I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Book Review: Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case by Kristen Painter
Genres: Magical Realism
Published by Sugar Skull Books on March 8, 2016
Source: my own shelves
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: House of the Rising Sun, City of Eternal Night, Garden of Dreams and Desires, All Fired Up
First in the Jayne Frost magical realism-mystery series revolving around Jayne Frost, Jack’s misfit daughter and Santa’s niece…and a spin-off within the Nocturne Falls Universe. This story takes place in Georgia.
It’s a cute, cozy mystery that uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Jayne’s perspective. A Jayne who doesn’t fit in anywhere — it’s a nice bit of backstory and well-inserted — no info dumping in this story. Yay!
Painter does a nice job of setting the series up as Jayne must get to know the town to gain whatever information she can. A great way to introduce an assortment of characters as well.
That Toly… Interesting how family can cause you to go off the rails. That or he’s simply a terrible control freak. I gotta wonder if Jack inserts a new rule for elves about going out into the world. Hmmm… Some of the other conflicts involve the heartbreak of betrayal(s), and Jayne’s quest to discover her place in the world.
Just what is at the bottom of that elevator..? It is one of the few secrets that isn’t revealed. Luckily some past — traumatic — history is cleared up with a nasty bit of truth attached. It also leaves the field wide open for Jayne. And lots of conflict opportunities in upcoming stories.
Jayne’s repetitiveness about solving the mystery and leaving town got rather tedious. I don’t know if Painter wanted to be sure we got the message, or if she was padding out the story.
Hmmm, how did the missing write those notes? Loose end here…along with that danged elevator! I am looking forward to reading Miss Frost Ices The Imp and maybe find out.
Elves are going missing in Nocturne Falls, and Jack Frost sends in his daughter, Jayne, to investigate undercover.
This investigating business, okay, okay, this “snooping”, requires that Jayne get to know the town and its people (it certainly improves her dating life!), and leads Jayne into all sorts of possibilities…some that could get Jayne killed or Santa’s Workshop driven out of business.
The big question is: Will her magic save her? Or will she come up cold?
Jayne “Jay” Frost is a Winter elf with a passion for sweets. She’s also Jack Frost’s daughter and heir to the Winter Throne, Santa Claus’ niece, and now…private investigator, going undercover as Lilibeth Holiday. Spider is the black cat Jayne rescues. Jack Frost is the Winter King and married to Klara Kringle, Santa’s sister, which is why he’s Santa’s righthand man.
The North Pole is…
…NP for short and where Jayne’s family lives. Santa “Uncle Kris” Claus is married to Martha. Lark was Jayne’s best friend who took off for the real world.
Santa’s Workshop, Nocturne Falls, is…
…one of the North Pole’s testing grounds for toys. The manager is Tolliver “Toly” Featherstone, as part of his retirement package as the head tinker. Jayne’s coworkers include the chirpy Juniper Trembley, Buttercup, and the isolated Owen. The missing employees include Bertie Springle, Nora, Will, Trina, and Franny Isler.
Nocturne Falls, Georgia, is…
…a town that celebrates Halloween 24/7/365 and was created by the vampire family, the Ellinghams, for supernaturals to be themselves. Mummy’s Diner. Howler’s is a bar and grill run by Bridget, a werewolf whose brothers are the fire chief and sheriff. Insomnia is a supernatural-only high-end club. Chet (a black bear shifter) is a bouncer. The Hallowed Bean is a yummy coffee shop…right…next…door…to…Delaney’s Delectables. Oh yeah, baby, it immediately becomes Jayne’s favorite shop! Good thing she had Dad’s credit card, lol. Delaney Ellingham owns the candy store (The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride, NF-1, and Kiss and Spell: “A Vampire’s Valentine Surprise”, NF-5.5). Pete Cathaway is a pharmacist on whom Juniper is sweet. Brite Star Cleaners and Thrifty Maids (owned by Elena Frye) are cleaning services. Cookie Featherstone is Toly’s granddaughter who runs a B&B, the Gingerbread Inn, in town.
Titus Merrow is the fire chief. His brother, Hank Merrow, is the sheriff and married to Ivy, a werewolf who works at Delaney’s. They have a son, Charlie. Café Claude is a fabulous French restaurant owned by Jacque Baptiste, a good friend of Greyson’s and a voyante (a clairvoyant). Claude is Jacque’s white terrier.
The gorgeous, sexy Greyson Garrett is a vampire whose job includes being VOD, Vampire-on-Duty; before he was turned, he was an Irish Roma. Cooper Sullivan is a summer elf and a fireman in town. He’s also Jayne’s ex!
Shimmer is the same as glamour. Santa’s Bag is how Santa delivers all those toys; it’s good for other shipping needs as well. The underweb is worse than the Darknet, selling slaves, black magic, assassinations, and worse.
The Cover and Title
The cover has a cartoonish quality with its cold light blue background with a border of gorgeous white snowflakes at top and bottom. The graphics are a collage of three core elements of the story: Spider, the abandoned black cat, a telecommunications snowglobe, and the blue-haired Jayne herself in a cropped black leather jacket and hip-hugger jeans with a huge buckle on her belt, sunglasses, big hoop earrings, and necklaces over her white u-necked T. The title, author’s name, and an info blurb are in a shadowed white, while the series information is largely black (the subseries info is labeled on the snowglobe) within the Nocturne Falls Universe.
The title can go two ways, as no one has connected those disappearances, and Jayne is a Winter elf, so Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case and keeps the town’s rep intact.