they are quite good together. Then there is the secret he's keeping, which actually was quite the fun twist when it got revealed and it also made sense why he kept is secret. I liked reading about the familiar characters again, Holly's parents, Cookie, Caroline, Evan and Gray. And some interesting new characters as well. It's fun to see how everyone is doing. I like the timing with how these mysteries are set around Christmas. The author does a great job depicting the town and the holiday vibe. You really get that Christmas feel. I also liked that the reindeer games are back and there are some games they also had in book 1, but not all of them are the same. It was a fun touch to see how the same games were different this year. And the familiar games almost feel like tradition now as you recognize them from previous books. The narrator did a great job again with this book. As she also did book 1 I easily settled in to listen to this one. I liked how she did the Boston accent, although Evan seemed to slip in and out of his accent at times. But that might've been on purpose. And I still like how she did Cookie's voice as well. And how she managed to add tension and emotions to some scenes with how she narrated them. To summarize: I had fun listening to the second book in this Christmas themed cozy mystery series. It was a great mystery where who the murderer was surprised me, but it did make sense, which was great. The mystery does follow a similar pattern to that in book 1 with the murderer resorting to threats quite quickly, but it does add some tension and danger to the mystery. It was slightly jarring to have a time skip of a year between book 1 and 2, but that was only an issue at the start. I liked seeing how the characters were doing and how the reindeer games are on again and we get to see a few games they also did in book 1 which was quite fun as it feels like a tradition that way. The town and characters are fun to read about and I liked the Christmas vibe the whole book has. The narrator did a great job with this book and I enjoyed listening to it.
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