Monday, March 7, 2016

Early Review: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case by Kristen Painter

29338223Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case
(Jayne Frost #1)
Kristen Painter
Release: March 8, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year. 

Jayne Frost is a lot of things. Winter elf, Jack Frost’s daughter, Santa Claus’s niece, heir to the Winter Throne and now…private investigator. Sort of.

Needing someone he can trust, her father sends her undercover to Nocturne Falls to find out why employees at the Santa’s Workshop toy store are going missing.

Doing that requires getting to know the town, which leads to interesting encounters with a sexy vampire, an old flame, and an elevator that’s strictly off-limits. The more Jayne finds out, the more questions she has, but the answers lead her deeper into danger.

Will her magic save her? Or will she come up cold? 
You might have seen me mention how much I love Kristen Painter's Nocturne Falls PNR series. I guess I'm not the only one, because it has already spawned a spin off. The Jayne Frost series is also set in Nocturne Falls, the town where everyday is Halloween, but it's a mystery series. You don't need to have read any of the Nocturne Falls books to pick this one up. There aren't any spoilers, but there are plenty of  Easter Eggs for fans of that series.

Jayne Frost is the daughter of Jack Frost, King of the Winter Elves. She's also Santa's niece. So she has some pretty powerful magical mojo, but she's been bouncing between jobs at the North Pole, unsure what she wants to do with her life. Most recently, she's been been managing the naughty and nice lists.

Even tough I love the Halloween-themed kitch of Nocturne Falls, the whole Christmas-themed world of the North Pole felt a little over-the-top to me, kind of like a children's book or an ABC Family movie. I'm not sure if that's a personal bias (I really love Halloween) or just the fact that I've seen it portrayed too many times before. Fortunately, most of the story is set in Nocturne Falls.

Santa's Workshop has a chain of toy stores around the country which essentially provide market research for the company. At its flagship store in Nocturne Falls, employees have been disappearing.
Jayne goes in undercover as a new employee to find out what happened to the missing elves.

I loved Jayne! She has a distinctive voice, including her own elf swears - she says things like "snowballs." There's also a sexy vampire, an ex-boyfriend, some fun supporting elves, and a few cameos from Nocturne Falls regulars. The series starts off with more romance than I expected from a mystery. So while this is not technically a PNR, it will still appeal to romance fans.

As for the mystery, I sort of had things figured out before Jayne did. I was still surprised by a few of the twists. But I feel like there are holes in the villain's backstory that I wish were explained.

Still, I'm looking forward to more in this series. I loved the characters. I'm also kind of excited about the toy store setting. Having worked in retail, I see lots of possibilities! And I'll take any opportunity to spend more time in Nocturne Falls.

Recommended for fans of: Kristen Painter's Nocturne Falls series, cozy mysteries

ARC provided by the author

3 1/2  stars

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