"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Friday, July 29, 2011

Harrowing Hats by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Cover Design
by Lesley Worrell
Cover Illustration
by Ben Perini
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
A Renaissance Faire Mystery
4th Book in the Series
Release Date: August 2, 2011
ISBN-10: 0425242773
ISBN-13: 978-0425242773

This series features Jessie Morton, an assistant history professor at the University of South Carolina at Columbia.  Each summer she returns to Renaissance Faire Village to work as an apprentice for her dissertation - "The Proliferation of Medieval Crafts in Modern Times".

This summer she is working with Andre Hariot at Harriet's Hat House. Andre used to work in Hollywood making hats for many famous movies but something drove him away and he ended up at the Renaissance Faire Village.

Living at the faire is quite a treat for Jessie until one of the Three Chocolatiers is found drowned in a vat of chocolate with a hat pin in his eye.  Maybe this summer's apprenticeship with be curtailed if her boss is found guilty of the murder.  But he is just one of several suspects, turns out the sweet treat maker had quite a few enemies. Jessie feels obligated to do little investigating on her own to find out who really killed the chocolate candy man and save her sweet hat maker in the process.

I find myself looking forward to my adventures with Jessie and all the knaves, knights, wrenches and fools as we travel to the Renaissance Faire.  This year it's even more exciting as a whole new group has been added to the Village and the residents are not happy which adds yet another element for humor and strife.

I have liked all the books in this series but this is the first one I can say I loved because the mystery was much more complex, the characters have gained depth and are more real.  That is what happens with series books, the author becomes more comfortable with the characters and they evolve naturally and effortlessly for the reader. 

There were also a couple of surprises and teasers that leaves the reader waiting for the next installment.  This is definitely a series to read in order to appreciate the entire series and the reader will see how each one just keeps getting better and better.  Until next summer......

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel  Agent
The series in order:
Wicked Weaves (Renaissance Faire Mysteries, No. 1)Ghastly Glass (Renaissance Faire Mystery)Deadly Daggers (Renaissance Faire Mystery)Harrowing Hats (Renaissance Faire Mystery)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 


Tea said...

Attracted by the hats, the Harrowing hats. lol. luv it.

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

I don't usually like mysteries but this looks sort of cute!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

The hats are very different for a cozy subject. I like it. You have me sold on cozies. I am reading one right now set in Shipshewana, Indiana. I am loving it!