Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: Sept 4, 2012
Retail Price: 7.99
Hail ye, hail ye, and welcome to the Renaissance Faire Village. Here, associate professor Jessie Morton spends her summers honing her skills and finding the lady, lord, or serf whodunit. But when she comes for Christmas, will murder mean a very unhappy holiday?
A NAUGHTY TOY MAKER BETTER WATCH OUT…
Jessie Morton is getting just what she wished for this holiday season at the Renaissance Faire Village—working as an apprentice to the new toy maker. But when Chris Christmas is discovered dead just hours after her arrival, Jessie’s holiday plans start to melt away.
Jessie can’t imagine who would want to silence the toy maker, but apparently the red- cheeked Chris Christmas liked toying with the ladies. Although it may be her shortest apprenticeship ever, she wants to unwrap the truth before word gets out in the village that it’s not safe to be Santa—or one of his helpers…
Series: Renaissance Faire Mystery
It’s summer-apprentice Jessie Morton’s first Christmas working at Renaissance Faire Village, and she’s looking forward to being reunited with her boyfriend Chase and her twin brother Tony. Jessie has worked as an apprentice in several different areas of the village as research for her doctorate degree. Although Jessie misses the village when she’s away, her job outside the village gives her the financial security she needs. Since she will be working at the village during the holidays, she is excited for the opportunity that gives her to learn toy-making with Chris Christmas. However, what seems to be an ideal assignment, doesn’t work out the way Jessie had planned. One minute, Jessie is meeting Chris, his wife Christine, and their eight children, and the next she is shocked to learn Chris has been murdered! Toy-making is temporarily put on hold, but Jessie doesn’t want to spend the holidays without a place to intern. She takes advantage of her unexpected free time to snoop around the village castle to find someone with a motive to murder Chris, besides his wife Christine. Time is of the essence to keep Christine out of jail and with her children and to keep things safe in the beloved village.
Imagine a career working at a Renaissance Fair, dressing in period costume, and living in character whenever you are in view of visitors, and sometimes continuing in character even when you are off the clock! That is just what the characters in the Renaissance Fair series do. The King and Queen of the village live in a luxurious castle and are treated with the respect of real royalty by the other employees. On the other hand, “Robin Hood” and his men live in rustic tree houses in the forest. With everyone living and breathing their village characters, it’s easy to get immersed in this world when reading this book and the others in this series. Jessie has always gone back and forth between the Renaissance Fair and her life outside the village as a college professor. Her character has grown throughout this series and she is no longer looking for a different boyfriend to have fun with each summer before she goes back to her “real” life as student and teacher. In spite of her fear of commitment and need for security, Jessie seems to be more trusting that the feelings she and Chase have for each other are real, even if life in the village is full of make-believe. This new confidence has made Jessie a much more likeable character than she was in the first couple of books in this series.
As an investigator, Jessie knows everyone in the village and is good at getting information the police can’t. This particular mystery was interesting and sometimes amusing, with a philandering Father Christmas and suspects ranging from his adoring wife to the King and Queen of the village. Jessie gets herself into a few dangerous predicaments, but she uses her wits to come out ahead of the murderer. With Chris getting killed at the very beginning of the book, there isn’t a lot of toy-making, but the reader is still treated with a detailed look at life in the village. Even though it’s a bit unusual to have people living in character through much of their lives, it’s easy to get caught up in this world. The park is located in Myrtle Beach, but it never seems like anything but “merry olde England” once you get into the story. It is sometimes frustrating to see Jessie, a character I have come to care about, continue to make the wrong choices, but it looks like she may be finally learning to listen to her heart. With the way things turn out at the end of the book, I am already looking forward to Jessie’s next adventure.
Reviewed by Christine
Your ReviewYou must register before posting a comment.
Click to login
There are no comments to displayYou must register before posting a comment.
Click to login