Wicked Weaves (Renaissance Faire Mystery Series #1)

Wicked Weaves (Renaissance Faire Mystery Series #1)

3.9 18
by Joyce Lavene

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First in the Renaissance Faire mystery series featuring craft apprentice and sleuth Jessie Morton.


Assistant professor Jessie Morton spends her summers at the Renaissance Village honing her skills and finding the lady, lord, or serf whodunnit.

This summer Jessie is the apprentice to Mary Shift,…  See more details below


First in the Renaissance Faire mystery series featuring craft apprentice and sleuth Jessie Morton.


Assistant professor Jessie Morton spends her summers at the Renaissance Village honing her skills and finding the lady, lord, or serf whodunnit.

This summer Jessie is the apprentice to Mary Shift, a basket-maker with a dark past as well as incredible weaving skills. One day a man is bid a deadly fare-thee-well with Mary's signature weave around his neck. It's up to Jessie to spring Mary from the stocks of the Myrtle Beach police station. Yet innocence is hard to prove in a place where there's a fine line between reality and good theater, and history is bound to repeat itself.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This jolly series debut from the husband-and-wife Lavene team serves up medieval murder and mayhem. USC doctoral candidate Jessie Morton studies medieval crafts every summer at Columbia, S.C.'s Renaissance Faire Village. While working with basket weaver Mary Shift, Jessie gets a shock when Mary's estranged husband, Joshua, is murdered in broad daylight. She quickly learns the actors at the Faire may be hiding more than their mundane lives. Jessie is certain that Mary is innocent of the murder, but also suspects the old weaver knows more than she's revealing. The situation becomes more complicated as secrets from Mary's turbulent past comes to light. Faire bailiff Chase Manhattan (whose hilarious name goes oddly unremarked) occasionally distracts Jessie with the promise of summer romance, but her focus is on solving the mystery. Fans of the Lavenes' Peggy Garden mysteries will appreciate Jessie's charm and determination as she sets out to clear her teacher's name. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Renaissance Faire Mystery Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
File size:
525 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

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Wicked Weaves (Renaissance Faire Mystery Series #1) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Krystal_lazuli More than 1 year ago
A decent story that isn't overly predictable. It offers a nice look at at Renaissance faire.
Bookworm124 12 months ago
If you are a fan of going to Renaissance Fairs and love reading lighthearted mysteries then this is a series for you! Full of fun and sometimes over the top characters this fair is one that you wish you could go and see for yourself. Jessie Morton, the main character is an assistant professor who each years acts as an apprentice to different master crafter each year. When a murder is committed Jessie's curiosity and desire to help has her sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. The only thing keeping Jessie from truly getting into trouble is the fair's bailiff Chase. I will admit that Jessie can come off as a bit much but in the end her heart is in the right place and her antics make for a really fun read. A very good introduction book for this series!
sd97 More than 1 year ago
Love the series. Some of the characters get annoying. But it is a good easy read.
Andi1121 More than 1 year ago
I really like these cute quick read mystery books, and this book had potential, but fell a little short of keeping my attention in a steady manner. Told in the first person, much like Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity Books (and this one comes with a recipe in the back as well), it was a little confusing in areas, and choppy. There were places where the character's conversations really made no sense. One example of this is that the main character, a woman named Jessie, has a twin brother who constantly borrows money from her. In one "scene" she and two others are sitting in the Renaissance Village cafe and the brother comes in, already owing her $100, and asks her for another $20 for a date he has. Jessie becomes embarrassed and flat out denies him anymore funds. The brother gets irritated and Jessie's "love interest" spots him the $20 to shut him up. Afterward, Jessie and her beau leave the cafe and the beau proceeds to tell her how he understands and that her brother just needs to be more responsible and learn to stand on his own two feet. This completely contradicts the fact that the beau just loaned him money! There are several of these examples throughout the book which to some may seem minor, but leave me shaking my head. Another issue I have with the book is there is a constant sexual tension or insinuation in almost every interaction that does not deal directly with the mystery storyline. Okay, she's hot for this guy, we get it. It really doesn't add to the plot and, like too much swearing, gets old after awhile. Lastly, there were some serious editing errors, which kind of jump off of the pages when you are reading. Some sentences I had to go back and read four or five times and I still don't think they were worded right, and some flat out don't make sense. There is also the inconsistent switch between "Ms." and "Miz" (both used for Jessie) and a married character is referred to both "Mrs." and "Ms." in different places. There are also quippy thoughts Jessie has that contain information that is simply incorrect. For example, in trying to be funny the authors wrote in a cute thought of Jessie's that "when the egg split" she got the brains and her twin brother got the looks. Fraternal twins do not come from the same egg. A factual reference that I would consider rather embarrassing as an author to not know. Again, a minor thing, but makes me question the authenticity of information presented. Even in fiction, an author needs to do his or her homework and stay true to the facts of these kinds of "minor" details, if for nothing else than to just not look ignorant. An editor should have caught that reference immediately. All in all, it was a cute book and I will probably read the rest when they come out in this series. You just have to overlook the editing mistakes, somewhat contradictory actions of the characters, and not assume that any kind of historical or scientific reference, in any form, is accurate
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mrs_DeO More than 1 year ago
I thought this book sounded like a something I would really enjoy. I go to my local renaissance festival every summmer and am fasinated with the time period in general. I haven't even finished the book yet and am not sure I can because the main character, Jessie, is such an annoying character. She is described as a thirty-something college professor, but she acts and talks like a 14yr old. Some of the things she says to other characters are so rude and I never would imagine that someone would ever say that in real life. Her romance with the festival 'sheriff' is so immature and it's almost painful to read through her inner dialouge when she thinks about her relationship with him. She needs to grow and act her age! I might eventually finish this book (only since I bought it), but will NOT be continuing this series!
kiltguy More than 1 year ago
This was a good light read. As a regular at the MD Ren. Fest, a found the setting and characters interesting, and mostly believable.I only wished that more background on Gullah culture would have been included, especially for those not from the region. I intend to read more in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this novel particularly because it was set at a renassance village in modern times. I took some humanities courses in college that dealt with the renassance period and found the book's facts enjoyable. Characters are fun and not too serious. A light hearted adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sewicked More than 1 year ago
Caveat: I did not read the entire book. Keep that in mind when you read this review. It is possible that if I had kept reading, I would have changed my mind. I like other books written by the Lavenes; they're good writers. I just didn't click with this one. I liked the setting and I thought that the crafts and the characters were believable. I admired the attitude of the prime suspect; it was refreshing. The plot looked intriguing. However, the protagonist annoyed me. Perhaps, I saw a little too much of myself in her. At any rate, she was just too much for me. Even with all the qualities that I liked about the book, I just could not go on. I suggest that you read at least a chapter of this book. If you like that much, continue; I'm sure that you'll enjoy the entire book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would like to believe the plot, the characters and the setting. This Renn Faire setting is unlike any I have known. One wonders if the author has even been to a Renn Faire. Most of the characters belong in a psych ward.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Assistant Professor Jessie Morton has spent the school year teaching history and her summer moths apprenticing to an artisan at the Myrtle Beach Renaissance Village this time she is tutored by basket maker Mary Shift. Each summer she has a romantic fling, but so far not with the bailiff Chase, who she is attracted to she hopes this summer is their time together.----------- One day Jessie observes Mary arguing with a man who acts like he knows her intimately. Later she learns that a similar looking man is dead with one of Mary¿s weaves tied tightly around his neck. The victim was her husband Joshua who tossed her out years ago his brother Abraham came to inform Mary that Josh is coming and she needs to send him home or he will be an outcast like her. Abraham had taken Jah, Mary¿s son into his home and pretended the lad was his son who actually died. He claims that Mary killed him instead of nursed him. The police suspect Mary killed her spouse, but Jessie thinks otherwise. Chase helps her investigate and they soon find an additional suspect besides Mary, Abraham, and Jah but no evidence pointing to anyone except Mary.----------- The Renaissance Faire mystery is the start of a new exciting amateur sleuth series from the Lavene team known for their ¿poisoned¿ Peggy Lee Garden tales. Part of the fun of this solid whodunit is the vivid description of a the Renaissance Village anyone who has not been to one will want to go as the Lavene duo makes it so enticing in fact they make their South Carolina based Faire sound similar to the delightful Georgia Renaissance Festival. The protagonist is an interesting graduate student who feels comfortable in her endeavors when she classifies them into neat compartments Chase refuses to be filed away as a summer fling as he wants more from her. The whodunit is cleverly developed so that four suspects linked to the basket weaver (Mary¿s lover being the other) surface with motives while clues seemingly to only point to Jessie¿s teacher.------------------- Harriet Klausner