Publication Order of Renaissance Faire Mysteries Books
|Wicked Weaves||(2008)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Ghastly Glass||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Deadly Daggers||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Harrowing Hats||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Treacherous Toys||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Murderous Matrimony||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Perilous Pranks||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Bewitching Boots||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Fatal Fairies||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Renaissance Faire Mysteries is a cozy mystery series by best- selling authors, Joyce and Jim Lavene. The series revolves around the life of Jessie Morton, a young associate professor who nurses a soft spot for the arts. And where else can she better explore her love for the arts than in a Renaissance Faire village? Luckily for her, there is a permanent renaissance faire village in Myrtle Beach, and she goes to spend her summers there, learning one craft or another. Her time in the renaissance fair isn’t spent just learning some artistic skill or other; she frequently finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery, or indirectly involved in one. If there is any word that accurately describes the Renaissance Faire Mysteries series, it has to be engrossing. The books are absorbing, with an intricately developed plot that is not only entertaining, but is also educational.
Books in the Series
In this book, we are introduced to Jessie Morton, a gorgeous assistant professor from South Carolina. She is passionate about art, and resolves to spend her summers working on her thesis in a renaissance faire. She does it not just as an educational requirement, but also because it is an opportunity for her to hone her crafting skills that she has.
The first summer, she decides to become an apprentice to a weaver in order to learn how to weave. The weaver in question is a woman called Mary Shift, and her prowess at weaving is certainly unparalleled. Although generally a nice lady, Mary seems to have a lot to hide about her past. Jessie starts having misgivings about Mary when a man is found dead with a piece of Mary’s elaborate weaving tied around his neck. All fingers point to Mary as the murderer, and she is even arrested for it. That is when Jessie has to cast her doubts aside and concentrate on saving her friend and mentor. Will she be successful? Will they discover who the culprit behind the murder is?
Although the plot revolves majorly around Jessie and Mary, there are also other noteworthy characters in the book. One such character is Jessie’s twin brother, an irresponsible young man who looks up to his sister for all his needs. According to Jessie, she got the brains while her brother got the looks, an assessment that is not far from true. Jessie also meets and gets into a relationship with a young, handsome chap, Chase, who is actually the renaissance village’s Bailiff. This remarkable book keeps a reader wanting for more. One is left in wonder of Jessie’s strength and intelligence, although there are times when she can be annoyingly thick- headed and weak. Simply put, she is as human as human can be.
Another engaging book in the Renaissance Faire Mysteries series, this book tells of Jessie’s experiences as a glassblower’s apprentice. The glassmaker, Roger, has his nephew, Henry, working with him during the summer. This puts Jessie in the unenviable position of having to work with the annoying Henry. He is an irredeemable womanizer who cannot get it through his head that Jessie just isn’t interested in him. In any case, what romantic interests could she probably have in him when her boyfriend is the bailiff of the village?
Jessie visits the village during Halloween, a time during which the renaissance faire village comes teeming with life. But beneath the beauty and pomp of the festivities lies the lingering question; who killed Ross? Jessie finds herself in the middle of yet another murder mystery, especially because the dead man’s brother is unrelenting in his pursuit for answers. Other interesting developments in the story include the romantic relationship that blooms between Mary Shift, Jessie’s former trainer, and Roger, her current trainer.
Additionally, disappearances of people from the village have become commonplace, with the corpses being retrieved under questionable circumstances. Will Jessie, together with Chase and Ross’s brother finally solve the murder mysteries, despite the fact that the odds are definitely not in their favor? As usual, Jessie’s purpose of studying an art is disrupted by these happenings, although she does manage to learn a thing or two about glassmaking.
Everyone enjoys pranking their least favorite person on earth, and Jessie is no exception. In this book, she sets out to prank her arch enemy, Wanda Le Fay. She plans to plant dye in Wanda’s shower, and indeed she does. All she expects is that Wanda will remain blue for a couple of days at most, and that no huge consequences will follow the prank. It is a perfect payback for Wanda’s numerous other pranks, or so Jessie thinks.
Unknown to her, she is not the only person who dislikes Wanda. In fact, there is someone who loathes Wanda so much that they end up killing her with a sword right after her shower. Jessie is horrified on finding out, but that is just the beginning of her woes. When it is discovered that it was she who had put dye in Wanda’s showerhead, as a result of which Wanda’s body had turned a nasty blue, she is named the main suspect of Wanda’s murder. Besides the terrifying murder charges, Jessie is also haunted by a blue- bodied ghost and her conscience simply can’t give her any peace. She has to work as hard as she possibly can, not just to prove her innocence, but also to bring the murderer to justice. The question lingers, yet again; will Jessie manage to find the true murderer?
The Renaissance Faire Mysteries series is a truly engaging series. The titles of the books themselves are attention grabbing, and the books are true page turners. One has to marvel at the ingenuity of the authors in the creation and development of characters. Readers can’t help but fall in love with the perfectly flawed Jessie, who is generally haughty but with brains that are her saving grace. Although the books are generally regarded as mystery books, they have a splash of romance that is amazingly refreshing. Additionally, they very well represent the going- ons in renaissance fairs, and lovers of these festivals will find the books ultimately fascinating.