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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.